War criminal Ariel Sharon has enhanced his sterling reputation as a leader for peace in the Middle East by saying he’s sorry he didn’t have Yasser Arafat killed [NY Times] during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the early 1980s, which he led (this is the same invasion in which he surrounded the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps with Israeli troops, and then let in Phalangist militia who slaughtered and tortured thousands of unarmed Palestinian civilians).
The two-facedness of Sharon’s policy is sometimes simply stunning. Sharon has repeatedly demanded that Israel will not negotiate with the Palestinians for peace while Israel is under fire and the threat of terrorism (all the while maintaining military assaults on the illegally occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip). And now he turns around, and, as head of a government with an established policy of assassinating suspected Palestinian militants, starts talking like a New York mafioso:
There was an agreement in Lebanon not to liquidate Yasir Arafat,he said.Actually, I am sorry that we did not liquidate him.An Israeli sniper is said to have had Mr. Arafat in his sights as the Palestinian leader boarded a ship to leave Beirut for Tunis, but he did not receive the order to fire.
Now how, exactly, is Arafat to be expected to work for peace while under a clearly implied threat on his life?
Meanwhile Israeli and US leaders [NY Times] condemn Yasser Arafat for attempting to import heavy weapons into the Palestinian Authority. Christ, they are being militarily assaulted by Israeli tanks and helicopter gunships, and you act all surprised when they import weapons to defend themselves against invasion? If we started classifying all the weapons Israel buys and builds as
enhancing terror (George W.’s words), then Israel would be considered one of the single biggest terrorist states in the world. Oh, but wait, Israel receives $2,040,000,000 every year from US tax dollars for direct military aid, and $720,000,000 more in economic aid. The Palestinian weapons, at least, were not purchased on your and my dime.
Now, listen. I don’t like Yasser Arafat. He deserves credit as a military leader
resisting the Israeli occupation, but as a governor he has proven to be
dictatorial, corrupt, sometimes two-faced, and has sold out the Palestinians on a
number of issues. The Palestinian people deserve better than him. But this is
simply absurd. If Yasser Arafat had made a comment like this, Israeli
government officials and President Bush would both be on every news program
in the world screaming bloody murder. But Ariel Sharon says it, and all the State
Department spokesperson has to say is,
Remarks like these can be