Stop the destructive madness!
Sunday, September 22nd, 2002
Michael Warschawski, Alternative Information Center, Jerusalem, Israel
There is something horrifying in seeing the huge Israeli bulldozer destroying the buildings of the Muqata. Something even more horrifying than seeing the terrible pictures of tens of rotting corpses in the Jenin refugee camp, or of the mutilated bodies after the Israeli attack on Gaza. Horrifying as the bulldozer symbolises unrestrained violence, pointless violence, violence with no opposition. No more ‘defence against terrorism,’ no more ‘retribution,’ no more ‘collateral damage,’ but violence for its own sake and to abuse the corpse of the Palestinian Authority.
Horrifying, as the bulldozer symbolises unrestrained arrogance and limitless pride.
Horrifying, as the absence of limits signifies the continuation of this bullying until there is nothing left to destroy, or until the bully himself hits his head against the wall and becomes the final victim of his own destructive tendencies.
A government whose leaders declared, even before reaching power, that they will do everything to erase the Oslo disaster, are fulfilling these plans without difficulty; the architects of Oslo are sitting in a government that is destroying their life work – and they are co-operating. The godfathers of Oslo in the international community are witness to the destruction of the dream they nourished, and they are silent; the ‘Israeli peace camp’ is standing, silent and paralysed, in the face of the destruction of the final chance for a joint Israeli-Palestinian future.
There are two goals of the Sharon-Peres government: to utterly destroy the Palestinian National Authority and create the situation in which it can conduct a massive ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population in the West Bank. As in Jenin less than six months ago, the unmitigated Israeli bullying in Ramallah is meant to demonstrate the determination of the government to terrorise and force as many Palestinians as possible to leave their homes and homeland. It is important for Israel to do this now while preparations for Bush’s own bullying of Iraq are under way, preparations which will provide a smoke screen for the mass deportation.
The bullying arrogance of Bush and Sharon, the cynical disregard for all international law and norms and their replacement with force – all of these will bring a disaster to the Arab region. However, these leaders are wrong if they consider themselves to be immune to the very disaster they are creating: at this very moment, in front of television screens showing pictures of the Israeli bullying in Ramallah, there are plans being mapped for mega attacks in Tel Aviv and Hadera, in London and New York. A world in which law-breakers such as Bush and Sharon set the tone becomes a jungle in which citizens from all nations and countries will be hostage to bullying and actions of revenge and retribution.
The Palestinian people are isolated and facing a cruel and determined enemy. However, they refuse to bow their heads and surrender. In their front line battle against barbarism, the Palestinians are the last line of defence of the civilised world. As such, they are able to demand the unreserved support of every man and woman in the world, from people are not prepared to live in a world in which bullying and the right of force replace the principles of justice and the force of law.
We are all with the Palestinians – it is the time.