The US Secretary of State, the American Administration and Arab countries all oppose Hamas because, as they say, Hamas clearly contests the peace process and rejects the Road Map.
Well, Hamas does have its own beliefs and its own political and ideological points of view. This much is true. However, the question facing the pro-Israeli American administration is the following:
Why doesn’t the American Administration equally stir up World opinion against Israeli factions that refuse the Road Map? Why does it always demand that Palestinians be driven from their land, so as to take it over? Why should settlements be built on lands forcibly evacuated and confiscated from their rightful owners, using the Israeli army’s American-made weapons. Why don’t the Americans dare to shift a little bit towards equity and start criticizing those Israeli factions who also oppose the Road Map?
The obvious truth is that Hamas is not part of the Palestinian Authority. However, those Israeli parties and factions, which oppose the Road Map and preach the deportation of the Palestinian population at gunpoint, constitute the backbone of the Israeli government.
It’s not a matter here of Israeli political parties or organizations that are outsiders to the Government (although outsider Jewish terrorist groups do exist). Yet, we have never heard one comment from the American Administration condemning such Jewish organizations for their crimes perpetrated against Palestinian civilians.
Why has the United States been, until today, blindly biased in favor of the Israelis, knowing that such partiality would bring the American people disasters and losses that are neither wanted nor wished for?
In short, these positions go against Security Council resolutions and blatantly support the occupation, which has lasted 36 years without the world doing anything to end it.
Such bias has a negative effect on U.S. interests in the region as well as on the interests of their Arab allies enjoying enormous natural wealth, which represents a vital strategic interest.
Mrs. Condoleezza Rice will be visiting the region on the 28th of June, in another positive and well-appreciated American push towards the implementation of the Road Map. I have also learned, from reliable sources, that CIA Director George Tenet will also be arriving during the first half of July for the same purpose. That is also positive.
However, what’s essential, at this point, is that the Americans open their eyes and finally realize that the Israeli government has been deceiving them and stalling, in the hope that the start of the US presidential election campaign will cast a shadow on the Peace Process, if not on the whole Middle-East issue.
Information from reliable and knowledgeable Israeli sources say that Sharon has instructed a team of aides to draw up a report for Condoleezza Rice, complaining about the fierce opposition he is undergoing due to his open support of the Road Map.
Still, this information isn’t the most important.
What’s even more vital is that Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, has made swift visits to a number of settlements, where he met with the Rabbis who totally control settlements inhabited by religious Jews. Those factions consider that the West Bank is the land of Israel and God’s gift to Jews. He asked the Rabbis to issue a statement éintended for the Americansé criticizing Sharon and the Road Map, which they consider to be against the Torah. This is an example of Sharon’s perverse ways.
He has also asked the settlers to oppose the dismantling of the so-called “illegal” settlements. This is nothing more than a twisted maneuver to blind the sight of the US administration hawks and give them the impression that he’s confronted with a very complex internal situation preventing him from going forth in the implementation of the Road Map, in the manner and at the speed desired by President George Bush. The truth is that Sharon does not want the settlements dismantled during his tenure because they are the product of his own ideology.
This is not all. Sharon is now endeavoring with the world’s largest Jewish financiers to provide funds needed to bring and establish one million Jews from Latin America (especially from Argentina), in order to reach a demographic equilibrium between Palestinians and Israeli Jews in the West Bank.
No doubt many have seen what I saw with my own eyes in a video tape made during a meeting in one of the settlements near Ramallah, between the settlers and Sharon who had come to reassure them and encourage their stance. It was an amateur-video filmed unbeknownst to Sharon. A settler asked him: “If you are serious, why don’t you do here what you did to them in Sabra and Chatila?”. He nodded and made a hand sign, as if he were telling her: “Be patient, I will.” This is the real Sharon, and this is what I saw with my own eyes.
So, why is the American administration turning the blind eye to all this?
Why doesn’t it put an end to these persecutions?
Why doesn’t it insist on the full application of international resolutions and conventions?
How can the US Administration imagine, just for a second, that it is going to remain safe in the Middle-East, unless it fully abides by its own principles of freedom, independence and human dignity.
The credibility of the United States is now really at stake.
President Bush is regularly updated on events taking place in Iraq. He knows that Asia, the Middle-East and Arab-Islamic states will not ultimately accept that Israel continue to occupy Palestinian and Arab land. Nor will they tolerate that the United States keep on supporting such occupation, in violation of its own principles and its own Constitution, as well as of all international rules, conventions and resolutions, including those drawn up by the United States itself.
Our people have long endured occupation and they will never choose to accept slavery. Humans long for freedom and independence. We are born free, not to be enslaved, but to remain free. So, why does President Bush and his team want Israel to subdue the Palestinians and other peoples.
We shall certainly put up resistance, but what the American Administration hasn’t realized yet (and we hope it will soon) is that Sharon is using them to undermine the interests and great principles of the United States. He may also aim to demolish the Statue of Liberty, which greets those who cross the Atlantic to America, the land of the free.
Bassam Abu-Sharif is a special advisor to Yasser Arafat.