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