Like Peter the Hermit, who played a key role in instigating medieval Europe to launch the internecine Crusades against the Muslim East, the current American Secretary of State Collin Powell is using every opportunity to vilify Palestinian resistance against Israel’s sinister occupation of the Palestinian homeland. The French monk preached the infamous lie that Muslims were mistreating Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. The lie eventually succeeded in getting Europe to wage the atrocious crusades, causing incalculable death and suffering to millions of people in Europe and the Middle East.
Powell, a former US general whose hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, is now indulging in sinister lies about the Palestinian éIsraeli conflict. Some of these lies are uglier than a crime.
Powell, parroting his White House master, the equally mendacious George Bush, recently called Ariel Sharon, the certified war criminal, a man of peace!! Well, how can Sharon be a man of peace? Sharon ordered the extermination of the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps near Beirut in 1982, killing up to 2000 men, women and children. He never regretted the killings, and instead of trying him as a war criminal for his horrendous crimes, Israelis elected him twice as Prime Minister by a landslide majority. The same Sharon massacred Egyptian POWs in the Sinai Peninsula in 1956, crushing many of them under the treads of Israeli tanks. The very same Sharon had ordered his troops to shoot and kill Arab villagers at Kufer Qassem while returning to their village in the evening.
In the past three years, as documented by TV cameras around the world, Sharon presided over the wanton killing and maiming of tens of thousands of defenseless Palestinian civilians, including hundreds of children. He ordered the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes, farms and orchards. The pornographic destruction of the Jenin refugee camp last year testifies to Sharon’s Nazi-like brutality.
Furthermore, the effective reduction of Palestinian towns and villages to large detention camps puts the former Zionist general on equal footing with the likes of Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Sharon’s criminal credentials are too stark and too conspicuous to not to be recognized by any human being with a shred of good will and moral honesty.
Obviously, Powell has not even a shred of good will and moral honesty. He is a war criminal much like Sharon. Similar birds flock together. Similar criminals think in similar manner.
Now, Powell is disseminating another plethora of lies about the Palestinian resistance groups, claiming that they are “enemies of peace” and “impeding peace” between Israel and the Palestinians. Well, this is another horrendous lie by Powell. The real reason for the absence of peace in Palestine is the absence of justice in that land. It is Israel’s continuing occupation of the Palestinians’ homeland and adamant refusal to end to this nefarious collective rape of the Palestinian people and their ancestral homeland. Far from intending to end the decades-old occupation, the Israeli state, with American tax-payers’ money and unrelenting political backing, has built hundreds of Jewish-only settlements throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, suffocating Palestinian population centers and effectively making the purported goal of creating a viable Palestinian state on the West Bank utterly unrealistic by any shred of imagination.
Furthermore, Israel is building a fortified apartheid wall well inside the West Bank for the purpose of ghettoizing Palestinian towns and villages and arrogating still more land belonging to helpless Palestinian farmers and peasants.
Interestingly, Powell uttered not a word in criticism of this diabolical wall, which amounts to a tacit approval of Israel’s genocidal designs against the Palestinian people.
Still more, the Israeli state is continuing to vow to not allow Palestinian refugees to return to their former hometowns and villages from which they were expelled at gunpoint when Israeli was created in 1948.
In short, Israel, not Hamas, not Fatah, not the Islamic Jihad, is the real villain and blocker of peace in the Middle East. Yes, these groups carry out occasional attacks on Israeli civilians, often as a retaliation for attacks by the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers on Palestinian civilians. Such attacks should be condemned outright. However, all we constantly hear from Powell and other mouthpieces of the American empire is only condemnation of Palestinian terroréand sympathetic and acquiescent understanding of Jewish terror against Palestinian civilians, as if Jewish lives are worth more than Palestinian lives.!! Has Powell ever.
Has Powell forgotten that Israel still refuses to carry out UN resolutions, including 242 and 338. Israel not only refuses to dismantle the settlements but actually continues to build new settlements on seized Arab land. Israel also refuses to end its apartheid structure in the West Bank which transcends every aspect of Palestinian individual and collective life from travel movement to water distribution.
Needless to say, Israel, under America’s watchful eyes, is waging a slow-motion genocidal war on the Palestinians’ very existence, rendering their daily life an enduring hell.
The truth of the matter, which Powell refuses to see, is that the Palestinian people, mostly civilians, are being systematically bombed, killed, maimed, buried, surrounded, bulldozed, dynamited, targeted, rocketed, imprisoned, deported, impoverished, and gradually exterminated by an insolent and fascist Israel that flies in the face of human, moral and international norms and laws. And in the meanwhile, Mr. Powell, Mr. Bush and the other hyper-hypocrites of our time stand mutely, accusing Palestinians of “terror” and “obstructing peace.”
What are the Palestinians supposed to do in the face of this Nazi-like evil? Should they willingly succumb to the unmitigated Israeli holocaust just to obtain a favorable public relations image and receive a certificate of good conduct from the parroting spokesman of the White House and State Department?
Should Palestinians accept perpetual enslavement and oppression just to appease Sharon and please the neo-conservative gang in Washington D.C.?
Should they willingly agree to convert their towns into modern-day Auschwitzes and Bergen- Belsens?
I suspect that Powell wouldn’t even bother to respond to these very realistic questions. Didn’t he say, when asked about the tens of thousands of Iraqis he killed in the First Gulf War ” I don’t think I am awfully concerned about how many of them died”?
Evil can exceed all limits of imagination.