Monday, November 27, 2006

Murder is Not Technical Error, Mr. Olmert

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

(The writer is a Saudi socio/political commentator. He resides in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

"If the Israeli government is suffering from any delusions that the Saudis are warming up to Israeli policies and designs on the region, they better dispel them fast. For the people here will not condone or easily forgive any aggression against their Arab or Muslim allies.

Following the recent unprovoked butchery by the Israeli government of the people of Gaza which left 19 dead including 8 children, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was glib in his response to this latest barbarity by his occupation forces. He called it a “technical error.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni termed this latest massacre as a regrettable “incident” adding, “in the framework of such things, incidents like these happen.” For the relatives of the victims, this latest carnage was no technical error or an incident meant to be soon forgotten.

The murder of civilian Palestinians by Israel is nothing new. Israel has murdered over 2,300 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over the past six years, including 300 or more since Palestinian fighters captured an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid on June 25. The wounded and maimed number in the tens of thousands. Most of the casualties were civilians, many of them children.

The premeditated assault against the people of Gaza and the occupied territories will not cease with this latest act of barbarity. It continues on a daily basis — by tank and sniper fire, by air and sea bombardment, and by undercover teams in civilian clothes sent into Arab territories to ambush and murder, an Israeli specialty perfected over the past several decades. And armed generously by President George Bush et al.

Following their grand adventure in Lebanon, the Israeli government’s aggressive intent is now focused on eliminating whatever resistance there remains entrenched in the hearts of the oppressed of Palestine. Over a million and a half Palestinians have been herded into an area of about 360 square kilometers, cut off from the rest of the world and bombed on a daily basis. Access to food and water is denied, making the events in Darfur seem like a picnic.

But in spite of more killings and carnage, the Israeli government will fall short. For with each strike and each loss of life, the resistance has hardened and there will be acts of revenge.

And not just among the people of Palestine. Governments around the region have once again been exposed to the true nature of Israeli politics and it would be naïve to assume that any ruler worth his salt in the Middle East would consider this recent slaughter as a step toward a “road to peace”.

The stock value of Hamas and Hezbollah has shot up dramatically. They are the results of Israeli occupation and aggression, and with each loss of life, they draw more supporters and sympathy. They have not bowed down to the mighty Israeli killing machine clothed in US armor. They will continue to struggle to protect their people and their inherent rights.

Israel and the US have unquestionably failed in their attempts to persuade the rest of us that other countries in the region are a bigger threat.

President Bush went one step further to illuminate us by vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning this latest act of barbarity against civilians. We know the enemy and it certainly is not Iran.

Many things can be termed to explain away murder. But technical error is not one of them."

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