Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Israel is increasingly behaving like a rogue state

On 12 April 2004, Adam Shatz, senior editor at the London Review of Books said this in The Nation:
“At 5:20 on the morning of March 22, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Palestinian Hamas, was leaving a mosque in the Gaza Strip when he was killed in an Israeli helicopter gunship attack, a ‘targeted’ assassination that left nine others dead and caused several serious injuries.

A half-blind quadriplegic in his late 60s, Yassin was in his wheelchair when he died; his body will be added to the trail of thousands of Palestinian and Arab corpses that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (who is reported to have personally supervised the Gaza hit) has piled up since the 1950s, when he conducted brutal raids against Arab villagers across Israel's border.
The attack, condemned by the entire world apart from the United States, is yet another reminder of Sharon's disregard not only of Arab life but of the lives of his fellow Israelis, many of whom are likely to perish in the ‘earthquake’ of revenge Hamas has promised in retaliation...

Under Sharon's leadership, Israel is increasingly behaving like a rogue state, heedless of international legal norms and contemptuous of civilian life. With its indiscriminate raids, the government has chosen the path of escalation, putting its own citizens in jeopardy.
The Yassin assassination, a turning point in a conflict that grows uglier by the day, appears to be a calculated and deeply cynical move by Sharon, ‘the champion of violent solutions,’ in the words of Israeli historian Avi Shlaim… Sharon appears determined to decapitate Hamas's leadership, Israel has vowed to carry out more such attacks, and to make Gaza bleed…
Yassin was a revered cleric throughout the Muslim world, and his death has enraged millions not only against Israel but against Washington, its indispensable patron… Hamas has indicated for the first time that it also holds America directly responsible for the killing of its leaders…

The US government must not merely urge ‘restraint’, its timorous response to Yassin's killing, but prevent its Israeli ally from leading the region into catastrophe.”

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