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Max Blumenthal interview with Rob Lorei – Video



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In the Home of the Richest Man in Palestine – Video



In the Home of the Richest Man in Palestine
The Real News' Lia Tarachansky and journalist Max Blumenthal meet Munib al Masri, the richest man in Palestine See more videos: http://therealnews.com.

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Max Blumenthal – Official Site

Picking up where Eric Alterman left off, and defending his thousands of words of error-laden invective, JJ Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward has turned out an indignant non-review (see the latest Alterman flubs here) of my book that reveals its chapter titles but fails to discuss their contents. Goldberg warps the responses of Altermans many critics, failing to provide links, and concludes with a distorted account of an exchange I had with Ian Lustick, mangling my quotes to falsely to suggest I had demanded the mass departure of Jewish Israelis from historic Palestine. Goldberg might have once been a sharpshooter in the Israeli Border Police, but in his attempt to reinforce Altermans attacks, he badly misses the mark.

Echoing Alterman, Goldberg expresses outrage with the titles of the chapters in Goliath but makes no attempt to present what I actually wrote in them or why they are titled as they are. For instance, he bemoans the name of my chapter, This Belongs To The White Man, but does not mention that the title was merely a reference to the notorious statement by former Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who said the following about non-Jewish African asylum seekers in Israel: Most of those people arriving here are Muslims, who think the country doesnt belong to us, the white man.

Ignoring the hard facts presented in Goliath, Goldberg has spent the years since Israel elected the most right-wing government in its history projecting his political wishful thinking onto the countrys pro-settler leadership, imagining everyone from Benjamin Netanyahu to Shaul Mofaz (check out this howler) as potential peacemakers, which is not unlike describing Rob Ford as the political future of Canada.

Goldberg has labored to sustain his trance-like optimism in the face of the reality of record settlement construction as well as other harsh realities. After the Egyptian military staged its coup, an act that has led the U.S. to cut military aid, Goldberg warned that any reduction in military aid to Egypt would kill Mideast peace hopes, writing that Americas billion-dollar-plus annual aid package to Egypt does not exist for Egypts benefit, but for Israels. Apart from this strange formulation, as though Egypt only exists for the U.S. as a function of his notion of what its policy should be toward Israel, he completely neglected to mention the U.S. at all, as though the U.S. has no independent interests or principles of our own at stake.

To clarify Goldbergs distortions for readers of The Forward: Goldberg claims I did not tell[] of the thousands of rockets bombarding Negev towns for years before Operation Cast Lead. However, I wrote on the first page of my book that Hamass armed wingfired dozens of rockets in November 2008.

Similarly, Goldberg claims I did not mention the hundreds of Israelis killed bysuicide bombers. In fact, I devoted an entire chapter of the book to Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a remarkable Israeli academic whose daughter, Smadar, was killed by a suicide bomber. I discuss at length her and her husbands experience after their daughters murder and how they became two of their societys more outspoken opponents of the Israeli occupation. I go on to detail Israeli societys response to suicide bombings during the Second Intifada in my chapter, The Big Quiet, explaining how it influenced the rise of hafrada, or Israels policy of demographic separation.

Goldberg further takes issue with an exchange between Ian Lustick and me during an October 17 discussion of Goliath at the University of Pennsylvania. But, not providing the link to the video, he produced a badly mangled version of my remarks.

Here is the context to the exchange in question: Lustick had remarked that Israeli society could increasingly be described as fascistic, suggesting that Israel had possibly crossed a moral Rubicon, then asked me to take on the role of God and decide whether to destroy Gomorrah, even though there were some good people living inside it people like the Israeli dissidents, critics and reformers I profile extensively in Goliath.

My response proposed a direction for preserving the presence of Jewish Israelis in a future Israel-Palestine while stripping away the violent, inhumane mechanisms of demographic engineering, endless dispossession and the walls that have pitted Israeli Jews against the Arab world. My prescription was essentially a rejection of Ehud Baraks explicitly colonial view of Israel as a Europeanized villa in the jungle.

Philip Weiss of the Mondoweiss.com website transcribed parts of my answer and summarized the rest. Here is the relevant part of transcript, which Goldberg omitted. (The full exchange arrives around 38:00 in the video):

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Max Blumenthal – Official Site

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Max Blumenthal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Max Blumenthal (born December 18, 1977) is an American author, journalist, and blogger. Formerly a writer for The Daily Beast and Al Akhbar, he is the author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (2009).[1][2][3][4] and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013).

He has produced several short video reports posted on YouTube, among other websites.[4] He used to work[5] for the progressive[6] organization Media Matters for America.

Max Blumenthal was born in Boston on December 18, 1977, the son of Jacqueline (Jordan) and Sidney Blumenthal, former administration presidential aide to Bill Clinton.

Blumenthal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a B.A. degree in history.[7]

Blumenthal won the Online News Association’s Independent Feature Award for his 2002 article on Salon.com, Day of the Dead.[8][9] The piece stated that the killing of hundreds of women in Ciudad Jurez, Chihuahua, Mexico was connected to the policies of corporate interests in the border city.[10] Blumenthal contributed to The Huffington Post from 2009 to 2011.[11]

In 2011, Blumenthal wrote a story claiming that Israeli forces trained American police departments in anti-protester techniques, including torture, quoting Fordham University Law Professor Karen Joy Greenberg.[12] Contacted by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Adam Serwer of Mother Jones, Greenberg told Goldberg that “I never made such a statement”, while she told Serwer “I did not intend to assert these allegations as factthe entire sense of the quote is inaccurate.”[13][14] Blumenthal responded that he quoted Greenberg accurately and speculated that she had been “intimidated by Goldberg and the pro-Israel forces he represents”.[15][16]

Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting on leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian civil war that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israel and Palestine”.[17] He ended his association with Al Akhbar in June 2012, over what he viewed as the newspaper’s pro-Assad editorial line during the Syrian uprising that he said was spearheaded by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb.[18][17]

Blumenthal made a short video which he titled Generation Chickenhawk. It featured interviews with convention attendees at the July 2007 College Republican National Convention in Washington, D.C. Blumenthal asked why they, as Iraq War supporters, had not enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.[19][20][21] In 2007, Blumenthal made a short video called Rapture Ready, about American Christian fundamentalists’ support for the State of Israel.[19] He also attended the June 2007 Take Back America Conference (sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future), where he interviewed Barack Obama supporters and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Blumenthal says that conference organizers were angered by Blumenthal’s video, and refused to air it.[19]

In 2008, he posted video footage of Christian preacher Thomas Muthee praying over Sarah Palin (then a candidate for Governor of Alaska) and asking God to keep her safe from witchcraft.[22]

In 2009, Max Blumenthal posted a short video on YouTube titled “Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem on the Eve of Obama’s Cairo Address”. The video was a montage of footage of drunken Jewish-American youth in Jerusalem in June 2009, shortly before Obama’s Cairo address. The youths used expletives and racist rhetoric about Barack Obama and Arabs, which included referring to Obama as a nigger and suggesting that he is “like a terrorist”.[23] According to The Jerusalem Post, the video “garnered massive exposure and caused a firestorm in the media and the Jewish world”.[24]Haaretz described the video as “an overnight Internet sensation”.[23]

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Hits and myths

Perhaps the most galling aspect of the panegyrics that preceded the burial this week of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, eight years after a stroke that can in retrospect be designated fatal, has been the notion that he was a formidable warrior who evolved into a man of peace. Among the first to tag him thus, in the wake of the so-called Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, was the then president of the United States. George W. Bush wasnt, however, the only person who chose to see that particular maneuver as in some way a positive step on the road to a permanent settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. And the myth has, to some extent, endured, if obituaries in the western media are anything to go by. It is no doubt true that many on the right-wing of Israeli politics were disconcerted by the gesture, not least because it entailed the drama of illegal settlers forcibly being removed by the Israeli military. Many of these settlers, mind you, had willfully been implanted there by Sharon a couple of decades earlier, following the Israeli pullout from Sinai. Even some West Bank settlers, who acknowledge their debt to Sharon in his capacity as successively minister for agriculture, infrastructure, housing and defense, and eventually as prime minister, find it hard to overlook his role in the forced depopulation of Israelis from Gaza. In large part, thats because they tend to see all of the occupied territories as a basis for Eretz Israel. Sharon, on the other hand, was pragmatic enough to envisage minor and ultimately inconsequential concessions as a means of realizing Israels territorial ambitions. Gaza was abandoned, in large part, to facilitate the retention of much of the West Bank. One does not need to turn to Sharons political adversaries to confirm this interpretation. In the wake of the Gaza pullout, his aide Dov Weissglass spilled the beans by describing it as supplying the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians. Max Blumenthal, writing in the American periodical The Nation, also cites another adviser, Arnon Sofer, as claiming when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, its going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today. The pressure at the border will be awful. Its going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day. Given the periodic military attacks on Gaza in the past eight years, the prophecy clearly wasnt misguided. Several of the post-mortem comments, however, raise the counterfactual possibility that if Sharon had not been incapacitated in 2006, he may have gone on to clear parts of the West Bank as well. The basis for this claim is extremely weak. Although Sharon did manage to demonstrate that, given the political will, illegal settlers could indeed be removed by force without precipitating a domestic political revolt. True, he had to bow out of the right-wing Likud party he had helped to form in the 1970s and to found the ostensibly less extremist Kadima. But its worth recalling that even without Sharon at the helm, Kadima succeeded in initially obtaining a popular mandate (although, in the wake of corruption scandals, it has now been reduced to two seats in the Knesset). It does not, follow, however, that Sharon had any plan for disengagement, unilateral or otherwise, from the West Bank. There is in fact no evidence that he ever strayed from a plan he reputedly outlined to Winston Churchills grandson while serving as agriculture minister under Menachem Begin: Well make a pastrami sandwich out of them. Well insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart. That strategy appears to have succeeded to a considerable extent. It cannot, though, be described as the brainwave of a man of peace. The contrary case does not need to rely exclusively on the infamous Sabra and Shatila massacres, for which Israels own Kahan Commission found Sharon personally responsible, compelling him to resign as defense minister from a Cabinet that apparently had remained in the dark about his exact designs in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. By then, his reputation for ruthlessness ought to have preceded him, as well as his tendency to ignore the orders of his superiors whenever he deemed it convenient. Ariel Scheinermann, born in 1928, was a warrior by the age of 20. By 1953, when he was chosen by Ben Gurion to head the commando squad known as Unit 101, he was already determined, as the obituary in The Guardian puts it, to treat civilians who harbored terrorists as legitimate targets, thus pre-empting Bush and the neocons by nearly half a century. Women and children are believed to have featured prominently among the victims of the massacre on Oct. 14, 1953 in the Jordanian village of Qibya, perpetrated by the unit. Some 50 years later, he was a relentless enthusiast for targeted killings another tactic embraced by the US in its ongoing war against terror, notwithstanding the negative repercussions. And his nickname, the Bulldozer, wasnt a metaphorical epithet. Sharon became prime minister after calculatedly instigating the Second Intifada. This week, US vice-president Joe Biden described him as a complex man [who] lived in a complex time in a complex neighborhood. Tony Blair, sporting a skullcap, called him a giant of this land. A Goliath, then, rather than a David. Avi Shlaim, emeritus professor of international relations at Oxford University, says in his 40 years of researching the Arab-Israeli conflict, he has not come across a scintilla of evidence to support the view of Sharon as a man of peace. Sharon was a man of war through and through, he says, an Arab hater, and a pugnacious proponent of the doctrine of permanent conflict. A war hero in 1967 and 1973? To some, perhaps. But then, many of those indicted at Nuremberg would no doubt have been hailed in similar terms, and buried with honors, had the Nazis won the war.

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Hits and myths

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Max Blumenthal interview with Rob Lorei – Video




Max Blumenthal interview with Rob Lorei http://wmnf.org/news. By: wmnfnews

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In the Home of the Richest Man in Palestine – Video




In the Home of the Richest Man in Palestine The Real News' Lia Tarachansky and journalist Max Blumenthal meet Munib al Masri, the richest man in Palestine See more videos: http://therealnews.com. By: TheRealNews

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Max Blumenthal – Official Site

Picking up where Eric Alterman left off, and defending his thousands of words of error-laden invective, JJ Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward has turned out an indignant non-review (see the latest Alterman flubs here) of my book that reveals its chapter titles but fails to discuss their contents. Goldberg warps the responses of Altermans many critics, failing to provide links, and concludes with a distorted account of an exchange I had with Ian Lustick, mangling my quotes to falsely to suggest I had demanded the mass departure of Jewish Israelis from historic Palestine. Goldberg might have once been a sharpshooter in the Israeli Border Police, but in his attempt to reinforce Altermans attacks, he badly misses the mark. Echoing Alterman, Goldberg expresses outrage with the titles of the chapters in Goliath but makes no attempt to present what I actually wrote in them or why they are titled as they are. For instance, he bemoans the name of my chapter, This Belongs To The White Man, but does not mention that the title was merely a reference to the notorious statement by former Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who said the following about non-Jewish African asylum seekers in Israel: Most of those people arriving here are Muslims, who think the country doesnt belong to us, the white man. Ignoring the hard facts presented in Goliath, Goldberg has spent the years since Israel elected the most right-wing government in its history projecting his political wishful thinking onto the countrys pro-settler leadership, imagining everyone from Benjamin Netanyahu to Shaul Mofaz (check out this howler) as potential peacemakers, which is not unlike describing Rob Ford as the political future of Canada. Goldberg has labored to sustain his trance-like optimism in the face of the reality of record settlement construction as well as other harsh realities. After the Egyptian military staged its coup, an act that has led the U.S. to cut military aid, Goldberg warned that any reduction in military aid to Egypt would kill Mideast peace hopes, writing that Americas billion-dollar-plus annual aid package to Egypt does not exist for Egypts benefit, but for Israels. Apart from this strange formulation, as though Egypt only exists for the U.S. as a function of his notion of what its policy should be toward Israel, he completely neglected to mention the U.S. at all, as though the U.S. has no independent interests or principles of our own at stake. To clarify Goldbergs distortions for readers of The Forward: Goldberg claims I did not tell[] of the thousands of rockets bombarding Negev towns for years before Operation Cast Lead. However, I wrote on the first page of my book that Hamass armed wingfired dozens of rockets in November 2008. Similarly, Goldberg claims I did not mention the hundreds of Israelis killed bysuicide bombers. In fact, I devoted an entire chapter of the book to Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a remarkable Israeli academic whose daughter, Smadar, was killed by a suicide bomber. I discuss at length her and her husbands experience after their daughters murder and how they became two of their societys more outspoken opponents of the Israeli occupation. I go on to detail Israeli societys response to suicide bombings during the Second Intifada in my chapter, The Big Quiet, explaining how it influenced the rise of hafrada, or Israels policy of demographic separation. Goldberg further takes issue with an exchange between Ian Lustick and me during an October 17 discussion of Goliath at the University of Pennsylvania. But, not providing the link to the video, he produced a badly mangled version of my remarks. Here is the context to the exchange in question: Lustick had remarked that Israeli society could increasingly be described as fascistic, suggesting that Israel had possibly crossed a moral Rubicon, then asked me to take on the role of God and decide whether to destroy Gomorrah, even though there were some good people living inside it people like the Israeli dissidents, critics and reformers I profile extensively in Goliath. My response proposed a direction for preserving the presence of Jewish Israelis in a future Israel-Palestine while stripping away the violent, inhumane mechanisms of demographic engineering, endless dispossession and the walls that have pitted Israeli Jews against the Arab world. My prescription was essentially a rejection of Ehud Baraks explicitly colonial view of Israel as a Europeanized villa in the jungle. Philip Weiss of the Mondoweiss.com website transcribed parts of my answer and summarized the rest. Here is the relevant part of transcript, which Goldberg omitted. (The full exchange arrives around 38:00 in the video):

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Max Blumenthal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Max Blumenthal (born December 18, 1977) is an American author, journalist, and blogger. Formerly a writer for The Daily Beast and Al Akhbar, he is the author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (2009).[1][2][3][4] and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013). He has produced several short video reports posted on YouTube, among other websites.[4] He used to work[5] for the progressive[6] organization Media Matters for America. Max Blumenthal was born in Boston on December 18, 1977, the son of Jacqueline (Jordan) and Sidney Blumenthal, former administration presidential aide to Bill Clinton. Blumenthal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a B.A. degree in history.[7] Blumenthal won the Online News Association’s Independent Feature Award for his 2002 article on Salon.com, Day of the Dead.[8][9] The piece stated that the killing of hundreds of women in Ciudad Jurez, Chihuahua, Mexico was connected to the policies of corporate interests in the border city.[10] Blumenthal contributed to The Huffington Post from 2009 to 2011.[11] In 2011, Blumenthal wrote a story claiming that Israeli forces trained American police departments in anti-protester techniques, including torture, quoting Fordham University Law Professor Karen Joy Greenberg.[12] Contacted by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Adam Serwer of Mother Jones, Greenberg told Goldberg that “I never made such a statement”, while she told Serwer “I did not intend to assert these allegations as factthe entire sense of the quote is inaccurate.”[13][14] Blumenthal responded that he quoted Greenberg accurately and speculated that she had been “intimidated by Goldberg and the pro-Israel forces he represents”.[15][16] Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting on leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian civil war that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israel and Palestine”.[17] He ended his association with Al Akhbar in June 2012, over what he viewed as the newspaper’s pro-Assad editorial line during the Syrian uprising that he said was spearheaded by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb.[18][17] Blumenthal made a short video which he titled Generation Chickenhawk. It featured interviews with convention attendees at the July 2007 College Republican National Convention in Washington, D.C. Blumenthal asked why they, as Iraq War supporters, had not enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.[19][20][21] In 2007, Blumenthal made a short video called Rapture Ready, about American Christian fundamentalists’ support for the State of Israel.[19] He also attended the June 2007 Take Back America Conference (sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future), where he interviewed Barack Obama supporters and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Blumenthal says that conference organizers were angered by Blumenthal’s video, and refused to air it.[19] In 2008, he posted video footage of Christian preacher Thomas Muthee praying over Sarah Palin (then a candidate for Governor of Alaska) and asking God to keep her safe from witchcraft.[22] In 2009, Max Blumenthal posted a short video on YouTube titled “Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem on the Eve of Obama’s Cairo Address”. The video was a montage of footage of drunken Jewish-American youth in Jerusalem in June 2009, shortly before Obama’s Cairo address. The youths used expletives and racist rhetoric about Barack Obama and Arabs, which included referring to Obama as a nigger and suggesting that he is “like a terrorist”.[23] According to The Jerusalem Post, the video “garnered massive exposure and caused a firestorm in the media and the Jewish world”.[24]Haaretz described the video as “an overnight Internet sensation”.[23]

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Hits and myths

Perhaps the most galling aspect of the panegyrics that preceded the burial this week of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, eight years after a stroke that can in retrospect be designated fatal, has been the notion that he was a formidable warrior who evolved into a man of peace. Among the first to tag him thus, in the wake of the so-called Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, was the then president of the United States. George W. Bush wasnt, however, the only person who chose to see that particular maneuver as in some way a positive step on the road to a permanent settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. And the myth has, to some extent, endured, if obituaries in the western media are anything to go by. It is no doubt true that many on the right-wing of Israeli politics were disconcerted by the gesture, not least because it entailed the drama of illegal settlers forcibly being removed by the Israeli military. Many of these settlers, mind you, had willfully been implanted there by Sharon a couple of decades earlier, following the Israeli pullout from Sinai. Even some West Bank settlers, who acknowledge their debt to Sharon in his capacity as successively minister for agriculture, infrastructure, housing and defense, and eventually as prime minister, find it hard to overlook his role in the forced depopulation of Israelis from Gaza. In large part, thats because they tend to see all of the occupied territories as a basis for Eretz Israel. Sharon, on the other hand, was pragmatic enough to envisage minor and ultimately inconsequential concessions as a means of realizing Israels territorial ambitions. Gaza was abandoned, in large part, to facilitate the retention of much of the West Bank. One does not need to turn to Sharons political adversaries to confirm this interpretation. In the wake of the Gaza pullout, his aide Dov Weissglass spilled the beans by describing it as supplying the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians. Max Blumenthal, writing in the American periodical The Nation, also cites another adviser, Arnon Sofer, as claiming when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, its going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today. The pressure at the border will be awful. Its going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day. Given the periodic military attacks on Gaza in the past eight years, the prophecy clearly wasnt misguided. Several of the post-mortem comments, however, raise the counterfactual possibility that if Sharon had not been incapacitated in 2006, he may have gone on to clear parts of the West Bank as well. The basis for this claim is extremely weak. Although Sharon did manage to demonstrate that, given the political will, illegal settlers could indeed be removed by force without precipitating a domestic political revolt. True, he had to bow out of the right-wing Likud party he had helped to form in the 1970s and to found the ostensibly less extremist Kadima. But its worth recalling that even without Sharon at the helm, Kadima succeeded in initially obtaining a popular mandate (although, in the wake of corruption scandals, it has now been reduced to two seats in the Knesset). It does not, follow, however, that Sharon had any plan for disengagement, unilateral or otherwise, from the West Bank. There is in fact no evidence that he ever strayed from a plan he reputedly outlined to Winston Churchills grandson while serving as agriculture minister under Menachem Begin: Well make a pastrami sandwich out of them. Well insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart. That strategy appears to have succeeded to a considerable extent. It cannot, though, be described as the brainwave of a man of peace. The contrary case does not need to rely exclusively on the infamous Sabra and Shatila massacres, for which Israels own Kahan Commission found Sharon personally responsible, compelling him to resign as defense minister from a Cabinet that apparently had remained in the dark about his exact designs in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. By then, his reputation for ruthlessness ought to have preceded him, as well as his tendency to ignore the orders of his superiors whenever he deemed it convenient. Ariel Scheinermann, born in 1928, was a warrior by the age of 20. By 1953, when he was chosen by Ben Gurion to head the commando squad known as Unit 101, he was already determined, as the obituary in The Guardian puts it, to treat civilians who harbored terrorists as legitimate targets, thus pre-empting Bush and the neocons by nearly half a century. Women and children are believed to have featured prominently among the victims of the massacre on Oct. 14, 1953 in the Jordanian village of Qibya, perpetrated by the unit. Some 50 years later, he was a relentless enthusiast for targeted killings another tactic embraced by the US in its ongoing war against terror, notwithstanding the negative repercussions. And his nickname, the Bulldozer, wasnt a metaphorical epithet. Sharon became prime minister after calculatedly instigating the Second Intifada. This week, US vice-president Joe Biden described him as a complex man [who] lived in a complex time in a complex neighborhood. Tony Blair, sporting a skullcap, called him a giant of this land. A Goliath, then, rather than a David. Avi Shlaim, emeritus professor of international relations at Oxford University, says in his 40 years of researching the Arab-Israeli conflict, he has not come across a scintilla of evidence to support the view of Sharon as a man of peace. Sharon was a man of war through and through, he says, an Arab hater, and a pugnacious proponent of the doctrine of permanent conflict. A war hero in 1967 and 1973? To some, perhaps. But then, many of those indicted at Nuremberg would no doubt have been hailed in similar terms, and buried with honors, had the Nazis won the war.

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