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Israelis acknowledge war crimes of Sharon, Blair and Bush



If my prime minister is a war criminal, so is Tony Blair

I read Ken Livingstone's article on these pages in which he explained his position on Israel and anti-semitism with great care, and agreed with it. I have always respected his unequivocal stance against racism and I don't believe that he is anti-semitic. And yet I am angry. I am angry with Ken and with the British left generally. Please allow me to explain why.

I agree that my prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is a war criminal. From the intentional killing of 69 civilians in the village of Qibya in 1953, through the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, all the way to the wild bombing of Palestinian cities in the last few years, his career is steeped in vile criminality. I have dedicated my adult life to making this point, not only to my people, but also to yours, and to the rest of the world. I believe that international pressure is vital to change Israel's policies, not only for the sake of the Palestinians, but for Israelis too.

In the little political sub-culture of the non-Zionist left which I come from, calling the prime minister a war criminal is no big deal. Israelis tend to say what they think out loud. The fact that so many on the British left call my prime minister a war criminal too is fine by me.

But if justice is to be dispensed evenly, what about your prime minister? Yes, Tony Blair, the bloke who took the British army into Iraq and butchered tens of thousands of Iraqis in an illegal war and under a false pretext? What is he, exactly? I, for one, think he deserves to share a cell with Ariel Sharon. Indeed, Sharon may reasonably protest: he is yet to be responsible for killings in such numbers.

Yes, I know the British left were against the war in Iraq. But it is rare to hear them refer to Blair as "a murderer", "a butcher", or "a war criminal". Blair is more often presented, even by ardent anti-war commentators, as "misled", "mistaken", "sincere but wrong", "well meaning but cheated by Bush", "acting out of great religious conviction", and so on. Even Ken decided to rejoin Mr Blair's party after the criminal invasion of Iraq, and at a time when sinister hints as to British and American intentions in Iran and Syria were already in the air. This is what makes serious Jews and Israelis sneer at his statements against Sharon.

The way to prove to liberal and left Israelis (they are the only ones in Israel Ken stands a chance of convincing) that he means what he says is to apply the same lofty standards to Blair, and to use the same type of words when describing their very similar activities.

So my message to the British left is: either moderate your language when talking about Sharon, or escalate it when talking about Blair. One way or another, it is time to set equal standards. Occupation, torture, killing and wars of aggression are as bad when committed by Britain as when committed by anybody else.


SOURCE

The Guardian, "Sharon's cellmate", 10 March 2005.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1434053,00.html

"The Insider" mailing list article, 10 March 2005.

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Tags: Israel, Britain, war crimes, Israeli, Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, war criminal, British, Prime Minister, Tony Blair, war criminal, Bush, , conspiracy theories.

 
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