Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Both George Bush and Ariel Sharon Agree: Rob the Palestinians; Bush Endorses Israel's Colossal Theft of Palestinian Land and Hope

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Both George Bush and Ariel Sharon Agree: Rob the Palestinians; Bush Endorses Israel's Colossal Theft of Palestinian Land and Hope

Article excerpt

Paul Findley, a Member of Congress for 22 years, is the author of They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby and chairman emeritus of the Council for the National Interest. He writes books and articles from his home in Jacksonville, IL and lectures widely on international affairs.

On April 14 George W. Bush gave presidential blessing to Israel's extensive acquisition and occupation of Palestinian territory by force of arms. In effect, he approved conquest that is expressly outlawed by the United Nations Charter and other international agreements, prohibitions that both Israel and the United States have long been pledged to support.

Bush did so in a televised news conference in the White House. He announced that the U.S. government will not, in future diplomatic negotiations, demand that Israel vacate large Jewish settlements it unlawfully has established within Palestinian territory over recent years. He also announced that the U.S. government will no longer support another property right clearly recognized in international law, the right of Palestinians to reclaim private property they were forced to abandon years ago when Jewish military forces took control of territory that now comprises Israel proper.

It is shocking to witness our chief executive cavalierly dismissing the important legal rights of an aggrieved nationality. It is particularly galling to see Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon smiling broadly at his side.

Sharon should be tried as a war criminal, not honored at the White House. A few years ago, he was found complicit by an official Israel board of inquiry for his major responsibility in the 1982 massacre of hundreds of defenseless Palestinians in Beirut refugee camps. During the same period, Sharon was an architect of Israel's aerial bombardment of Beirut that slaughtered over 18,000 innocent civilians. The aircraft, artillery and munitions used in this slaughter were donated by the U.S. government.

Three years ago, the prime minister magnified this criminal record by ordering ruthless military sweeps through Palestinian territory that left large-scale death and destruction in their wake. In recent months, with no provision of due process, he ordered the assassination of countless Palestinians purely on suspicion of terrorism. One of the victims was a widely revered Islamic leader, a nearly-blind quadriplegic blown to bits by U.S.-supplied helicopter gunships while emerging from a mosque in a wheelchair. Upon his return from his White House visit, Sharon ordered the assassination of Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Yassin's successor.

This gross, malignant behavior not only is illegal, it defies the rules of every major religion, including Judaism. …

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