Dr. Lev Grinberg is a political sociologist, and Director of
Humphrey Institute for Social Research at
Ben Gurion University - Israel.
April 1, 2002
Who will be sentenced for the killing of more than 1,200 Palestinians
and for the collective punishment of more than 3,000,000 civilians during
the last 18 months? And who will face the International Tribunal for the
illegal settlement of occupied Palestinian Lands, and the disobedience
of UN decisions for more than 35 years?
Suicide bombs killing innocent citizens must be unequivocally condemned;
they are immoral acts, and their perpetrators should be sent to jail. But
they cannot be compared to state terrorism carried out by the Israeli Government.
The former are individual acts of despair of a people that sees no future,
vastly ignored by an unfair and distorted international public opinion.
The latter are cold and "rational" decisions of a State and a military
apparatus of occupation,
well equipped, financed and backed by the only superpower in the world.
Yet in the public debate, state terrorism and individual suicide bombs are not even considered as comparable cases of terrorism. The State terror and war crimes perpetrated by the Israeli Government are legitimized, as "self-defense", while Arafat, even under siege, is demanded to arrest "terrorists."
I want to ask: Who will arrest Sharon, the person directly responsible for the orders to kill Palestinians? When is he going to be defined a terrorist too? How long will the world ignore the Palestinian cry that all they want is freedom and independence? When will it stop neglecting the fact that the goal of the Israeli Government is not security, but the continued occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people?
As Israelis in the opposition, we are fighting against our government, but the international support that Sharon receives is constantly jeopardizing our struggle. The whole international public opinion must be reverted, and the UN must deploy intervention forces in order to stop the bloodshed and the imminent deterioration. Israelis and Palestinians desperately need the awakening of the international community's public opinion and a reversal in the global attitude. These are needed both in order to save our lives (literally), and preserve our hope in a better future.