Israeli extremism

Copied entirely from Brahm’s blog, as his site has gone private (to avoid issues with his employer):

14 Civilians were killed in an Isreali air strike targetting Sheikh Salah Shahada of the Hamas group. Sharon is quoted as saying that if Israel had known there were so many civilians in the building, another way would have been found to kill Mr Shahada. So at least the Isreali government admitted that a mistake was made. Right?
Nonsense. The real motivation for the attack was to prevent Isreali-Palestinian peace negotiations from succeeding. Prior to this attack, a deal had been worked out that included several Palestinian organizations that said they would agree to a moratorium on suicide bombings, if Isreal pulled out of the West Bank. Isreali intelligence knew this, and so did Sharons settler government. So Palestinian negotiaters were prepared to offer a moratorium on suicide bombers if Isreal pulled out. So Sharon quickly orders that attack on the Hamas leader, knowing that Palestinians negotiators will not be able to keep Hamas in line after this provocation. Sharon couldn’t afford to wait until the civilians had left, because it could have allowed time for Palestinians and more moderate Isrealis to negotiate a peace.

If moderate Palestinians bring an area into control, Sharon orders an assassination in that area. Time and time again, Sharon has directed his government to time his attacks on militant leaders in ways that undermine the ability of moderate Palestinians to reign in more militant members. The purpose of the last attack was to infuriate Palestinians and prevent recent moves towards peace.

Sharon “Oops! I ordered another assassination of a Hamas leader that happened to kill bystanders just before another ceasefire was about to be negotiated… again… But I aknowledge that a mistake was made.”

Bull. It was no mistake.

It’s completely unjustified, but lately, I’ve been feeling more and more ill at ease with Israel’s role here. I think that I’d swallowed the West’s seemingly unconditional support of Israel in my youth, and over the past few years (not incidentally, particularly since Sharon came to power), I’ve lost all feelings of support for Israel’s position. Alot had to so with reading some of Edward Said‘s work (who’s work I by no means whole-heartedly swallowed – much like Chomsky, he’s more a provocative catalyst for further reading and thought), some had to do with a growing distrust of North American politics and media culture, alot had to do with physical evidence of the continued settlements, massive military strikes, repeated deaths of palestinian civilians. Which is by no means excusing Palestinian suicide bombers (for an interesting look at suicide bombers, check out Santosh Sivan’s The Terrorist). Hell, even as I write this, I become increasingly disgusted by the actions of both sides – which is why I’ve been avoiding thinking to much about the issue in the first place.