Sharon Threatens Arafat’s Life

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 unhelpful.

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  1. Martin Striz

    My thoughts exactly. Of course, the United States, aside from being one of the largest terrorist states in the world — killing innocent civilians, whether by airplane or by bomb, no matter the purpose, is terrorism — has repeatedly armed or funded other terrorist regimes around the world. Examples: Nicaraguan mercenaries; Saddam Hussein against the Kurds; Afghan insurgents against Russia; Mandela’s Spear of a Nation; not to mention a terrorist training camp within our own borders, The School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. So we shouldn’t be surprised at America’s unflagging support for Israel, despite their human rights abuses.