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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Rantisi's Last Supper Interview

"Sharon could have wiped out the intifada within 100 days"
Maariv: “I hope to see our victory in my lifetime, but I don’t know when I will die, so I can’t be sure I will be so fortunate,” said Hamas leader Abd al-Aziz Rantisi in his last interview, the day before he was killed by Israel.

The interview was held by an American journalist. She posted it on “Bitter Lemons,” a website that carries mainly articles by Palestinian and Israeli journalists and public figures.

Rantisi sounded very self-confident. “If the conflict’s outcome were determined only by the weapons wielded by the adversaries, Sharon could have wiped out the intifada and the Palestinian resistance within 100 days. But the Palestinian youths are 1,000 times stronger than the Zionist soldiers.”

He explained what he meant by a Palestinian victory: “There are various degrees of victory. Sometimes you can win by carrying out a plan that causes the Israeli tanks to withdraw, just as they invaded our country. When we force the enemy to leave any part of our land, without rewarding him by conceding part of our legitimate rights, I consider that a victory.”

The Hamas leader was well aware that the conflict is waged on non-military fronts too. “Victory in the media campaign is also a victory in our view.”

He went on to define a final Palestinian victory: “Everything I listed is a partial victory, but the full victory will be achieved only when the Palestinians regain all their legitimate rights. Such a victory means liberating the entire country. The day of victory will be the day when Palestinian suffering ends.”

Less than 24 hours after he expounded his victory doctrine, Rantisi’s body lay in Gaza’s Shifa hospital, killed by an Israeli air strike.

Sharon could have wiped out the intifada in less than 100 days, it's true. Had he been so determined, many many Israeli lives might have been saved. It's a hard thing to read, especially coming from this one, may his name and memory be obliterated.