We, the undersigned Harvard Law students who support justice for Palestine, would like to laud Ariel Sharon and the Israeli voters that brought him to power.
To our elation, the man affectionately know as the “Butcher of Beirut” will now be heading the Israeli government. How could we not be enamored with this gentle, peace-loving man? Let us review his record for you so you may join us in praise …
During his early years, he mastered terrorism as the general commander of Unit 101 and established his notoriety in 1953 with the slaughter in Qibya – 45 houses deliberately blown up and 69 civilians inside the houses, mostly women and children, killed (according to Israeli historian, Avi Shlaim). He worked hard to maintain his reputation in the 1970s as the head of the Southern Command of the IDF. His success is evident in his ability to “purge” Palestinians villages – in one month alone (August 1971), he achieved the destruction of 2,000 homes, uprooting about 16,000 Palestinians. But the 1980s proved even more triumphant for him. Against orders, he orchestrated the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which ended up costing over 20,000 Palestinian and Lebanese lives and more than 1,000 Israeli soldiers. In 1983, an independent Israeli Commission held him indirectly responsible for the willful slaughter of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (Sabra and Shatila). And, of course, he was one of the architects of Israel’s illegal settlement movement, which not only guaranteed to complicate any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, but also ensured that any such agreement would lack justice.
We are ecstatic and grateful because Sharon’s record indicates that he will courageously and gallantly shoulder the Israeli Man’s burden. As Sharon himself says, he knows how to deal with the Arabs and that is by being a stern, tough, parental figure not afraid to use deadly corporal punishment when the kids, i.e., the Arabs, misbehave. Dealing with the immature Arabs includes Sharon’s proposal to destroy Palestinian houses, row after row, until the Palestinians cease their protests.
Many Israelis disagree with Sharon’s stern, yet loving, parental maneuvers but agree with his assessment of Palestinian immaturity. Even defeated Prime Minister Barak referred to the Palestinians as adolescents. It is this widespread and perceptive view of the brown Arab’s childishness that explains the Israeli electorate’s brilliant choice of Sharon.
Throughout the election, many Israelis said that they were voting for Sharon because Barak conceded too much to the Palestinians who, like a child treated too liberally, became spoiled and just responded to the concessions with violence. The Palestinians, these Israelis said, need a tough parent, e.g., Sharon, and not one that lets them run wild, e.g., Barak.
Never mind that the violence started when Sharon, the right-wing hawk with a great deal of Palestinian blood on his hands, descended to a holy site, the Haram-al-Shariff/Temple-Mount, with a veritable army of security officers to assert eternal Israeli control of Jerusalem. Never mind that the violence escalated when Palestinian protestors to Sharon’s visit were met with live sniper fire. Never mind that Israel is waging a war with its sophisticated and fanciful array of lethal weapons, including U.S.-made Apache attack helicopters, laser guided missiles, tanks using “concrete busters” or armor piercing bullets, along with high velocity bullets for M-16 machine guns and rubber coated steel bullets. Never mind that Israeli soldiers have deliberately targeted children, particularly in their eyes and heads. Never mind that such an anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian publication as The Economist says: “Quite apart from the shooting to kill (half the Palestinian were shot in the head or neck), the economic strangulation of the territories, and the harassment of people trying go about normal business, is creating lasting resentment.” Never mind that Israel is choking the general Palestinian population by imposing closures and roadblocks and severely limiting the inflow of gas, water, food and medicine into the territories. Never mind that settlements continue to be illegally erected while Palestinian homes demolished. Never mind that since the Oslo peace accords were signed in 1993, Israel, in the name of peace, has reified its apartheid system, and as a result, Palestinian GDP, unemployment and health statistics have all deteriorated.
Never mind that all this happened under Barak’s splendidly “dovish” regime, just as it happened under preceding Labor governments. Never mind that even liberal Labor cannot contemplate reforming Israel from a state for the Jews to a democratic state for its citizens (besides the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, about 20% of Israel’s citizens are Palestinians, facing legal and institutional discrimination designed to segregate and exclude them, making it no wonder that Israeli Palestinian municipalities receive far less money, their education is poorer, their unemployment rate is far higher, and their ability to purchase or substantively use land is severely limited).
Never mind the preceding two paragraphs for, as many in the Israeli electorate rightly believe, the Palestinian uprising was a result of Barak’s negotiation concessions and not a result of the daily degradation, humiliation and de-humanization of “immature, adolescent” Palestinians. When will the Palestinians finally learn? We can all rest easy now that Sharon is here to deal with them in his special, experienced way. We, especially the Brown Arab signatories to this piece, know that true peace will not come by treating Palestinians as equals but by recognizing them for what they are: inferior adolescents who need Sharon’s righteously murderous hands to deal with them. While over a million Israelis demonstrated against Sharon’s actions in 1983, it is good to know that some of these same Israelis, and their progeny, have finally found the good sense to vote this decorated man back into office. Sharon and Israel, we thank you for your wisdom, courage, humaness, magnanimity and insights. Who could ask for better guardians?
Aneelah Afzali ’02Ahmed el-Gaili ’03Shirley Jean ’03Najeeb Khoury ’02Hani Sayed S.J.D.Zeinah Salahi ’01