Eulogizing a Mass Murderer
by Stephen Lendman
On January 11, Ariel Sharon died. He's not missed. A previous article discussed his blood-drenched military and political career.
It did so in depth. It explained his decades of high crimes against peace. They began before Israel's creation. They continued until his debilitating stroke induced coma. It occurred in January 2006.
Sharon was pure evil. He was satanic. He was no saint. A special place in hell awaited him. It now claims him.
His criminal legacy remains. It's indisputable. It's well documented. Eulogizers largely ignored it. They did so shamelessly.
Obama and other world leaders praised him. A previous article quoted them. They ignored his high crimes. They have plenty of their own to answer for. The same place in hell awaits them.
Bill Clinton is one of many US unindicted war criminals. He was complicit in Sharon's crimes. One war criminal honored another. He issued a statement saying:
"Ariel Sharon gave his life to Israel to bring it into being, to sustain and preserve it, and at the end of his long service, to create a new political party committed to both a just peace and lasting security."
"It was an honor to work with him, argue with him and watch him always trying to find the right path for his beloved country.''
Congressional members mourned Sharon. House Speaker John Boehner (R. OH) called him "one of the greatest warrior-statesmen in modern history."
His "contribution to establishing and defending Israel's independence is incalculable, and his devotion to peace undisputed."
George W. Bush called him a "man of peace." Vice President Joe Biden said he'll lead a US delegation to his memorial service.
He'll do so "to pay tribute to the unshakeable partnership between the United States and Israel."
John Kerry said his "journey was Israel's journey. The dream of Israel was the cause of his life, and he risked it all to live that dream."
He did so over the corpses of many thousands of Palestinian civilians he slaughtered in cold blood.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY) said "Israel lost one of its greatest sons and America a friend."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D. CA) called him "a powerful voice for his beliefs and values." He "always maintained the courage of his convictions."
Other congressional members offered praise. They did so when condemnation is demanded. Sharon's criminality went unpunished.
His high crimes were legendary. Racist hate, mass murder, destruction, and the worst of occupation harshness best describe them.
He avoided accountability. He never paid for his high crimes. Eulogizers have much to answer for. More on this below.
Tanya Reinhart (July 1943 - March 17, 2007) was a highly respected Israeli academic, linguist, author and political activist.
"How did it happen that Sharon, the most brutal, cynical, racist and manipulative leader Israel has ever had, ended his political career as a legendary peace hero," she asked?
He never changed, she said. "(T)he myth built around him reflects the present omnipotence of the propaganda system."
It makes saints out of sinners. It turns truth on its head. Sharon waged war on peace. He deplored it. He hated Arabs. He savaged them viciously.
"He proved that Israel can imprison (them), bombard them from the air, steal their land, stall any chance for peace, and still be hailed by the Western world as" a man of peace, said Reinhart.
UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights Richard Falk said earlier:
"Nothing has illustrated the pro-Israeli spin in the United States more clearly than the ability of Sharon while holding high office to avoid being tarnished as a civilian leader by his extensive military record of brutality and abuse, which includes well-documented terrorist attacks against Palestinian civilians."
His high crimes were legendary. He remained unaccountable to his death. Falk said Washington forged his international legitimization. So did "deferential media." They're on the wrong side of history. They ignore its dark side.
Haaretz editors shamelessly headlined "For all his flaws, Israel is poorer without leaders like Ariel Sharon."
On the one hand, Haaretz editors discussed his "aggressiveness and bullying." He "repeatedly led his troops into controversial and blood-soaked operations."
"Aggressiveness, hatred of Arabs and contempt for politicians also characterized" his political career. "He was the patron (saint) of settlers...He opposed all the peace accords signed by Israel with its neighbors."
"But the moment he fulfilled his dream and was elected prime minister, his approach changed. With supreme responsibility thrust on his shoulders, he remained within the bounds of power."
False! He was ruthless to the end. He committed the worst of high crimes. He bore full responsibility for Second Intifada mass murder. Sharonian evil bests describes it. A previous article said:
Nearly 4,200 Palestinians died. Included were 866 children and 271 women.
Many more were wounded. Over 3,500 were permanently disabled. Over 550 assassinations were committed. Around 8,600 Palestinians were imprisoned.
Over 2.3 million dunums of land were stolen. Another 73,600 were razed. Hundreds of thousands of trees were uprooted.
Over 7,700 homes were demolished. Another 94,000 were damaged.
His Gaza disengagement had nothing to do with peace. He deplored it throughout his life. He waged war to avoid it.
He murdered Yasser Arafat. He poisoned him to death. Haaretz editors didn't explain.
Since his departure, they said, "Israel has lacked leadership that acknowledges the limits of power, maintains its alliance with the United States, displays political courage in the territories and won't be deterred by the settlers."
Nothing in Sharon's criminal career warrants praise. Haaretz editors reinvented history trying. They failed.
Jerusalem Post editors headlined "Salute to Sharon," saying:
Israel "lost one of the most charismatic, colorful and influential figures in its annals." He was a "pugnacious in (military and) political life."
"(O)ne way or another (he) elicited a curious indulgence of the sort that was eventually denied other (Israeli) mythic heroes..."
"No matter how wayward his conduct, and no matter how much he may have willfully broken the rules, he retained the allure of the nation's favorite firebrand."
JP editors ignored his high crimes. They called him "an authentic native son, a generic Sabra and a popular hero."
American Jewish groups and leaders praised him. AIPAC called him "a legendary statesman and solider, who embodied the indomitable spirit and passion of the Jewish state."
"Because he knew the price of war, (he) was willing to courageously take risks for peace."
"He was a heroic warrior and leader whose life was dedicated to the peace and security of America's democratic ally."
Anti-Defamation League national chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher and national director Abe Foxman said:
His "legacy is a more secure State of Israel, safe on its borders and resolved to put an end to the campaign of Palestinian terrorism once and for all."
"We are deeply saddened at the loss of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. While he has just passed away, it has truly been eight years since we lost this great statesman and friend."
Jewish Federation of North America chairman Michael Siegal and president Jerry Silverman said:
He "was a highly regarded military leader, but he was also a peacemaker. One of the country's most daring and celebrated generals, he was also a man who was able to take bold steps in the hopes of achieving peace."
He "was not just the prime minister of the Jewish state, but a determined and inspirational leader of the entire Jewish world."
"Our heartfelt condolences go out to his sons Omri and Gilad, to the entire Sharon family, and to all the people of Israel."
The Israeli Policy Forum praised his lifetime commitment and "many sacrifices...to ensure the survival and success of the State of Israel."
Robert Sugarman chairs the Conference of Presidents of (52) Major American Jewish Organizations. Malcolm Hoenlein is executive vice president.
The issued a joint statement mourning Sharon's passing. The Conference maintained a decades-long relationship with him, they said.
"(I)n all his positions, (he) never missed an opportunity to meet with the Conference and address us, and often took us on tours to understand better the defense and security needs and the strategic issues confronting Israel."
"There were few in Israel's history who contributed so much to the State, who demonstrated courage and bravery as well as keen insight and incisive thinking."
B'nai B'rith International president Allan Jacobs said Israel lost a leader who "demonstrated the ability to change his way of thinking and seeking out new paths."
"He was a brave and fearless soldier, a wise and brilliant leader, who left a lasting impact on Israel."
American Jewish Committee head David Harris said his death ended "a defining chapter in Israel's history..."
Union of Reform Judaism president Rabbi Rick Jacobs called him "an iconic leader whose love for Israel and the Jewish people infused his entire illustrious career."
Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Rabbis said:
"There was no single Israeli general who inspired his troops and led them as effectively as he did, and he was a towering figure of Israel’s political scene for many years."
New York Times correspondent Ethan Bronner is a longtime Israeli apologist. He's deputy Times national editor. Earlier he was Jerusalem bureau chief.
He's ethically challenged and then some. He blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes. He largely ignores settler violence.
On January 11, he headlined "Ariel Sharon, Israeli Hawk Who Sought Peace on His Terms, Dies at 85."
He quoted Netanyahu calling Sharon "first and foremost a brave soldier and an outstanding military commander...(He) had a central role in the battle for Israel's security from the very beginning."
According to Bronner, he "hope(d) (to) fulfill the central goal of his life: ensuring a viable and strong state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland."
Palestine belongs to Palestinians. Long before Jews existed, nomadic indigenous peoples inhabited today's Israel.
Sharon wanted it for Jews alone. He mass murdered Arabs to achieve it. He thrived on war. He deplored peace. He shunned diplomacy. Don't expect Bronner to explain.
He lied saying Sharon led Israel's 1982 Lebanon invasion after "Palestinian guerrillas tried to assassinate the Israeli ambassador in London."
They had nothing to with it. Arafat was wrongfully blamed. Abu Nidal militants bore full responsibility.
Then Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir later explained why Israel invaded Lebanon. A "terrible danger" existed, he said. It was "not so much a military one as a political one."
Israel got the pretext it wanted. No threat whatever existed. Mass slaughter and destruction followed. Sharon bore full responsibility.
South Lebanon remained occupied until May 2000. Israel still holds Shebba Farms illegally. It's a 25 square km territory on the Syrian/Lebanese border.
Air-brushing inconvenient facts from history is longstanding Times policy. Bronner does so like other Times correspondents, contributors and editors. Failing to detail Sharon's high crimes against peace is one of many examples.
The Washington Post headlined "Israelis, world leaders mourn Sharon." A retired Israeli municipal workers was quoted calling him "bigger than life."
WaPo noted his "forceful will. (He's) celebrated in death by his country and world leaders." John Kerry was quoted saying:
"I will never forget meeting with this big bear of a man when he became prime minister as he sought to bend the course of history toward peace, even as it meant testing the patience of his own longtime supporters and the limits of his own lifelong convictions."
The last thing Sharon wanted was peace. He opposed it throughout his entire military and political career. He rejected it. He deplored it. He went to his grave an unrepentant warrior.
Human Right Watch Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson called his passing "another grim reminder that years of virtual impunity for rights abuses have done nothing to bring Israeli-Palestinian peace any closer."
Francis Boyle said:
"The United Nations General Assembly condemned the 1982 Massacre at Sabra and Shatilla as 'genocide.' "
"So what the world is witnessing now are innumerable government leaders, politicians, pundits, professors, intellectuals, media figures and the State of Israel paying formal tribute to a genocidaire - one who has committed genocide."
"Obviously, in their opinion, the slogan 'Never again!' does not apply to protect the Palestinians."
They're fair game for continued mass slaughter and destruction. Israel's killing machine assures it. So does US complicity. World leaders turn a blind eye.
Edward Said called Sharon a "homicidal prime minister." His entire military and political career reflected "systematic barbarity," he said.
"Isn't is clear that (he was) bent not only on breaking the Palestinians but on trying to eliminate them as a people" altogether, he stressed.
Sharonian evil best describes him. His entire career reflected racist hate and lawlessness. It demands condemnation, not praise.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour