Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Asharq Alawsat Editorial on Sharon

Martin Kramer flags this, rightly calling it "amazing":
The Arab world hates Ariel Sharon so much not because he is responsible for the death of so many Arabs but because he is essentially the mirror image of the Arab leaders that have ruled us for decades. He is the better and improved mirror image.

If hatred for Sharon was based solely on the number of Arabs he has killed, then he would probably lose out to those responsible for the thousands killed in the fighting of Black September and the thousands more killed in Hama.

And when it comes to the massacres at Sabra and Shatila, with which Sharon’s name is synonymous, it is important to remember that an Israeli state inquiry in 1983 found Sharon, then defense minister, indirectly responsible for the killings of hundreds of men, women and children at the refugee camps during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. An Arab inquiry has yet to hold directly responsible members of the Lebanese militias who actually slaughtered those men, women and children with their guns and knives.

The Israeli inquiry forced Sharon’s resignation and hundreds of thousands of Israelis demonstrated their horror and disgust at his role in the massacre. I won’t ask where are the Arab demonstrations against the massacres of Arabs by fellow Arabs. The answer is evident in every Arab news story that holds only Sharon responsible for the slaughter at Sabra and Shatila. It is an answer that reminds us again that Arab victimhood makes sense only when we are being victimized by Israel. The horrors we visit upon each other are irrelevant.

Sharon is the better and improved mirror image of an Arab leader because we have held what he does to us in much higher regard than anything we have done to each other.

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