Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Publishers' Page

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Publishers' Page

Article excerpt

Report Proves Israel Funds Outposts

A report released March 9 by Israel's former chief state prosecutor, Talia Sasson, found that the Israeli government is directly involved in and even finances the construction of settlement "outposts"-thereby violating not only Israeli law but the U.S.-backed "road map" for peace. And in the weeks since his Feb. 8 summit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has broken nearly every promise he made there, including the handover of five West Bank towns to Palestinian security forces and the release of more Palestinian prisoners. Israeli occupation forces continue to kill Palestinians every day, including children like 15-year-old Hani Khalil-who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Feb. 15, one week after Sharon and Abbas agreed to a cease-fire (see back cover photo).

People Got Their Knickers in a Twist...

When London Mayor Ken Livingstone criticized Ariel Sharon in a March 4 op-ed in London's Guardian. Asserting that he detests racism, an ideology that makes "one human being inferior to another [and] is the slope whose end is at Auschwitz," the mayor went on to criticize Israel for being racist-thus he provoked a storm that may destroy him politically. Noting that, "For 20 years Israeli governments have attempted to portray anyone who forcefully criticizes the policies of Israel as anti-Semitic," Livingstone quite frankly pointed out that anyone who recognizes the Holocaust as the greatest racist crime of the 20th century also must condemn the policies of successive Israeli governments because of their ethnic cleansing, discrimination and terror. He concluded by calling Sharon a war criminal who should be in prison, not in office.

Meanwhile, On-the-Ground Reality...

For occupied Iraqi and Palestinian civilians means death on the streets and car bombs exploding. U.S. pressure on Iraq, Lebanon and Syria could be creating chaos and an ethnically and religiously divided Lebanon as well as Iraq. Days after anti-Syrian Lebanese took to the streets of Beirut, a huge pro-Syrian demonstration organized by Hezbollah, labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. government, showed that Lebanon is more complicated than ever.

But the U.S. Media Paint a Rosy Picture...

Of the Arab street, while President George W. Bush brags that his invasion of Iraq has inspired Arabs throughout the region to demand freedom and democracy. Arabs disagree, saying the wave of domestic political change is not a Bush-led fad but a homegrown phenomenon. In some respects, democracy is coming to the Middle East despile anti-Bush feelings in the region. In his March 8 speech at the National Defense University, President Bush called on Arab countries to "end incitement in their own media, cut off public and private funding for terrorism, stop their support for extremist education, and establish normal relations with Israel." Had he come down as heavily on Israel, Arabs might have paid some attention to his rhetoric. But it doesn't seem to bother Washington that Israel has violated countless UN. resolutions, carried out assassinations, terrorized its neighbors, and amassed weapons of mass destruction. Instead, President Bush has nominated as America's next UN. ambassador...

U.N. Critic and Neocon John Botton...

A man who in 1994 said he believes "There's no such thing as the United Nations." Bolton went on to declare: "If the U.N. secretary [sic] building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference. …

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