We are not that stupid!

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We are not THAT stupid to believe that Yasser Arafat, cornered in a bombed out building, surrounded by tanks and at the complete mercy of Israel, his cell phone bugged and every single visitor he is allowed to receive under the close watch of the Israeli army, could be in such total and tight control of everything Palestinian. We are not THAT stupid!

We are not THAT stupid to believe that Ariel Sharon has ever been interested in getting back to the negotiating table when instead of helping former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas gather political strength to neutralize Hamas and Islamic Jihad, he did precisely the thing that torpedoed Abbas’s efforts: assassinating the leaders of those organizations during the very period when those organizations had agreed to a unilateral cease-fire. We are not THAT stupid!

We are not THAT stupid to believe that Ariel Sharon means it when he says that he supports the establishment of a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza. After all, he is the head of the Likud Party, and central to the Likud Party’s platform is the following declaration: ‘The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.’ [1]

We are not THAT stupid to believe that Ariel Sharon and the Israeli right are sincere when they say that they are willing to vacate the Occupied Territories if only they could be guaranteed security. After all, the following is also part of Likud Platform: ‘The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.’ [2]

We are not THAT stupid to believe that Israel really means to co-exist with the Palestinians as equals, that it respected the spirit of the Oslo accords, when between 1993 and 2000, the population of Israeli settlers doubled from 200,000 to 400,000 settlers. [3]

We are not THAT stupid to swallow the notion that Israel is a democracy that respects the basic civil rights of its citizens when an Israeli state attorney representing the Israeli government has argued that an Arab political party ‘should be banned because they supported making Israel a state for all its citizens, which she said would contradict Israel’s founding principle as a Jewish state.’ [4]

We are not THAT stupid to believe that Israel does not target Palestinian civilians when all the human rights organizations — from Human Rights Watch to Amnesty International, including all the main Israeli human rights groups — have repeatedly told us that indeed, Israeli soldiers deliberately target Palestinian civilians. [5] Pulitzer winning journalist Chris Hedges put it best when he said, referring to Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinian children: ‘I’d never seen soldiers bait or taunt kids like this and then shoot them for sport.’ [6]

We are not THAT stupid to believe that Ariel Sharon is a man of peace when in 1983 an Israeli court found that ‘the Minister of Defense [Ariel Sharon] bears personal responsibility’ for the massacre of more than 800 Palestinian civilians in the Lebanese slums of Sabra and Shatilla. [7] To that tally of death, we must add the 17,500 Lebanese civilians his army killed in a span of a few months during his invasion of Lebanon in 1982. [8] We are not THAT stupid to believe that Ariel Sharon is a man of peace.

A solution can never be built on a foundation of lies and fabrications. The American people have been deceived often enough and their intelligence has been violated often enough. It is time for us to shake ourselves out of our stupor and demand from our government a policy towards Israel that at least does not violate basic common sense. As it is, we are expected to believe anything, but let us let them know that we are not THAT stupid!

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