The March 22 assassination by the Israeli state of the wheelchair-ridden 68-year-old Palestinian spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin should come as no surprise. Israel and those responsible for its creation have actively resorted to assassinations and terrorism as a tool for promoting its Zionist ideology. Unless the US changes its policy of total and unquestioned support to Israel, Israel is likely to go ahead full steam with its state terrorism, targeting principally the victims of its occupation –” the Palestinians. All the rest is inconsequential. The charade of "concern" is played out as statements from numerous capitals condemn the killing, in muted terms, of the 68-year-old invalid who had just left the mosque after saying his morning prayers. This key root cause of terrorism ie state-terrorism is being purposefully ignored.
Today mainly because of the United States’ military, economic, political and moral support, Israel has managed to give respectability to its state terrorism by framing it within the context of "security" and "self-defense." Conveniently, United States, which is in the forefront of nations recalling incessantly and rightly the nightmares of the holocaust, hopes for global amnesia when it comes to the root of the Palestinian tragedy. It is simply as the British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote in 1970 that "the tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was ‘given’ by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state."
Encouraged by the practical indifference of most global powers to its illegal, bloody and unrelenting occupation of Palestinian territory, Israel knows it can get away with murder. Literally. Israel’s principle ally continues to seek ‘good behaviour’ from the Palestinians. That is a cruel joke. It flows from a pro-Israeli US mindset which equates the occupier and the occupied, seeks guarantees of "no terrorism" from those who are the victims of state terrorism, of those who are engaged in a legitimate struggle even if driven to using illegal means to wage the struggle. Also US policies seek to support those who committed the original sin of terrorising a people out of their own homeland and to condemn those who were rendered homeless, their land, identity, art and culture, water etc all taken away from them.
Israel democratically elected Prime Minister General Ariel Sharon who oversaw the 1983 butchering of innocent Palestinians of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps and has been clear about his aims and targets in this recent round of Israeli state terrorism. According to his Defence Minister through assassinations the "strategic enemies of Israel" will be destroyed. All Palestinians involved in organising resistance through actions and force, the illegal occupation of their homeland are Israel’s ‘strategic enemies.’ Those who propagate suicide bombings will now be eliminated. Even more, the now waning political leader Yasser Arafat has also been identified by the Israeli Defence Ministry as the next target. It may go ahead with Arafat’s assassination. These are ‘good times’ for the Israeli assassins because an electioneering American political elite will defend all of Israeli assassinations as pre-emptive strikes taken in self-defence.
The coming days will spell more tragedy for the angered and outraged Palestinians and also for sections of the Arab and Muslim world. There is nothing new to be expected from those who are weak, violated and infuriated. More of suicide bombers at best. A lot of angry and some muted statements by the rulers in the Muslim world condemning Israeli terrorism for the millionth time. Neither is of any consequence. More suicide bombs take the Palestinians no closer to acquiring their homeland. Only ensures that more innocent Palestinians and Israelis are killed. But what else can the stateless, occupied and resisting Palestinians do? Not much. They are resorting to the tool of the frustrated, weak and the outraged which as we have seen in most freedom movements including the Irish movement, the American War of Independence, the Algerian movement, the Indian resistance against British colonialism.
The onus on changing the tragic and bloody political landscape of the Middle East rests primarily on the United States. It has provided the enabling environment to Israel to become the monster for the Palestinians that it has become. United States under Henry Kissinger’s leadership ensured that the Israeli state be accepted as a legitimate state by hook or by crook in the Muslim world. Largely that objective has been achieved. Yet that has not brought peace for Israel. For that an independent Palestine is an absolute necessity.
Although Washington under Clinton and Bush’s presidency has called for an independent Palestine, the fact is that practically the US has supported or ignored reneging by Israel of every agreement from Camp David to Oslo, it has vetoed without fail resolutions brought to the UNSC condemning Israel’s excesses. Secretary Colin Powell’s January 8 2003 interview with US News and World Report best illustrates Washington’s convoluted logic on the way forward. "As I said earlier, and I will continue to say, we need more from the Palestinian side on dealing with terror and violence," said Powell again putting the onus on the Palestinians to deliver.
If US wants genuine peace in the Middle East its principle task must be reining in the Israeli democratic yet terrorist state, busy obliterating the Palestinians. Indeed, Palestinian suicide bombings killing innocent Israelis cannot be condoned yet they are unlikely to stop unless Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories ends. And unconditionally.