Undoubtedly you are being informed of the recenty started discussion by the Western media and polticians, about the real or alleged contribution of the Israeli prime-minister Sharon to peace in the Middle-East-conflict.
Immediate cause is the execution of the Gaza-disengagement-plan last year, by which the Gaza-settlements were evacuated, like four settlements on the Westbank.
In the underlying article I’ll try to emphasize on the fact, that according to my opinion, either the Gaza-disengagement-plan, or any other political and military measure of Sharon has contributed in any respect on a serious and just peace in the Middle East.
Further I’ll pay special attention to another very relevant aspect of the political-military carreer of Sharon, which is threatened to be greatly ignored in the discussion about his real or alleged peace-contribution, namely the human rights violations and war-crimes, for which he was responsible during his political and military career
I think it is of utmost importance, that those human rights violations and war-crimes, which testify of the lack of respect for the most elementary human rights, are not forgotten
The contribution of Sharon to the polarization of the Middle-East-conflict:
In contray to the political views of certain mostly American and European press-media and politicians, Sharon hasn’t contributed to the advancement of a serious peace-treaty in the Middle East, but rather to the polarization of the conflict.
Important is to realize in this respect, that a real peace is not only based on the absence of military confrontations, but first and foremost on the universal respect for the human rights of both-conflict-parties and also on the right of any population on the life in freedom and self-determination, without the presence of an occupying power
Regarding the Middle-East conflict this implies the fulfillment of the obligations of International Law
However, the main political-military reality of the Middle-East-conflict is the 38 years Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories [The West-Bank, The Gaza-area and Eastern-Jerusalem], despite of the dd 1967 unanimously accepted UN-Security-Resolution 242, by wich Israel was summoned to withdraw its army from the in the june-war dd 1967 conquered territories, among else the Palestinian areas.
The Israeli Wall:
Not only prime-minister Sharon has never made a serious proposal to end this occupation, moreover he has fortified this occupation-policy by the construction of the Israeli Wall, which is running through a large part of the West-Bank
In the first place the very consequence is the de facto-annexation of a large part of the occupied West-Bank
However, yet apart from that, the direct humanitarian-political consequences for the Palestinian civilian population are house and land-expropriations, while a great part of the houses and agricultural land is being destroyed by the building of the Wall.
Moreover a great part of Palestinian agricultural land is not available any more, because it is lying in the western part of the Wall, in casu in Israel.
Another consequence of the building of the Wall is the fact, that the occupied Eastern-Jerusalem is de facto cut off from the West-Bank, because the neighbouring settlements are lying in Israel now, due to the construction of the Wall.
This isolation of Eastern-Jerusalem is fitting in the Israeli plans for a definitive claim on whole Jerusalem, being the ”eternal and undivided” capital of Israel
Despite the judgment dd 9-7-2004 of the International Court of Justice in the Hague, which has declared not only the building of the Wall illegal because of the running through occupied Palestinian territory, but summoned the Isreaeli government to stop and dismantle the Wall, the Sharon-governent has continued the Wallbuiding.
Regarding to the Israeli settlements-policy, Sharon has continued the expansion of the settlements in the West-Bank and Eastern-Jerusalem, despite the also by Israel undersigned articles of the Road-map for Peace dd 2003, which implied among else the freezing of the settlements-expansion.
The media and politicians, who are praising Sharon’s role as peace-advancer, mostly refer to the Gaza-disengagement-plan
Although he indeed has ordered and completed the dismantling of the Gaza-settlements, he only has fullfilled a tiny part of Israel’s obligations regarding International Law, which has declared all settlements in occupied Palestinian area, illegal [see article 49, 4th Geneva Convention]
However, it’s important to realize, that this disentmantling merely applies to a small number of the settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories [in Gaza there were only 16 settlements, in contrary to the more than 140 settlements in the West-Bank and Eastern-Jerusalem].
Moreover, as being said before, there is a constant settlements-expansion in as well the West-Bank as Eastern-Jerusalem
It is evident, that with the continuation of the building of the Wall and the settlements-expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories, the chance on a vital and sovereign Palestinian State is being minimalized to zero
Consequence is also the implicite continuation of the occupation, since the settlements-presence implies an intensive security-guarding by the Israeli army.
Seeing in this perspective, I must conclude, that not only Sharon didn’t give any serious contribution to the peace in the Middle-East, but he is bearing also a big responsiblity for the intensifying of the conflict.
B Human rights violations and war-crimes during the political-military carreer of Sharon:
An underestimated [underexposed] side of the career of Sharon is his responsibility for a scala of human rights violations and war-crimes, that took place during his military and political career.
As illustration I mention hereby a revealing interview with Sharon dd 17-12-1982, which was taken from him by the Israeli writer Amoz Ozz, for the Davar newspaper:
“The Dirty Work of Zionism is not Yet Finished”
Mr Sharon declares:”You can call me anything you like. Call me a monster or a murderer…
Better a live Judeo-Nazi than a dead saint… Even if you prove to me
that the present war in Lebanon is a dirty immoral war, I don’t care… We
shall start another war, kill and destroy more and more, until they will have
had enough… Let them tremble, let them call us a mad state.
Let them understand that we are a wild country, dangerous to our
surroundings, not normal, that we might go crazy if one of our children
is murdered, just one! If anyone even raises his hand against us we’ll
take away half his land and burn the other half, including the oil.
We might use nuclear arms… Even today I am willing to volunteer to do
the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport
them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us…. And I don’t mind
if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial and then
jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal… What you don’t
understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far
Revealing is also the underlying statement of the Special Middle East Envoy of president Reagan, mr P Habib, about Sharon, seen in the light of the political appointments between the USA and Israel, during the Libanon-war, regarding the protection of the Palestinian civilian population
Mr Habib declares:
“Sharon was a killer obsessed with hatred of Palestinians. I had
Arafat that his people would not get any harm. Sharon, however, ignored
commitment entirely. Sharon’s word is worth nil.”
As well as the contents of the above-named interview as the statement of mr Habib are especially referring to the accusations against Sharon regarding to his responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila-massacre dd september 1982
Review of the main human rights violations and war-crimes under the responsibility of Sharon:
Before giving this review, I want to emphasize on the main principle of humanitarian law in common and the 4th Geneva Convention in particular, that regarding every military attack there has to be made a clear distinction between combatants [soldiers and other fighters] and non-combatants [civilians]
Under no circumstances a military attack on civilians is permitted
When it is not possible to make this distinction clearly, because of the presence of fighters in for example a village or a refugee-camp, all precautionary measures should be taken for the protections of the civilian population
In underlying I’ll show, that mr Sharon neither in his military nor in his political carreer has showed any respect for this main-principle of International Law
1 El Bureigh, refugee-camp, Gaza, August 1953
At a military attack at the above named village El Bureigh by the Unit 101, commanded by Sharon, between 15 and 50 civilian were killed [see 1]
Dutch UN observer Gen van Bennike declared: “bombs thrown through the windows of huts in which refugees were sleeping and, as they fled, they were attacked by small arms and automatic weapons” [see 2]
2 Qibya, village on West Bank, october 1953
At a military raid on the village Qibya by Unit 101, which was still under the command of Sharon, more than 69 civilians were killed and 40 houses were demolished [the demolition of houses is also forbidden according article 53, 4th Geneva Convention]
According to UN-observers, arriving shortly after the attack, handgranates were thrown in the houses and also firing into doorways and windows had taken place
The UN Security Council meeting condemned by Resolution 101 the action in the ”most sternest possible terms” and among else a violation of the
2 Qibya, dorp op de Westelijke Jordaanoever, october 1953Bij een militaire aanval op een dorp in de Westelijke Jordaanoever werden onder het commando van Sharon [die nog steeds de eenheid 101 onder zijn bevel had] meer dan 69 burgers gedood en 40 huizen verwoest [dit laatste is verboden volgens artikel 53, 4e Conventie van Geneve]
Volgens getuigenissen van VN-waarnemers, die kort na de militaire aanval arriveerden waren er handgranaten in huizen gegooid en was er eveneens in huizen geschoten met automatische wapens [noot 3]
De VN-veiligheidsraad kondigde resolutie 101 af waarin de actie in Qibya “ten strengste” werd “afgekeurd” en in overtreding was met o.m. het VN-Handvest [zie Ludo den Brabander: Israel: De waanzin aan de macht: Uitpers dd maart 2001]
Qibya (village on West Bank, October 1953)
Israeli Min. of Defense ordered Unit 101,commanded by Sharon, to attack village, as reprisal for the killing of 3 Jews within the Green Line, despite the fact that “the murderers had no known or suspected connection with Qibya” 3). Jordan asked Israeli help to track and hold perpetrators, which was refused. Israeli historian Benny Morris cites IDF documents how the raid evolved into “blanket exhortation for maximum killing” 4). UN observers, arriving shortly after attack “Witnesses were uniform in describing their experience as a night of horror during which Israeli soldiers moved about in their village blowing up buildings, firing into doorways and windows with automatic weapons and throwing hand grenades” 5).
The UN Security Council meeting of 24-11-1953 condemned the action, in which 69 civilians were killed, 40 houses demolished as well as a water pumping station, police station and telephone office.
IDF documents describe the raid as “an ambitious undertaking”. Unit 101 was critisized and its independence cancelled (became regular paratrooper unit), but no legal action has taken place 6).