Shame on A World Where Sharon is A Free Man

By Ramzy Baroud, Editor-in-Chief of

IAP News  - I wonder if Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has run out of ideas yet. Every time we assume that he has employed his last tactic possible in his attempt to suppress the Palestinian people, the ever defiant "warrior" proves us wrong. His latest wild chase after Palestinian activists cost Palestinians 15 more lives and 148 wounded, adding to the Palestinian calendar yet another tragedy to commemorate.

Those who dare to see the complete picture, without distortion and dishonesty know as a fact that Sharon is a madman, a fanatical fascist who has developed a unique style of racism, so unique to Zionism, so unique to him.

But of course, only those of the "alternative media", or "former" officials and statesmen are willing to state so, for no fancy jobs are at stake here, and the political cost in the case of former politicians is minimal.

However, until the world gathers its courage to tell Sharon: "enough is enough," and "you have no business occupying, assassinating and starving Palestinians," until that happens, Palestinians are destined to collect and bury their dead, alone with desperate chants for revenge and others for freedom.

Today, as I gazed at the flow of photos and TV images of Palestinian civilians, or what has remained of them killed in the Israeli raid on Gaza, an angry question daunting me: Why does Sharon, a healthy man with a million-dollar farming industry keep chasing behind an oppressed population, living in cage-like towns and villages, desperately poor, while all they seek is freedom.

Hasn't Sharon killed enough? Will his endless list of Palestinians to kill and places to bomb ever run out? Isn't a 52-year-long career in murder plenty to satisfy the man's thirst for Palestinian blood? How many more massacres would Sharon need to check out from his list before he dies, or quits politics for good?

I am more concerned by the idea that Sharon is reaching an age, where his obsession with the "security of Israel" would lead him to carry out more wide scale, Sabra and Shatilla like massacres of Palestinians. Sharon is a firm believer in the "good Arab is a dead Arab" theory championed by many Zionists throughout the years. While for a fanatic Jewish settler to believe in such a saying is costly enough, for a Prime Minister endeared by a cheering Israeli public to carry out the statement as a policy, is horrifying.

But haven't the Israelis tried everything yet? They massacred, bombarded, besieged, imprisoned Palestinians for over five decades, and cultivated nothing but more hatred and resistance. Why are they then dragging such a bad and failing policy forever? Is it just killing for the sake of killing?

What have those innocent children, women and men of Gaza, so frail and precious committed to wake up from a sweet sleep to find themselves in a bloodbath and their loved ones blown to pieces, scattered under the heavy concrete?

We all know by now that the fear of suicide bombing pretext is no longer tolerated, for many reasons. For one, the Israeli occupation began decades ago, and the suicide bombing developed as a desperate response to the cruel and incomprehensive Israeli practices in the 1990s. So there is no chicken and egg here to get us tangled up.

But moreover, the Israeli attack on Gaza came only one day after Hamas announced its willingness to halt its attacks on Israel if the latter evacuate from recently occupied West Bank towns and release Palestinian political prisoners.

The Hamas offer was made by the spiritual leader of the movement in an interview with Al-Jazeera.

If Sharon really cared about the well-being of his people, he would have refrained from attacking one of the movement's top leaders in Gaza. The attack on Gaza was partly a response to the Hamas offer. Now, only naives would fail to see what would happen in coming weeks. Palestinians are beyond angry, beyond betrayed and feel that the only method of dealing with the Israeli murderous campaign and occupation is to strike back at the Israelis, not only soldiers, not only militant settlers.

While it's easy for some of us to tilt back in our comfortable chairs and dictate to the Palestinians what is acceptable and what is not in terms of methods of resistance, the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza are not governed by our cozy and convenient dictations.

They are only humans, with a limited, although exceptional, capacity of endurance. We all have failed them: we failed to protect them; we failed to side with them; we failed to stop their Israeli murderers, and scolded them for making comparisons between Israelis and Nazis; we watched them beg for mercy in Jenin and never moved to prevent their killing; we heard their cry for water in Nablus and offered them nothing; we almost smelled the decomposed bodies of their sons scattered in the streets and we complained that Palestinians are misusing the word "massacre."

We have failed them, and we have lost our right to criticize them.

Palestinians are left on their own, fending for their refugee camps against invading tanks and F16s.

Shame on a world in which Sharon is a free man. Shame on a world that tolerates such cruelty against a tormented nation. Shame on every one of us who knew the truth and said nothing.