His childish idea of using the American-made F-16 was designed not to win him a battle against the determined Palestinian masses, but to simply try to scare and confuse them into total submission. In the process, the Israeli leadership instead of forcing the Palestinians into submission they have militarized further the Palestinian people and have radicalized a whole generation of Palestinian youth. For military experts, the use of the F-16 unveils the total frustration of Sharon in failing to bring security to his people, a promise he made to his constituents in his pre-election campaign. The damage caused by the F-16 was not relatively more damaging than the rockets fired by his tanks or choppers in previous days, which lends credibility to the belief that the use of the F-16 was nothing more than a sign of Israeli frustration for failing to extinguish the intifada and forcing the Palestinians into total submission.
Israeli commentators and some retired military men were united in condemning the use of the air force. “Within eight months the intifada [uprising] has gone from M-16 rifles to F-16s,” wrote Hemi Shalev in the popular Ma’ariv newspaper. “In military terms, the F-16s achieved rather negligible results but, in terms of diplomacy and PR, Israel bombed itself in the knee.” Sharon’s failure to bring security to his people has brought down the polls against him from 57% to a miserable 34%.
I believe that Israel is realizing that it is running out of options. Israel cannot annex the West Bank and Gaza as such a step would contravene greatly the exclusivity of Israel’s character. Adding such a huge non-Jewish population into its proper would only speed up the end of the Jewish character of Israel. Actually, as many experts have shown through statistics, Israel is already confronted with a huge problem with the unprecedented large increase of the Israeli-Arab population within Israel’s proper. Such a ticking demographic bomb would turn Israel into a bi-national State within the next 20 to 30 years even without shooting a single bullet in the direction of Israel.
With this in mind and the futility of Israel’s use of massive force against the Palestinians, it’s no wonder that the U.S. has received the green light from Sharon to send feelers for the resumption of the negotiations. Using the Mitchell Report as a front to find a face-saving formula, the U.S. is pressing both sides to end the violence and to rejoin the peace process. Such a step is not initiated to help the Palestinians achieve their national objectives, as much as to try to wrest from the Palestinians the very same goals as espoused by Sharon in the first place but using the peace negotiations as the framework for such a travesty. This would be the same trick as repeated under the Oslo Accords, when the intifada would be halted and the PA would have to restart the negotiations from square one, but with a difference that the starting point would not be within the framework of United Nations resolution 242 as was with Oslo but rather with the miserable Israeli control of the status quo. Sharon can change his skin but he cannot change his racist and expansionist Zionist ideologies.
To accept such conditions would be total surrender to Israel and a devastating disservice to the Palestinian objectives. We should not fall into this trap as we have been tricked so many times before. We should reject even the suggestion to stop the intifada; on the contrary, we should develop it further by our total support. Israel should sign commitments cosigned by the UN and the U.S. and declare unequivocally to withdraw to international borders, accept all international resolutions related to Palestine before the rocks would stop pouring on the heads of our tormentors, as this is a war that Israel should never be allowed to win.