I was not too surprised when Sharon rained his missiles down on a wheelchair-bound elderly Palestinian leader on Monday claiming that Sheik Ahmad Yasin was the ultimate terrorist responsible for inspiring suicide bombers who blew themselves up taking many Israelis with them.
Sharon never fails his observers for his erratic behavior that causes riots and more bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians. Many of his military and political decisions have resulted in chaos and bloody confrontations and undermined all peace efforts between Israeli and Palestinians. Sharon’s behavior has brought neither peace nor security to his Israeli electorate or to the conflict
But what gives Sharon the right to kill Palestinians indiscriminately and with impunity without expecting Hamas, which now has been transformed into the leading Palestinian movement resisting Israeli occupation, to strike back at Israelis with suicide bombers or any other possible means at its disposal.
The answer is of course that of a circular argument, each side will continue to kill the other endlessly to satisfy the desire for revenge and counter revenge.
Assassinating Yasin, however, has exceeded all red lines drawn throughout three years of anti-Israeli occupation Palestinian Intifada, in which more than three thousand Palestinians were killed the majority of whom were innocent bystanders and hundreds were innocent children, as well as hundreds of Israelis.
Sharon undeclared reasons for killing a paraplegic elderly Sheik Yasin could be understood through his desire to change the conditions for his planned withdrawal form Gaza and for his masked desire to shelve US-backed Road Map, already in comitatus state and to improve his standing within the Israeli public amid allegations of accepting bribes and public corruption
Though, Hamas has behaved irresponsibly in sending suicide bombers for revenge, which in many cases have killed innocent Israeli civilians and have undermined ongoing negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
But the ultimate responsibility here rests on Israeli government shoulder and here is why:
Israel is an established state with a highly developed economy, a regional military superpower, and boosts a pool of capable leaders, and it has been occupying Palestinian lands for over 35 years keeping millions of Palestinians basically in shackles, Whereas Palestinians are stateless, very poor, and have no economy to speak of, and more importantly suffer from leadership deficit, by which I mean the useless and corrupt leadership of Yaser Arafat and his decadent junta of thieves and swindlers.
Hamas, however, is trying to widen its base within the Palestinian public by standing up to the Israelis albeit through violent means which mostly with adverse and resulted in strategic blunders that have largely hurt the Palestinians more than benefited them.
But if one should condemn Hamas violence, one should also condemn Israeli violence which is more lethal and far more greater.
One profound impact of the Assassination of Yassin is that it has instantly propelled Hamas grandstanding within the Palestinian public and within the Arab and Islamic world as the underdog Palestinian David who fights and stands up to the Israeli Goliath. In contrast to Arafat’s Palestinian Authority, Hamas is perceived as free of public corruption, its leaders have died resisting Israeli occupation, it runs a large network of social institutions that cater to women children and the poor. Whereas Arafat runs is largely bankrupt Authority that is devoid of any real authority whose leaders have failed Palestinians time after time. In contrast to Hamas officials, PA men such as the likes of Dahlan, Kourie, Abbas and Rejoub are behaving more like gangsters than public officials who should care more about the well being of their own people
If Hamas succeeds of commanding a sizable public support which is a possibility now, it would not be far fetched to think of the day when a moderate and peace-minded Israeli government find itself compelled to engage in peace talks with Hamas, as an alternative to Palestinian Authority especially if Hamas reinvents itself into a political party and adopt more pragmatic polices. A US administration would not oppose such moves if Hamas is considered to be a reliable partner and change its violent methods.
For the time being, as long as Sharon continues to rain down missiles into crowded Palestinians neighborhoods killing civilians by wholesale, Peace will continue be a distant illusion