- What is the difference between State terrorism and individual
terrorist acts? If we understand this difference we'll understand also
the evilness of the US policies in the Middle East and the forthcoming
disasters. When Yassir Arafat was put under siege in his offices and kept
hostage by the Israeli occupation forces, he was constantly pressed into
condemning terror and combatting terrorism. Israel's State terrorism is
defined by US officials as "self-defense," while individual suicide
bombers are called terrorists.
- The only "small" difference is that Israeli
aggression is the direct responsibility of Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Ben Eliezer,
Shimon Peres and Shaul Mofaz, while the individual terrorist acts are done
by individuals in despair, usually against Arafat's will. One hour after
Arafat declared his support of a cease fire and wished the Jews a Happy
Passover feast, a suicide bomber exploded himself in an hotel in Netanya,
killing 22 innocent Jews celebrating Passover. Arafat was blamed as responsible
for this act, and the present IDF offensive has been justified through
- At the same time, Sharon's responsibility for Israeli
war crimes is being completely ignored. Who should be arrested for the
targeted killing of almost 100 Palestinians? Who will be sent to jail for
the killing of more than 120 Palestinian paramedics? Who will be sentenced
for the killing of more than 1,200 Palestinians and for the collective
punishment of more than 3,000,000 civilians during the last 18 months?
And who will face the International Tribunal for the illegal settlement
of occupied Palestinian Lands, and the disobedience of UN decisions for
more than 35 years?
- Suicide bombs killing innocent citizens must be unequivocally
condemned; they are immoral acts, and their perpetrators should be sent
to jail. But they cannot be compared to State terrorism carried out by
the Israeli Government. The former are individual acts of despair of a
people that sees no future, vastly ignored by an unfair and distorted international
public opinion. The latter are cold and "rational" decisions
of a State and a military apparatus of occupation, well equipped, financed
and backed by the only superpower in the world.
- Yet in the public debate, State terrorism and individual
suicide bombs are not even considered as comparable cases of terrorism.
The State terror and war crimes perpetrated by the Israeli Government are
legitimized as "self- defense," while Arafat, even under siege,
is demanded to arrest "terrorists".
- I want to ask: Who will arrest Sharon, the person directly
responsible for the orders to kill Palestinians? When is he going to be
defined a terrorist too? How long will the world ignore the Palestinian
cry that all they want is freedom and independence? When will it stop neglecting
the fact that the goal of the Israeli Government is not security, but the
continued occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people?
- As Israelis in the opposition, we are fighting against
our government, but the international support that Sharon receives is constantly
jeopardizing our struggle. The whole international public opinion must
be reverted, and the UN must deploy intervention forces in order to stop
the bloodshed and the imminent deterioration. Israelis and Palestinians
desperately need the awakening of the international community's public
opinion and a reversal in the global attitude. These are needed both in
order to save our lives (literally), and preserve our hope in a better
- Dr. Lev Grinberg is a political sociologist Director
of the Humphrey Institute for Social Research at Ben Gurion University
- Copyright 2002 CounterPunch.org
- From Paulene
- Jeff - What a wonderful and sane man Grinberg is!
- As for the Majority of the insane:
- "Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life