path of peace is preferable to the path of war."
Yitzhak Rabin, November 4, 1995
George Bush and the United States are in a serious situation in Iraq
for one reason only: neoconservatives will permit no dissent.
used their presidential appointments and Vice President Cheney to
silence the CIA and Defense and State Department intelligence services,
all of which disagreed with the neoconservatives’ case for invading
invasion did not result from faulty US intelligence. The invasion
resulted from the neoconservatives’ confidence that they alone are
neocon policymakers closed down US intelligence, their allies in the
neocon media proceeded to silence dissenters. People with contrary
views, no matter how well informed, were branded unpatriotic and anti-semitic.
who questioned the plan to invade Iraq was said to be for the terrorists
and against Israel. Some neocon media shills even went so far as to
declare that an American could not be both patriotic and against the
branding their opponents "anti-semitic," neocons created
a false picture of Israel as a closed society committed to war.
Sharon creates the same false picture of Israel when he declares:
"There has never been room in the Middle East for pity or mercy."
there are other voices in Israel. Many other voices, voices that are
tired of Sharon’s insistence on war.
has gone mad," declared the Israeli newspaper Maariv when
Sharon used helicopter gunships and F-16 fighter jets against Palestinians
it conceivable that some among us now consider the entire Palestinian
population our target?" asked a commentator in Israel’s largest
circulation daily newspaper.
Burg, speaker of Israel’s Parliament from 19992003 and a Labor
Party member of the Knesset, recently condemned Sharon’s intransigence
and reliance on violence as being the main threats to Israel’s continued
existence. It is not possible, he says, for Israel to steal Palestinians’
land and expect Palestinians to peacefully acquiesce: "A state
lacking justice cannot survive. More and more Israelis are coming
to understand this as they ask their children where they expect to
live in 25 years. . . . The countdown to the end of Israeli society
Israeli nation today," writes Burg, "rests on a scaffolding
of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and injustice."
Violence cannot answer injustice, Burg says. "We could kill a
thousand ringleaders a day and nothing will be solved, because the
leaders come up from below, from the ‘infrastructures’ of injustice
and [Israeli] moral corruption."
English language version of Burg’s statement is available in the International
Herald Tribune, September 6, 2003.
Israelis believe that Sharon has gone overboard with violence because
the US government no longer serves as a check. Bush’s neoconservative
policymakers agree with Sharon that violence is the solution. Blown
out of his "secure" hotel in Baghdad by rockets, US Deputy
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz vows to crush Iraqi resistance to
violence hasn’t delivered for Israel. Israeli commentator Ran HaCohen
recently tallied the results of Israel’s assassination policy: 10
Hamas activists terminated and 180 Israelis killed in retaliation.
Burg says: "We cannot keep a Palestinian majority under an Israeli
boot and at the same time think ourselves the only democracy in the
is invading Iraq the way to bring it democracy.
Middle East is on the verge of wider war, because both Israel and
the US have gone mad at the same time.
could have been different. Eight years ago this November 4, Israeli
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was greeted by tens of thousands of Israelis
in Tel Aviv’s Kings’ Square with banners that proclaimed "Yes
to Peace No to Violence."
a military man for 27 years, told the crowd: "I have always believed
that the majority of the people want peace, are prepared to take risks
for peace. And you here, by showing up at this rally, prove that the
people truly want peace and oppose violence."
Rabin descended the steps to his car, a right-wing Jewish student
shot him in the back and killed him.
begets violence. Today Israel is drowning in violence, as are we in