Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Lunch with Mr. Hyde

Edna Yaghi’s Column

Former US President Bill Clinton has confessed, among his many confessions, that he cannot figure out why Palestinian President Yasser Arafat missed a “historic” chance for peace.

Of course, how much sympathy and understanding can one expect from the Monica bedazzled Clinton? While he ruled the world, he made sure that he reinforced the crippling sanctions on Iraq and that US-British warplanes bombed the war-torn country on a regular basis. Apparently the fact that more than 5000 Iraqi babies died and still die each month as a result of the sanctions never worried Mr. Monica.

What Clinton seems to have missed is the fact that it is the Palestinians who are under the yoke of oppression and are an occupied people, not the other way around. It is Arafat who is under town arrest and house arrest by those who are trying to possess what is left of his country. Every Palestinian town and village is under siege. Israeli tanks roll into Palestinian residential districts and indiscriminately shell Palestinian homes, schools, hospitals, broadcasting stations, businesses and a whole way of life.

Israeli forces invade Palestinian areas in pre-dawn attacks and raid homes under the cover of dark with the aid of armored vehicles, tanks, bulldozers and hovering helicopters. Palestinian men are arrested and tortured or tortured and murdered. Such was the case in Nablus when an Israeli death squad entered the apartment of four young Palestinian freedom fighters and tortured them. The beds of these newly slain were soaked with the blood of the victims and the bathtub was filled with blood. In a lame effort to cover up their crime, the Israeli soldiers blew up the apartment and left.

When residents came to see what had happened, they found the mutilated bodies and the blood soaked bedclothes plus a bathtub full of blood. The sight was too horrible for human eyes yet human beings so filled with hate had carried out this unspeakable crime.

In all this madness, after breakfast at Tiffany’s, Clinton snubbed Arafat and dined with a man renowned for slaughtering the innocents, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, or Mr. Hyde in disguise. What does Clinton really expect Arafat to do? How is the leader of the Palestinian people supposed to stop Palestinians from resisting and defending their rights? When Palestinian civilians are bombed, shelled, their homes demolished, their water sources poisoned, their cities under siege, their fellow countrymen arrested, tortured, and brutally massacred, then how can they contain their grief, their despair, their hopelessness and their anger? When children are blown up on their way to school, when teenagers are kidnapped and tortured and their organs stolen, then what reaction can be expected? When Palestinian fathers, brothers and sons are extra judicially murdered then how are their family members supposed to contain their despair and their frustrations?

Palestinians are denied the most basic human rights. Throughout history, men have died to be free. There has never been a people who have accepted oppression and not risen up to try to defeat it. The American constitution is dedicated to the inalienable rights of all. It is based on the concept that all men are equal and that all men are entitled to liberty and basic human rights. This constitution came into being because men died to make its existence and enforcement possible.

There is no equality in the Israeli protocol for non-Jews. Though Israel is hailed as a democracy, it is a democracy for Jews only. There is no country in the world where democracy is dealt out to the privileged few. There is no country in the world where ethnic cleansing of the innocent is not only permitted but also condoned and encouraged. There is no place in the world where an alien people can invade and steal another people’s land and rights. The invasions are ongoing, the illegal confiscation of Palestinian land and rights continues unabated. The blood of the innocents stains Palestinian streets and hillsides yet no one speaks out.

But Clinton does not lunch with Mr. Hyde out of love or mutual admiration. It is more like a flocking together of birds with the same feathers and a way to make certain that Clinton will not only survive but stay in the limelight with his hypocritical ways and wooing Zionists wherever they may be.

The fact that he does not have a true understanding of what is happening in the streets of occupied Palestine not only shows his ignorance but furthermore demonstrates the fact that he has a heart made of stone and a mind turned to clay. When he was president of the United States, he had every opportunity to force the Israeli government to make real concessions for peace but he did not. Instead he transfers his failures onto the innocent and those under occupation. But what can we expect from a Monica bedazzled Clinton?