Israeli army kills Hamas leader
Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, assassinated by the Israeli air force on 22 March, bore political responsibility for many suicide bomb attacks on Israeli civilians. Yet the Israeli left have condemned the assassination as a blow to all hopes of peace and justice.
"It is worse than a crime, it is stupid!"
By Uri Avneri (Gush Shalom peace bloc)
This moves the conflict from the level of a solvable national conflict to the level of religious conflict, which by its very nature is insoluble.
The fate of the State of Israel is now in the hands of group of persons whose outlook is primitive and whose perceptions are retarded. They are incapable of understanding the mental, emotional and political dimensions of the conflict. This is a group of bankrupt political and military leaders who have failed in all their actions. They try to cover up their failures by a catastrophic escalation.
This act will not only endanger the personal security of every Israeli, both in the country and around the world, but also the existential security of the State of Israel. It has grievously hurt the chances of putting and end to the Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Muslim conflicts.
In the early 1980s the occupation authorities encouraged the founders of Hamas, hoping that they would create a counter-weight to Yasser Arafat and the PLO. Even after the start of the first intifada, the army and the security services gave preferential treatment of Hamas. Sheikh Yassin was arrested only a year after the outbreak.
There seems to be no limit to the stupidity of our political and military leaders. They endanger the future of the State of Israel.
Murder Plain and Simple
By Reuven Kaminer*
The real intent of the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin is identical with Sharon's disengagement ploy: to block any significant opportunity for the resumption of efforts towards genuine negotiations. Thae fixed goal is the targeted assassination of any chance for peace.
The policy of targeted assassinations was immoral and illegal in the first place. It really had little to do with the prevention of terror. The real intent of targeted assassination was to legitimize the employment of political murder as an instrument in the execution of crimes against the Palestinian people, from collective punishment up to politicide - the denial of their national rights. In the present context, these are also crimes against peace and the people of Israel.
Sharon has opted to include political assassination as a weapon to defend his crumbling authority. His coalition is falling apart, his ministers openly defy him, his party is in disarray. Even more important: his prestige with the broad public is in a state of disintegration.
If ever an act was designed to deepen the hostility of the Arab and Muslim world against Israel, its people and its friends, this was it. Sharon is betting the future of Israel on the clash between civilisations.
The Bush-Sharon alliance will whether the present storm. The two need each other in their hour of adversity. Even so, Sharon's present infatuation with political murder may cause problems in Washington, where things like this are farmed out to proper departments of dirty tricks. In the capitals of this world, leaders do not usually brag about killing other leaders.
* Reuven Kaminer is a veteran socialist activist in the Israeli left and a member of the national council of the Jewish-Arab Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (DFPE)