Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Samarra, Jenin, Rafah

Bradley Burston, quoting Akiva Eldar, in an article in Ha'aretz:

"The U.S. role is to fight terrorism in Iraq, but the U.S. is also the occupier. If Israel is an occupier and the U.S. is an occupier, and the U.S. is seen as not doing anything about the Israeli occupation, then in some Arab eyes, there is a grand conspiracy here on the part of the Israelis and the Americans to take over the Middle East."

It isn't just 'some Arab eyes' that can see this. On the relationship between Sharon and Bush, Akiva Eldar has this to say:

"Now it has become harder for the Americans to criticize Israel. They are paralyzed, actually. Their hands are tied. Sharon now has a free ride, because the Americans are doing exactly what Israel is doing, in such policies as putting restrictions on movement of civilians. Civilians have already been hurt, and now the Americans are starting to use airstrikes."

This isn't an accident. The neocons have set the terms of the occupation of Iraq with the obvious intention of making it impossible for the Americans to criticize the Israeli brutality against the Palestinians. How can Bush even suggest moderation to Sharon while the American troops are conducting a Jenin-style massacre in Samarra? Atrocities are now being committed by the IDF on a daily basis in Rafah that are simply not being reported except in relatively obscure places. In some ways, the attacks on Rafah are worse than those that took place so famously in Jenin, but might as well not be happening as they are not being reported. Even if Bush had a mind to worry about the plight of the Palestinians, he is in no position to tell Sharon to stop doing what Bush's troops are now doing to the Iraqis. The Israelification of the United States continues apace.