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Help! Peacemongers!

By       Message Uri Avnery       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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GUESS WHOSE words these are: "Starting this war was a scandal...It was possible to solve the problem of the missiles in South Lebanon by diplomatic means...The offensive of the last two days of the war, in which 33 soldiers were killed after the cease-fire resolution had already been accepted, was a spin of the Prime Minister...The Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and the Chief-of-Staff must resign..."

Right, it was Gush Shalom.

But that's not new. What is new is that yesterday, the former Chief-of-Staff, Moshe Ya'alon, repeated these statements, almost word for word.

"Bogie" Ya'alon is the very opposite of Gush Shalom. Nobody could say that he belongs to a "marginal group". He comes from the very center of the establishment. He is a Rightist. He was responsible for some of the most cruel acts of the occupation.

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There is another difference: Gush Shalom spoke out when the events were actually happening, in the midst of the war, when it was still possible to save the lives of those 33 soldiers. At that time, these statements were unpopular in the extreme, bordering on treason. Because no Israeli medium was prepared to publish them, the Gush had to pay for them as advertisements. Now Ya'alon comes and repeats them, after the wind has changed and they have become popular.

Ya'alon's motives are not important. (As will be remembered, Ariel Sharon removed him from office and replaced him with Dan Halutz a year ago, in order to ease the way for the "Disengagement"). What is important is that the things have now been said by a person with supreme military credentials. When such a person declares that 33 soldiers were sacrificed for no military purpose, for the personal interests of Ehud Olmert, that the war itself was quite unnecessary, and that the problem of Hizbullah's rockets could have been solved by diplomatic means - these things carry weight.

This is not important only in regard to what happened a few weeks ago, when the leadership spoke of a terrible danger looming on our northern border, but even more so today, when the same leadership is warning of an even more acute "threat" somewhere else.

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IN THE corridors of power in Jerusalem the cry is going up: "Help! Peace is upon you, Israel!"

A terrible enemy is conspiring to impose peace on us. He is advancing against us from two sides, in a giant pincer movement.

One arm of this offensive is the Palestinian Unity Government that is about to be set up.

The other is the decision of the Arab League to revive the Arab Peace Plan.

From the point of view of the Government of Israel, this offensive is far more dangerous then all of Hassan Nasrallah's rockets put together.

THE PALESTINIAN Government of National Unity is designed to solve, first of all, domestic Palestinian problems.

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Since the Palestinians elected Hamas, a state of anarchy has prevailed on the Palestinian street. The constant clashes between the President, who is the head of Fatah, and the Prime Minister, who belongs to Hamas, have created a state of paralysis, just when the Palestinian people need unity in the face of existential challenges.

Fatah has dominated the modern Palestinian national movement since its foundation by Yasser Arafat almost 50 years ago. It is not resigned to defeat. But a people fighting for its very existence cannot allow its two main factions to fight against each other, instead of cooperating in the struggle for national liberation.

To this must be added the blockade imposed on the Palestinian Authority by Europe and America, by order of President Bush. This is an unprecedented attempt to literally starve a whole people into removing its democratically elected government.

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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)
 

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