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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Today's editorials on Sharon
The Washington Post purports that Palestinian and Arab leaders have taken preliminary steps toward curbing Islamic extremists, yet immediately contradicts that statement, saying, "Both sides so far have refused to take any concrete steps on the ground." Black is white and black is black.

Also interesting to note is their assertion that "both sides seem willing to experiment with an Israeli withdrawal from part or all of the Gaza strip and the assumption of control by Palestinian forces." While it's no surprise that Palestinians are "willing to experiment with an Israeli withdrawal," how can Israel engage in yet another such experiment, at the risk of more civilians murdered? Isn't it the very definition of craziness to continue to repeat actions that have never produced the desired results?

The New York Times portrays Sharon in a surprisingly sentimental way: "No Israeli has spent more time on the battlefield or developed a more deserved reputation for hard-nosed patriotism." Giving in to US pressure, now he is a "patriot"? The Times concludes that "Perhaps this 75-year-old warrior has taken a realistic look at his nation's future and understood that Israel must not rule over another people." Israel has never wanted to rule the Palestinians; they are a nightmare, and and a calculated one. Why else would Lebanon, Syria and Jordan maintain Palestinian refugee camps, if not to fan the flames of the conflict?

The New York Post, much closer to my heart, points out that while Sharon has used the term "occupation" (or "conquest") and has endorsed the potential existence of a Palestinian state, "Where is the Palestinian leader who is willing to say: 'We must learn to live in peace with a Jewish state of Israel, however much it pains you to hear it'? Where is the Palestinian official willing to demand an end to terrorism - not because it's counter-productive, but because it is cold-blooded murder?" The Post editorial rightly juxtaposes the weakness of Abu Mazen's efforts to seek a "temporary ceasefire" with Sharon's (heroic, to some) dropping his demand for an end to the terror and replacing it with the milder request for "100 percent effort." The Post is stern, perhaps more so even than Sharon, in repeating his warning: "What will happen if Palestinian terror continues? Nothing will happen - the Palestinians will get nothing." Amen to that.