Saturday, January 10, 2004

The 'longest hatred' revisited: "While hatred is lavished on the lamentable Ariel Sharon, it is ignored that his presence is the reaction to the rejection by the Palestinian leadership of his predecessor's offer to relinquish more than 95 per cent of the West Bank and all of Gaza plus East Jerusalem to a new Palestinian state. Instead of grasping an extraordinary offer of peace, one that made many Israelis gasp, the Palestinians responded with suicide bombers. Sharon's hour arrived as Israelis turned in desperation to the one leader they thought could defend them... Until 1967, when Israel launched a successful pre-emptive war against massing Arab armies, Israel wore the title of victim - as a plucky little state created by the United Nations 20 years earlier, only to be invaded by its neighbours with the intention of driving fledgling Israelis into the Mediterranean."

Breathtaking lies and disinformation such as the above would go a long way on its own towards explaining anti-semitism and paranoia in the Arab world. But the main cause is the brutal 35-year occupation of the Palestinian territories. Or, as Uri Avnery says, the Sharon regime is a giant incubator for the anti-semitic virus.

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