Chairman's Message
The Palm
One Size doesn't Fit All
Sharon "Man of Peace"
The Final Mission
Bush Offer No Workable approach for peace
One Sided american justice
Melting Border
Samiramis Women of distinction
1001 Nights
No sane, informed person on the planet would suggest that Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, was a "man of peace". But this is precisely how George W. Bush, President of the most powerful nation on earth, America, described the Israeli Prime Minister at a press conference, after their meeting at the White House in May.

Sharon was there to brief President Bush on Israel's incursions into the West Bank and its murderous actions in the Jenin Refugee Camp, Ramallah and Bethlehem, in which many innocent Palestinian civilians lost their lives.

Despite overwhelming evidence of Israelis' ruthlessness and brutality in its incursion into the West Bank, shown nightly on US television, and the flood of eyewitness reports of the same that appeared in US newspapers, President Bush managed to ignore all this evidence of Israeli ruthlessness, and decided that Ariel Sharon is a man "truly seeking peace for Israel"; thus he was a "man of peace". Of course, to reach this conclusion, Bush has ignored all Palestinian claims to the land of Palestine and has failed to see that the prime cause of the recent rise in violence has been Sharon's intransigence since his election as Prime Minister.

So who is this "man of peace"? Is he the same Ariel Sharon who is described by many as a brutal warmonger, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians? It is worth noting that this Sharon's so-called "Pacification of Gaza" campaign in 1971, involved merciless repression and brutality, bulldozing thousands of Palestinian homes in the Gaza refugee camps and the arrest and deportation of several thousand Palestinians into the Sinai Desert, Jordan and Lebanon. As Defence Minister in 1982, this Sharon was the principal architect of the "Peace for Galilee" operation - the invasion of Lebanon that caused the death of tens of thousands of civilians and left about a million homeless. It was this Sharon who was responsible for the Shatila and Sabra massacres.

Would this be the same Ariel Sharon who began his military career fighting with the Israeli Haganah, leading commando units specialising in behind-the-lines raids, and forcing Palestinians to flee their homes?

Was it this Sharon who in August 1953, founded and led the infamous Unit 101, nicknamed "The Avengers", who carried out a series of terror raids across Israeli borders into Palestinian refugee camps, villages and Bedouin encampments?

Was it this "man of peace", who, in September 1953 led Unit 101 in an attack on Bedouins in demilitarised Al Auja (a 145 square km area at the western Negev-Sinai frontier), killing an unknown number of men, women and children?

Was it the same Ariel Sharon who in October 1953 led "The Avengers" in an attack on the village of Qibya in Jordan? Who directed Israeli soldiers to move into the village blowing up buildings, firing into doorways and windows with automatic weapons, and throwing hand grenades that killed 69 civilians (mostly women and children)? And later claimed he believed that the demolished houses had been empty of inhabitants?

Yes, I'm afraid it is.

This "man of peace" is also the very same one who, in 1971, carried out the "Pacification of Gaza." Under this euphemistic title, Sharon imposed a brutal policy of repression - blowing up houses, bulldozing large tracts of land in refugee camps, imposing severe collective punishments, and imprisoning hundreds of young Palestinians. Numerous civilians were killed or unjustly imprisoned, their houses demolished and the whole area was effectively transformed into a jail.

In 1977, the Likud Party won the general election and Sharon joined the Government's first administration as Minister of Agriculture in charge of settlements. Sharon, an avid supporter of the religious Gush Emunim movement, became one of the main facilitators of a settlement boom, aimed in part at preventing the establishment of a Palestinian State in the Occupied Territories. Then in June 1981, his settlement campaign was one of the keys to Likud's re-election, as he was credited with making swift and permanent progress in establishing an overwhelming Israeli presence in the West Bank. He was then appointed Minister of Defence.

In 1982, as Defence Minister, Sharon masterminded the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which he dubbed "Peace for Galilee." In all, this operation killed many thousands of civilians and rendered nearly half a million homeless. On 5 June 1982, he sent tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers across the border to fight their way up the Lebanese coast. They eventually occupied Beirut. Heavy Israeli shelling by sea- and land- based artillery, and aerial bombardment devastated a substantial part of Lebanon. By the end of July, the Lebanese government stated that at least 14,000 people had been killed - over 90% of whom were unarmed civilians - and twice that number seriously wounded. August 12 became known as 'Black Thursday', after a massive artillery barrage lasting some 11 hours, killed some 500 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.

The slaughter in the camps at Sabra and Shatila took place between 6:00pm on 16 September 1982 and 8:00 am on 18 September, in an area under the control of the Israeli army. Sharon's troops, having held the camps under siege, allowed death squads to enter, while Israeli searchlights illuminated the camps, and Israeli army personnel watched through binoculars as these death squads spread unchallenged through the camps, killing as they went. Whole families were murdered; many were raped and tortured before being killed. So many bodies were heaped into lorries and taken away, or buried in mass graves, the exact death toll will never be known, but Palestinian sources estimate at least 2000 people were killed. So many "peaceful acts" by such a "peaceful man"!

1990 saw our "man of peace" become the Minister of Construction and Housing. During his time as Housing Minister he presided over the biggest building drive of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza since Israel occupied the territories in the 1967 Six-Day War. He expanded the number of settlements on the West Bank from 75 to 130, while at the same time the number of settlers barely increased. And, lest we forget, in September 2000, our "man of peace" ignited the second Intifada when he insisted on visiting the Al Asqa Mosque surrounded by thousands of Israeli security guards, despite warnings from both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority. He has since violated and occupied, two of the world's oldest and most revered religious sites - the Al Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Nativity. In the case of the church of the Nativity, his snipers shot people in the very courtyard where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born.

So with all due respect to you, President Bush, you cannot call Ariel Sharon "peaceful" unless you totally ignore his entire life until today. Mr. Bush, let us hear what Ariel Sharon says about himself and his mission in life. Here is an extract from an interview in 1982 given to the renowned Israeli writer Amos Oz: "What you don't understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it… Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel them and burn them, to have everyone hate us."

Mr. Bush, you cannot make a saint out of a demon, nor a hero of peace out of a criminal. So please refrain from insulting all of us who genuinely want peace in Palestine; rather, call Sharon a "man of piece" - a piece of Ramallah, a piece of Nabulous, a piece of Bethlehem, a piece of Jenin, and a piece of Gaza. This far more accurately describes Sharon's character and his attitudes towards the Palestinians and the Arab World. Perhaps this is what you really meant to say when you met the press.

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