Monday, January 09, 2006

Sharon the man of pieces.

Hail and farewell "man of peace."
I want to ask if this is what unites Israelis?
  • 1953: he was the leader of the Israeli army’s Unit 101 that herded 69 civilians into their houses during a raid against the Palestinian village Qibya – before dynamiting all the houses. There were no survivors.
  • 1971: he promoted a policy of bulldozing and demolishing Palestinian houses in the Gaza under the pretext of security. Destroying the houses of an occupied population is a war crime under Geneva Conventions.
  • 1982: he was the architect of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon which became known in Israel as ‘Sharon’s war’. His invasion resulted in the deaths of more than 15 000 Lebanese civilians and he earned the epithet ‘the Butcher of Beirut’.
  • 1982: during the invasion, Sharon cooperated with and provided protection to the armed militias of the extreme right wing Phalange fascist group when they massacred over 3 000 unarmed refugees (largely women and children) in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps. An Israeli Commission of Enquiry found him “personally responsible” for the massacres and ruled that he was not fit to be the Israeli minister of defence.
  • 1990-92: he served as Israel’s housing minister. This period saw the rapid and deliberate expansion of Israeli colonies (or settlements) on Palestinian land. The building of settlements / colonies on occupied land is illegal under the Geneva Conventions.
  • 2000: Sharon triggered the second intifada by deliberately and provocatively swaggering into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, supported by thousands of Israeli security personnel.
  • 2003: he was responsible for initiating the building of the apartheid wall, a grotesque 8-metre high wall which, on completion, will be 750 km long, imprisoning thousands of Palestinians and stealing large tracts of Palestinian land. The International Court of Justice ruled that the wall was illegal; Sharon refused to accept the ruling.
  • Through his prime ministership, he championed extra-judicial assassination of Palestinian leaders and the wanton bombings of Palestinian residential areas – both of which are illegal under international law.
  • When he was taken ill, Sharon led the world’s fourth largest army and sat atop more than 200 nuclear warheads, continuing to refuse the International Atomic Energy Agency any access to nuclear facilities.

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