April 22, 2004
THE U.S. 'IMPLICITLY APPROVED ISRAEL'S STATE TERRORISM'
** Global dailies claim
Washington's "sumptuous support" abetted Rantisi's killing.
** Left-leaning papers
contend Israel's "unilateral" policy of force goes too far.
** Israel's "blatant
act of recklessness" will only "extend the spiral of
** Pro-Israel outlets say
Rantisi's assassination "serves the cause of peace."
The U.S. must 'hold PM Sharon in check'-- Euro analysts judged the timing of Hamas leader
Rantisi's killing "potentially explosive" for the U.S. because,
coming just after Sharon's visit, it appeared to have Washington's
"blanket endorsement." Muslim
writers far more bluntly blasted Bush's "indiscreet, unjust, unwarranted
and immoral support of Israel's criminal conduct," assailing the
"blank check from Washington" for Israel's "brutal and terrorist
policies." Kuwait's independent Al-Qabas
blamed U.S. "political debauchery and arrogance" for creating what
Saudi Arabia's moderate Al-Bilad termed an "ugly partnership of
state terrorism between the U.S. and the Zionist entity." Palestinian dailies found it
"unlikely" that Israel will halt its "brutal practices"
given how America "supports it financially, militarily and
Israel needs to 'scale down hostilities' and avoid
determination to impose its own order on Palestine" fueled criticism from
liberal writers around the globe. South
Africa's This Day judged Israel's assassinations to be "flagrant
violations of international law," while France's Liberation agreed
such "outlaw" actions are illegal.
Brazil's Folha de Sao Paulo concluded that Israel has "given
up pursuing a peace accord." Dutch
and Belgian papers found Rantisi's "arbitrary execution...unworthy of a
parliamentary democracy," seeing in it proof of Israel's "moral
'An overwhelming barrage of violent Palestinian reprisal' is
coming-- Observers agreed that
such attacks "strengthen motivation to take revenge" among
Palestinians, and predicted "greater violence and chaos." Indonesia's Muslim-intellectual Republika
advised the world not to blame the Palestinians if "more shahid [martyr] bombs
strike." Euro editorialists worried
that violent revenge for Rantisi will occur in "suitable places in the
West or Asia"; Austria's liberal Der Standard warned
"somewhere, at some point, someone will pay the price." Several Arab writers blamed their leaders'
"impotence and cowardice" for Rantisi's death; Qatar's
semi-independent Al-Raya averred "our weakness...led to this
'Bumping off Rantisi was justified'-- Hungarian, Czech and Israeli observers asserted
that Israelis seek only to "protect themselves" from the
"attacks of fanatical terrorists."
Russian papers backed the operation, concluding that the "civilized
world is waging a war on terror."
Business-oriented Kommersant noted that "Israel has been
spared terrorist acts" since the death of Hamas' previous leader. The conservative Jerusalem Post
dismissed critics who demand Israel "take no measure in its self-defense
except to arrest suicide bombers" when they reach Israel, calling that
"no defense at all."
EDITOR: Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: Media
Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment. Posts select commentary to provide a
representative picture of local editorial opinion. This report summarizes and interprets foreign
editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S.
Government. This analysis was based on
88 reports from 40 countries over 17 - 21 April 2004. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "An Assassination
That The World Must Condemn"
The center-left Independent editorialized (4/19): "If anyone doubted Israel's
determination to impose its own order on Palestine, its assassination of the
new Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz Rantissi, a month after the killing of his
predecessor, should have made it abundantly clear.... The U.S. alone declined to criticise Israel's
action, but Downing Street's silence--leaving Jack Straw to issue the usual
disapproval--gave an unequivocal signal.
After the assassination of Sheikh Yassin, Britain abstained on a UN
resolution criticising Israel. It would
send a powerful sign that international law must be upheld if, when a repeat
resolution is proposed this week, Britain and other European countries were to
offer their support."
FRANCE: "The Strategy
Charles Lambroschini noted in right-of-center Le Figaro
(4/19): “Sharon has every intention of
doing a major clean up among the terrorists’ ranks.... But the assassination of Rantissi goes well
beyond that. In spite of international protests, the Israelis are creating a
vacuum.... Sharon is not only recycling
President Bush’s strategy of preventive defense, which President Bush had
adopted in order to justify his assault on Saddam Hussein.... Sharon is set on not repeating Barak’s past
mistake.... The Israeli Prime Minister
has increased the number of targeted assassinations sending out the message to
the Palestinians that their only choice is to give in. Unfortunately, instead
of giving up, Hamas will go even more underground, with its military arm
expanding in the civilian population....
Sharon is essentially concerned with succeeding on the domestic
front.... Mostly, nothing proves that
Sharon will be able to ‘terrorize’ the terrorists. Hamas is not an organization
that can be paralyzed simply by cutting off its head. Hamas is not a
pyramid.... Israel’s logic of vendetta
promises the worst for the future.”
Patrick Sabatier remarked in left-of-center Liberation
(4/19): “Rantissi’s assassination should
not be a surprise. But that should not
keep us from finding fault with Israel’s outlaw action. Not only are such
executions illegal, the effectiveness of this lethal weapon remains
doubtful.... The war against Hamas is
part of Sharon’s unilateral forceful policy. And President Bush, in a
surprising turn around, has just given Sharon his undivided support.... The elimination of Saddam Hussein was
supposed to open the door to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. But the fact is that one year
later, the situation in Iraq is not good, and that ‘progress’ between the
Israelis and the Palestinians is ‘one way.’
If one wanted to turn the Middle East into a time bomb, this is exactly
how one should go about it.”
GERMANY: "The Kingdom
Wolfgang Guenter Lerch commented in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (4/19): "One result
of Rantisi's liquidation will be that the names of his successors will remain
secret. They will plan more terror
attacks from the underground. They will
be more difficult to identify than Sheik Yassin or Rantisi.... After Sharon's planned withdraw, Gaza will
become Hamas land directed from a hidden leadership, which is what Sharon
wanted to avert. It is difficult to
conceive that Egypt, an area of mounting social problems and hatred, could play
a pacifying role in this process. It is
also hard to imagine that Rantiti's targeted killing won't be avenged. It might not happen in Israel itself. There are enough 'suitable' places in the
West and Asia, where they could attack.
Some of the recent violence in Iraq was explicitly linked to the
liquidation of Sheik Yassin.... Above
all, the American President unnecessarily and against the openness of the
Middle East peace process, the road map, accepted these facts--keeping the large
settlements for all eternity. To Palestinians
and Arabs this is an unbearable establishment of an illegal possession of
"Nothing New In Gaza"
Peter Muench argued in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of
Munich (4/19): "Israeli civilians
will pay the price for their government's policy of fueling the circle of
violence. Sharon cannot kill so many
terrorists like he is causing with his policy.
Even if Israel succeeds in weakening Hamas by killing its leadership, it
cannot defeat Palestine terror with it.
On the contrary: the quagmire won't dry up but is watered. Sharon will never understand that his believe
in strength bringing security is false.
As long as there is nobody in Washington who tells him that, we can
expect more of this violent policy."
Igor Man judged in centrist, influential La Stampa
(4/19): “The blank check that Bush gave
Sharon was immediately stained with blood.
The elimination of Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Sheik Yassin’s successor, has
upset Bush’s ‘epochal shift.’ The
behavior of the president of the single world power is perplexing.... By praising and supporting Sharon’s plan, the
U.S. has thrown away all moral scruples.
The Palestinians are no longer counterparts, rather sons of no one. It’s a historic mistake to allow the U.S. and
Israel to decide the Palestinians’ destiny....
This ‘epochal shift’ runs the risk of worsening the disaster that is
occurring in the Middle East. A greater
disaster will be avoided only if Old Europe steps in with its logic and ancient
experience. But Europe seems to be
standing by quietly watching events that are bigger than she is.”
"Sharon’s Road Roller"
Guido Olimpio opined in pro-government, leading center-right Il
Giornale (4/18): “With his renowned
tactical ability, Prime Minister Sharon took advantage of the current
international situation. The Madrid
attacks and the hostage crisis in Iraq--it’s cynical to say so, but it’s
true--favored the killing of Rantisi....
Israel clearly benefited from Washington’s clear and determined support
for the withdrawal plan. Sharon’s recent
mission to the White House clearly ended with a victory for the Jewish state
and for a harsh defeat of the Palestinian Authority. Many say that the U.S. is no longer an
‘impartial arbitrator’ for the two eternal enemies.”
Reformist Izvestiya stated (4/19): "There is often no alternative to
pinpoint strikes in fighting Rantisi, Basayev, Bin Laden, Yandarbiyev, Mullah
Omar and their ilk. The civilized world
is waging a war on terror. Neither we
nor the Israelis nor the Americans started this war. We have had to defend ourselves. You don't fight a war in a 'white dinner
jacket and kid gloves' and, once drawn into a fight, you can't do without
pinpoint strikes or out-of-court executions.
We wish we could take Shamil Basayev alive and bring him to trial. But with Basayev, just like with Bin Laden,
the finale will most likely be out-of-court."
"Rantisi's Death Serves Cause Of Peace"
Andrey Kolesnikov commented in business-oriented Kommersant
(4/19): "It is amazing how many
people have reacted to the Rantisi assassination. Muslims are agitated. But then, they have always been like
that. The Christians are agitated, too. Too many condemn the terrorist act. The EU's Foreign Minister Javier Solana, for
one, has called it unacceptable. This is
the man, formerly NATO's Secretary General, who once unconditionally supported
the carpet bombings of Yugoslavia....
The Russian Foreign Ministry is touchingly evasive. You'll agree that, after the tragic deaths of
Mr. Yandarvbiyev and Mr. Khattab, it would have been strange to hear it speak
of the Rantisi assassination being fraught with more violence.... As a matter of fact, Abdel Aziz Rantisi does
not need anyone to stick up for him.
Explaining why the Israelis had tried and failed to kill him many times,
Rantisi said that Allah did not want him dead.... Abdel Aziz Rantisi died a good death, one
that serves the cause of peace. Indeed,
Israel has been spared terrorist acts ever since the death of Hamas's previous
leader nearly a month ago."
AUSTRIA: "Free Rein
Gudrun Harrer observed in liberal Der
Standard (4/19): ”Within the
Israeli-Palestinian context, it came as no surprise that three weeks after the
'liquidation’ of Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin the Israeli army also eliminated his
successor Abdel Aziz Rantisi. Still, one
can only marvel at how little consideration Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon has
for his American friends.... The timing
of Rantisi’s ‘targeted killing’ is potentially explosive: no one will believe that it was not discussed
with George Bush, or at least given a blanket endorsement by the U.S.
president’s recent concession enabling Sharon to ‘take action against terrorist
groups'.... Indeed, Sharon is the only
one who actually profits from the U.S.' dramatic weakness in Iraq.... Many people in Israel are now hoping that
Sharon’s unilateral move will result in an end to the stagnation...the
elimination of Hamas’ leadership seems to be part of that plan. Any references to international law by the
UN, the EU and others are nothing but necessary as well as helpless pleas, as
long as the only remaining superpower--the USA--also continues to move outside
international legal norms.... Israel
pointed out that since Yassin’s death Hamas has failed to carry out any massive
retaliation strikes. Perhaps, hopefully,
things will remain quiet in Israel. But
somewhere, at some point, someone will pay the price.”
Frank Schloemer wrote in independent De
Morgen (4/19): "As always
Washington is hiding behind the principle that Israel is only taking care of
its own security, that it has the right to defend itself and that the White
House was not informed beforehand. In
that manner the United States implicitly approved Israel's state terrorism for
the umpteenth time and encouraged Ariel Sharon to continue his actions.... Such actions are totally counterproductive
and very bad for Israel's already very negative image in the world. The Arab world--not to mention the
Palestinians themselves--is radicalizing further and a call for revenge is in
the air everywhere. Even moderate Arab
states that have a peace agreement with the Jewish state are turning farther
and farther away from Israel.... Israel
must stop this type of actions--above all for reasons of self-interest. It is true that Hamas has killed hundreds of
Israelis, including children, and that Israel has the right to defend itself
and its citizens against terrorist attacks.
But, Israel does not have the right to murder arbitrarily and to preventively eliminate leaders of other
groups outside its borders. Even if
al-Rantissi had human lives on his conscience, he had the right to a normal
trial and verdict like any murderer.
This arbitrary execution is not only a violation of international law
but also unworthy of a parliamentary democracy.
Israel is a parliamentary democracy--the only one in the Middle
East--but that does not give the Sharon government the right to put itself
above all international norms. Sharon's
actions only extend the spiral of violence and turn against his own
Death For Bloody Future"
Antun Masle wrote in Zagreb-based mass-circulation Jutarnji
list (4/20): "What are the
predictions? Compared to Hamas and the
overall Palestinian resistance movement, the Israeli army looks like Star
Wars. Even though it surrounds Palestine
with a triple ring, even though Palestinians have not undertaken a single
effective revenge operation since Yassin’s murder, assessments are that summer
and fall in Israeli cities will be bloody.
Unrests in neighboring Syria are possible too, along with the explosion
of violence in Iraq. And the Arab world
will at any cost try to help in preventing the reelection of George Bush.”
Jiri Hanak noted in center-left Pravo (4/20): "If the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden,
would it be a terrorist act done by a state, or an act of prevention within the
war on terrorism? Was the killing of
Reinard Heydrich also state terrorism, or was it an act of self-defense from a
man who openly said the Czechs have no right to live in this part of
Europe? The Israeli army killed the
second Hamas leader, Rantisi, a man who--just like his predecessor
Yasini--claimed that Israel should be destroyed. Europe has deplored the act, but the U.S. has
accepted it. Who is right? In the wars
of 1967 and 1973, Israel was fighting for its life. The then-Palestinian leader Shukeiri said:
“The Jews who will survive may stay.
However, I don’t expect any to survive.” It is tempting to say that
whatever the Israelis do in their defense, they do it right. Israel will withdraw from Gaza, but it will
keep some settlements in the proposed Palestinian territory. Can you do what you deny the others? Is not
the Israeli government also helping to power the carousel of bloodshed?"
“Hamas For The Second Time”
Milan Vodicka commented in leading, centrist MF Dnes
(4/19): “By all means, the chair of the
leader of Palestinian Hamas is the 'hottest chair' for any boss all over the
world. The situation in the Middle East
is getting more severe although it always looks as if it cannot get any
worse. It seems that the Israelis,
depressed by the attacks of fanatical terrorists, are trying another desperate
tactic to protect themselves.... The
target is obvious: without a leader, organized and directed terrorists become
only a grouping of undirected and unorganized terrorists...who would
subsequently lose strength. And why now?
Notice that, unlike its British allies, the U.S. has condemned neither the
killing of Yassin nor of Rantisi. By
doing so, it is sending a certain message to Muslims: You are not helping us
with Iraq we will not help you with Israel.
Israelis listen to this and they strive to build up their defense line
as long as they have time for it.”
Liberal Hungarian-language Magyar Hirlap editorialized
(4/19): "It is not a nice thing to
hunt people with a missile. As a matter
of fact, hunting at people with whatever is, in general, an absolutely awful
and unacceptable thing. But the Middle
East can't be listed among the so-called normal regions of the world since a
long time. And the Hamas leader's
liquidation has to 'be placed' into this [irregular] part of the world. Rantisi was, though, a terrorist. He was a terrorist similar to the other
terrorists who did 9/11, Madrid or Bali.
He was threatening with a bloodbath after the murder of Sheik
Jasin. If we look at Rantisi's death
from the said point of view and if we also consider the objective fact that it
was practically impossible to capture him, than his assassination can even be
interpreted as [Israel's] self-defense.
And anybody can still condemn Sharon's methods, while it should not be
forgotten that this is the game of two sides.
They both have set human lives as stake."
"Death In Gaza"
Influential liberal De Volkskrant declared (4/19): "Aside from the moral decay inherent to
the political assassination, the big question is whether Israel will achieve
anything with this in Gaza. In the first
instance, Hamas' leadership will be de-regulated but no one needs to have illusions
about the broad reaction among the Palestinian people. Hamas enjoys broad support and this will only
grow and become more grim."
Centrist Algemeen Dagblad maintained (4/19): "No one needs to shed a tear about the
fate of extremist Muslim leaders who are literally and figuratively speaking
prepared to go over dead bodies in order to establish an Islamic state on the
rubbles of Israel. However, the question
is whether elimination of terrorist leaders will reduce motivation for terror
and whether it will bring peace any closer.
The answer to this question is:
no. As long as Israel prefers
revenge to political negotiations with the Palestinians, those who do not
identify themselves with Hamas, and as long as Israel does not discuss their
fate with them rather than with the U.S., attacks on Hamas leaders will not
contribute to peace. These attacks will
only strengthen the motivation to take revenge and lead to more
NORWAY: "Roadmap For
Independent VG maintained (4/17): "Israel assassinated the Hamas leader
Abdel Aziz Rantisi.... After the
sensational turnaround by President George W. Bush last week, it should come as
no surprise that the U.S. government expressed great understanding over the
murder of the Hamas leader.... Here it
is power that rules. The UN, EU and others may condemn Israel for all they're
worth. Prime Minister Sharon has secured the necessary political backing from
the one country that really counts in this matter."
SWEDEN: "A Dangerous
Malmo-based liberal independent Sydsvenskan remarked
(4/19): "Israel has, since last
summer, in targeted actions, killed three of the most colorful leaders of
Hamas...and now the Palestinian areas are burning with hatred and
implacability, and there is talk of ‘a volcano of revenge.’ To believe in the, so-called, roadmap to
peace or other peace initiatives, given the situation, seems unrealistic. Sharon is pushing the peace further away, and
unfortunately President Bush has placed the U.S. ‘off-side’ with regards to the
Mideast issue.... But Sharon’s imprudent
rampaging must not result in the portraying al-Rantassi a better person than he
actually was. The Hamas leader was an
uncompromising terrorist and an accessory to many of the more than 110 suicide
bombings that since September 2000 have resulted in dead and mutilated civilian
Israelis. This indiscriminate murdering
possibly can explain the Israeli desperation.... If the citizens of Israel have to face the
alternatives to either give up their country or die, it is not at all remarkable
that they offer resistance. But this
does not excuse Sharon’s choice of strategy.”
TURKEY: "The Middle
Mim Kemal Oke opined in conservative, mass-appeal DB-Tercuman
(4/21): "Israel is pursuing an
extermination strategy against Hamas.
However, the real intention is to provoke Hamas into fanatical actions
that will expose to the international community the viciousness of Palestinians
and will also give Israel a pretext to retaliate.... Hamas has remained silent thus far.... The EU has not approved the occupation of
Iraq by the US. President Bush would
like to end the foreign policy isolation the US has been facing after the war
with Iraq.... The upcoming presidential
election in the US is a determining factor as well. Bush, who is being challenged seriously by
Kerry, feels obliged to play for the Jewish vote."
"A Looming Catastrophe"
Fehmi Koru wrote in Islamist/opinion maker Yeni Safak
(4/19): "The Israeli violence in
Palestine is disrupting global balances....
How can the US expect people who are horrified by the events in
Palestine to have appreciation for the Greater Middle East project--an
initiative the Americans have been developing as an exit strategy in their
fight against terrorism. Sharon has
exploited to the utmost the upcoming presidential elections in the US. The extent of Bush's tolerance for Tel Aviv
is taking him to the end of the road in politics by deepening his difficulties
in Iraq. It seems that catastrophe is at
the doorstep for Bush."
ISRAEL: "Don't Let
Terror Ruin Things"
Yoel Marcus asserted in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(4/20): "Bumping off Rantisi was
justified. I doubt that even the heads
of the Palestinian Authority, including Dahlan, shed a tear over his
death.... [Anyway], Hamas wants to reap
the fruit of Israel's unilateral withdrawal and evacuation of settlement in
Gaza, presenting it as a victory for the group.
Israel must be on its guard not to get sucked into this game.... Sharon has launched a dramatic initiative to
withdraw Israeli forces and clear out 20 settlements in the Gaza Strip--a move
that President Bush has described as an historic about-face and the first stage
in implementing the road map on the way to establishing a Palestinian
state. We must take care that terror--of
which there will be more--and our disproportionate responses to it, do not
endanger the disengagement plan or cause the Sharon administration, which is
not bowled over by the plan in any case, to turn against it.... Now is the time for Sharon the statesman to
eclipse Sharon the general, and the forum of five to act like a political
cabinet rather than a subsidiary of the General Staff. Terror must not be allowed to torpedo the
first political initiative in years to offer a small glimmer of hope for a
"The Motivation Behind The Missile"
Independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz contended (4/19): "Knocking off Hamas leaders is not, in itself,
policy. If these acts aggravate risks
faced by Israel and its citizens, they are wrong. Conversely, if they are likely to restrain
Hamas and lead it toward the route of a cease-fire (which disappeared rapidly
last summer) and encourage the organization to work out practical arrangements
with the Palestinian Authority prior to the withdrawal of IDF troops and
settlements from Gaza--then the assassinations should not be ruled out. An echo of this approach can be heard in the
White House.... Even if it is possible
to identify substantive arguments to justify the Rantisi assassination, the
timing of the act raises skepticism about the motives of those who decided to
carry it out. Sharon was eager to arrive
at Sunday's cabinet meeting--and to influence whether top Likud ministers who
have expressed reservations about his disengagement plan will join active
opponents of the plan or be content to issue vacuous statements--with a
military success under his belt."
"Justified And Productive"
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post asserted
(4/19): "Will the British foreign
minister explain why the killing of Uday and Qusay Hussein was justified and
'productive,' but the killing of Abdel Aziz Rantisi was not? All three are, or were, leaders of what the British
government defines as terrorist organizations.... To follow the minister's pronouncements to
their logical conclusion, Israel may take no measure in its self-defense except
to arrest suicide bombers when they reach Israeli soil, which is as good as no
defense at all. Alternatively, he
believes Israel must resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority,
notwithstanding the failure of the PA to take steps against terrorist
organizations and the evidence that it is deeply implicated in terrorist activity."
"Assassination For Disengagement Purposes"
Alex Fishman held in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (4/18): "If any such
thing as a 'positive assassination' exists, then Abdel Aziz Rantisi's
assassination warrants that term. That
is because the removal of Rantisi from the arena is likely to produce a far
more substantial change in the performance of Hamas in Gaza than the
assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Rantisi needed to disappear quickly if only because he threw the gates
of Gaza wide open to direct Iranian influence.... Assassinating leaders on its own serves no
purpose, unless the weakening of the organization they headed is exploited to
promote political goals. Should the
Palestinian Authority rise to the occasion and take responsibility in the Gaza
Strip as a result of Hamas's weakened state, should Egypt, Jordan and other
moderate Arab countries encourage and bolster constructive elements in the Gaza
Strip to take responsibility and to rehabilitate life there after the Israeli
withdrawal, should Israel rise to the occasion to strengthen those elements in
the Gaza Strip that have the ability to assume responsibility--then these
assassinations will prove to have been efficacious. Rantisi's assassination does not change Hamas'
desire for revenge in the least."
WEST BANK: "By
Assassinating Rantisi, Will Israel Achieve Its Objectives?"
Talal Okal commented in independent Al-Ayyam (4/19): "Once again, the whole world except the
U.S condemned the Israeli aggression [the killing of Rantisi and his
companions].... As we all know, the
Israeli aggression against Palestinians is part of the unilateral plan, which
the U.S. has approved and adopted. Thus
it is unlikely that these brutal Israeli practices will stop; rather we should
expect more.... No matter what it does,
Israel will not accomplish anything by uprooting Hamas, or any other
Palestinian movement. It [Israel] will
not be able to destroy the resistance or its capacities, especially if the real
motive behind this resistance--the occupation--continues to exist.... Israel and the U.S. should understand that
this vicious aggression will only deepen hatred and enmity against them, and
will shatter the hope for peace."
"After Washington Is Informed, What's Next?"
Independent Al-Quds editorialized (4/19): "The American reaction expressed by NSA
Rice following the assassination crime against Rantisi, in which she stated
that Washington was not informed about plans to kill Rantisi and that Israel
has the right to self defense, provokes anger and re-emphasizes that, just like
other officials in the American administration, Rice tries to underestimate the
intelligence of the Arab nation and the whole world in general. Such remarks are an attempt to conceal the
American role that obviously sides with Israel and supports it financially,
militarily and politically in addition to protecting it against the
international community's will.... If
Rice was not informed, now she is.
Sharon has renewed his threats to commit more assassinations.... Since it now knows, what will the American
Hafez Barghouti noted in official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
(4/19): "No one talks about the
assassination of Rantisi without mentioning an American association with this
awful crime. Indeed, the American
administration has not hidden its support [to Israel], and describes Hamas as a
terrorist organization to give Israel the right to defend itself.... I believe the 'Israelization' of America
started right after the September 11 events, and then Israel got America
involved in Iraq as an occupier, where it has been copying and applying Israeli
methods.... Perhaps Bush's latest
remarks clear the way for a new stage of the Zionist initiative to increase its
hostility against the region...and perhaps the American calamity in Iraq is
rising due to [America's] following Israeli advice in terms of spreading
religious and ethnic discrimination...in Iraq."
"American-Zionist Terrorism Partnership"
Jeddah’s moderate Al-Bilad stated (4/19): "Today the world suffers from an ugly
partnership of state terrorism between the U.S. and the Zionist entity.... The American statement that agreed that the
Israel has the right to defend itself demonstrated a partnership of terrorism. This partnership plans to inflame the region
and make war against the Arab world. The
hideous murder of Rantissi was an a clear green light by Washington.... The Zionist-Nazi crimes in the occupied
Palestine parallel the crimes of the American occupation in Iraq.... Fallujah has turned into a mass graveyard for
about 800 Iraqi martyrs who were killed in cold blood during one week. When
will this unjust war end? How can we explain
this war if it is not a war against Islam and Arabs? Isn’t it really a clash
"Green Light Leading To Death"
Jeddah’s moderate Okaz remarked (4/19): "America says 'Israel has the right to
defend itself against any ‘terrorist’ organization like Hamas!!'
In diplomatic terms this ‘rude’ justification is a continuation of
the Green Light strategy that the U.S. has given Israel. Normally a green light at a traffic
intersection means proceed, you’re safe.
But in this case the green light means go ahead with your death and
assassination plans. This U.S. comment
is nothing but a gross violation of Palestinian and Arab rights."
The English-language pro-government Arab News declared
(4/19): "Ariel Sharon’s apologists
say that the killing of Abdelaziz Al-Rantissi was designed as a blow against
Hamas terrorists. That is a twisted
lie. The murder of Rantissi was itself
an act of terrorism--cold and calculated.
Israel wants to encourage more violence and drive the Middle East ever
further into chaos.... Israel pretends
it is exacting targeted, surgical revenge for suicide bombings. It knows perfectly well that nothing could be
better calculated to bring on further bloody attacks.... With every new humiliation the Israelis heap
on the Palestinians, radical organizations find new and eager recruits. The radicals seem to many the only way that a
crushed and violated people can strike back at their mighty oppressor.... But there are two laws in the Middle East. One for the Israelis, where murder, whether
of Sheikh Yassin or Rantissi, is justifiable revenge; and one for the
Palestinians, where revenge is always unjustifiable. As long as much of the world, with the U.S.
at the helm, embraces this double standard, no progress can be made in the Middle
East.... Every Israeli outrage, and
every reaction to it, seem to both sides to bear out what they have always
believed. Both sides become ever more
firmly convinced that violence is the only language the other side understands. What makes Rantissi’s murder particularly
depressing, coming as it does so hard on the heels of Washington’s ringing
endorsement of Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, is that
Israel appears to believe that it now has a rubber stamp to do whatever it
pleases to the Palestinians. And perhaps
it does. Successive Israeli attacks have
seemed in part designed to test the limits of U.S. tolerance, and attack after
attack has shown that tolerance to be limitless. The Middle East would be a vastly different
place if only once in more than five decades a single U.S. administration had
joined millions around the world and said 'Enough.'"
Influential, French-language El Watan commented
(4/19): "The U.S. takes a heavy
responsibility for the assassination of the Palestinian leader Al
Rantissi. By totally and unconditionally
siding with Sharon’s separation plan--a plan that violates all the ulterior
U.S. commitments--Mr. George W. Bush encouraged the terrorism of the Israeli
state. In addition, the U.S and Israel
are encouraged by the cowardice of the Arab leaders, unable to join their
forces against a policy that is permanently humiliating them.”
JORDAN: “The American
President And The Numerous Lines And Colors”
Haidar Rashid held in independent, mass-appeal Arabic-language Al-Arab
Al-Yawm (4/20): “The U.S. gave
Israel the green light to assassinate the Hamas leader, and, a few days ago,
the U.S. administration had crossed the red lines of the Palestinian cause when
President Bush declared his support for Sharon’s plan for withdrawal from Gaza
and dropped the most important element of the conflict between the Palestinians
and the Israelis, namely the right of return.... The American occupation forces are going to
withdraw from Iraq. This is a truth that
no two can argue. The Israeli occupation
cannot kill the spirit of resistance and defiance in the Palestinians. More killing the Sharon way means for
Palestinian determination to resist and fight back.... What is going on in the United States, which
is affecting areas of tension and struggle here, is a form of psychological
pressure and planning on the basis of the elections. Yet, the U.S. administration’s crossing of
the red lines in the Palestinian issue with such arrogance and the potential
repetition of a similar thing in the Iraqi issue state the President Bush’s
most important battle [the presidential elections] may not be guaranteed at
“Helpless Even To Express Pain”
Urayb Rintawi opined in center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour
(4/20): “What is going on in the dark
minds of the leaders of Tel Aviv? We do
not know the reality of anything. We
know for sure that they would not have gone this far had the Palestinian and
Arab status quo been different and had the United States not turned into an
‘occupations caterer’ and the ‘thug’ of wars, eliminations, assassinations and
invasions. We do not know what could be
said. Events tie tongues and the
humiliation and degradation that suffocate people are blocking the words and
prevent them from coming out. The call
for patience and forbearance is like pouring oil on a raging fire.... We have nothing but our helplessness to do
anything. We cannot even express our
pain and frustration. Alas the situation
we have come to.”
“The Position Of ‘We Were Not Aware’!”
Jawad Bashiti observed in independent, mass-appeal Arabic-language
Al-Arab Al-Yawm (4/20): “A new
position is being adopted by the Bush administration vis-à-vis every crime
committed by Sharon, namely the position of ‘we did not have prior
knowledge'. Without declaring its clear
support for Israel’s assassination crimes, the Bush administration tends to
detail and clarify its position by saying things like: Israel has the right to
defend itself; whoever is assassinated must have been a terrorist or leading a
terrorist group; we urge Israel to consider the consequences of its
actions. From such a position, one would
conclude that Israel, under the emblem of combating terrorism, has the right to
commit assassinations even if the United States did not have prior knowledge of
them, because there is no need for that!”
“Going Back To Square One”
Rakan Majali asserted in center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour
(4/20): “Israel is the one that
confirms, in words, in deeds and on the ground, that the conflict is that of
existence and not of borders. The
American and Israeli stands unite in adopting the idea that the conflict is
that of existence, allowing Israel to take over everything, and in so doing the
massacres continue, the killing of leaders continue, and the disarmament of the
Palestinian people of all the principles of existence continue. Israel and America want the conflict to
return to square one as a conflict of existence. They do not want to any options for the
Palestinian people and the Arab nation but to accept this clear-cut and
“No Peace And No Reform In The Greater Middle East”
Abu Yazan stated in center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour
(4/19): “By assassinating Dr. Abdul Aziz
Rantisi and Sheikh Ahmad Yassin three weeks before, Israel has released a
riding wave of anger, has entrenched the increasing power of fundamental and
extremist powers in the Palestinian community, and has weakened, to the largest
extent possible, the peace camp and those who call for negotiating a solution
to the conflict.... When the United
States has dropped off the Arab-Israeli conflict and settled for proposing
agendas for political reform and democratic change, Israel, in its continuous
search to break down the Palestinian resistance and steadfastness, has reminded
the region, in its entirety, that this conflict will continue so long as there
is an occupation. The situation being as
such, the result becomes the fact that the United States, with its absolute and
blind bias in favor of Israel, is impeding the solution of the Palestinian
issue and is weakening any chance of settling the Arab-Israeli conflict, and
that Israel, by continuing its war against and extermination of the Palestinian
people and its national and Islamic leaders, is wasting any opportunity for
reform and change in the region.”
“What Is Sharon Doing?”
Chief Editor Taher Udwan asked in independent, mass-appeal
Arabic-language Al-Arab Al-Yawm (4/19):
“Simply, he is making talk about peace with Israel a futile
thing.... What the Palestinian people
and their leaderships are suffering from today would not have continued without
the protection and political and military cover of the United States that has
stood by Sharon’s state terrorism morally and politically. In fact the U.S. worked diligently to exclude
the Security Council and the international community from the struggle and from
peace through a series of vetoes as well as the Bush’s recent letter of
guarantees to Sharon.... Only a miracle
can prevent these developments from turning a comprehensive confrontation
between American and Israel on one hand and Arab and Muslim people on the
“We The Killers!”
Mohammad Al-Tal concluded in center-left, influential Arabic-language
Al-Dustour (4/19): “The
responsibility for what happened to Dr. Abdul Aziz Rantisi lies first and
foremost on us, his people, because we left him and his brethren of Palestine
disarmed of all financial and moral support and totally exposed before a
murderer who wreaked murder and slaughter.
The failing and the weakness of the Arab nation have provided additional
support for Sharon in his battle against the Mujahideen. The White House’s unprecedented support for
the Israeli policy was a determining factor in this open battle, that White
House whose master considers every Arab Muslim a target to be eliminated. Rantisi’s martyrdom and declaring Khaled
Mish’al and other leaders new Zionist targets indicate clearly and explicitly
Sharon’s disregard for the Arab official regime.... Let Sharon and Bush celebrate their
victory. The table will be turned
without a doubt. This is the logic of
history and the Arab nation will not be pinning its destiny on an official
regime that declares its demise every day.”
Dr. Ayed Al-Mana'a wrote in independent Al-Watan
(4/21): "Only three weeks after
sheikh Yaseen's assassination, extremist Zionist Ariel Sharon committed another
criminal act against Rantissi, Yaseen's successor. The real goal behind Zionist violence toward
the Palestinians is that they want the Palestinians to scuttle away with fear
outside Israel's perceived borders. This
of course did not occur; Palestinians did not surrender to the Zionist will
despite violent occupation. The
Palestinians' reaction to the Zionist ethnic cleansing was to react with more
violence. The assassination of
Palestinian activists did not achieve for Israel the minimum requirements for
security, it only proved that violence begets more violence."
"The Stupidity Of The Israeli Right"
Nahar Amer Al-Mikrad maintained in independent Al-Watan
(4/21): "Rantissi's assassination
will damage the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and contribute to the demise
of the Road Map. The United States must
play a positive role and be completely impartial, by applying breaks to the
Israeli right-wing extremists, because the assassinations policy will not
negate the Palestinian's legal right to create their state. Violence will beget more violence, and the
enormity of the Palestinian issue cannot be dismissed so easily. It is a badge of shame on the whole world,
especially on the United States and their European allies, not to have solved
"Who Is This Zionist Enemy"
Dr. Yaser Al-Saleh opined in independent Al-Rai Al-A'am
(4/20): "Many are convinced that
the Israeli enemy is comparable to America.
Liquidating resistance leaders is a similarity between Sharon and
President Bush. The criminal Sharon carried out the Rantissi operation just two
days after meeting with President Bush....
Both do not respect the sanctity of holy places or civilian cities,
deploying cluster bombs on innocent civilians.
Added to that, both men are Zionists, motivated by their religious
beliefs against the Muslim world.
Furthermore, Bush's Administration is filled with hard-core Zionists
such as Wolfowitz, Frum and Perle....
So, what else can we expect out of an Administration that employs
Sharon-like tactics? The only good thing to come out of the Fallujah massacres
is that it exposed Bush's mask to reveal Sharon."
"For Those With Misplaced Political Vision"
Amna Al-Mousawi observed in independent Al-Rai Al-A'am
(4/20): "The White House
politicians gave themselves the full right to defend the horrifying existence
of a Zionist gang, and to fully legitimize the assassinations of Palestinian
leaders. Current events in Palestine are
evidence that America gave Israel the green light to commit the most horrendous
massacres under the pretext of self-defense.
The American Administration and this Zionist cell are full partners in
committing these brutal crimes. It is
clear as the sun that what is happening in the occupied territories today, and
the organized criminality taking place in Iraq, from appropriating sovereignty
to imposing democracy, or creating a new world order under the pretext of
fighting terrorism, are inextricably linked to Zionist-American interests. It is not a secret that Zionist-American
interests are targeting the region.
Drying up the wells of terrorism is just a cover to negate legitimate
resistance to the occupation. According
to the new occupation project, imposing a so-called democracy is a means of
enforcing successor dictatorships in place of the ones that have outlived their
"Rantissi's Assassination Is Terrorism"
Adel Al-Qassar claimed in independent Al-Qabas (4/20): "With Rantissi's death, Palestinian
resistance will courageously rise again.
This violence and Zionist terrorism against the Palestinians, is
committed with the blessing and support of the American Administration, and is
clear evidence that the Palestinians have no other choice but to continue their
resistance. This excessive Zionist
conduct, coupled with America's lenient spectator-like approach toward the
Palestinian suffering, represents a circle of organized and continuous Zionist
terrorism. What can Arab and Islamic
governments do in face of American political debauchery and arrogance?"
"Why Do They Hate Us But Love Israel"
Ahmad Al-Jarallah, Editor-in-chief and proprietor of independent Al-Seyassah,
asked (4/19): "Here we go again,
reliving the cycle of pain in the aftermath of Dr. Rantisi's martyrdom, so soon
after the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Yaseen. For a while, we shall rage at America and
Israel, and some Arab leaders will even issue emotionally charged
censures. All this will amount to
nothing, except that we have to ask ourselves: Why does Israel attack us? Why
is that country controlling our destiny? Why is Israel unconditionally accepted,
pampered and always understood by the U.S.?
If we try to answer these questions, we shall find that the fault lies
with us and not with Israel. We have not
yet learned to make friends. Israel speaks to the U.S. with one voice, whereas
we speak with twenty-four different voices. How can such a minority control the
American Administration? Why does
America bless every action taken by Sharon against us? Regrettably, we have
offered nothing to the Americans. On the
contrary, we organize anti-American demonstrations; we burn their flag and their
president's picture, and we demand a boycott of their goods. Until we find the answers, we shall continue
to struggle with animosity toward us.
Yaseen's and Rantisis's assassinations reflect our helplessness and
Former Islamist MP Abel Muhsin Jamal wrote in independent Al-Qabas
(4/19): "Zionists have clearly
declared that they will continue to assassinate Palestinian resistance leaders,
therefore, the only choice for the Palestinians is resistance. The Rantisi operation occurred two days after
Sharon's meeting with President Bush, who offered full support. Offering martyrs will not weaken the
resistance, but will infuse it with further determination. Israel wants to prove to the Arabs that they
have no status internationally, and that their future is decided by
LEBANON: “Confronting A
Project--Not Only By Assassinations”
Rafiq Khoury claimed in centrist Al-Anwar (4/20): “Reactions to Rantisi’s assassination were
not at the same level as the policy of targeted killing. Obviously, they were also not on the same
level as the dangerous U.S. strategy in the region.... The scene that followed the assassination of
Shaykh Yassin was repeated following Rantisi’s assassination: a mixture of anger and condemnation and
rhetoric that uses catchy words and statements.... The American-Israel strategy for the region
needs a long term strategic response, and not a thousand response by Hamas or
new assassinations.... The
American-Israeli project should not continue to be the only game in the
“Confronting A Project--Not Only By Assassinations”
Rafiq Khoury observed in centrist Al-Anwar (4/20): “Reactions to Rantisi’s assassination were
not at the same level as the policy of targeted killing. Obviously, they were also not on the same
level as the dangerous U.S. strategy in the region.... The scene that followed the assassination of
Shaykh Yassin was repeated following Rantisi’s assassination: a mixture of anger and condemnation and
rhetoric that uses catchy words and statements.... The American-Israel strategy for the region
needs a long term strategic response, and not a thousand response by Hamas or
new assassinations.... The
American-Israeli project should not continue to be the only game in the
“Abdel-Aziz Rantissi: Israeli Assassination With An American And
Talal Salman averred in Arab nationalist As-Safir
(4/19): “The shrapnel of Israeli
missiles that targeted the head of Hamas...hit every Arab home.... This was simply the most public political
assassination in history. It was one of
the most horrific targeted crimes which carried the signature of the decision
maker and the assassin.... The
U.S...gave the license...for this public killing. George Bush’s signature on this assassination
is parallel to Sharon’s signature....
The U.S. believes that targeted killings by an occupier is not
terrorism. Assassination of political
leaders is not terrorism. Assassination
of civilians including women and children is not terrorism. Assassination of houses or trees is not
terrorism. State terrorism is
legitimate.... As for Arabs...they have
not even succeeded in protecting their personal dignity.”
”He Had A Date With Death”
Independent Al-Balad commented (4/19): “Rantissi is not more important than the
creator of Hamas and his influence is not greater than Abou-Jihad or other
martyrs. However, his assassination came
about following a historic transformation in the U.S. position on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which the U.S. approved Sharon’s disengagement
Has Become Legitimate!"
Mohamed Ben Saleh opined in Istiqlal party-run Arabic-language Al
Alam (4/20): "The entire
world--except the U.S.--has condemned Israel for its criminal
practices.... The world is facing a
bigger danger than Israel, since it was created on the basis of aggression,
killing, theft and destruction of civilization; but (worse than that is) the
U.S. permission and advocacy for the state terrorism practiced by Israel in its
ugliest aspects. There is no country in the world that practices state
terrorism except Israel....
International terrorism has now become legitimate, especially after the
meeting between Bush and Sharon and following the crime of assassinating the
martyr Rantisi by a helicopter controlled by U.S. technology. Terrorism has
taken its legitimacy from the leader of the civilized world."
Director Abdelmounem Dilami wrote in independent Arabic-language Assabah
and independent business-oriented French-language L'Economiste
(4/19): "In fact, Israel cannot
carry out this kind of operation (the assassination of Abdelaziz Al-Ranstissi)
with such precision without the assistance of U.S. satellites. The U.S. does not limit itself to protecting
Israel, but encourages and participates with it in its terrorist actions. So
what's left of U.S. credibility to talk about progress and development in the
region?.... In the name of democracy,
America bombards and kills peoples. The war against Iraq is unjustified: there
are no weapons of mass destruction, but Washington does not care. After having
destroyed the Iraqi state, Americans are perpetrating genocide in that country.
We had hoped that the twenty-first century would have been one of prosperity.
However, the U.S. has made of it the opposite, since it has implicated humanity
into chaos. Gradually, the U.S. has become the strategic enemy of the elite in
the Arab world, including the pro-Western elite."
QATAR: “Who Killed
Al-Azab Al-Atayib maintained in semi-independent Arabic-language Al-Raya
(4/19): “The day before yesterday, I was
reading an interview done with Dr. Rantici by an Egyptian paper on the
Internet. I just felt that something not right...a few hours later someone in
my office came and told me that Rantici was killed. For a few minutes I did not
believe that he was killed, I thought he would survive this like he did last
year, but no he did not--he died. The first question that crossed my mind was:
Who killed Al-Rantici? Was it the last meeting between the criminal Sharon and
Bush, who gave what he doesn’t own to those who do not deserve it? Is it the
current Zionist administration in Washington that only offers death, blood,
killing and weapons? Or is it our weakness, which led to this pathetic
situation? It is us. We gave them the chance to penetrate us, we allowed them
to live in our land, and it is our mistake. This anger in the Arab street, one
day, will explode and God only knows what will happen.”
SYRIA: "Can We Count
On The Security Council?"
An unsigned editorial in government-owned Tishreen
read (4/21): "The UNSC discussed
Al-Rantissi's assassination in an open session.... The UNSC will also not be able to overcome
the U.S. veto.... If the U.S. presumably
concurs with international legitimacy, there is no indication that Israel is
ready to succumb or even cares about this legitimacy.... Israel was established in political vacuum
with the support of the imperialist powers in the UN. It was established on
land which is not its own, land owned by people who have been deeply rooted to
this land for five thousand years....
There is no indication that the UNSC can be counted on to sue Israel's
crime of assassinating Al-Rantissi or any of its endless crimes."
"A State Of Joint Enmity Towards Arabs"
Ahmad Dawa remarked in government-owned Al-Thawra
(4/20): "Day after day, the danger
neo-conservatives are for world peace becomes clearer.... The US Administration didn't need to known
the timing and details of Al-Rantissi's assassination since it extends
political, military and financial support to Israel and blesses Sharon's brutal
and terrorist policies within the occupied territories.... Indications from Washington show that the
Israeli-US relationship is becoming more and more dangerous for the region.... Both Bush and Kerry are competing to confirm
Israel's right to self-defense in a battle in which Palestinians are the
victims and whose fuel is a joint effort to get the votes of the Jewish
"Who Nurtures Rancor And Hatred?"
Khalaf al-Jarad wrote in government-owned Al-Ba'ath
(4/19): "Bush has simply abrogated
international law and international resolutions established in 1947 and has
side-stepped any role by his partners, whether in Europe, Russia or the UN, not
even giving any role to Palestinians.
One his own authority, he gives and takes while others must commit
themselves to the U.S. administration's Likudist ideas.... It is obvious that the two partners, Bush and
Sharon have agreed on details of military operations in the region. Al-Rantissi's assassination is the proof that
exposes the secrets of their 'joint strategic vision' and proves the statement
of those who drafted the U.S. 'letter of guarantees' that they do not negotiate
with Israel as a separate partner, but as a partner on the same team. In the next few months we will witness more
repercussions of Sharon's visit, a visit which the Israeli media described as
'a significant victory for Sharon's vision and strategies'.... Who is it who cultivates the seeds of
terrorism and puts terrorism into practice after all? Who nurtures rancor and hatred not only in
the Middle East but throughout the whole world?"
“After Bush’s Decision To Adopt Sharon’s Plan”
Senior editor Assia Atrous stated in independent Arabic-language As-Sabah
(4/18): “The fact that the American
Secretary of State Colin Powell is justifying President Bush’s decision and
working on placing all responsibility on the Palestinians’ shoulders...shows
that America is shirking its promised role as an honest broker for the peace
process. Whether President Bush’s decision is aimed at diverting attention from
what is happening in Iraq or to winning the support of the Jewish lobby in his
election campaign, the result is the same.
It reopens the debate on the credibility of the U.S. administration just
after we had noted recent improvements in this regard.... Washington chose to ignore international law
and to support the executioner, rather than the victim. Is it therefore correct for the world to
continue placing the responsibility on the Palestinian people for their
possible reactions to the White House decision to concede Palestinian rights to
the Israeli government?”
"What Are Arabs Waiting For?"
The expatriate-oriented English-language Gulf
News stated (4/19): "With the
assassination of Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Al Rantissi, Israel has resumed its
murderous actions against the Palestinian people. Israel carried out this crime only three
weeks after it killed Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as he was leaving a
Gaza mosque after dawn prayers. Israel
is carrying out these crimes amid shameful silence from Arab leaders. The crimes are not expected to stop because
Israel is interpreting this silence as consent towards what it is doing. What are Arab leaders waiting for?.... Arab leaders are called upon to listen to
their people now--and to their consciences--and take a stand against Israel's
constant insults and abuses. By
maintaining a stony silence over Israel's slaughter of Palestinian people and
their leaders, they are simply accepting humiliation. Arab leaders should realise that Israel could
view their silence not just as complete consent, but also as impotence and
cowardice.... Our leaders must take
action today because tomorrow is too late.
They must stop all negotiations with Israel, withdraw their ambassadors
from that country and halt any move towards normalization of relations with Tel
Aviv. It is also time to send a strong
message to the U.S., saying Arab states will not accept humiliation and will
not be submissive. They must give
Washington an ultimatum to revise its pro-Israel policy, curb Tel Aviv instead
of giving it the green signal to carry on criminal activities and expansionist
moves, and play an impartial role in the Middle East to achieve a just, durable
and comprehensive peace settlement....
Both Israel and the U.S. have gone too far in their insults against our
people and leaders, and it is time now to stop them."
"U.S. Responsible For Israel's Assassination Of Hamas Leader"
Liberal Asahi said (4/19): "Israel's assassination of Hamas leader
al-Rantisi was a blatant act of recklessness.
The White House refrained from clearly condemning Israel's
assassination. The Bush administration
will have to assume responsibility for retaliatory terrorist acts by
Palestinians against Israel as well as for a rise in anti-U.S. feelings in the
Arab and Islamic world. We are concerned
that the marriage of anti-U.S. occupation feelings among Iraqis and anti-U.S.
sentiment among the Palestinians would worsen the Iraq situation and cause U.S.
strategy toward the Middle East to fail.
At present, no other nations except the U.S. are able to stop Israel's
reckless actions. If the Bush administration
cannot hold Prime Minister Sharon in check, it is not qualified to propose a
plan for the democratization of the Middle East."
Islamic-oriented Pelita maintained
(4/21): "The Middle East is now
burning following the murder of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Al Rantisi and
President Bush’s position endorsing Sharon’s political plan on the occupation
of Palestinian territories.... We find
Bush’s position a blunder that will impact negatively on Middle East peace
process. It can even prompt new violence
throughout the world. A unilateral
solution will not bring peace because the Palestinian-Israel issue cannot be
settled individually, let alone only by the U.S. After all, the U.S. and Israel do not own the
"The Killing Of Rantisi And Ariel Sharon’s Political Plan”
Leading independent Kompas editorialized
(4/20): “Less than a month after the
killing of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the spiritual leader and founder of Hamas,
Israel again struck its rockets and killed the new Hamas leader, Abdul Aziz
al-Rantisi last Saturday.... The latest
development is seen as part of the materialization of a Double Standard adopted
by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. In the strategy, on the one hand, Israel will
withdraw unilaterally from Gaza, which was occupied by Israel since the
Arab-Israel war in 1967. Israel will also evacuate Jewish settlements in Gaza.
But, on the other hand, Israel will continue its attacks on militant groups.
This is what Sharon called the 'Political Framework'.... It is a fact that last Saturday’s attack has
created new tension after the situation was relatively calm in the last
weeks.... Every time a peace accord
initiative was set up, it was hampered by progress colored with violence. In a
seemingly never-ending situation, the U.S. has many times showed its position
the conflict. But, instead of producing peace, new violence occurs. Often there
is an impression that the role of the U.S. is less effective in creating peace.
The reason is likely due to its impartiality, sided with Israel, and not
careful. In the last case, its approval to allow Israel to withdraw from Gaza
looks like it supports a peaceful solution. However, some believe that its
support for Sharon will be interpreted as approval for Israeli leaders to act
“Bush-Sharon Vs. The World”
Independent Koran Tempo observed
(4/20): "The escalation of violence
continues to roar in the Middle East, especially in Palestine, following the
Israeli killing of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi. It is getting more
obvious the ignorance of President Bush’s administration towards the important
role it plays as an instrument of Israeli brutality. From day to day, it is
obvious that the U.S. has no sincere will to eradicate terrorism; the
superpower country has been involved by giving approval to terrorist
acts.... For the Arab countries,
President Bush’s stance is harmful, as he not only remained silent to Israeli’s
brutality. Only few days before the killing, he gave his approval to Prime
Minister Sharon’s plan to withdraw from Gaza but continue to occupy a number of
Jewish settlements taken over in the 1967 War. The plan is clearly a digression
against the formation of an independent Palestine state.... It is clear that the U.S. is getting more
isolated in its policy on the Middle East. The U.S. position not only makes for
heightened tensions in Palestine but also triggers anger that could burn in the
Middle East, including the Persian Gulf regions, in the form of uncontrollable
"Israel: The Terrorist
Becoming More And More Ferocious"
Muslim intellectual Republika asserted
(4/19): “Rantissi, the successor of
Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, was killed by two Israeli rockets launched from a
helicopter in the Gaza strip on Sunday. Last month, it was Sheikh Yassin who
was the victim. This spiritual leader
and founder of Hamas returned to God after Israeli rockets struck.... Do not blame the Palestinians if starting
this second, this day, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, more shahid bombs
strike. Do not condemn them if later
civilians and Israeli children become victims.
Remember, they are fighting for their lives, dignity, sovereignty and
religion. Of course we don’t want
bloodshed to continue. The world must
unite to fight these injustices.... OIC
countries can try other ways. Remember what
King Fahd did after he was outraged by Israel’s atrocities against
Palestinians. He manipulated oil
production and prices, eventually directly attacking U.S. interests. What happened next was the U.S. economy was
hit, forcing the incumbent U.S. president George Bush, to visit the Saudi
king. A day after that, Bush pressured
Israel.... It is such concrete step that
would likely prevent further bloodshed and pave the way for Palestinian
Peace In Palestine"
The government-influenced English-language New Straits Times
editorialized (4/20): "Sharon, like
other Israeli prime ministers before him, is leaving a trail of blood in his
quest for peace. His plan for
'disengaging' from the Gaza strip is being accompanied by a policy of
assassination to decimate the top leadership of Hamas. The refusal of the White House to censure the
slaying underscores once again its blind support for Israel. The execution was a direct result of American
encouragement and the complete bias of the American administration towards the
Israeli Government. The principles of
human rights and provisions of international law prohibit, without exception,
the extra-judicial execution of people, and such killings are violations of
international law. While Israel has the
right to defend itself, this should be done within the rule of law. Targeted killings not only raise serious
questions of legality but also grievously jeopardize efforts towards a peaceful
settlement of the Palestinian question.
Israel has proven its prowess in killing people. It is about time it shows that it knows how
to seek peace."
SINGAPORE: "Bush Backs
The pro-government Straits Times declared (4/20): "What was United States President George
W. Bush thinking of? The US occupation of Iraq is facing serious challenges;
distrust of America is running high in Arab and Muslim countries; and he
chooses this moment to back an Israeli plan obviously and grotesquely unjust to
Palestinians? Mr. Bush should have shown Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
the door last Wednesday.... 'What was
theirs, is mine; and what is theirs, is also mine,' Mr. Sharon in effect said,
and Mr. Bush agreed. Is it any wonder the US, and Mr. Bush personally, is
distrusted in the Arab-Muslim world? As
timing would have it, Israel's officially sanctioned murder of Hamas leader
Abdel Aziz Rantissi last Saturday has added fury to the sense of betrayal. The
mix is deadly. The enormity of the injustice that Mr. Bush has committed the US
to supporting cannot be exaggerated....
Seven U.S. administrations, Republican and Democrat alike, including the
current administration, have held fast to that position--till, that is, Mr.
Bush decided it was no longer valid. What makes the reversal so painful for US
allies and friends, including moderate Muslims, is that it was motivated by
nothing other than crass short-term political calculation.... For Mr. Bush, the deal will appeal to
fundamentalist Christians and some Jewish voters. It is not clear why he
thought he needed to make an especial appeal to people who would have voted for
him in any event. But the U.S. presidential election is likely to be close, and
Mr. Bush probably thought some extra insurance couldn't hurt. He would have
advanced his wider policy aims in the region if he had stuck to the policies of
six of his predecessors. If he wished to clarify his position on the
settlements, he might have backed the agreement that Israel and the Palestinian
Authority almost reached in December 2000. That agreement had provided for the
transfer of some West Bank land to Israel, in return for an equivalent transfer
of Israeli land to the new Palestinian state. A US commitment to the creation
of such a state would have seemed credible to Arab-Muslims if Mr. Bush had not
chosen this moment to shill for votes."
"Israel’s ‘Targeted Assassination’ Of Hamas Leader Shocking"
Conservative Segye Ilbo editorialized (4/19): “Israel’s latest assassination of top Hamas
leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi has amplified the long-standing discord and hatred
between the Arab world and the non-Arab world, as well as between concerned
parties, posing the greatest threat to Middle East peace. Considering that no country should use
assassination and violence to win a ‘solution’ on its own terms, the Israeli
act deserves blame from the international community for the current
situation.... Washington is also to blame
for the situation, given its recent reversal of the longstanding U.S. Middle
East peace principle and its declared support for Israel.... For now, there seems to be no alternative but
to rely on the UN to play the role of impartial mediator in international
strife. The U.S. and the UN should come
forward to prevent the bloody vicious cycle of large-scale bombing attacks and
ensuing retaliatory strikes from continuing any longer.”
INDIA: "Israel In The
Orb Of Self-Extinction"
Calcutta-based Bengali-language independent Ananda Bazar
Patrika declared (4/21): "The
fire is already blazing and it is being fanned continually. It seems that both
the sides are keen to make the Israel-Palestinian problem even more complex
every hour. It is impossible to arrive at any other conclusion.... What the opponent's reaction to Israel's
offensive move would be can be easily guessed. Consequently, not only are
activists of militant organizations taking resolve by brandishing their
weapons, but even other Palestinians, who do not normally belong to any
extremist group or probably owe allegiance to the tenets of Hamas or al-Aksa,
are in the meantime supporting retaliatory thoughts more than ever before. The
Israeli leadership may rest assured that this unified will of avenging will not
go awry and an overwhelming barrage of violent Palestinian reprisal in response
to their state terrorism will soon follow. It would probably be wrong to say that they 'wanted' this to
happen. But was it possible to see any other outcome following their act?
Whatever might be the distant objective of the Israeli plan for withdrawing
from Gaza and the West Bank, there is no doubt that in the near future there
would certainly be yet another chapter of violence and counter-violence
unleashed. It is amazing why Israel is choosing an assured path of
self-extinction in spite of this.... If
U.S. support remains, Israel will continue to be on an attacking spree and
Palestinian terrorists too would sweat the earth with blood. This is probably
the Middle East's unfortunate fate in present times as well as in the
The centrist Asian Age opined (4/20): "With a blank cheque from Washington,
Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has done it again: his weaponry has removed
Abdel Aziz Rantisi.... The roadmap for
West Asian peace seems to now lie in tatters, perhaps forever, as the idea
seems to be to make even new generation Palestinians hostile to the peace
process. The decision to sanction the assassination of the Hamas leader
signifies Israel's decision to decisively cripple Hamas. Targeting key Hamas
leaders is the "logical" and predictable fallout of President Bush's
decision to loosen all restraints on the Israeli leadership. Israel is
following up on its policy of disengagement from the Gaza Strip by obliquely
telling the Palestinians that all their hopes of a greater sense of
appreciation of their rights have now vanished.... With first Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and now
Rantisi gone, the calculation seems to be that the back of the Palestinian
resistance has been broken in no uncertain terms. But here, both Sharon and his
mentors in Washington seem to be making a mistake, because a people who have
long lived with a sense of deprivation will now become more desperate than
ever. Bush had stated a few days ago that UN Security Council resolutions which
conferred the right of return to Palestinian refugees had become
"irrelevant" now. In other words, Bush thinks that while one party to
the conflict has every right to interpret things as it wants, the other has no
such choice before it. A trigger-happy Sharon could not have asked for greater
support than what he has now got from his friends. Issues such as perpetration
of illegal settlements in the West Bank have been instantly discounted by the
latest turn of events.... The otherwise
disparate Arabs have now been afforded an opportunity to unite in hatred
against the Jewish state. This is likely to be the long-term outcome to the
raging madness in the region."
"Toll Of Terror"
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer held (4/20): "The 'targeted assassination' of Abdel
Aziz Rantissi, the leader of the terrorist organization Hamas...has to be
regretted. Killings, even of leaders of hardened terrorist organizations
responsible for murdering hundreds of innocent men, women and children, warrant
no rejoicing. They are, most tragically, an integral part of the spiral of
violence and counter-violence that terrorism unleashes. Hamas...has been systematically indulging in
terrorism ever since its formation in 1987....
Hamas, whose formation breathed new life into terrorism in West Asia,
belongs to the jihadi tradition....
Indeed, one wonders whether 'targeted assassinations' can at all deliver
peace to West Asia. The Hamas is bound to evolve a tactical response to it; the
very fact that the organization has kept the name of its new leader in Gaza
strip secret, shows that it is already in the process of doing so. This in turn
indicates that West Asia is unlikely to know peace in the near future. For, the
region's climate is becoming increasingly inclement for political talks which
alone can ensure a lasting settlement."
"One More Unforgivable Murder"
Independent Urdu-language Inquilab argued (4/19): "By assassinating the second top leader
of the Palestinian resistance organization Hamas, Israel has only reaffirmed to
the world community that it accepts no solution to the crisis in the Middle
East except through brutality and aggression. Far more tragic is the callous
indifference of the internationally community.
If it remains unmoved even at such a naked savagery and makes no effort
to stop the anti-Palestinian and anti-peace actions of the Zionist state, one
would be justified to see the world community as a party to Israel's inhuman
crimes. It is extremely unfortunate that Israel's state terrorism and naked
aggression draws no serious response from the international community which
never fails to lecture the oppressed and helpless Palestinians on virtues of
peace and tolerance. How can one expect a people not only deprived of their
homeland and all legitimate rights but also targeted for decades with murders,
tortures and many other horrible atrocities to keep quiet and make no
resistance against the persecution? It is the duty of all peace loving countries
to work out a joint strategy against Israel if a resolution of the Middle East
crisis is to be found."
"Assassination Is Kosher"
Shireen M. Mazari concluded in the centrist national
English-language News (4/21):
"The only way to deal with the new norms is to maintain favorable
positions on the ground and a psychological strength in oneself. The old rules of the game are on their way
out, the new ones are just coming into play--in between anarchy is taking over
and there is space for maneuver if we are prepared psychologically. Did you know the difference between
assassination and murder? According to
the Oxford Reference Dictionary, murder is the "intentional and unlawful
killing of one person by another" (it does not have to be by violent means);
assassination refers to killing ‘an important person’ by "violent means
usually for political or religious motives." So, while murder may remain unlawful in most
societies, assassinations will soon become kosher worldwide, if the new trend
catches on! God help us all!"
The centrist national English-language News editorialized
(4/20): "Consequently Israel with
Washington’s sumptuous support continues to suppress the Palestinians without
protest or any resistance from other Arab states. The OIC, which is minded to react to the
developments in the Middle East, does not offer much hope except loud
rhetoric. Possibly the solution will
come from the Palestinians in the future in much the same as the Iraqis are
confronting the U.S."
"In The Court Of History"
Islamabad-based Urdu-language Al-Akhbar noted (4/20): "Whether there is a Republican
administration in the U.S. or a Democrat, some realities of global politics
never change--the U.S. does not have any independent idea or policies to
pursue; it remains a total slave of the Zionist interests.... The martyrdom of Ahmad Yasin and Rantisi have
brought Bush and Sharon to the court of history, which is setup just for those
who commit atrocious crimes against humanity."
“Is There Any Doubt, Ambiguity In America’s Anti-Muslim Posture”
Karachi-based, pro-Taliban/Jihad Urdu Islam opined
(4/20): "The blind U.S. support to
Israeli terrorism has proved yet again that the U.S. does not want to eliminate terrorism but
Muslims themselves from the world and its tyrannical policies are propagating
terrorism. Had there been any ambiguity
about this U.S. role in the minds of the world at large then it should have
been removed by now."
Karachi-based center-left independent national English-language Dawn
said (4/19): "The killing of Hamas
Gaza chief Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi is more than an act of madness on the part of
Israel. It is now clear that it is part
of Ariel Sharon's plan to eliminate one Palestinian leader after
another.... America's support for
Israel's unilateral actions and its gang sterism, which Washington's staunchest
European allies also condemn as 'unlawful' and 'unacceptable,' has only worked
to legitimize Mr. Sharon's twisted logic that makes no distinction between
secular Palestinian organizations and militant Islamist groups. The sudden shift in American policy is thus
helping to further the right-wing Israeli government's murderous designs on all
Palestinian leaders and leading the region towards greater violence and
"Israel For Complete Surrender"
The Islamabad-based rightist English-language Pakistan Observer
(4/19): "The assassination of Abdel
Rantissi is yet another crime in the long list of Israel’s vandal conduct. It deserved vehement condemnation worldwide
and the international community has done so.
It is, however, being stated that Israel was encouraged to launch
missile attack on Rantissi due to U.S. President Bush’s endorsement of Israeli
stance towards its neighbors during Ariel Sharon’s visit to Washington the
other day.... It is disgusting that the
Bush administration is adding fuel to the fire with its indiscreet, unjust,
unwarranted and immoral support of Israel’s criminal conduct instead of working
for peace, security and stability in the Middle East."
"Rantissi’s Martyrdom After Sheikh Yassin: Weakness Is Death"
Second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt declared (4/19): "Rantissi’s martyrdom is a slap on the
face of humanity, which tolerates Israel’s state terrorism. This is all the more shameful for the Arab
world and the Islamic world for being silent spectators to this drama and being
unaware of the logical conclusion of these events."
BANGLADESH: “Killing Of
Rantissi: Fuel To Greater Violence”
The independent English-language Daily Star commented
(4/20): "The EU and all Middle
Eastern countries have condemned the killing, but the U.S., which has already waged
two wars to oppose ‘state-sponsored terrorism,’ has endorsed the
assassination. The U.S. must realize
that if its prime objective is to contain state-sponsored terrorism, Tel Aviv
must be dissuaded from carrying out targeted assassinations."
SOUTH AFRICA: “State Of
Liberal This Day remarked (4/20): "The assassination of...Rantissi should
be condemned in the strongest possible terms.... While Israel’s assassinations are flagrant
violations of international law...it still enjoys the approval of the U.S.
government.... It is significant that
this attack came so quickly after…Bush’s meeting with...Sharon.... It confirms that the U.S. will continue to
aid and abet the Sharon regime instead of using its considerable influence to
end Israel’s oppressions of the Palestinians...the Rantissi killing...will
prompt the inevitable, which is to drive Hamas underground. Israel is no more likely to solve the suicide
bombings by killing Palestinian leaders than the U.S. is going to win the
so-called war on terror by invading Iraq.
The Middle East crisis needs much cooler heads to solve the problem--not
itchy trigger fingers. The ‘Holy Land’
is long gone. The killing fields are all
that are left.”
“Escalation Of Hate”
Afrikaans-language centrist Die Burger contended
(4/20): "The murder
of...Rantissi...is unlawful. It’s
immoral. And it fuels an explosion of
hate among Palestinians. Sharon is
making a political solution totally impossible by creating a legacy of hate
which will follow the Israelis to the third and fourth generation.... Fact is that in Sharon future plans...there
is no place for a Palestine. Desperate
actions are all that remain for Palestine.
And ordinary Israelis will pay the price for that.”
"Two Gone, One To Go?"
Pro-government, Afro-centric Sowetan argued (4/19): "As expected, the U.S. ..was lukewarm
in its response to Yassin’s killing.
Washington mildly criticized Sharon--not in person--but hastily affirmed
his right to defend himself. This was
widely read as condoning extra-judicial killings by Israel. Watchers of the volatile Middle East region
feel--not unjustified--that the series of killings of Hamas leaders is a test
case for the eventual frying of the bigger fish (read the assassination of
Arafat).... Rantissi’s killing is
particularly significant. It comes just
days after the visit by Sharon to...Bush....
Therefore, if Sharon has to be stopped, it would be pointless for the
world to continue talking to him. Time
has come to talk to his handler directly.
Bush must stop Sharon at once.”
TANZANIA: “Murder Of Dr.
Rantisi: America Is To Blame, Not
Maalim Bassaleh stated in pro-Islam weekly Swahili-language
tabloid Nasaha (4/21): "The
murder of Rantissi may appear to have been spontaneous, but the truth is that
it was planned ages ago. Ariel Sharon
has promised to kill all Palestinian leaders opposed to Israel’s occupation of
their land. He would already have killed Yasser Arafat had President George
Bush not intervened.... America’s war against
terrorism is actually directed against Muslims, although America does not
explicitly say so for fear of antagonizing the world and other puppet Islamic
states. The murders of Yassin and Rantissi are part of the so-called war
against terrorism.... But Israel is
deceiving herself. Sheikh Yassin and Dr. Rantissi are not the first Palestinian
leaders to be assassinated by Israel. Although many more have been killed by
Israeli forces, this has just served to motivate Palestinians to fight against
the oppression of the forces of occupation....
If Israel wants to silence Palestinians by force, then it should kill
all of them. However, just like Adolf Hitler failed to eliminate all Jews,
Israel will not manage to kill all Palestinians. If Sheikh Yassin and Dr. Rantissi are the bin
Ladens of Palestine, then Sharon is the Hitler of Israel. Sharon is a murderer.
In 1982, he ordered the attacks on Sabra and Shatilla, Palestinian refugee
camps in Lebanon, during which more than 4,000 Palestinians were killed. America, and specifically the Bush
Administration, should carry the blame for all that is happening. While the
whole world condemned the murders of the two Palestinian leaders, America not
only refused to apportion blame, it actually declared that Israel has the right
to defend herself. This means that
America finds the murders justifiable....
At a time when Israel is killing Palestinians under the pretext of
fighting terrorism, American troops in Iraq are doing precisely the same.
Bloodshed and chaos in the Middle East will never end until Israel withdraws
from all occupied Palestinian land and at the same time America withdraws from
Iraq, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries in the Middle East. Those who are responsible for endangering
world peace are well known."
“Continued Killing Of Palestinian Leaders Is Not A Solution To The
Pro-government Swahili-language tabloid Uhuru asserted
(4/19): "Once again, the Israeli
Government has exacerbated its conflict with Palestinians by murdering Hamas
leader Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantissi. This comes just one month after the killing of
Hamas leader and founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
On its part, Israel has insisted that it will continue to hunt down and
kill all Palestinian leaders it perceives to be in the frontline in planning
and executing attacks against Israelis. This strategy is condemned by all peace
loving people all over the world because it serves only to worsen the situation
in the Middle East. Another thing that
is definitely bound to worsen the situation in the region is the stand taken
recently by the Israeli Government under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not to
withdraw Israeli settlements from the West Bank. This stand plus the killings
of Palestinians and their leaders can be directly interpreted as closing the
door for further peace talks between the two sides. It is also disappointing to see that the
steps taken by Israel enjoy support from America, a powerful country that has
always stood side by side with Israel, even when the Jewish state has been
condemned by the whole international community.
It is now becoming clear that Israel is determined to eliminate all
Palestinian leaders, keeping in mind Ariel Sharon recently warned that
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat could be killed anytime. Let not Israel and her biggest ally America
cheat themselves. The extreme position taken by Sharon’s regime will just serve
to worsen matters in the Middle East. Every time a Palestinian leader is
murdered, another one rises up, perhaps even more radical than his
Propel Cycle Of Violence"
The independent Monitor editorialized (4/20): "Not since apartheid South Africa has
one region attracted so much international ire as the violence-infested Middle
East. Alleging its right to self
defense, Ariel Sharon's Israel has upped the ante in its 'targeted killings' of
people it says are terrorists. The
latest man to die under this untenable policy is Abdelaziz Rantissi, the man
who replaced Hamas spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated
less than a month ago. Both sides in
this conflict have committed dastardly crimes; they have managed to establish a
balance of terror in a sense. Wise
counsel now is for even-handedness as most of Europe is suggesting. For peace to have a chance in that troubled
land there is an urgent need to scale down hostilities and not the escalation
Sharon is spearheading. What will the
death of Rantissi achieve if the more likely response is another suicide
bombing in Tel Aviv? The best case
scenario, and we use the expression deliberately, is a fuelling of the cycle of
The bi-weekly tabloid Red Pepper maintained (4/20): "Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at
the weekend ordered the assassination of Hamas new leader Aziz Rantissi. Sharon had returned from the U.S. where he
appears to have received endorsement for this killing. At the Washington summit Sharon also obtained
a blanket endorsement for his unilateral disengagement plan from Gaza by which
Israel will pull out of a few Palestinian territories unilaterally defining
what will be its common border with the pseudo Palestinian state. The latest assassination and the planned
withdrawal are meeting widespread international condemnation. Bush is breaking away from the policy of all
his predecessors and siding with a hawkish Prime Minister. By so doing he is taking a gamble. Will the new policies bring peace to the
Middle East or accentuate terrorism in the world? Well, time will tell."
ARGENTINA: "Only A
Retreat In The Middle East Crisis"
Marcelo Cantelmi noted in leading Clarin
(4/18): "It is a hard task to find
in recent history such an explosive and terminal moment in the Middle East
crisis as what today seems to step, like a giant would do, on the little
progress obtained regarding the peace process. However, this involution should
not surprise us. It occurs in the framework of an international policy in
which...only disorder factors end up strengthened.... It was not by chance that Rantisi's murder
happened just a few hours after the historical meeting between Sharon and Bush
at the White House.... This attack with missiles...is
just an example of the autonomy Washington grants to Israel in spite of the
harsh questioning the selective murder practice unleashes in the world and even
in Israel. But what should be observed is not this repression method as an
isolated event, but its practice confirms the prevailing notion that there is
no room or interest in a true peace plan... The most serious point of this
escalation in violence is Bush's unexpected decision to support for the first
time in history (Israel's) questioned policy of territorial colonization."
"The Sharon Doctrine"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo held (4/20): "The 'selective murder' of another Hamas
leader suggests that the Sharon administration may have given up pursuing a
peace accord and is ready to eliminate points of contacts between Israelis and
Palestinians. It is in such a context that Sharon's proposal of unilateral
withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza fits....
Sharon's actions tend to reinforce the position of radical groups to the
detriment of moderate Palestinian factions with whom it would be possible to
reach an understanding under the principle of exchanging land for
peace.... A significant extension of the
fence is located in Palestinian territory, and this suggests that Sharon is preparing
another annexation. Everything indicates that Arafat has been lenient with
terrorism, but the Palestinian Authority at least recognizes Israel, while
Hamas wants to destroy it. If increasing Hamas' prestige among the Palestinians
by trying to disarticulate the terrorist organization is the best strategy the
can think of, then Israel should expect more problems
MEXICO: “Deadly Escalation
Nationalist Universal thundered (4/18): “Those who look for peace will have to act
politically to remove the extremists from power and break the unending chain of
reprisals, which could result in much more deadly attacks. The only way to stop
escalation of this type is to adopt a policy of not making reprisals for each
isolated incident, which has been shown to radically lower a confrontational
climate.... Only one point impeded
reaching peace and that was the status of Jerusalem. It’s necessary to return
to these talks because the only way out of these terrible problems of
insecurity and terrorism in the Middle East is by ending the conflict in