Ethnic Cleansing under any name or pretext is a war crime. The United States should not condone, allow, or cause ethnic cleansing to the Palestinians. The United States will secure its interests, the interests of the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the other people in the region only if the United States actively enforces, or at least continually promotes, the principles of democracy, peace, freedom, and justice for all the people in the Middle East and the world.
General Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister who knows only war and war crimes, is pressing the United States to wage war on Iraq immediately in order to use the war with Iraq to fulfill his dream of creating Greater Israel by annexing all of the Palestinian Territories. This is what he had termed as the “Jordanian Option”. To maintain the Jewish-ness of a Greater Israel, he will mercilessly expel the Palestinians out of their homes and territories. Unless the United States takes the necessary measures to prevent such war crime action by our ally Israel, the United States would be a party to a war crime. Such a war will not have a known end.
Sharon’s government has not succeeded in bringing security to Israel, forcing the Palestinians to kneel and accept the continued Israeli occupation, or in voluntarily packing up and leaving their homes.
The Palestinian and Israeli violence, in Israel and in the Occupied Territories, have heightened the motives of hatred and revenge. The Palestinian violence, included suicide bombing, stone throwing, and armed assaults. The Israeli violence included continued intolerable occupation, an un-bearable curfews, humiliating checkpoints and closures, targeted assassinations, house demolitions, expulsions, annulment of Israeli citizenships, destruction of the Palestinian infrastructures, destruction of the Palestinian police force, mass imprisonment of Palestinians, and Israeli denials of legal defense. All the above actions have failed to cause another massive Palestinian run out for refuge somewhere else.
The late Israel Shahak, in an article back in 1989, predicted the circumstances that would allow further ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and territories. He said, “massive ‘transfer’ of Palestinians would be possible under two sets of circumstances; either during a war initiated by Israel or in a situation in which American Middle East interests (the security of the oil fields or the stability of pro-American Arab regimes) are threatened. In such a situation, Israel would emerge as the sole regional American ally of any strength.”
Israel will call the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians a “transfer”. It will claim that it had to do it for self-defense. America will accept the Israeli argument and would provide Israel the needed political protection at the United Nations.
We can only ask if the United States government has considered the side effects of such immoral ethnic cleansing on its interests in the Middle East. Ethnic cleansing, or mass ‘transfer’ is immoral, and a war crime. We should never condone it, wink at it, or be party to it. We should always be consistent with our principles of democracy, justice, and desire for peace and security here and abroad.