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February 16, 2002
I Accuse

By Baruch Kimmerling


I Accuse
By Baruch Kimmerling

February 1, 2002
Kol Ha'Ir

I accuse Ariel Sharon of creating a process in which he will not only intensify the reciprocal bloodshed, but is liable to instigate a regional war and partial or nearly complete ethnic cleansing of the Arabs in the "Land of Israel."

I accuse every Labor Party minister in this government of cooperating for implementation the right wing's extremist, fascist "vision" for Israel.

I accuse the Palestinian leadership, and primarily Yasir Arafat, of shortsightedness so extreme that it has become a collaborator in Sharon's plans. If there is a second Naqba (Palestinian Holocaust), this leadership, too, will be among the causes.

I accuse the military leadership, spurred by the national leadership, of inciting public opinion, under a cloak of supposed military professionalism, against the Palestinians. Never before in Israel have so many generals in uniform, former generals, and past members of the military intelligence, sometimes disguised as "academics," taken part in public brainwashing. When the judicial committee of inquiry is established to investigate the 2002 catastrophe, they too will have to be investigated alongside the civilian criminals.

I accuse the administrators of Israel's electronic media of giving various military spokespeople the access needed for an aggressive, bellicose, almost complete takeover of the public discourse. The military is not only controlling Jenin and Ramallah but the Israeli radio and television as well.

I accuse those people, of all ranks, who order the black flag hoisted above them, and those who follow their unlawful orders. The late philosopher Yeshayahu Leibovitz was right-the occupation has ruined every good part and destroyed the moral infrastructure upon which Israeli society exists. Let's stop this march of fools and build society anew, clean of militarism and oppression and exploitation of other people, if not worse.

I accuse everyone who sees and knows all of this of doing nothing to prevent the emerging catastrophe. Sabra and Shatilla events were nothing compared to what has happened and what is going to happen to us. We have to go out not only to the town squares, but also to the checkpoints. We have to speak to the soldiers in the tanks and the troop carriers-like the Russians spoke to their soldiers when they were ordered to retake control in Red Square-before entry into Palestinian cities turns into a murderous urban warfare.

And I accuse myself of knowing all of this, yet crying little and keeping quiet too often.