Must be nice to be god's chosen..... http://jang.com.pk/thenews/apr2004-daily/01-04-2004/oped/o3.htm The Israeli government could not have perpetrated a ghastlier and more counter-productive act than it did by killing the Hamas "spiritual leader" Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in cold blood. Millions across the globe were stunned at the sight of an old paraplegic in a wheelchair being shot with high-tech missiles. The argument that this was retaliation for Hamass killing of 10 Israelis in a terrorist attack will convince nobody. The proposition that a crippled, frail, old man planned or organised that attack defies credibility. There is no evidence that Sheikh Yassin was involved in Hamass military operations for many, many years. Israels action is morally indefensible, totally illegal and unbecoming of a minimally civilised state. It is a brazen form of extra-judicial killing. In plain English, this means murder by the state. Yet, as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced, it is only the beginning of the systematic elimination of Hamass entire leadership. Israel, quite simply, plans to annihilate who ever it regards as an enemy and a threat. This fits the clinical definition of state terrorism. If powerful governments were to resort to extra-judicial killings of those suspected but legally unproved to be sources of threat or purveyors of terrorism, the whole world would become a cauldron of lawlessness, brigandage and bloody chaos. Most countries have condemned the Israeli action. Even the United States which has long indulged Israels actions has finally come around to deploring Yassins assassination. The Western European states were more forthright. European Union Commissioner Chris Patten compared the Israeli action to dealing with a fire by pouring gasoline on the flames. Even India, which has developed close "anti-terrorism cooperation" and a strategic relationship with Israel, called the action "appalling". To condemn the action is not to condone Hamas or to paper over the fact that it is a fundamentalist group, which indiscriminately kills civilians. But the thousands upon thousands of Palestinians who poured out in the streets of Gaza and the West Bank, and above all, in Israeli cities like Nazareth, were not condoning or supporting Hamas. They were appalled at Israels outrageous conduct. When states take revenge by imitating sub-state terrorists, they reduce themselves to their level. Indeed, morally, they sink even lower, and physically, they can be incomparably more brutal. The assassination is certain to provoke an unspeakably bloody response through another series of revenge attacks by Hamas. Many Hamas leaders have gone underground, and their newly appointed leader in Gaza, Abdal-Aziz Ranteesi, has vowed apocalyptic revenge to "make the earth tremble under the feet of the Zionists". The slogan is "war, war, war" on Israel. Sharons plan to assassinate Sheikh Yassin was opposed, not just by his interior minister, but also the head of the Israeli Security Service, Shin Bet men who cannot be accused of being "soft on terrorism" or covert "Hamas supporters". The Sharon government could not have but willed terrorist attacks. It is inconceivable that it acted in a knee-jerk manner, without knowing of the likelihood of more terrorist strikes. Sharon does not mind sacrificing the lives of scores, even hundreds, of innocent Israeli civilians, by provoking a large-scale violent response to "targeted assassinations". Such diabolical cynicism has long been integral to Israeli policy. It bears recalling that Hamas is itself the creation of Israel. It has been revealed by Israeli General Yitzhak Sager that beginning in 1978, the Israeli state funded Sheikh Yassin to divide the Palestine national movement and divert it from its PLO-centred secular mainstream. Over the past three years or so, Israel has succeeded in isolating the secular PLO leadership and promoting Hamas. It has now given the Islamic Brotherhood the very martyr it was looking for. Its as if Hamas and the Sharon cabinet had become partners or allies in murder, blood and gore. Both are identical practitioners of the politics of revenge However, Sharon is not just being devilishly and ruthlessly cynical towards his own people. He seems to have larger objectives. At least three are apparent. First, Sharon wants to send out the message that Israel is pulling out from the Gaza Strip, but not with its "tail between its legs", it is doing so from a position of strength. The hope is that Hamas will find it hard to convince the Palestinian people that Israel can be forced out of the West Bank too by violent methods. This will eventually help Israel keep about half of the West Bank, which belongs to Palestine, indeed is its main contiguous territory. Second, Israel calculates that the violence it provokes will legitimise Sharons extremist solutions through growing Israeli civilian support for them. A climate of insecurity and constant fear will impel many Israelis to approve of measures like the "anti-terrorist" 650-km long Apartheid Wall (or 4 times longer than the Berlin Wall), which will permanently tear up Palestinian territory and perpetuate illegal Israeli settlements. A terrorised, terrified population can be manipulated to support the suppression of elementary human rights and to further dehumanise and demonise the Palestinians. All Palestinians can then be equated with and vilified as mere scum, vermin, or beasts unworthy of elementary decency or lawful treatment. They are "barbarians who want to take our lives", and must be overpowered by superior force. The third objective is to create conditions for what many Israelis and certainly much of the world consider unthinkable, including measures like mass expulsions or a long-term virtual siege of a territory like Gaza. Hardcore Zionists have no intention of trading land for peace. They want to subjugate the Palestinians, so they can keep some of their land. Mass expulsions and ethnic cleansing were indispensable to the very creation of the Israeli state, and may be necessary in future to ensure its survival. For Right-wing Zionists, the Palestinians "will always pose a threat and they must therefore be controlled and caged in". Wait!! Don't tell me, the world owes it to them!!!!!!!