Immortal heroes of Jenin

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 09:40:54 +0100

 Jenin bodies <> 

Sharon's war is not only failing to bring Israelis security, it is
laying the foundations of a new Palestinian nation and state 


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In 1897, the day after the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Theodor
Herzl, wrote in his diary: "In Basel I founded the State of the Jews."
This week, Ariel Sharon should note in his diary: "In Jenin I founded
the State of the Palestinians." 

Of course, he did not mean to. His intention was to destroy the
Palestinian nation, its institutions and leadership, once and for all,
leaving only bits and pieces, human wreckage that could be disposed of

In practice, something quite different happened. Faced with the
onslaught of the biggest military machine in the region and the most
modern arms in the world, submerged in a sea of suffering, surrounded by
bodies, the Palestinian nation straightened its back as never before. 

In the small refugee camp near Jenin, a group of Palestinian fighters
from all the organisations gathered for a battle of defence that will be
enshrined forever in the hearts of all Arabs. This is the Palestinian
Massada, as an Israeli officer called it, alluding to the legendary
stand of the remnants of the great Jewish rebellion against Rome in 71

When the international media cannot be kept out any more and the
pictures of horror are published, two possible versions may emerge:
Jenin as a story of massacre, a second Sabra and Shatila; and Jenin, the
Palestinian Stalingrad, a story of immortal heroism. The second will
surely prevail. 

Nations are built on myths. I was raised on the myths of Massada and
Tel-Chai. They formed the consciousness of the new Hebrew nation. (At
Tel-Chai, in 1920, a group of Jewish defenders, led by the one-armed
hero Josef Trumpeldor, were killed in an incident with anti-French
Syrian fighters.) The myths of Jenin and Arafat's compound in Ramallah
will form the consciousness of the new Palestinian nation. 

A primitive military robot, who sees everything in terms of fire power
and body counts, will not understand this. But Napoleon, a military
genius, said that in war, moral considerations account for three
quarters, and the balance of force for the other quarter. 

How does Sharon's war look in this perspective? As for the actual
forces, the balance is clear. A few dozen Israelis killed, many hundreds
of Palestinians dead. No destruction in Israel, horrible destruction in
the Palestinian towns. 

The aim was, so it was claimed, to "destroy the terror infrastructure".
This definition is by itself nonsensical: the "terror infrastructure"
exists in the souls of millions of Palestinians and tens of millions of
Arabs, whose hearts are bursting with rage. The more fighters and
suicide bombers are killed, the more fighters and suicide bombers are
ready to take their place. We saw the "laboratories of explosives" -
sacks of material obtainable in Israeli shops. The Israeli army is proud
of discovering tens of them. There will soon be hundreds. 

When dozens of wounded people lie in the streets and slowly bleed to
death because the army shoots at every moving ambulance, it creates
terrible hatred. When the army secretly buries hundreds of bodies of
men, women and children, it creates terrible hatred. When tanks destroy
houses, topple electricity poles, open water pipes, leave behind
thousands of homeless people and cause children to drink from puddles,
it causes terrible hatred. 

A Palestinian child, who sees all this with his eyes, becomes the
suicide bomber of tomorrow. Thus Sharon and his chief of staff, Shaul
Mofaz, create the terrorist infrastructure. 

In the meantime, they have created the foundations of the Palestinian
nation and the Palestinian state. The people saw their fighters in Jenin
and believe that they are far greater heroes than the Israeli soldiers,
protected inside their tanks. They saw their leader in the historic TV
sequence, his face lit by a single candle in his dark, surrounded
office, ready for death at any moment, and compare him with the
hedonistic Israeli ministers, sitting in their offices far from the
battlefront, surrounded by hordes of bodyguards. Thus national pride is

No good for Israel will come out of this adventure, as no good came out
of any of Sharon's previous adventures. The concept was stupid, the
implementation cruel, the results will be disastrous. It will not bring
peace and security, solve no problem, but it will isolate Israel and
endanger the Jews throughout the world. 

In the end, only one thing will be remembered: our giant military
machine assaulted the small Palestinian people, and the small
Palestinian people and its leader held on. In the eyes of the
Palestinians, and not only theirs, it will look like a tremendous
victory, the victory of a modern David against Goliath. 

Source:  The Guardian


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