Released July 7, 2001
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: -- Press Contact: Mowahid H. Shah

Waiting To Happen

by Mowahid H. Shah

"A whole nation . . . waits . . . for the calamity that is about to befall it. . . . An appalling hatred for Arabs has seized everyone. Who will state that the occupation is an act of violence, the most terrible of all, that terrorism is not only suicide bombers but also firing missiles at inhabited homes. Like a village living below a volcano and waiting complacently for the next eruption, Israel is watching events unfold as though watching a natural disaster over which no one has any control."

The aforementioned are excerpts from an article "Under the Volcano" by Gideon Levy in the June 10 issue of Israel's leading daily, Ha'aretz, the equivalent of the New York Times in the Jewish state.

This has been the case since the ongoing Intifada was triggered by Ariel Sharon barging his way to Haram Sharif in Jerusalem last September. For putting the Palestinians (and Israelis) in harm's way, Ariel Sharon was 'rewarded,' in effect, by being made Prime Minister of Israel. Now a BBC Panorama program telecast on June 17 implicates Sharon for his complicity in allowing the massacres of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon during September 1982. BBC concludes that for his role, Ariel Sharon could be tried for war crimes.

Professor Edward Said -- who has been fighting leukemia and now stomach cancer for the past decade -- of Columbia University in a recent C-Span interview said that there is more freedom of discussion on the Palestinian question in Israel than in the U.S., where he finds minds closed and intolerance rife and "in an adversarial manner you get lectures on what you should be thinking and what you should be saying." Recently, a comprehensive interview of Edward Said was published in the Ha'aretz which Said found accurate, fair, and uncensored while, ironically, his views and views similar to his on the Middle East are excluded from publication in the mainstream media in the U.S.

Already, there are strong indications that the 15-member European Union takes a dim view of how the Israeli tail wags the American dog, and, is perturbed of its implications for global stability. What the unilateral and uncritical U.S. support of Israel means for the long-term overall interests of the United States is anybody's guess. It would certainly not make pretty reading. Writes Charley Reese in the Orlando Sentinel of June 21, "Unfortunately, the Palestinians have only the facts, morality and international law on their side. The Israelis have a powerful army and the U.S. government, which not only gives Israel an annual $3 billion subsidy but also blocks any and all international efforts to make Israel comply with United Nations resolutions and the Geneva Convention."

During a seminar, a questioner challenged this writer to "accept the fact that Israel is a de facto 51st state of the United States." The response: "I wish it was, then it would only have 2 Senators to defend its interests instead of 90 plus at its beck and call."

Copyright © 2001 Mowahid H. Shah
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