Thank You, Ariel Sharon!

Thank you for your recent brutal actions in the West Bank and Gaza. They have succeeded in waking up an apathetic world to the realities of the illegal Israeli occupation of Arab lands. Not only do I thank you, but: The 69 martyrs of Qibya, the Palestinian villagers who were killed on October 14, 1953 when you were commander of special Commando Unit 101, also thank you.

The 273 Egyptians, some of them Sudanese civilian road workers, who were prisoners of war and killed by Army General Arye Biro under Rafael Eytan’s and your command, in the Sinai Campaign in 1956, thank you.

The 12,000 people whose homes you destroyed in the Gaza Strip in August 1971 when you were Head of the IDF Southern Command, thank you.

The hundreds of young men, Palestinian civilians living under Israeli occupation, that you deported to Jordan in 1971, thank you.

The 29,500 Lebanese and Palestinians killed or wounded during the “Operation Peace for Galilee” offensive when, as Minister of Defense, you invaded Lebanon in 1981, thank you.

The 2,750 Palestinian civilians massacred in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in September 1982, a carnage that Israel’s Supreme Court Kahan Commission found you responsible for, thank you.

The hundreds of Palestinian landowners, whose land was confiscated when you were Minister of Construction and Housing between 1990-1992, thank you.

The hundreds more who were driven off their lands to make way for 30 new settlements, doubling the settler population, when you were Minister of National Infrastructure in 1996, thank you.

The man who dealt with you and trusted you in 1998 when, as Foreign Minister, you were mandated to negotiate a final agreement with the Palestinian Authority, and yet at a Tsomet Party meeting you said “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours…

Everything we don’t grab will go to them”, thank you.

And the hundreds of Palestinians killed, or maimed due to your visit to al-Haram ash-Sharif on September 28, 2000, which triggered the second Palestinian Intifada, thank you.

On February 6, 2001, you were elected Prime Minister of Israel. Since then, there has not been a day that blood hasn’t been spilled whether it be Palestinian or Israeli. Your criminal usage of military might has brought neither you, nor your country security or peace.

Your latest incursions have shown the world the terrifying techniques that you have employed to suppress the Arab population since your very first command. What they have always known, what the journalists who covered this last invasion know, and now, what the international community knows is that your aggression has no bounds. For this, for finally proving the Arabs right, for showing your true colors that all can see, I most sincerely thank you.

Karen Asfour

Karen Asfour contributed above open letter to Ariel Sharon, to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from Amman, Jordan.