Friday, September 17, 2004

Israeli extremists block peace 9-17-04

Creators Syndicate,
Ray Hanania

The Likud Party headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has split, and the Yesha Council representing the Israeli settler movement is taking sides as a political battle rages over whether Israel should withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

While some may see this as moderation battling extremism, it is really just another ugly war among Israeli extremists who stand in the way of peace and prolong the conflict for selfish political reasons. To Palestinians, Sharon is a terrorist, plain and simple.

The killing of civilians has shadowed his career since his first days as a terror unit commander in the 1950s. Sharon has split with his colleague, Benjamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister also dedicated to continued bloodshed and violence. But one thing remains in common for them: They both oppose the creation of a viable Palestinian State.

The Israeli settler movement is a movement based on racism and discrimination. Only Jews are allowed to live in the settlements, which are established on lands confiscated from Muslim and Christian owners who are then expelled.

So when Sharon decided to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, some people argued ridiculously that he was taking steps to compromise and achieve peace. In reality, Sharon has found himself in a vicious battle, and he wants to cut his losses.

It was Sharon who provoked the current battle in September 2000. He then used the violence to exploit Israeli emotions and win election as prime minister. Sharon flooded the Gaza Strip and West Bank with soldiers who brutalized and pushed Palestinians into a conflict that Sharon now feels jeopardizes his leadership.

Making matters worse, some Palestinians have resorted to immoral acts of violence, such as suicide bombings. But most of the violence involves Palestinians defending themselves on their own land against attacks and killings by Israeli soldiers and settlers.

The split over evacuating the Gaza Strip has exposed the Likud and settlers for the terrorists that they really are. Sharon has accused Likud and settler opponents of the withdrawal of inciting civil war.

The one certainty of Israeli extremists is they love to pretend like they are innocent victims, when all along they are the causes of the violence themselves. When Sharon's predecessor Yitzhak Rabin tried to achieve a lasting peace with the Palestinians, it was a Likud settler fanatic who murdered him. In doing so, Yigal Amir also killed the peace process and made it possible for Netanyahu and Sharon to rise up in the flames they helped ignite. Both Sharon and Netanyahu opposed Rabin and the peace process, and both of them helped to undermine it and provoke Palestinian violence.

Throughout history, Israeli fanatics have resorted to terrorism. Likud founder Menachem Begin distinguished himself as the first terrorist to use kidnapping, assassination and murder in Palestine in the 1940s.

Once in power, terrorists never have to use open terror. Instead they act like Sharon, provoking the innocent into acts of violence and using that violence to achieve their political goals. Whether Israel does or does not withdraw from the Gaza Strip is meaningless.

Sharon's true intent is the destruction of a Christian and Muslim Palestinian State. Only until this terror conspiracy in leadership is replaced by a genuine Israeli peace leader can there be any hope for lasting peace.

To find out more about Ray Hanania, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at COPYRIGHT 2004 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was initially lead to your site by a link on AOL concerning your comments and Rudy Giuliani. I consider myself a conservative in my political views. But, I feel like conservatism has been distorted to the point that I'm alone. Especially in the "War on terrorism."

The US Marine Corps. frequently refers to themselves as the "Tip of the Sword" in the US military arsenal. I like this phrase. But, I also believe that the "Tip of the Sword" in the "War on Terrorism" has nothing to do with the military. The tip of the Sword needs to be active interaction and understanding between the mainstream communities of the United States and the Arab/Muslim world. If the misunderstandings between us can be lessened, the extremists from both sides will have a much smaller pool of possible recruits.

Too many "Conservatives" will say that appealing to the masses in the Arab world is irrelevant because the extremists don't care about public relations. They just want to kill us. I think they underestimate the value of public sentiment.

How can our two cultures better understand each other at the mainstream/grassroots level?

I also found a few points on which, I disagree with you. How can I register for your forum? There doesn't seem to be a link to do that.