||This article appears in the December 21, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Sharon Now 'Breakaway Ally'
by Dean Andromidas
of U.S., and Must Be Stopped
[PDF version of this article]
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. warned on Oct. 12 that the "breakaway ally" scenario for Israel, envisaged by U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1974-75, has now become an urgent danger. According to this scenario, Israel would launch a "preemptive" war against its Arab neighbors, and then say to the United States, in effect, "We have started the war; now you are going to have to fight it!"
That is now occurring under conditions which threaten a general religious war throughout the region and beyond. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in his direct and intentional attacks on Bush Administration peace initiatives, is being supported by circles in Washington and London who want such a wider war for purposes of "controlling" Eurasia. This included the group around the Administration itself, led by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and others. And it features a massive corruption of the U.S. Congress. In an unholy alliance led by Republican Senator Trent Lott and Democrat Joe Lieberman, Congress passed almost unanimously on Dec. 5 a resolution so rabidly pro-war, that at least 25% of the Israeli Knesset would have voted against it.
On Dec. 13, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared that Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat "no longer exists," and that the Israeli government will not negotiate with him. He announced that he has the support of the United States and the European Union to "defend" Israel from the "terrorist entity," i.e., the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, the United States and Europe are exerting unprecedented pressure on Arafat to arrest and crush Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And Sharon has continued to drop his bombs on the Palestinian Authority, including on the police headquarters of those who would have to carry out such a crackdown on the extremist groupseven while the Hamas-affiliated imams in the mosques of the Gaza Strip deliver sermons denouncing Arafat.
Who will stop Sharon from dragging the entire region into a new war and setting the stage for the clash of civilizations that his masters in London and Washington are demanding?
Statesman and U.S. Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche has been playing a crucial, galvanizing role in rallying opposition to the insane Sharon. On Dec. 9, LaRouche issued a statement denouncing the policies of Sharon and his generals as those of a "fascist regime" which will lead to the "obliteration of Israel" itself (see Editorial). The LaRouche statement was published on Dec. 12 by the Qatari national daily Al-Sharq, and on Dec. 13 by the London-based Al-Arab International. Under the headline "LaRouche Warns The Dictatorial Regime Of Israel," and with the kicker "Leads A Campaign Against The Zionist Lobby In The Congress," Al-Sharq's coverage is extremely significant, since Qatar is the current headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Conference. LaRouche's statement came as the foreign ministers of the OIC were concluding their emergency meeting on Palestine and the crimes being committed by Sharon.
Despite the rampages of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, make no mistake: The last thing Sharon wants Arafat to do, is to crush Hamas. This was best summed up by Palestinian negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo, in an interview with commentator Akiva Eldar in the daily Ha'aretz. Pointing to a picture of Sharon at a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony, Rabbo told Elder, "Look at how he smiles with happiness. Hamas gave him the attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa as a gift. Instead of Bush telling him what to do, Sharon dictated Bush's actions. Your prime minister isn't interested in destroying Hamas, but rather in using it to destroy Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. You are all making a big mistake if you think that in place of Arafat you will get a more moderate leader. There is no leader in the territories who is more moderate than Arafat."
Even in Israel, this one-sided pressure on Arafat is seen by some as dangerous. Commentator Gideon Samet, writing in Ha'aretz on Dec. 12, says that "Sharon has won a diplomatic bingo," now that all the pressure is being put on Arafat. But once Palestinian quiet is achieved, he asks, "who's guaranteeing that Sharon, carried away by his American adrenalin, will ever feel any pressure to advance towards a peace agreement?" Samet warns that Sharon will exploit every incident to ensure "more postponements of the negotiations." He warns that pressure must be put on Sharon "the sooner the better, before Sharon's euphoric trance with the Americans goes to his head."
Mevon Benvenisti, also writing in Ha'aretz, denounced Sharon's attacks on Arafat. "How can one explain the series of military actions whose only purpose was to humiliate the Palestinian collective, deny its legitimacy, and destroy its infrastructure?" Echoing LaRouche's warning that Sharon's policy will destroy Israel, Benvenisti said that "anger, hatred, and desire for revenge could lead to Sharon's ideoloy coming true, bringing down disaster on everyone here."
Green Light From U.S. Congress
Within hours of Sharon's declaration that Arafat "no longer exists," U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking at a press conference, not only reaffirmed Arafat's "existence," but stressed, "Yasser Arafat is the elected head of the Palestinian Authority and reflects the leadership that the Palestinians wish to have. So he still has that authority, that mantle of leadership given to him by the Palestinian people, and we will continue to work with him." Powell reiterated the demand that Arafat crack down on Hamas.
The European Union's foreign policy Czar Javier Solana, after consulations with Powell, told Reuters, "For us in the EU, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority continues to be the representative of the Palestinian people, and therefore we will continue dealing with him."
Powell's statement reflected the "red lines" the Bush Administration had already dictated to Sharon, when the latter was in Washington early in December. Yet Sharon's rampages against the Palestinian Authority continue, just short of all-out war.
Why does it appear as if Sharon is able to thumb his nose to everyone? The answer to that lies in the massive support Sharon is getting from the alliance between the so-called Israeli Lobby and the loud circles of warmongers inside and outside the U.S. administration who are pushing for a clash of civilizations, beyond Afghanistan.
In the Administration, this group is led by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz, and is pushing for war on Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. This group has declared war on Secretary Powell. Wolfowitz is supported by the right-wing Israeli Lobby, which is funded under control of the "Mega" group of billionaires.
The Wolfowitz crowd, which includes a gaggle of influential ex-government officials, is also conspiring, in secret, and outside the policy framework of the administration, with the Israel right wing, in order to eliminate Arafat from the scene. According to Ha'aretz on Dec. 12, a "closed" meeting took place in Herzliya, Israel, several weeks ago, involving senior Israeli and American experts and officials, to discuss how to deal with "Palestinian terrorism." An Israeli participant said that in deterring terrorism, "the punishment should be much worse than the terror attack." His American colleagues not only agreed, but said the terrorists should be assassinated. As for Arafat, one American said, "Israel should ask itself whether it wants Arafat in power. If it doesn't, it should take steps to topple him. But if it does, it should establish a system of punishments and incentives that will show him that his key to survival lies in Israel's hands."
Although the list of participants has been keep secret, it was sponsored by the Herzliya Institute of Policy and Strategy, which is headed by Uzi Arad, former Mossad agent and adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Institute is financed by right-wing American money-bags Ronald Lauder. The Institute is holding a security conference on the week of Dec. 16 which will have as a featured speaker former CIA director James Woolsey, who works closely with Wolfowitz.
Sharon Wants To Destroy Zinni's Mission
The week of Dec. 9, U.S. special envoy Anthony Zinni met with both Israel and Palestinian security chiefs, and called for both sides to work for 48 hours of calm, as a prelude to a cease-fire. Within hours of that meeting, the Israelis launched an assassination attempt against Islamic Jihad leader Mohamed Sidr. Missing their target, the Israeli helicopters killed two Palestinian children.
Obviously hoping for success of the Zinni Initiative, Bassam Abu Sharif, adviser to Arafat, on Dec. 11 issued a proposal for peace negotiations. Sharif called for both sides to draft a "vision" of a peace agreement that "provides real answers to real Israeli and Palestinian security fears and needs." In a major shift on the question of the so-called "right of return" of Palestinian refugees to their former homes inside what is now Israel, Abu Sharif said that this issue could be deferred to after the formation of a Palestinian state, and in the context of state-to-state negotiations. This proposal would have eliminated the huge stumbling block that Israel claims has prevented Israel from coming to a settlement with the Palestinians. The rest of the proposal is in line with the Mitchell Commission Report and the peace proposal that former President William Clinton made just prior to leaving office.
By contrast, Israeli Security Minister Uzi Landau told Israeli Army radio shortly after Zinni's announcment, "They can talk about security all they want, in order to acquaint themselves with the situation. However, it must be absolutely forbidden, that these talks bring us to a point where we do not take more action, with greater forcefulness against the targets that create the infrastructure of terror." Landau incited against Arafat: "Israel's operations facing the terrorism of Arafat must only increase and grow more intensive from day to day. They must be systematic, they must cause them much greater damage. The struggle must be constant, not a response to their attacks, not waiting for them to hit us, rather striking at them all the time." Landow continued, "Now we are standing before a golden opportunitya window of opportunity that must not be missedto strike at their infrastructure of terrorism, at its very foundations."
Sharon harvested his bitter fruit: Hamas attacked a bus near the West Bank Jewish settlement Emanuel, killing ten Jewish settlers. The attack was another "Hannukah gift" to Sharon, enabling him to commit further war crimes. IDF tanks, F-16, jets and helicopter gunships were ordered to destroy Palestinian police stations, airports, the Palestinian radio and TV station, and other infrastructure. They even destroyed the European-financed Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, claiming to have found "links to terrorist organizations," and deployed tanks within 100 meters of Arafat's office.
None of these war crimes have been attacked by the United States, beyond raising "concerns."
More criminal than these attacks, is the escalation of the closures and sieges against Palestinian cities. These are the real war crimes, including dividing up the the West Bank into a series of "Warsaw ghettoes," with high embankments, deep trenches cut in access roads, and the banning of Palestinians from using most of the roads. Uncounted by the media are the number of old and sick people, as well as babies, who have died because of having to wait for hours at the hundreds of checkpoints. Schools are forced to close, and towns go without food and water because of the roadblocks.
Sharon's policy is reaching extremes that even Foreign Minister Shimon Peres can no longer bear. Peres, who is under pressure from the pro-peace faction in his Labor Party to quit the Sharon coalition government, told a group of Labor Party ministers that Sharon's policy was simply playing into the hands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. "On the one hand, they [Hamas and Islamic Jihad] are killing Israelis, and on the other hand are emerging victorious when the IDF hits hard, not at them, but at their enemy, the Palestinian Authority." This meeting, held on Dec. 13, was the first time that Peres has publicly mooted leaving the government.
Warnings To Sharon Not To Kill Arafat
The greatest concern among those seeking a peaceful solution, is that Sharon will kill Arafat, thus throwing the entire region into a conflagration. French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said, "It is clear that, in his government, in the majority and in the heart of the Army, there are people who are tempted by this delirium." He added, "The Israelis need peace, and they need an interlocutor for peace. It would be an error to want to be rid of the Palestinian Authority."
While agreeing that Arafat should do more to eliminate terrorism, Vedrine said he needs to be helped, not hindered: "One must not systematically destroy his security forces, his police commissioners.... If he had a Palestinian state in view, clearly that would allow him to again take the political initiative vis-à-vis Hamas, which is gaining ground, feeding on despair and repression."
On Dec. 10, speaking at the foreign ministers meeting of the the OIC, Qatar's Emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, chairman of the conference, declared, "We urge the United States and the International community to work for an immediate end to Israel's policies, which only lead to the destruction of the last chance for peace in our region."
Arafat was unable to attend the OIC meeting, for fear that Sharon would not allow his return to the West Bank, a fact underscored at the conference by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, who called it an example of "Israeli aggression against not only the Palestinian people, but also international legitamcy."
King Abdullah of Jordan also sounded the alarm, closing Jordan's border with the West Bank for fear of Palestinian refugees flooding into his kingdom. Abdullah told the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al Awsat, "I am worried about the future. Israel has to understand that it cannot solve its problems by force. The Israelis have always said they are not interested in negotiating with Arafat. We have always argued that he is the only one with whom they can negotiate, and he cannot be replaced."