Faith Based Foreign Policy

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The “journalists” at the New York Times sure know how to kick up a sand storm when they target the record of an ex-Senator like Ashcroft. They are talented enough to dig up every little detail when they have a political ax to grind. But their real genius is in covering up the record of a proven “serial arsonist” zealot like Sharon and then repackaging him as a “conservative” politician. If Sharon is “conservative” and Ashcroft is an “extremist”, and Friedman and Sontag are “journalists”, than the New York Times is truly the daily ruse.

Consider that Sharon, the Idi Amin of Israel, is a man the Likudniks at the New York Times have no trouble marketing as a “war hero”. William Calley of My Lai fame must be eating his heart out. Thomas Friedman continues to revere Sharon as “a hero of the Six-day War” and Deborah Sontag is just waiting in line for a bounce on Grandpa Arik’s knee. Another American journalist who idolizes this serial murderer is Charles Krauthamer. They would all do well to read “the Crimes of Ariel Sharon” by Alexander Cockburn (NYPRESS.com, 2/1/2001) that amply documents Sharon’s murderous record from Qibya to Gaza to Sabra and Shatila.

But never mind what Cockburn has revealed. It is common knowledge in the Middle East and Europe. Barak, who has just gone through a little killing spree of his own, also wants the world to know about Sharon, his ex-boss. 

The following list of charges against Sharon come courtesy of Barak’s campaign Website:

Sharon, in his extreme approach and reckless nature, dragged Israel into an unnecessary adventure in Lebanon. Sharon’s recklessness resulted in an operation that was planned as a swift 48- hour campaign and ended up lasting for 18 years. An adventure that cost the lives of more than 1,000 Israeli soldiers. Sharon’s adventure hurt Israel in the long run, and even the late Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, said about Sharon: “He (Sharon) does know how to control himself”.

Sharon, who holds extremely anti- Arab sentiments, has continuously opposed any steps aimed at achieving peace. Sharon believes in confrontation and extreme measures towards Arabs and Palestinians. Sharon, in his extreme approach, will lead Israel to isolation from the international community. His carelessness will undermine Israel’s relations with the U.S. and the European community. Ariel Sharon will shut the door to peace.

Sharon Voted Against the Peace Treaty with Egypt. “…Sharon apologized in front of the crowd for his government’s concession, when serving in the government that agreed to return the Sinai to the Egyptians. (Haaretz, 7/24/95) Sharon opposed the Oslo Agreements.

“No peace treaty can be achieved or last with Arafat…” (Yediot. 3/7/97) Sharon did not support Peace with Jordan.”I did not vote for a peace agreement with Jordan even though I wanted to. I did not go to the ceremony even though I had the desire to do so. This wasn’t a planned move on my part, but rather a result of a deep internal strife that only worsened as time passed, and when the time to vote arrived, I simply felt I couldn’t raise my hand for such an agreement.” (10/28/94)

Sharon’s extreme approach is expressed by the following sayings and quotes: In 1988, Sharon was quoted, (referring to Arab Israelis): “They should be expelled; their homes destroyed.” (Yediot, 7/3/88)

In 1988 Sharon was quoted: “Arab Israelis will not determine who becomes Prime Minister in Israel. This is a community without rights. Formally they do, but in reality they do not hold equal rights.” (Maariv, 12/27/89)

In 1990, Sharon was quoted: “as far as I’m concerned, Teibe Arabs should be the last community to receive gas masks.” (Davar, 10/28/90)

On another occasion he was quoted as saying: “I’ve been claiming for years that our main problem has been the Israeli Arab community, and it will continue to be our most difficult problem. They should be put in their place.” (Davar, 10/28/90)

In June 2000, Ariel Sharon said: “Thousands of Arabs are taking over public parks. And in the future, thousands more will flood our roads and beaches.” (Maariv, 6/1/00)

What follows is an AFP (2/2/2001) sample of the European press: From Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s biggest daily newspaper: “If there is a logic in that decision … one can imagione what sanctions could be taken against Israel if Ariel Sharon became the new prime minister.” The decision referred to is the EU sanctions against Austria due to the far-right Freedom Party’s rise to power. The Guardian of England on Sharon: “a figure of the very far right: a man whose political life has been conducted so far out of the mainstream that it is hard to think of a sensible analogy.”

The New York Times “Ashcroft Message” on February 2, 2001 As Mr. Schumer and other senators like Joseph Lieberman of Conneticut noted yesterday, Mr. Ashcroft ran into trouble with his old Democratic colleagues because his views were too far removed from the mainstream of American thinking. They and others were deeply dismayed, for example, by his record on reproductive rights and on long-settled issues like the desegregation of public schools. They were also troubled by his cavalier attitude toward amending the Constitution and his obvious discomfort with the general direction of an increasingly diverse American society.

Analysis and Conclusion: 

The intent is not to dishonor Attorney General Ashcroft by comparing him to either Sharon or Haider. We dare say that the New York Times editorial was about flexing a little muscle to show that it still had clout. Moreover, we detected no small element of religious bigotry in the Senate hearings. Rather, the intent is to point out the fact that the New York Times poses as a liberal progressive force on certain domestic issues and on the other side of the pond has no problems with a war criminal like Sharon. Indeed, it is a Publishing Company that has long practiced a vile form of ethnic bias and religious bigotry when it comes to the Palestinians.

One need only mention the record of Jeff Jacoby, an insolent racist journalist who works in their Boston Globe offices. As for diversity, they do not practice it in their newsroom and should not be lecturing anyone on the subject of the “American Mainstream”. They are a decidedly ethnic publication with a transparent bias on all matters Jewish and Israeli. Their reputation as a “national” newspaper is all about the power of marketing and branding, not about substance and certainly not about quality or ethics. The New York Times is a finely crafted paper with abundant resources to market their political agenda. Using their peculiar brand of advocacy journalism, they have delivered the goods for their New York constituency, where Israel is a municipal issue. Yet, the fact that they can stomach Sharon has not gone unnoticed by Arab-Americans. This is a daily journal that insists on infusing faith-based politics into American foreign policy. Of course, the faith tradition they want to base that policy on is their faith tradition.

We need a policy in the Middle East that will not create adversaries abroad or broaden the ethnic divide at home. We need a just and even-handed policy for that troubled region, one that caters to the interests of the American mainstream and is free of any kind of ethnic bias or religious bigotry. We can start by not assembling the elements of our policies to suit the ethnic politics of New York.

The relationships between Arab-Americans and American Jews have become a mirror image of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Israel’s military muscle is matched by the political clout of the Jewish lobby. The anti-Arab sentiments in the press is an incidental by-product of the incessant marketing of Israel’s chauvinist policies towards the Palestinians. It is time we had a foreign policy that looks like it was made in a very diverse America for a very diverse planet.

Mr. Ahmed Amr is Editor of NileMedia.com in Seattle and a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN)

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