|Al-Ahram Weekly Online
25 April - 1 May 2002
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Lies and guiltShimon Peres appears to be set on fuelling international demands that the Nobel Prize for Peace he jointly won in 1994 be withdrawn: how else can his statements, while attending the Euro-Mediterranean meeting in Spain on Tuesday, be interpreted? "Only three civilians were killed in Jenin," he said. The rest were "terrorists" and had resisted the invasion by Israeli troops. Such bare-faced lying has been around for some time now -- only last week President Bush described Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister, as "a man of peace."
That Peres, Israel's most notorious dove, should choose to fly in the face of all the evidence, is par for the course. Unlike the rest of the world he appears not to have seen footage of Palestinians scrabbling with their hands among the rubble of their destroyed homes in order to extricate the corpses. Unlike the rest of the world, the random killing of civilians, of women and children, causes not a ripple in his conscience. They are all expendable victims of what Israeli officials persist in calling their "legitimate war against terror."
That human rights groups across the board have denounced Israeli brutality carries no weight with Mr Peres. That the few objective parties who have managed to penetrate the camp, despite desperate attempts by the Israeli authorities to prevent them, speak of war crimes, is simply brushed under the carpet. Amnesty International's condemnation of the Israeli military's failure to allow civilians to evacuate the camp before they began its relentless pounding with US made helicopters and F-16 planes, is similarly ignored. The overwhelming evidence that Israeli soldiers engaged in an orgy of extra- judicial executions -- that, too, is of no consequence. That they forcibly prevented any access by medical teams, so that the injured were left to either bleed to death or suffocate among the rubble -- that is of no concern to the Nobel peace laureate.
That Israel should now be engaged in frustrating any attempts to uncover the truth of its actions in Jenin, and is desperate to neuter the mandate of the UN fact-finding committee speaks volumes. And the truth has, much to Mr Peres's discomfort, will emerge.
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