Friday, January 06, 2006

There He Goes Again

God is angry with Ariel Sharon for "dividing God's land," and that is why Sharon had a stroke. So sayeth Pat Robertson, the laughingstock of the Christian right. Does anyone take him seriously anymore?

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, goes one step further. He hopes Sharon dies.

Hopefully, the news that the criminal of Sabra and Chatilla has joined his ancestors is final," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.

Ahmadinejad was referring to Sharon, who as defense minister in 1982 directed Israel's ill-fated invasion of Lebanon. An Israeli commission found him indirectly responsible for a massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps by Christian Phalangist soldiers.

There is no reasonable doubt that Sharon is morally responsible for the three-day orgy of rape and murder committed by Lebanese Christians in September, 1982. The Israeli Army occupied Lebanon at the time and controlled entry into and exit from Sabra and Shatila. They allowed the Phalangists to enter the camp, and looked the other way while over 1,000 children, women, and men were killed.

The Palestinians who survived this atrocity could be forgiven for hating Sharon to the extent that they would wish for his death. But such a wish, coming from someone like Ahmadinejad, who has said repeatedly that the Nazi Holocaust is a "myth" and who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" sounds a bit, shall we say, unseemly.

I think it's rather appalling to wish for anyone's death, although it's sometimes understandable when one has personally been the victim of unspeakable crimes. My personal opinion about Ariel Sharon is that he has a lot to answer for in terms of his policies toward the Palestinian people and the crimes he has allowed to be committed when he had the power to stop them. But I don't wish him dead. I wish for him to recover and change his thinking about the way his government has treated the Palestinian people. You can't change your mind when you're dead.

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