Haaretz reported on 3/4/2001 that "Israel on Sunday night informed the United States that the IDF is to intensify its operations against the Palestinians and wage a 'continuous battle' against terrorism and in particular the Tanzim organization, which is under the control of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Sharon met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer prior to his cabinet meeting Sunday night, to pass on the message to the American administration."
Is there any mystery about why Sharon is escalating his assaults against the Palestinians? If ever there was a predictable politician, it is this serial war criminal who was elected by Israelis to inflict additional miseries on the native people of the Holy Land? Sharon can only do one thing; Escalate. Escalate. Escalate. And with every murderous escapade, Sharon promises that his IDF thugs will permanently silence the Palestinians.
Now, it would appear that President Bush has other options. Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn't. It all depends on the Israeli Lobby. Bush will not take any initiatives that would expose him to additional Enron charges. If the American Jewish leadership decides that their staunch support of Sharon is against Israeli interests, than Bush will move along at whatever speed limit they choose to enforce.
The latest intensification of violence came as Sharon's response to the Saudi peace initiative. George Bush gave his most recent green light to Israeli aggression when he failed to grasp the importance of the opportunities presented by the bold Saudi move. Instead, he got out his political calculator and decided to support Sharon on his decision to escalate. The escalation was designed to kill the Saudi plan in its cradle.
So long as the Bush administration continues to bow to the Israeli Lobby, nothing will change in American policy unless the Israeli Lobby changes. Bush is playing the ratings game with political chips that will cost many additional Palestinian and Israeli lives.
In the end, Sharon's demented plan for a 'military victory' against Palestinian aspirations for freedom is doomed to failure. Because the Palestinians cannot afford Sharon's success while Israelis will come to regret the day they elected this war criminal thug to the highest office in the land. Not only will they have to explain it to Palestinians. in the future, they will be faced with the burden of explaining Sharon to their own kids.
How can Sharon possibly succeed to do anything but postpone the inevitable. The Israelis will be forced to withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan heights. A Palestinian state will be born in a matter of a few years, if not a single year. And Sharon's dreams of 'transferring' the Palestinians or having them vanish is never going to happen. Unless, the Americans are crazy enough to let it happen.
While George Bush cares nothing about the final outcome of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, he should be pressed to clarify the American position on 'Transferring the Palestinians'. There is precious little that can be done to prevent this administration from playing domestic political games with Palestinian destiny but not to the point of ethnic cleansing. Hillary Clinton's cavorting with the leader of the Israeli Moldet party should wake up a few leaders in the Middle East and Europe. While Hillary represents the trailer trash corner of American political whores for sale, her apparent willingness to hang out with a racist fascist like Elon is the start of something really evil in the Democratic Party, a party that should transfer its headquarters to Tel Aviv for reasons of cost efficiencies.
Those who have access to this administration are well advised to seek a clear and unambiguous position from Bush on the issue of 'Transfer.' As long as the delusional Sharon and his allies believe that they can slowly drag Clinton and other Senators to publicly support the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the Israeli right wing will keep pushing for a 'military' solution. Colin Powell needs to go on record with an ironclad promise that the Americans will never allow the Israelis to resort to a policy of mass deportation. Both Powell and Bush are perfectly aware that the ruling faction in Israel considers 'Transfer' an option. They have said nothing to discourage this madness. By saying nothing and not rebuking Clinton, the American government is setting the stage for a possible genocidal outcome.
And here is a word of caution for those who are complacent enough to think that the American government would never allow Israel to carry out its darkest fantasies against the Palestinians. Nixon and Kissinger considered nuking Vietnam. Bush Senior and Clinton gave a cold shoulder to ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. Rwanda was also another Clinton 'error in judgment' that cost the lives of half a million innocents. The death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis was 'worth it' to Madeline Albright. Do not underestimate America's incredible capacity for indifference. A cursory look at the Bush administration's record will not be comforting. Sharon has been allowed to go to whatever extremes he chooses. All boundaries have been breached without so much as an audible whimper from the State Department.
Bush and his adviseres are acutely aware of the cost of his appeasement of Sharon in terms of American national security interests. But he cannot bring himself to take the domestic political risks of challenging the Israeli Lobby, especially their media operations. Sharon's only policy is escalation. Bush has a one word nightmare, Enron. The Jewish Lobby has insisted that Bush give Sharon a blank check to escalate. Otherwise, they will start blowing enough air in Bush's Enron balloon and make it a full size blimp.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Bush is that he refuses to confront Sharon even with his high poll numbers. If he doesn't take a stand now, why believe that he will stand his ground later? It used to be that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was considered a domestic issue with a single domestic constituency. After 911, more and more Americans have tuned into the vicious nature of the Israeli occupation. This new constituency needs to be vocal enough to get the attention of both Bush and Sharon. Enough green lights, already.