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MENACHEM KLEIN, political science - Bar Ilan University, thinks that Ariel Sharon is abetting terrorism against Israel

Prof. Menachem Klein: Sharon is abetting terrorism against Israel
By Akiva Eldar
July 25, 2002

 

Former Barak adviser, Prof. Menahem Klein writes:

"...The existence of ( Palestinian) civilians and their right to life have been deleted from the screen of Israeli consciousness."

" .."Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ... together with the establishment that serves him, is abetting terrorism against Israel ... What is terrorism if not a deliberate attack on a noncombatant population in order to achieve a political goal? And what, by the same token, is a rage-directed reaction - blind or calculated, but in either case systematic and repeated, against a civilian population - if not terrorism?"

"( Israel's)...its war machine frequently operates as an agent of terror. Not in the Palestinian form of uncontrollable gangs or individuals driven by religious fanaticism; not by means of suicide operations or by the terrorism of the weak. This is terrorism of the strong, the mechanism of the state."

Defined and deleted

Dr. Menachem Klein took into consideration that his article in the prestigious British journal ***The World Today would echo far beyond the Oxford university campus, where he is at the end of a sabbatical year. The editor says in an introduction to the brief piece that the Israeli expert on Palestinian affairs from Bar-Ilan University was formerly an advisor to former prime minister Ehud Barak (Klein was a member of the Jerusalem experts team in the negotiations).

The article was sent in to the Royal Institute for International Affairs a few weeks before the deadly bombing in Gaza, which turned the article into a prophecy. Klein notes that during the intifada, the senior Israeli command has "authorized the firing of missiles or the planting of explosives in residential dwellings or in vehicles carrying civilians." He says that "generally, such operations follow aerial reconnaissance of the target, from which the presence of civilians is obvious.

"However, the value of those lives is as dust under the wheels of Israeli methods of combat and the fury aimed at the Palestinian terrorism. The existence of civilians and their right to life have been deleted from the screen of Israeli consciousness."

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced the day after the bombing that Israeli citizens should prepare for new terrorist attacks. Klein wrote "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ... together with the establishment that serves him, is abetting terrorism against Israel ... What is terrorism if not a deliberate attack on a noncombatant population in order to achieve a political goal? And what, by the same token, is a rage-directed reaction - blind or calculated, but in either case systematic and repeated, against a civilian population - if not terrorism."

He goes on to recite a litany of Israeli assaults on the "hostile but noncombatant population," listing checkpoints, soldiers' vandalism, using civilians as human shields, and the breaching of interior walls to enter houses while searching for terrorists in heavily populated areas. He writes the Israeli establishment made no effort to restrain even the "war crimes" that accompanied the IDF incursions and invasions of the Palestinian villages and cities.

"Every decent person must condemn Palestinian terrorism. Every decent person must also acknowledge that even though Israel is a victim of terrorist attacks this does not give it the right to react in the same way. For the melancholy result of Israel's response is that its war machine also frequently operates as an agent of terror. Not in the Palestinian form of uncontrollable gangs or individuals driven by religious fanaticism; not by means of suicide operations or by the terrorism of the weak. This is terrorism of the strong, the mechanism of the state."

Klein accuses Israeli society of "political and moral blindness." He argues it is unable to see the difference between the war in Afghanistan and Israel's war against Israeli independence. "Osama bin Laden did not confront the U.S. with a peace offer, whereas the Palestinian national movement put forward a peace proposal more than a decade ago, at the end of the 1980s. Today, this has become a pan-Arab initiative. At a historic summit meeting in March, all the Arab heads of state approved the principles of a peace settlement proposed by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. The Israeli government did everything in its power to rebuff the Arab initiative."

The Israeli researcher goes on to say: "In contrast to what President George Bush and the citizens of the U.S. did for the people of Afghanistan, the Israeli people did not send food, medicines, or other humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, apart from a few marginal left-wing groups, whose efforts were usually blocked by the army."

Klein sums up: "Israel's surrender to terrorism rules out the possibility it will be able to sustain its charge that the Palestinian national movement resorted to such tactics. What will be the future basis for the Israeli claim against Palestinian actions? Self-righteousness is not the same as right and justice."

http://www.miftah.org

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