"All you people getting your two minute hate on screaming about Sabra and Shatila might pause for a moment to think about the complexity of his legacy and the vicissitudes of history, which have given us a monster where we might have had--should have had--a statesman and reluctant peacemaker."
describing Ariel Sharon as the "Butcher of Beirut" is simply false propaganda...
As Prime Minister, Sharon, like many of his predecessors, realized that Israel’s survival as a democratic, Jewish homeland depends on a two-state resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians. This understanding led him to to break with the Likud Party and to implement Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. When he was cut down by a massive stroke in January 2006, Sharon was planning a similar withdrawal from the West Bank.
One lesson from the Gaza withdrawal is that Israel's conflict with the Palestinians can only really be solved by the sides negotiating a peace agreement that ends the Israeli occupation, establishes a Palestinian state and settles all outstanding issues and claims. Still, Sharon deserves credit for the intellectual journey he took during his life and for having the courage to lead. His incapacitation, when at the height of his powers, leaves the challenge of making peace to be fulfilled by his successors, notably Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Together we can build a dam against the radical forces of yesterday, which threaten to carry us all into a whirlpool of blood and hatred. Together, we can promote relations between us and ignite a first ray of hope for all the people of the Middle East. Together, we can ensure our peoples lives of freedom and stability, prosperity and peace.”
"Sharon finally accepted that the Palestinians could not be made to disappear. He wanted a Greater Israel but understood that he could not expel the Palestinians to achieve it."
He also understood, adds Klein, that Israel could not afford to maintain, long term, a direct reoccupation of the West Bank - either in terms of the financial cost or the expected price in soldiers' lives.
Instead, Sharon devised what Warschawski calls the "Swiss cheese model". "He treated the region like a big block of Swiss cheese, with Israel as the cheese and the Palestinians as the holes. Any bits he did not care about could belong to the Palestinians. It was about creating cantons, and the largest was Gaza."
"Critics say he was the key architect of the Israeli Apartheid state".
"He was also one of Israels most corrupt politicians involved in several scandals regarding bribery, money laundering, and so on. And just as the allegations against him were about to go public, he had a stroke.""
"He is the second worst war criminal in Israel's history, after Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister, who orchestrated the Nakba, the deportation of most of the population of Palestine."
"I mourn the fact that he died because there was a great hope among leftists that Sharon would be tried for war crimes. Being the second most deadly war criminal in Israel's history he would be a prime candidate to stand in front of the International Court in the Hague to answer for the crimes he committed."
"[The Kadima Party Sharon founded] is not a party about promoting the Peace Process or recognizing the rights of Palestinians. It was a party about being more pragmatic and practical in making the Occupation more sustainable. But because he positioned it (within Israel's very strange political system) to the left of the Likud party, it made it seem as if it's a centrist party... this is in spite of the fact that we have so much proof that everything [Kadima] has done has been to sabotage the Peace Process, to continue to expand the Occupation, to build additional colonies."
"He withdrew 8,000 colonists from the Gaza Strip, but pushed 20,000 colonists into the West Bank. So he increased the number by 12,000, and that's just something the media didn't bother covering."
As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, there is an additional factor. The so-called “Palestinian autonomous areas” are Bantustans. These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli Apartheid system...
Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.
The responses made by South Africa to human rights abuses emanating from the removal policies and Apartheid policies respectively, shed light on what Israeli society must necessarily go through before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and an end to its Apartheid policies.
Thomas, I’m not abandoning Mideast diplomacy. But I’m not going to indulge you the way your supporters do. If you want peace and democracy, I will support you. If you want formal Apartheid, we will not support you. If you want to support racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing, we will oppose you.
When you figure out what you’re about, give me a call.
"a system of control" in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including Jewish-only settlements, the ID system, separate roads for Israeli and Palestinian citizens, military checkpoints, discriminatory marriage law, the West Bank barrier, use of Palestinians as cheap labour, Palestinian West Bank enclaves, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories .
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