Netanyahu: Stupid Like a Fox?
(AntiWar.com) -- by Uri Avnery --
...Last week, there was a repeat performance. The Palestinians all around Israel have declared June 5 “Naksa” Day, to commemorate the “Setback” of 1967, when Israel spectacularly defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, reinforced by elements from the Iraqi and Saudi armies.
This time, the Israeli army was prepared. The fence was reinforced and an anti-tank ditch dug in front of it. When the demonstrators tried to reach the fence—again near Majdal Shams—they were shot by sharpshooters. Some 22 were killed, and many dozens were wounded. The Palestinians report that people trying to rescue the wounded and retrieve the dead were also shot and killed.
No doubt this was a deliberate tactic decided upon in advance by the army command after the Naqba Day fiasco and approved by Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. As was said quite openly, the Palestinians had to be taught a lesson they would not forget, so as to drive any idea of an unarmed mass action out of their minds.
It is frighteningly reminiscent of events 10 years ago. After the first Intifada, in which stone-throwing youngsters and children won a moral victory that led to the Oslo agreement, our army conducted exercises in anticipation of a second Intifada. This broke out after the political disaster of Camp David, and the army was ready.
The new Intifada started with mass demonstrations of unarmed Palestinians. They were met by specially trained sharpshooters. Next to each sharpshooter stood an officer who pointed out the individuals who were to be shot because they looked like ringleaders: “The guy in the red shirt… Now the boy with the blue trousers…”
The unarmed uprising broke down and was replaced by suicide bombers, roadside bombs, and other “terrorist” acts. With those our army was on familiar ground.
I suspect very much that we are witnessing much the same thing once more. Again, specially trained sharpshooters are at work, directed by officers.
There is a difference, though. In 2001 we were told that our soldiers were shooting into the air. Now we are told that they aim at the Arabs’ legs. Then the Palestinians had to jump high into the air to get killed; now, it seems, they have to bend down...
And here comes our government and tries to solve the problem with sharpshooters—not as the last resort, but as the first. Instead of countering the protesters with effective non-lethal means, they kill people. This will, of course, intensify the protests, mobilize masses of refugees, and put the “refugee problem” squarely on the table, in the center of the table, before negotiations have even started.
In other words: the conflict moves back from 1967 to 1948. For Hassan Hijazi, the grandson of a refugee from Jaffa, this is a huge achievement.
Nothing could be more stupid than this course of action by Netanyahu and company.
Unless, of course, they are doing this consciously, in order to make any peace negotiations impossible...MORE...LINK
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