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April 27, 2002
Investigating Jenin is not enough

By Ahmed Amr.
Editor

 
 

With the United Nations Jenin investigation once again delayed by arrogant Israeli tactics, the Yiddish supremacist lobby is already debunking its findings. In today's Washington Post, the editorial staff attacked the whole mission as 'unbalanced.' Israel wants the mission to limit the investigation to Jenin and is questioning the credentials of Cornelio Sommarugai, the former president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The only credentials that are really in doubt are the Washington Post's claim to practicing journalism while performing its primary role as a propaganda arm of the IDF.

What is Donald Graham so worried about? His paper has a strong contingent of Israel Firsters who have consistently urged Sharon to do his worst. Yet, they have the gall to join the Israeli campaign to derail an investigation of the atrocities in Jenin. Strange behavior, after spending so much of their efforts covering up Sharon's previous war crimes in Qibya and Sabra and Shatila. While the New York Times publishing company has loaned out William Safire to Sharon's public relations machine, Donald Graham is busy covering up his own role in paving the way for the multiple war crimes inflicted against the Palestinians during the Israeli 'incursions' in the West Bank and Gaza.

What the world needs now is a comprehensive investigation of each and every Israeli War crime in the entire West Bank? For starters, the occupation itself is a war crime. But this April marked a new level of savage escalation in a long list of crimes that stretch back thirty-five years.

The imbecile spin doctors at the Post and the Times want to confuse their public by questioning whether the events at Jenin amounted to a massacre. Of course, in their terms, a 'massacre' is something that can be fudged. Whatever the number of innocent casualties, you can rest assured that Sulzberger and Graham will scoff at the Palestinian losses and contend that they were nothing compared to the Holocaust.

The mission of the United Nations is to uncover systematic Israeli violations of Palestinian rights. There is already enough accounts in the British press to warrant a conclusion that Israel is guilty of massive war crimes. The arbitrary murder of civilians, allowing wounded Palestinians to bleed to death, damaging vital civilian infrastructure, mass arrests, torture, using civilians as human shields, destroying homes and public records, looting, systematically assaulting schools, cultural centers, hospitals, churches and mosques, tearing up roads, attempting to deport Palestinians, using food and water as weapons of war, public humiliation of individuals, shoot to kill orders to enforce curfews, sabotaging the native economy, preventing medical personnel from performing their duties and orchestrating a racist defamatory campaign against the Palestinians.

Investigating the slaughter in Jenin is of utmost importance. But, the mission should also visit Nablus, Bethlehem and Ramallah. To limit the investigation to Jenin would be a gross injustice to the Palestinians. Every effort must be made to detail the exact number of casualties and the extent and nature of the material damage to public and private property. In light of their penchant for confiscating native Palestinian lands, the Israelis also need to explain why records from the Land Registry in Ramallah disappeared.

As part of the research, the United Nations needs to also assign other investigators to document the war criminal rap sheet of Ariel Sharon. His past as a serial war criminal is essential to establishing that his latest war crimes in Jenin were premeditated.

Over a year ago, the Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, FOX and MSNBC embarked on a policy to sanitize Sharon and market him as an Israeli version of De Gaulle. The public relations effort succeeded only too well. And many Palestinians paid dearly with their lives when Sharon decided to be Sharon. This too was predictable and the responsibility for the resulting carnage must be shared by both Sulzberger and Donald Graham and the right wing Yiddish supremacist crowd. They helped Sharon with the recipe and the they should bear the burden of the disaster. Journalists and publishers who advocate war crimes against an innocent population need to be outed in front of their colleagues and their readers.

Donald Graham and Sulzberger need to come clean with the American people in their respective roles as willing enablers for Ariel Sharon. Their complicity in crimes against the Palestinians needs to be part of the public debate. It is irrational to continue discussing American policy in the Middle East, without first purging the Bush administration of any individual with suspect loyalties to Netenyahu's lobby. For good measure, Netenyahu needs to be deported for interfering in our internal politics.


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