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Israeli Stage Set For Regional War and Destruction

December 15, 2001


"The Israeli rhetoric echoes the policy towards Lebanon in the late 1960s and 1970s. In those days, Israel held Lebanon culpable for all Palestinian attacks. Israel sent messages to Lebanon by bombing villages and refugee camps in the southern part of that country, by assassinating Palestinian officials based in Beirut and by bombing Beirut itself. The message: the Lebanese must either control the Palestine Liberation Organisation or face the consequences."

"Arafat's real crisis is among his own people. They see him as just an Israeli sheriff who happens to speak their language."

"Arafat was one half of the Oslo agreement of 1993, which allowed the Palestinians to lose more than 10,000 acres of their land even while the settler population in the territories doubled and a small class of Arafat loyalists enriched themselves. In the 20 per cent of the West Bank and the 80 per cent of Gaza that Arafat's forces are allowed to police, his job has been to arrest Palestinians who threaten Israel. US officials encouraged him to try them before secret military courts."

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 12/15/2001: General Sharon is Israel's chosen warrior tactician when the going gets even more bloody than usual. He is the thuggish brut General the Israelis call on when they are getting desperate. They did it in '73 when he lead the charge across the Suez and reversed the tide of battle in that war. They did it in '82 when he orchestrated the terrible war against Lebanon, leading to War Crimes charges he has been unable to shake. They are doing it now as their duplicitous "forced peace" crumbles and all around them is growing hatred and an escalating arms race. In the interims, even after being ordered to leave government and not to return by a special Israeli investigating commission, Sharon has championed the "settlers movement" and masterminded the apartheid approach to the Palestinians -- whether it is termed "autonomy" or "Statehood with restrictions", whether with or without Yasser Arafat.

Sharon specializes in lying and provoking, leading to brutal military clashes. He is accomplished and crafty at both; adding to his ealier reputation primarily for heartless bloodletting. There is considerable agreement even from those who despise him about his daring military bravado which has accompanied his savagery and racist cunning. And just to get the job as Prime Minister was quite a crafty political feat which began, in addition to all the past scheming, when he masterminded the fall of Bibi Netanyahu with himself in the Foreign Minister's chair, then ignited Intifada II, and then undermined fellow General Ehud Barak while he was positioned at the top of his Likud party and able to propell himself into power by a landslide vote.

Now General Sharon is positioned for probably his final huge historical battle; and it is hardly just against Arafat and the Palestinians. Sharon is once again maneuvering to change the face and the future of the entire Middle East. And if he is allowed to proceed by both circumstances and the Americans he will try to implement his ideological mentor's vision to vanquish the Palestinians to a state of their own across the River in what was once Transjordan and is now the shaking last stand for the Hashemites first brought to power by the Brits in the days of Lawrence.

And if he can he Sharon will at the same time attempt to destroy Arab and Muslim power for at least another generation, from Pakistan and Iran in the East, to Syria in the north, to Egypt and Libya in the West.

Sounds rather far-fetched and exceedingly alarmist to many...we know. But there is a long history here going back to Vladamir Jabotinsky's form of brown-shirt militant Jewish facism -- and it was Jabotinsky's picture which adorned the wall behind him the day Ariel Sharon took the oath as Prime Minister of the wounded, bleeding, and frightened Jewish State that is today's legacy of so much past bloodletting.


By Charles Glass

[NEW STATESMAN, U.K. - Jerusalem - 10 December 2001]:

"How much time will this colonial war continue; how many more victims on either side will it claim, and will Israel part company with the Palestinians as friends and allies or will it leave both sides - both Palestinians and Israelis - with feelings of rage and vengeance, feelings that might continue for generations?"

Professor Baruch Kimmerling, Ha'aretz, 4 Dec

Another Palestinian has killed himself in Jerusalem. He was walking towards the David Citadel Hotel in King David Street, where two Israeli ministers were staying. The minister of public security, Uzi Landau, and the religious affairs minister, Asher Ohana, could not have known that the boy was on his way to kill them. Then, at 7.35 in the morning, an explosion shook the hotel. The boy obliterated himself prematurely, before he could get anywhere near the ministers. Perhaps he was nervous, perhaps the detonator was shoddy. That was on Wednesday, 5 December.

His attempted murder was itself a response, or revenge for, Israel's bombardment the previous day of the West Bank and Gaza. On Tuesday, the Israelis killed three Palestinians. The youngest was 15, and died when the Israeli army bombed the West Bank and Gaza in response to the weekend bombs that killed 25 in Haifa, which were in turn an answer to the assassination of the Islamic Jihad leader, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, whom Israel murdered in response to . . . And so it goes.

When the pieces of the bomber's body were found on the Jewish, western side of this very divided city, an Israeli government spokesman, Arye Mekel, said of Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority: "So far, he has not heard our message, and we may have to send some more."

The Israeli messages to Arafat have grown louder and more determined over the past year. The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, holds Arafat responsible for all actions against Israel by Palestinians, whether they belong to Arafat's police, his paramilitary Fatah commandos or his rivals in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad and Hamas. The Israeli rhetoric echoes the policy towards Lebanon in the late 1960s and 1970s. In those days, Israel held Lebanon culpable for all Palestinian attacks. Israel sent messages to Lebanon by bombing villages and refugee camps in the southern part of that country, by assassinating Palestinian officials based in Beirut and by bombing Beirut itself. The message: the Lebanese must either control the Palestine Liberation Organisation or face the consequences.

In the event, the consequence was a civil war that destroyed the Lebanese state and left it a Syrian colony. As defence minister in 1982, Sharon put an end to Arafat and the PLO in Lebanon with his siege of Beirut and the massacres of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The brutality of the invasion caused many Lebanese, who had grown weary of PLO misrule in west Beirut, to fight on the Arafat side. What effect will attacking Arafat in Ramallah have on his own people, most of whom, like the Lebanese between 1976 and 1982, have profound misgivings about his leadership?

Can Yasser Arafat control those who would attack Israel? This is the question, as framed by Ariel Sharon and repeated by the George W Bush administration. Perhaps he can, just as Sharon can control the Israeli forces who bomb Palestinians, assassinate Palestinians, humiliate Palestinians at roadblocks, interrogate Palestinians with "moderate physical pressure" and take Palestinian land. Will either side "control" its own? This is crucial because, as Sami Michael, the Israeli Jewish writer, told the daily Ha'aretz in September: "The street leads the leaders and not the other way around. The policy of the government is to respond."

A few days before the bombardments, I saw the mayor of Nablus, Ghassan Shakah, at his offices. Nablus is the largest city on the West Bank and, with light factories and food-processing plants, the closest thing to an industrial heartland that the Palestinians have. Nablus was surviving on only one hour of water a day (but the nearby Israeli settlements had an uninterrupted supply). When electricity lines were damaged, Shakah said, his engineers had to wait days for Israeli permission to leave the city limits to repair them.

Shakah is very much a part of the Arafat apparatus in Nablus, a Fatah member from an old, established family. "To be frank, I don't know when we will collapse," he said. "Since 1994, we are trying to tell our people about prosperity, security, a Palestinian state, peace. But, every time, the Israelis insist on showing us as liars to our people."

Arafat was one half of the Oslo agreement of 1993, which allowed the Palestinians to lose more than 10,000 acres of their land even while the settler population in the territories doubled and a small class of Arafat loyalists enriched themselves.

In the 20 per cent of the West Bank and the 80 per cent of Gaza that Arafat's forces are allowed to police, his job has been to arrest Palestinians who threaten Israel. US officials encouraged him to try them before secret military courts. Now, if the Palestinians do not want to be ruled by an Israeli sheriff who speaks their language, Arafat is in trouble. He should convince them that he governs in their interest - that he wants the end of occupation and the creation of an independent state - and at the same time he must persuade the Israelis that he is their man. It is a hard trick to pull off, and, so far, he has failed to do it.

Comment on these article(s)

December 2001


U.S. and Israel Now Have Iraq In Their Sights
(December 31, 2001)
Britain's Telegraph Newspaper is well-plugged in with both the Americans and the Israelis, and is helping fan the flames of the likelier than not upcoming collision with Iraq. At the moment the U.S. is short of cruise missiles.

Sub-Continent Rushes Toward Conflagration
(December 31, 2001)
Pakistan and India are readying their military forces - including their ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons - for war.

Israelis Preparing The Way for 2002 - Now a Potentially Cataclysmic Year
(December 31, 2001)
Yasser Arafat remains under town siege in Ramallah, and his personal as well as historical nemesis, Ariel Sharon, continues to attempt to provoke more Palestinian hatred and violence which he will then use to justify still further Israeli military escalations, potentially cataclysmic in the year about to begin.

"We Will Win Nuclear War"! Crisis Escalates Further!
(December 31, 2001)
As the year turns, not since fourty years ago, not since1962 and the "Cuban Missile Crisis", has the world faced the possibility of an iminent orgastic nuclear war between two major countries.

The "Muslim" Bomb - Both Pakistan and Iran now Targeted in addition to Iraq
(December 30, 2001)
The Israelis have a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons; and in fact helped instigate the very regional arms race they are now so worried about; then fueled it further by ongoing attempts to crush and subjugate the Palestinians while colonizing still more territories.

Now, let's talk about terrorism, shall we?
(December 30, 2001)
If you are still shaken by the horrifying scenes of September 11, please observe a moment of silence for the 5,000 civilian lives lost in the New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania attacks. While we're at it...

"Internationals" Victorious For The Day Over Israeli Army
(December 30, 2001)
You've got to hand it to these international activists, they are succeeding at the moment at least in drawing attention to what the Israeli occupation is really all about, they are putting their bodies on the line, they have now finally after so many years and provocations begun to organize and demonstrate for real. But there are a few serious problems in this.

India-Pakistan War Brews - Potential Nuclear Conflagration Looms
(December 29, 2001)
No matter what American and Israeli officials now say in public, at some point the "war against terrorism" as defined in Washington and Jerusalem was likely to begin to quickly expand in unforeseen ways in both the Middle East and the sub-continent.

Islamic Militants Attack Israeli Patrol, Defying Arafat's Truce Call
(December 29, 2001)
Ignoring Yasser Arafat's truce order, two members of the militant Islamic Jihad group on Friday attacked an Israeli army patrol in the Gaza Strip in a failed suicide mission.

(December 28, 2001)
"I wouldn't be the least surprised if there were a nuclear explosion in Israel or the United States." Congressman Chris Shays (R-Conn.) Chairman of the House subcommittee on national security

The Real "OBSTACLE TO PEACE", and Egypt Targets Women - MER FLASHBACK
(December 28, 2001)
It's front-page news! Bill Clinton says Israeli settlements are an "obstacle" to peace. But this isn't the real story; nor are settlements the real obstacle.

(December 26, 2001)
Both India and Pakistan in recent days have deployed substantial combat forces to important strategic areas along their borders and with tension continuing to mount the Indian army has ordered residents in border villages to leave.

Pakistan warns of nuclear conflict with India!
(December 25, 2001)
As in Palestine, the Kashmir conflict originally resulted from Western policies in the last century. Now both conflicts threaten to explode into wars of mass destruction in this century.

The Terrible State of the Palestinians
(December 24, 2001)
After all his bluster and threats, Yasser Arafat remains essentially an Israeli prisoner in Ramallah, one of the militarily-surrounded Palestinian Bantustans that Arafat himself helped create when he put his pen to various Israeli schemes for which he received, quite literally, billions of dollars in payoffs and arms which he then distributed to cronies and entourage to keep himself in power.

Holy Land ShowDown - Will He or Won't He?
(December 24, 2001)
An atmosphere of tension and expectation has descended on Bethlehem as Palestinians wait to see whether their leader, Yasser Arafat, will successfully defy an Israeli ban on his travelling to the town for a highly symbolic Christmas Mass.

Israel Searches Convoy for Arafat...Political Brinksmanship Awaits Clock
(December 24, 2001)
As the clock ticks toward Christmas Eve and Midnight a grand game of political brinksmanship is underway between the two old protagonists, Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat.

Israel Prepares For Arafat's "Walk" or Copter to Bethlehem
(December 23, 2001)
It's even possible Arafat could tomorrow win this round in what has evolved into a kind of personal Sharon-Arafat political wrestling match. We're all anxiously waiting to see just how this drama is going to unfold Monday; and whether Arafat can even approach the political skill and timing of Mahatma Gandhi.

Arab Regimes Helped Bring Sharon To Power - MER FlashBack
(December 23, 2001)
It was the Arab client regimes themselves, especially the Hashemites in Jordan and the Egyptians, who actually helped bring Ariel Sharon to the pinnacle of power in Israel. This from MER archives four years ago:

"It's a humiliation for the entire Palestinian people"
(December 23, 2001)
"This is an example of the arrogance of occupation. It's a humiliation for the entire Palestinian people, Christians and Muslims... Sharon is playing with fire -- he wants blood and tears instead of Christmas carols."

Yasser's Historic Moment Monday To Walk Peacefully Into History
(December 22, 2001)
As we said the other day, we're all aware that Yasser Arafat's record of doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons in the right way is rather tarnished, to say the least. But even tarnished almost consumed historic figures sometimes have their possible moments of historic redemption.

War Year 2002 - Stage Set for "Transferring" Palestinians, "Jordan is Palestine"
(December 22, 2001)
If major wars and more "terrorist incidents" break out in the Sub-Continent and elsewhere in the Middle East region, as now seems likely in the weeks and months immediately ahead, that is just what Ariel Sharon and the "right-wing" Israelis -- with at least acquiescence from Barak, Peres and the so-called "left-wing" Israelis -- have been waiting for.

Darkness in the Once Holy Land
(December 21, 2001)
"The Oslo agreements were a sham... The understanding on the Palestinian side was that Oslo would eventually lead to Israeli withdrawal from the territories. In fact, the accords turned into a state-run land grab of astounding proportions..."

Arafat Threatens to Walk to Bethlehem - NewsFlash!
(December 21, 2001)
Just a week ago now MER wrote of the urgent need for Arafat to "do a Gandhi". "Message to Arafat - Do a Gandhi, right now, before it's too late!" was the title of the MER article published last Friday at this time. And it seems MER's impact is even greater than we imagined!

U.S. and Israel Cozier And More Intertwined Than Ever
(December 21, 2001)
The United States plans to offer Israel an expanded missile defense cooperation relationship. The cooperation is meant to follow the model of the current U.S.-Israeli Arrow-2 joint program.

Time to Suspend Israel from the U.N. General Assembly
(December 20, 2001)
The General Assembly could act seriously today; it has the power. And there is the precedent as well -- South Africa in the days of Apartheid. The U.S. has no veto in the GA; something that under today's conditions, and precisely because of last week's "astounding" Security Council veto, should be acted upon.

"So let's hope the president will resist the siren calls for new wars"
(December 20, 2001)
Warnings have already come, and in public, from all over. The Germans, the French, the U.N., there's already quite a long list. But the Americans are definitely planning to march forward on their crusade...there are many "phases" already not just planned but in various forms of execution.

Peres Himself "Shudders"; and "Evil" Israeli-Style Unleashed
(December 19, 2001)
Shimon Peres ought to know. This is hardly the first time the Israelis have been caught at what for most of the world deserve to be categorized as "war crimes." And for every time they have been caught there are ever so many other times that the dastardly things they have done have been successfully hidden from view, so far that is.

Thank You Der Spiegel
(December 18, 2001)
We've yet to see the full English translation of yesterday's important article by Publisher Rudolf Augstein of Der Spiegel. But right away we can certainly comment that it's about time German intellectuals and journalists realized that precisely because of their past they have a special obligation to stand up against racism and facism and brute militarism -- from whatever quarter it rears its ugly tentacles.

LIES, TRICKS, DECEPTIONS...then and now?
(December 17, 2001)
Was what the world watched a few days ago, originally broadcast direct from the Pentagon no less, the real OSB and the whole truthful story of the conveniently found and timed tape? Was this just a part of the real but more more complex and convoluted story? Was there a CIA Sting involved as has been reported by the establishment British press in London over the weekend?

Destroying Saddam/Bathist Regime Being Planned by US, Israel
(December 17, 2001)
When you send a recently retired Marine Corp General and regional Commander to the Middle East as your "Peace Negotiator" it's war not peace you have in mind. But the popular press is ever-so-gullible and compliant of course.

Neighborhood Bully - A Former U.S. Attorney General on American Militarism
(December 15, 2001)
When I picture a high-ranking government official, I think of someone who is corrupt. I think of a corporate shill. I think of someone who is not a friend to the people of this country. I think of Lord Acton's famous line about power corrupting, and absolute power corrupting absolutely.

Israeli Stage Set For Regional War and Destruction
(December 15, 2001)
"Arafat's real crisis is among his own people. They see him as just an Israeli sheriff who happens to speak their language."

Message to Arafat - Do a Gandhi, right now, before it's too late!
(December 14, 2001)
Palestinian support groups in the US and elsewhere are pathetically weak, terribly lead, and still engaged most of the time in rather juvenile uninformed internal debates about who is who and what is what. But even so, once and awhile there's a good idea circulated in their incestuous and bloated email forums, though there is hardly ever any follow-through in any serious way.

Arafat's Last Stand... European Betrayal... Devastation and Catastrophe...
(December 14, 2001)
"Arafat came as collaborator as much as liberator. For the Israelis, security - theirs, not the Palestinians' - was the be-all and end-all of Oslo. His job was to supply it on their behalf."

Arafat in Bunker; Israeli Missiles Seek Bin Laden; Propaganda Campaigns Escalate
(December 13, 2001)
Greatly emboldened because there have not been the kinds of major demonstrations and violent clashes in Arab and Muslim countries that some predicted, the U.S. and Israel have decided to push forward with crushing military power, still more covert CIA actions, and further administrative and financial restrictions worldwide.

Israelis Spies Held by U.S. While Israelis Unleash More Death and Destruction
(December 13, 2001)
The very day the White House went to great lengths to position the Israeli flag right behind the President, and to purposefully highlight the Star of David to the greatest degree possible, the whole subject of Israeli espionage against the U.S. has also unfurled once again.

Israeli Spying in USA, Part I
(December 13, 2001)

Israeli Spying in USA, Part II
(December 13, 2001)

Israeli Spying in USA, Part III
(December 13, 2001)

Israeli Spying in USA, Part IV
(December 13, 2001)

Boycott the USA Says Famous Egyptian
(December 12, 2001)
When Egypt's most popular television commentator, Hamdi Qandil, called for a boycott of U.S. goods, which his government opposes, it got past the censor. But he was stopped from repeating it.

Israel: The 51st State?
(December 12, 2001)
September 11th, 2001, has become the tragedy of opportunity for Israel; a perfect turning point in which the "war against terrorism" analogy has been fully exploited by Ariel Sharon's radical right-wing government to sustain, even intensify, the horrors of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

What Drives A Bomber to Kill the Innocent Child? MER FLASHBACK
(December 11, 2001)
I once asked the head of the Lebanese Hizbollah if he could explain to me how the mind of a suicide bomber works. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah was dressed in his black turban and robes. He had formerly been the Hizbollah's military commander in southern Lebanon and from his legions had emerged the first Arab suicide bombers who would - after more than a decade and a half - sap the morale of Israel's retreating army.

"...Symbol of Hatred and Fury of This Filthy War"
(December 10, 2001)
They started by shaking hands. We said 'Salaam aleikum' - peace be upon you - then the first pebbles flew past my face. A small boy tried to grab my bag. Then another. Then someone punched me in the back. Then young men broke my glasses, began smashing stones into my face and head.

Robert Fisk Nearly Beaten to Death
(December 9, 2001)
Robert Fisk is one of the world's preeminent experts about the Middle East and world affairs. He is the longest serving Western correspondent in the region. He is also an extraordinarily courageous person who always conducts himself with great determination, fortitude, and professionalism.

Just Call Me 'Uncle Jim', Saudi Propaganda, Academia Subverted - MER FLASHBACKS
(December 4, 2001)

Lies About "Peace" and a "Palestinian State" - Then and Now
(December 1, 2001)
More than twenty years ago now another American President was promising a complete "settlement freeze" and a "transitional period" leading to a "Palestinian State". The notion that George W. Bush is doing so for the first time, sui generis, is not only blatantly historically fallacious but downright disingenuous.

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