Israel, the nation created by Zionists who believed it should be a “light unto the nations,” has sunk to a new moral low. When do you remember a nation ever announcing publicly that it planned to assassinate the leader of another nation? Maybe it’s happened, but it sure beats me where.
Ehud Ohlmert, Vice Prime Minister in Ariel Sharon’s Likud government (and a political gangster/street fighter type) announced recently (Sharon Aide Says Israel Is Considering Killing Arafat) that his government was considering a plan to murder Yasser Arafat. His statement followed by a day or so a Jerusalem Post media trial balloon advocating the same position (gee–do you think that the two were completley independent of each other and not coordinated by Sharon??). And yesterday, we have yet another moral travesty: the Foreign Minister declaring that killing Arafat is not “official policy” (Killing Arafat as Official Policy Is Denied)
What does that mean? We’re only thinking about it–therefore it’s not ‘official’ policy? Does that mean that after they actually kill him they’ll admit that the idea had, somewhere along the line, become official policy?
Let’s examine the subtextual message of all this back and forth. Ohlmert the gangster pol puts out the tough message to the Palestinians: “get your shit together or we’ll blow your top guy away.” Then, knowing that such a message conveyed in the world media would make its government look like the gangsters they really are–the Foreign Minister softens the blow by saying “Gee, he didn’t mean it; we wouldn’t ever do such a terrible thing [yet].” It’s a sinister political game–full of sound and fury and signifying nothing so much as political and moral bankruptcy on both sides of this divide (Israeli and Palestinian).
I am someone who has lived and studied in Israel. I speak Hebrew and love what Israel, the nation, was (prior to 1967) and could someday be. But Israel as represented by this government and the entire Israeli right wing leaves a taste of bitter bile on my lips. I’m sorry to say that I find its actions repugnant and morally bankrupt.
Lest you mistake my views, let me add that I do not feel much more sanguine about the Palestinians. Their blood is no redder or better than the Israelis’ (to quote a Jewish sacred text). Neither are they pure as the driven snow.