by Seumas Milne
Ariel Sharon's decision to incinerate a 67-year-old blind quadriplegic
cleric outside his local mosque will certainly go down as one of the most
spectacularly counter-productive acts of violence in the history of the
Quite apart from the morality of assassinating Sheikh Yassin, it is the
Israeli people themselves who will suffer from certain retaliation. Israel
has the right to defend itself, President Bush declares, while apparently
denying the Palestinians the same luxury. But the killing can have no
military value at all. Whatever his authority as the founder and figurehead
of Hamas, the idea that Yassin was involved in planning armed attacks is
preposterous. When Israel rocketed the apartment block he was visiting last
September, the ailing sheikh was reported not to have even realised that an
attack had taken place. And regardless of the domestic political
calculations of the Israeli government, such attempts to destroy a popular
movement by decapitation are doomed to failure.
From Algeria to Vietnam, the past century is littered with evidence that
such strategies invariably come to nought.
. . . the Sharon government is deliberately undermining the basis for a
two-state solution by carving up the occupied territories with its
electrified fences, closed zones and ever-expanding settlements. . . .
The most dangerous delusion of our time must surely be the notion - trotted
out by all manner of public figures, from George Bush to Clive James - that
Islamist terror is motivated by hostility to freedom and the western way of
life. . . .
Eric Margolis, "Mideast Murder, Inc.," The
Toronto Sun, October 14, 1997
Robert Fisk, "The
Chilling Implications Of This State Killing," Independent, March 23, 2004
"US veto on
Yassin draws criticism," BBC News, March 26, 2004
[Sharon doesn't want peace, . . . his strategy is to make peace impossible
so that he can impose unilaterally his own settlement--Charley Reese, "US Complicity in Israel's
Misdeeds," CounterPunch, March 27, 2004]
Tanya Reinhart, "
Justice and the Yassin Assassination: As in Tiannamen Square,"
CounterPunch, March 31, 2004