$27.00 donated in past month
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Palestine | International | Police State and Prisons
Ariel Sharon's Criminal Legacy
Ariel Sharon's Criminal Legacy
by Stephen Lendman
Gilad Sharon chronicled his father's life. He wrote his biography. It's titled "Sharon: The Life of a Leader." It discusses his history from soldier to general to political leader.
According to Gilad, his father "was a much better prime minister" than Netanyahu. He was Sharon's finance minister. He claimed he "gave and gave and gave."
"Palestinians got and got and got, and my question is, what did we get? Nothing and nothing and nothing."
"What the public wants to know is when will it get a prime minister who stops putting wind in the sails of terrorists and begins to demand things in return for concessions."
Gilad calls Netanyahu "subversive." He's "coward(ly)," he added. He left unexplained his father's blood-drenched career. Evil best describes it.
He committed multiple high crimes against peace. A special place in hell awaits him.
Some call him Israel's most Nietzschean leader. Others consider him the devil incarnate.
He's 85 years old. He's in stroke-induced coma. He clung to vegetative life for eight years. He's fading. His end time approaches.
Eulogies are ready to be published. Israel calls them havatzelets. They're prepared in advance obits.
They're written ahead of notable figures' deaths. Sharon's is ready to be published as soon as he passes.
His vital signs are weak. His kidneys are failing. He could go anytime. He clung to life for eight years. How much longer remains to be seen.
He's a rogue figure writ large. He's responsible for numerous crimes of war and against humanity. He was Machievellian. He was a terrorist turned statesman.
He never changed his ways. He was responsible for regional violence and instability for decades. More on this below.
Why Israelis admire him they'll have to explain. Haaretz contributor Rogel Alpher said they don't "judge him like other prime ministers..."
"(H)e made them feel good about themselves." His status "was reserved for him alone." He was considered "beyond good and evil."
He was "outside the realm of moral judgment." Criminality and corruption accusations didn't stick. They "enhanced his popularity." He was "above criticism."
Reagan was called America's teflon president. Sharon was above reproach. He belongs in prison, not high office. He got carte blanche to do what he wanted.
His highest of high crimes went unpunished. His rap sheet is one of the region's worst. According to Alpher, he had no concept of justice. He did what he wanted with impunity.
He was cold-blooded. He was ruthless. He deplored peace. Accolades he got were undeserving. His military and political agenda reflects mass slaughter and destruction.
He committed high crimes too grave to ignore. He waged war on Islam. He terrorized Palestinians and neighboring countries.
He represents the worst of Zionist extremism. He devoted his military and political career to working for a Greater Israel. He believed mass slaughter and destruction further it.
His family members were Jewish nationalists. His autobiography "Warrior" said so. His father Samuil and grandfather were "Jewish nationalist(s), pure and simple," he said.
They had "no political allegiances whatsoever, not to socialism or communism or anything else."
Samuil always wanted to emigrate to Palestine. In 1921, he did so. In 1928, Ariel was born.
When he was 13, his father gave him a dagger. It "was symbolic, to protect ourselves from our enemies," he said. It was a "lesson" he "never" forgot.
Prior to joining the Haganah (the IDF's forerunner), he became a Jewish Settlement Police member. He fought in Israel's so-called War of Independence.
He got firsthand combat experience. He later used it in other campaigns. He prioritized "strik(ing) first and hardest."
"(A)lways escalate," he said. He remained a soldier. He rose to the rank of general. He never became IDF chief of staff.
Arrogance, insubordination, recklessness, and going his own way denied him. His military and political superiors deplored his attitude.
He lied for self-serving reasons. He disobeyed orders freely. He did often. Israel's Golani Brigade is one of its most ruthless.
In February 1948, David Ben-Gurion established it. He did so to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. Sharon was one of its first commanders.
Earlier he headed the notorious Alexandroni Brigade. Death squad killers filled its ranks.
Golanis operate the same way. They're responsible for numerous massacres. They committed them from inception to today.
In 1953, Sharon established Unit 101. It reigned terror on defenseless Palestinian civilians. It did so indiscriminately. It targeted young, old and helpless victims.
In August 1953, it attacked El-Bureig refugee camp in southern Gaza. Dozens of Palestinians were slaughtered.
In October 1953, Jordan's Qibya village was attacked. Then Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett said the "stain would stick to us and not be washed away for many years."
Israeli historian Avi Shlaim described what happened as follows:
"Sharon’s order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses and inflict heavy casualties on its inhabitants."
"His success in carrying out the order surpassed all expectations. The full and macabre story of what happened at Qibya was revealed only during the morning after the attack."
"The village had been reduced to rubble: forty-five houses had been blown up, and sixty-nine civilians, two thirds of them women and children, had been killed."
"Sharon and his men claimed that they believed that all the inhabitants had run away and that they had no idea that anyone was hiding inside the houses."
A UN observer at the time explained otherwise, saying:
"One story was repeated time after time: the bullet splintered door, the body sprawled across the threshhold, indicating that the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside until their homes were blown up over them."
Sharon's forces went house to house. They systematically murdered their occupants. They did so in cold blood.
Sharon atrocities repeated for decades. In August 1971, his forces destroyed 2,000 Gaza homes. Doing so displaced 16,000 Palestinians.
Hundreds of Palestinian men were arrested. They were brutally treated. They were deported to Jordan and Lebanon.
Hundreds of relatives of suspected Palestinian freedom fighters were exiled to Sinai. Dozens of militants were murdered in cold blood.
In 1982, Sharon was Menachem Begin's defense minister. On June 6, Israel invaded Lebanon. Fighting lasted nearly a year.
An Israeli false flag was pretext. Arafat was falsely blamed for Abu Nidal militants' attempted assassination of Israeli UK ambassador Shlomo Argov.
Israel got the war it wanted. Sharon was called the "Butcher of Beirut." Up to 20,000 Palestinians were massacred. Southern Lebanon remained occupied until May 2000. Israel still illegally holds Sheba Farms.
It's a 14-square mile water-rich area. It's near Syria's Golan. It's been lawlessly occupied since 1967.
Sabra and Shatila remain symbols of Sharonian ruthlessness. Around 18,000 Palestinians were slaughtered.
It turned out the way he planned. He let Phalangist fascists do his dirty work. Palestinian civilians were massacred in cold blood. Women were raped multiple times before being killed. Children were murdered like adults.
Whole families were shot, stabbed, bludgeoned to death, or buried dead or alive under homes. Some were tortured before dying. Bodies were decapitated.
Corpses were charred and violated. Eyes were gouged out. Faces were unrecognizable.
Sharon maliciously planned it. He led it. He called it "ridding the world of the center of international terrorism." No one to this day was punished.
Yitzhak Kahan headed an Israeli commission of inquiry. Its findings damaged Sharon. It didn't go far enough. On September 16, 1982, Sharon-directed Philangist death squads entered the camps.
Killings began "almost immediately." Militiamen entered homes. They began "slitting throats, axing, shooting, and raping, often taking groups outside and lining them up for execution."
"There was virtually no resistance. Only a very few camp residents" had small arms for protection. Slaughter continued until around sunset September 18.
Kahan Commission findings fell short of damning. Sharon's reputation was damaged. He wasn't held accountable. His actions were called "blunders."
He "failed to take appropriate measures" to prevent what happened, commission members said.
Sharon ordered mass murder. He directed it. He led it. He unleashed its full ferocity. He's fully responsible. Accountability didn't follow.
He refused to resign. On February 14, 1983, he lost his defense minister portfolio. He remained an unpunished cabinet minister without one.
He was fanatically anti-peace. He opposed 1991 Madrid conference talks. He was against the 1993 Oslo Accords.
He abstained on peace with Jordan. He opposed other peace initiatives. He rejected the so-called Quartet's road map.
It was doomed straightaway. Israeli violence, land theft, and targeted assassinations accompanied it. Sharon had no intention to seek peace.
He deplored it from soldier to general to defense minister to prime minister to his grave. "There cannot be a situation where there are two states for one people," he said. Let's make the issue clear."
He repeatedly blamed Palestinians for Israeli crimes. "My paramount responsibility is the security of the people of Israel and the state of Israel," he stressed.
Peace won't happen "without the abandonment and elimination of terrorism, violence and incitement." Israel alone commits it. Palestinians are repeatedly victimized.
Sharon's autobiography explained, saying:
Attacking Arabs aims "to create (in their minds) a psychology of defeat, to beat them every time, and to beat them so decisively that they would develop the conviction that they could never win."
Sharon deplored surgical strikes. He "believe(d) that whenever we were forced to strike, we should do so with the aim of inflicting heavy losses on the enemy troops."
He urged Israeli's premeditated/preemptive 1967 Six Day War. It was planned long in advance.
In 1948, Israel stole 78% of historic Palestine. In June 1967, it got what remained.
Settlement construction began straightaway. From 1967 - 1977, around 30 were established.
They were mainly in Jordan Valley locations. Settlers numbered about 5,000.
Under Prime Minister Menachem Begin (1977 - 1983), things changed dramatically. A new pattern emerged.
Heartland/central ridge West Bank settlements were established. Construction tempo increased.
Dozens of new settlements were added. Increasing amounts of Palestinian land were stolen. Construction continues unabated.
Israel controls over 60% of West Bank land. It claims Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It's settler population exceeds 600,000. Numbers increase daily. Sharon endorsed unlimited expansion.
In 1969, he learned his military contract wouldn't be renewed. He fell out of favor with then IDF chief Bar Lev. It was over defending Sinai.
He turned to politics instead. He allied with Menachem Begin's Herut party. It was militantly hardline. It was ideologically Revisionist. It was hardcore Zionist. In 1988, it merged into Likud.
During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Sharon was called back to reserve duty. In elections that followed, he won a Knesset seat.
A year later he resigned. From June 1975 to March 1976, he was Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's aide.
In 1977, he founded the Shlomtzion party. Months later, it merged into Likud. Sharon became Begin's agriculture minister.
He supported Gush Emunim (Block of the Faithful) extremists. It was militantly hardline. It was committed to unlimited settlement expansions. Israel's Yesha Council replaced it.
It's ideologically over-the-top. It's like Sharon. It wants Greater Israel exclusively Jewish. It wants Arabs ethnically cleansed.
Sharon expressed his settlement policy as follows:
"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Judean) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours."
"Everything we don't grab will go to them." In 1981, Begin appointed Sharon defense minister. He took full advantage.
He held other ministerial portfolios. As Construction and Housing Minister, he was called "the Bulldozer."
It was for good reason. He ruthlessly destroyed Palestinian homes. Throughout his military and political career, Sharon's message was submit.
Abandon independence notions. Accept Palestine as Israel. You don't belong here. Leave or we'll uproot you.
Sharon's way was no-holds-barred ruthlessness. On September 28, 2000, he initiated Second Intifada violence.
He did so by provocatively visiting the Haram al-Sharif (the Nobel Sanctuary). Around 1,000 security forces accompanied him.
Resistance followed. He responded violently. He did so until February 2005. Nearly 4,200 Palestinians died. Included were 866 children and 271 women.
Many more were wounded. Over 3,500 were permanently disabled. Over 550 assassinations were committed. Around 8,600 Palestinians were imprisoned.
Over 2.3 million dunums of land were stolen. Another 73,600 were razed. Hundreds of thousands of trees were uprooted.
Over 7,700 homes were demolished. Another 94,000 were damaged. Sabra and Shatila slaughter reflected the worst of Sharonian evil.
So did Second Intifada viciousness. His Gaza disengagement plan had nothing to do with peace.
It was getting Israeli settlers out of harm's way. It was relocating them to stolen West Bank/East Jerusalem land. It was gaining US support for doing so.
He was prime minister from March 7, 2001 to April 14, 2006. He murdered Yasser Arafat. He poisoned him to death. Stroke-induced incapacitation ended his political career.
On December 18, 2005, minor ischemic stroke symptoms appeared. Doctors discovered heart trouble. It required surgery, they said.
Bed rest ahead of cardiac catheterization was prescribed. Sharon ignored medical advice. He returned to work immediately.
On January 4, 2006, hemorrhagic stroke followed. Two surgeries stopped bleeding in his brain. They didn't prevent stroke-induced coma.
Since November 6, 2006, he's been in longterm care. His cognitive abilities were destroyed.
In late 2013, his condition deteriorated. On January 1, he suffered renal failure. He's fading. He could anytime.
His legacy reflects horrendous high crimes. It bears repeating. A special place in hell awaits him. Perhaps he already arrived.
A Final Comment
Sharon believed the only good Arabs were dead ones. He spent his entire military and political career slaughtering them. State terror was official policy on his watch.
World leaders paid him tribute on his death. They did so disgracefully. One war criminal remembered another. Obama issued a statement, saying:
"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel."
"We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel's security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples."
"We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security."
"As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country."
Sharon was an unapologetic war criminal. His legacy reflects
decades of mass slaughter, destruction and human misery.
Britain's David Cameron disgracefully said he made "brave and controversial decisions in pursuit of peace. Israel has today lost an important leader."
France's Francois Hollande called him "a major player in the history of his country. After a long military and political career, he choose to move toward dialogue with Palestine."
He did no such thing. He murdered Yasser Arafat. He deplored peace and reconciliation. He hated Arabs. His policies proved it.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reacted as expected. He's a reliable imperial tool. He's complicit in Western war crimes. He said:
Sharon "will be remembered for his political courage and determination to carry through with the painful and historic decision to withdraw Israeli settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip."
He got them out of harm's way. Future aggression was planned. He relocated them on stolen West Bank Palestinian land.
Gaza remains occupied. Suffocating siege continues. Ban ignores Palestinian suffering. He supports Israel's worst crimes.
Fatah official Jubril Rajoub said:
"Sharon was a criminal, responsible for the assassination of (Yasser) Arafat, and we would have hoped to see him appear before the International Criminal Court as a war criminal."
Hamas spokesman Salah el-Bardaweel added:
"We pray to Allah that Sharon and all the Zionist leaders who committed massacres against our people go to hell."
"When the Palestinian people remember Sharon, they only remember pain, blood, torture, displacement and crimes. We will never feel sorry for his death."
Nor should anyone!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.