Ariel Sharon certainly knows how to time an atrocity. His career reveals a war criminal constantly in search of ideal opportunities to practice his murderous craft.
Very early in his career, the Israeli military establishment detected his natural aptitude for slaughtering innocents. In his late twenties he distinguished himself as the commander of Unit 101, a terrorist brigade that specialized in indiscriminate assaults on Palestinian villagers. The horrors we are witnessing in Jabalaya are merely an encore performance of his earlier atrocities in Qibya, Sabra and Shatila, Jenin, Rafah, Nablus and Bethlehem.
In Sharon’s estimate, the occasion of the first American presidential debate presented a perfect opportunity to commence another massacre of Palestinians. The Israelis know all too well that both Democrats and Republicans are accustomed to financing their campaigns with innocent Palestinian blood. As if to prove Sharon’s point, neither candidate bothered to mention the Palestinians during the latest foreign policy debate.
The assault in Jabalaya was also timed to coincide with the current cycle of American carnage in Samarra and Fallujah. With the American Army resorting to indiscriminate force in Iraq, neither Bush nor Kerry is in any position to point fingers. This was the fondest hope of the Likudnik neocons who engineered the Iraq war -” to create an environment in the Middle East where America is killing more innocent Arab civilians than Sharon.
To many Palestinians, it might seem that the whole world is ignoring their sufferings at the hand of Sharon’s goons. But the State Department immediately responded. They issued the usual endorsement stating that ‘Israel had a right to defend itself’ -” against children and pregnant women and death mutes. The folks at Foggy Bottom are paid hefty amounts of money and get invited to all kinds of posh Georgetown parties for their natural talent in denigrating the value of a Palestinian life.
The Arab League also took immediate notice. They held an emergency meeting in Cairo and issued some kind of press release that will be checked for spelling errors and tossed in the wastebasket. If they had a grain of honor, they would just disband and convert their palatial headquarters in Cairo to a museum of Palestinian heritage and Israeli war crimes. The entrance fees could be remitted to Gaza to help defer the cost of burials.
Arafat also jumped into the fray and threatened to report Sharon’s latest atrocity to the non-aligned movement. Which came as a big surprise -” because most people were not aware that this international organization still exists. Who exactly are they not aligning with?
A callous world is displaying its habitual indifference to the mass murder of Palestinians. Kofi Annan has other business to attend to. The millions of Italians who collectively held their breath for the two Simonas will not lose sleep over Sharon’s orgy of terror in Jabalaya. Tony Blair will endure no public pressure to intervene on their behalf. It is one thing when an innocent Briton’s life is at stake -” but quite another when sixty Palestinians are murdered in the space of forty-eight hours. Maybe the Pope will get around to saying something. That should put the fear of God into Sharon.
By now, CNN and FOX have developed instant formulas to sanitize Sharon’s war crimes -” past, present and future. Ignore the crime scene. Underreport it. Don’t show pictures lest they offend the tender sensibilities of the audience. Interview Israeli spokesmen -” preferably a young woman in a finely tailored IDF uniform. Accept without question the canard that Sharon’s goons are avoiding civilian casualties. Portray the carnage as legitimate ‘retaliatory’ violence. Don’t mention the victim’s name. Give round figure estimates of casualties. Like Stalin, the media wizards know that “a single death is tragic while a million deaths are a statistic.”
Meanwhile, another child in Jabalaya is about to have the life terminating experience of a bullet through the head – courtesy of a sadistic Israeli sniper hand picked to fill Sharon’s daily quota of snuffing out Palestinians. In Sharon’s estimate, killing a child has the advantage of destroying more of a Palestinian life. It is also demoralizing to the survivors who might dare to confront the brute force of a vicious land grabbing military occupation army.
Sharon is probably the most transparent of all Israeli leaders. He will do whatever he can get away with and then some. He is like a mugger who assaults an old lady in a dark alley. If the passers by don’t intervene -” he goes after another old lady. When he sees Uncle Sam coming down the road with a flashlight -” he puts out his cap and demands a donation to improve his mugging skills. When the need arises, he borrows the flashlight to finish off his latest victim. If some fool bothers to mutter a word of complaint, he is accused of anti-Semitic tendencies.
Every presidential election is cause for spilling Palestinian blood. America’s blood stained ballots are purchased at the cost of planting Israeli bullets in some refugee’s skull.
Complaining to the American government about the bloodshed in Gaza is like complaining to Sharon’s mother about her only child. The State department knows every minute detail about every single one of his crimes. They even know when he’s about to break out into a seasonal frenzy of indiscriminate violence. And Sharon is quick to notice when his mother is too distracted with her election parties. It’s the perfect time to torture the neighbor’s cat. If the neighbors complain, his American mother tells them to get a dog because her boy is allergic to cats.
While the carnage goes on in Gaza’s refugee camps, ordinary Israelis linger casually in the bistros of Tel Aviv. They have hired an abominable man to terrorize the Palestinians and are satisfied with his latest work in progress. This is exactly what Israelis elected Sharon for -” to inflict permanent scars on the natives of the Holy Land.
And somewhere in Jabalaya’s crowded slums; a grieving Palestinian family is mourning the death of a child and praying for a quick and merciful end to America’s election season.