A damning indictment

YESTERDAY hundreds of Israeli Army officers and soldiers - members of a dissident movement - demonstrated in front of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's home in occupied Jerusalem ahead of the occasion of Yom Kippur, which falls today. The participants carried placards listing the sins and failings of Sharon, who they say should ask for forgiveness from God for the severe and gross crimes he has committed in his lifetime. The movement has already defined these as following:

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Published: Mon 6 Oct 2003, 12:40 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 11:30 PM

The lies told to political leaders, friends and the whole people (the Israeli population), victims of the 1982 war in Lebanon, which has been proved by history to be entirely unnecessary;

The massacres of Sabra and Shatila, in which 25,000 Palestinians were murdered in cold blood, including children, women and the old and the crippled. No one escaped death except the babies who were yet to be born;

The policy of land-grabbing, mendacity and misleading with the aim of setting up a large number of settlements in the occupied Palestinian areas;

Dead silence (from Sharon's part) to the staging of the rightwing demonstration in Jerusalem in 1995, in which Labour leader Yitzhak Rabin was virtually earmarked for assassination (which later happened due to rightwing instigation) because he had signed a peace treaty with the Palestinians (Oslo accords);

Sharon's provocative visit to the compound of the Al Aqsa Holy Mosque (at the end of September 2001, which triggered the present wave of violence). The uprising is still continuing and entered its third year a few days ago. Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed over the last three years, specifically after Sharon assumed the office of prime minister in 2000;

Targeted killings or assassinations ordered by Sharon with the intent to torpedo the truce and ceasefire agreements. Palestinian resistance groups have declared a seven-week-long truce since more than two months, which Sharon had eliminated by carrying out a series of assassinations of leaders of these groups, targeting their homes located in densely populated civilian areas, as a result of which a large number of innocent children and women were killed and some were buried under the debris of the destroyed houses and buildings. These are the same issues that prompted 27 pilots from the Israeli Air Force to refuse to obey their orders, on the grounds that such operations in civilian areas constitute a crime;

Destruction of the economy, something that causes hardship to jobless workers and entrepreneurs whose businesses have collapsed;

Policy of gagging critics and suppressing democratic freedoms (pressure on media organisations to sack writers and journalists who oppose the Israeli policy);

Neglect of weaker segments of society (of course Israeli society) - the poor, single mothers, handicapped and aged people. But then, is someone with Sharon's heart capable of harbouring sympathetic feelings towards the poor and the powerless?;

Sharon's desire to make his friends rich at "our expense" (meaning the Israeli people ) and the destruction they are causing to the environment;

His silence on the question of his sons having manipulated political funds and engaged in corrupt practices on behalf of Sharon, while the whole of Israeli society is in dire economic straits.

The above catalogue of Sharon's crimes and misdeeds was put down in black and white on paper and submitted by hundreds of Israeli army officers and soldiers to Sharon as part of their prayer to God to forgive him. The petitioners have made public this damning indictment of Sharon so that others can obtain a true measure of the man and act to put an end to his career, for he is leading the whole region from one calamity to another.

Sharon, of course, has earlier been condemned by his colleagues in the Israeli army, and all but explicitly held responsible by an investigation committee in 1982 for his failure to prevent the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camp massacres. He was discharged eventually from the army, but managed to bag the Defence portfolio in the Likud government of Menachem Begin.

The end of this man will certainly come the way it does to any extremist or racist who does not accept the views and rights of others, and treats those who disagree with his political philosophy as if they do not have the right to live.

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