Ray Hanania’s Column
Ariel Sharon and Ariel Sharon alone shoulders the responsibility for the current violence in the Middle East and the rising death toll that continues to take many Arab and Jewish lives, including children and infants.
Sharon is a student of the most fanatic of Israeli politics, a disciple of former terrorists Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir who, prior to becoming Israeli Prime Minister, was not beyond calling for the outright assassination of people he detested.
His shameless embrace of murder and killing as a ladder to leadership has always set him apart from other leaders, including those who rank among the cruelest in world history.
Sharon’s hands remained stained by the blood of thousands of civilians and refugees in Lebanon, and he is the only Israeli Prime Minister who can say without exaggeration that his career was built upon policies of war and confrontation.
Despite the well crafted Israeli public relations spin, Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Haram al-Ash Sharif was the match that lit the current Middle East bon fire that threatens to engulf the entire world in crisis. He did not walk onto that plaza lost in naivete, but as a cold, cunning political strategist who understood the explosive nature of his act and the ramifications it would cause.
Sharon has taken the art of state military strategy and converted it into a form of national terrorism, targeting a civilian population of Palestinians who live under conditions that resemble the harshest of prison environments.
He is the bully so full of his own ego and self-righteous racist religious beliefs who will walk up to an innocent person and kick them to the ground and beat them until they are a bloodied pulp. And when they try to strike back, he is the first to hide behind the diluted assertions of anti-Semitism.
Sharon is the first person to strike and the first to whine and cry that the victim has inflicted pain upon those around him.
Sharon is a leader of unprecedented cowardice, who has forced the Jewish people in a position of unprecedented cowardice.
Even during the height of past conflicts, Jews around the world would at least stand up and hold back the fanatics that dominate their Israeli political ranks.
Today, these Jewish leaders in Europe and America remain silent, watching in horror as innocent children and young people are murdered and butchered in a cauldron of hate and confrontation stirred by Ariel Sharon’s viciousness.
How can you not expect people who are beaten to the ground to not stand up and strike back in any possible way, including in such ugly anger that they would murder innocent children?
The killers of the two Israeli teenagers may be Palestinians, but their actions are the direct result of provocation and policies implemented by Ariel Sharon and rubber stamped by a weakened, and meek, Jewish community that has lost its moral voice.
The two Israeli teenagers are indeed innocent victims of a tragedy that has engulfed everyone, although their deaths are placed on a higher pedestal of news media honor, given greater value than their Palestinian counterparts who are murdered each and every day in the same, cowardly and brutal manner.
That the news media holds up the deaths of Israelis to a higher level of outrage is, in and of itself, the greatest tragedy of the Ariel Sharon legacy.
Sharon knows that each time an Israeli dies a horrific death, his stature as Israel’s most qualified “war consigliari” only improves.
The truth is that Ariel Sharon is little more than a war criminal who has been handed a mandate to murder by a people wary of tragedy. He is the product of public political frustration who has risen to power in much the same way that Adolph Hitler distinguished himself as one of the world’s greatest human butchers.
They both share that same megalomania that set Hitler apart on a level of unparalleled cruelty.
Ariel Sharon’s butcher’s bill will continue to grow until people of sanity recognize the brutality of his actions and stand up to his self-serving political dementia.
The growing Israeli death toll may serve to portray Ariel Sharon as a leader in times of great suffering and turmoil, but it still represents the most reprehensible means of achieving political supremacy.
Sharon may fashion himself as the architect of a new environment, but it is one that will some day soon not only come back to haunt those who live in the Middle East, but will engulf the entire world in a conflict we surely should do everything to avoid.
(Ray Hanania is a Palestinian American writer based in Chicago and a regular contributor to MMN. His columns are archived on the web at www.hanania.com)