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Exalting Sharon
by Al-Ahram Weekly (reposted)
Wednesday Jan 11th, 2006 10:18 AM
Collective amnesia seems the order of the day as Ariel Sharon's health takes a serious turn for the worse, writes Ramzy Baroud*
The mainstream media's lionising of the fatally ill Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon could only be compared to that of great men and women of past years. The hundreds of endearing commentaries, venerating news reports and glorifying television programmes -- massively sprung in the wake of his unexpected stroke on Wednesday, 4 January -- makes it doubtless that only a legacy like that of Mother Teresa can match Sharon's "towering" stature, "larger than life" persona and selfless "sacrifices" for peace.

The bashful attempts by some to balance the media's gross misrepresentations of Sharon went largely unheard. The man's direct, and indirect, involvement in tormenting the Palestinian people for 50 long years seemed completely irrelevant. Sharon's disregard for civilian lives since his early years as a fighter for the Jewish underground terrorist organisation the Haganah (1948-49), and his role as commander of an infamous army unit responsible for several massacres (most remembered is the brutal murder of 69 defenceless villagers in Qibya in 1953) seemed an extraneous nuisance.

Also to be dropped from the narrative was the list of relentless war crimes which took place throughout the 1950s and 1960s (during Israel's wars with Egypt), late 1970s (during Sharon's bloody reign in Gaza), the 1980s (his contemptible war and massacres in Lebanon) and most recently with the advent of the second Palestinian uprising in September 2000; one that he provoked and antagonised through his misguided policy of assassinations and a reckless, confrontational visit to the site of Jerusalem's most holy Islamic shrine. Since his election to serve as Israel's prime minister in 2001, Sharon supplemented his notorious resume with the liquidation of several thousand Palestinian lives.

by Al-Ahram Weekly (reposted)
Wednesday Jan 11th, 2006 10:20 AM
Sharon's near-fatal decline in health worries some Palestinians that whoever might come next will be worse, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank

Ordinary Palestinians as well as resistance groups didn't hide their gleeful response to Sharon's virtual death by massive stroke. Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement, argued that the "region will certainly be better off without Sharon". One of Hamas's candidates in the Hebron region remarked that, "Sharon's illness and looming death should be viewed as a mercy from God to Sharon's present and would-be victims."

Similarly, an Islamic Jihad activist in the Bethlehem region said that, "even if Sharon had a hundred strokes per day, he still wouldn't level up with the thousands of innocent people whose deaths he had caused."

Such feelings are understandable to a large extent. Indeed, for most Palestinians, Sharon has always been child-killer, home- demolisher and orchard-destroyer; the "butcher of Sabra and Shatila" who mercilessly killed thousands of Palestinians in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

Sharon will also be remembered as the man who oversaw the building of the gigantic separation wall, carving over half of the West Bank into Israel and reducing the bulk of Palestinian population centres into virtual detention camps. Indeed, for the Palestinians, it is hard to imagine a more hateful figure.

However, while Palestinians may view Sharon's physical death, when it comes, with not a small amount of gloating, few can be unmoved by the Israeli premier's political death, which seems certain. In fact, the timing of Sharon's end is not particularly expedient for the Palestinians.

by Thanks
Wednesday Jan 11th, 2006 10:46 AM
This is why we come to alternative media--to get something different than the mainstream's whitewash. Remember when Reagan died? It's much the same--everybody seems to have selective amnesia.
by Hassam
Thursday Jan 12th, 2006 2:11 PM

Khaled is a trustworthy source and a wise man. He says that islam have existed since Adam and Eve's times.