Mohamed Khodr’s Column
After ignoring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for months thereby implicitly giving Sharon the “green light” to destroy Arafat, the Palestinian Authority, and any prospect of peace; Bush finally succumbed to international pressure to reengage in the Middle East. However, it was not until the terrorist attack of 9/11 did Bush realize that in order to wage his “with us or against war on terrorism” he needed the cooperation and compliance of Arab and Muslim nations. Bush began floating the idea of a “vision” for a Palestinian state. He sent Colin Powell to the Middle East to reengage efforts for a cease-fire. There again, as is usually the case with America’s “doormat” policy toward Israel and its powerful Jewish American lobby, Powell handed Sharon the keys of power to decide the parameters of a cease-fire and when and if Sharon will agree to negotiations with Arafat. Powell’s decision stunned Arafat and the Arab world for he had told them differently. But, since when did America ever care what the Arabs thought given their own impotence and their own “doormat” policy toward America? Telling each party what they want to hear has become a hallmark of Powell. Perhaps no greater cabinet appointee has been more disappointing to the world, even Black America, than Colin Powell. Uncle Powell has truly become the “Foggy Mind at Foggy Bottom.”
Shortly thereafter the world awaited with baited breath for Powell’s defining foreign policy speech on the Middle East at Louisville, Kentucky where he spoke at Sen. Mitch McConnell’s auditorium. (McConnell being more Likudist than Sharon). Powell danced and tiptoed carefully around the Jewishly mined field of “Be careful on Israel or else..”. Although the speech said nothing new it was what he omitted to say that pleased Sharon and once again dehumanized the lives and hopes of Palestinians simply yearning to be free from a military occupation that has defied the world’s every effort for 34 years to end it. Powell did not dare even comment on Sharon’s Catch-22 demand that there be “seven days” of quiet before he’d consider negotiations. A Catch-22 that Sharon manipulates at will. Whenever the Palestinians are “quiet” for a few days he orders the assassination of someone, the bulldozing of homes, random arrests, shelling towns, more closures, stopping ambulances carrying women bleeding while delivering at checkpoints, thereby necessitating a Palestinian shooting and the timetable begins all over again. All the while Bush is pressuring Europe, Russia, China, all the Arab and Muslim nations to blame Arafat for the security deterioration “or else..” Europe sheepishly follows America. Russia, China, and India were given a gift from heaven from this “war on Muslim terrorism” allowing them to kill and cleanse their own “Muslim Separatist” problems; and as far as the Arab and Muslim leaders, they go along out of fear of being bombed next as well as their opportunity to eliminate their political opposition.
In his speech Powell appoints former General Anthony Zinni as his envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A tough minded no-nonsense General whom Powell says wait till you see him “push and prod.” Zinni undertook two trips to the region. On one trip he was greeted with a Palestinian suicide bomber which derailed his efforts. On the second trip, Arafat has ordered a complete cease-fire that has lasted for 3 weeks with no Israeli casualty. Yet this not only did not meet Sharon’s seven day “quiet” requirement but during those three weeks Sharon kills 23 Palestinians some of them children. Naturally, there never is any condemnation from the White House of Israeli killing nor any encouragement or support for Arafat’s efforts that jeopardize a Palestinian “civil war”. (which has been one of Israel’s aims all along: divide and conquer. That is why Israel helped form HAMAS in 1972 as an opposition to Arafat’s P.L.O.) Zinni met with Sharon and Arafat trying to convince Sharon to move to the negotiating table given the 3 weeks lull in fighting. Sharon refused and told Zinni that there is no hope as long as Arafat supports terrorism. The final straw for Zinni was the Karina A ship incident that the U.S. initially contradicted Israel on the ship’s origins and destinations, but you guessed it, Bush got a few heavy handed “kosher” calls and America fell in step with Israel.
Thus it’s obvious that Zinni will resign frustrated by Sharon’s total intransigence and his jeopardy of America’s war on terrorism via the 56 Muslim nations. How shocking that our nation, this superpower is in reality a sheepish cowardly DOORMAT for Israel and it’s 200,000 American Jews in powerful lobbies. Expectedly, Zinni will blame Arafat who is under total house arrest for the last month with American made Israeli tanks outside his building. With Israel’s repeated assassinations of Palestinian leaders, it’s constant bombing of police depots, its murder of Palestinian police, it’s total siege of Palestinian towns with encirclement of all towns, it’s reoccupation of a Palestinian town, it’s blockade of all roads; one must ask how on earth is Arafat able to crack down on his own people with so many dead leaders and police, no money, brutal blockade occupation. But there’s the magic of our media.
It’s not known in America that all the foreign media in Israel (close to 2,000 journalists) submits to Israeli military censorship. Nothing can be photographed and no story can be shown or written without prior approval. Thus they who control the news, control the views. What America sees is what the Israeli government and military wants us to see. Palestinian blood and suffering doesn’t reach our media thus doesn’t reach our conscience, thus doesn’t reach out humanity, thus doesn’t translate to our caring and activism to stop this powerful nuclear powered state enriched with our billions of tax dollars from KILLING PALESTINIAN MOTHERS AND CHILDREN IN OUR NAME. While Sharon has been demanding seven days of “quiet” from the Palestinians, the Palestinians and the rest of the world have been “quiet” for 53 years since they lost Palestine to a purely and forcibly imposed “Jewish Only” state.
Israel has made the entire world, its institutions, its laws, its peace, and its humanity, using Sharon’s phrase: all IRRELEVANT. Tragically, that includes me and you my dear American citizen