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John Gunther Dean in the ARAB NEWS

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* * *
Dear John,
You are prominently featured in this article in today's ARAB NEWS (also
probably published in some other regional newspapers).
I hope that this will encourage you to offer your thoughts and
experience-based wisdom for public circulation more frequently.
All the best,
John
**

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=81070&d=21&m=4&y=2006&pix=opinion.jpg&category=Opinion
<http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=81070&d=21&m=4&y=2006&pix=opinion.jpg&category=Opinion>

*Israel’s Sinister Motives Behind Gaza Operations*

Hassan Tahsin, hassan_tahsin@hotmail.com <mailto:hassan_tahsin@hotmail.com>

Friday, 21, April, 2006 (23, Rabi` al-Awwal, 1427)

Israel attacked the Gaza Strip during the past couple of days without
any reason or justification. The Israeli Army bombarded the strip with
one thousand missiles and bombs throughout three days last week. Gen.
Moshe Kaplinsky, deputy chief of the general staff of the Israel Defense
Forces, confirmed the bombing by saying that the Israeli artillery fired
on Gaza Strip with some 300 missiles a day and it didn’t stop the
Palestinian terrorism (legal resistance). The question is: What is the
reason for this savagery? Are the Israelis trying to bring the
Palestinian resistance to its knees? Are there any other goals behind
these horrific operations? I couldn’t find any reasonable explanation
for what happened. The only thing I could think of is that Israel is
trying to force the Hamas volunteers to carry out suicide operations
against Israel. If they do so, the Israeli government would have one
more excuse to refuse to deal with Hamas and to continue to describe
them as terrorists. Second, it gives Israel the opportunity to announce
and impose unilateral steps like determining the final borders of the
Jewish state and thereby take over more Palestinian lands and continue
building the racist wall.

Israel wasn’t satisfied with the savage bombing. It persuaded Europe to
suspend the aid given to Palestinians. The American administration has
already done so. They are punishing the Palestinians for electing Hamas
though it was done in free elections, which Washington supposedly wants
in the greater Middle East. Unfortunately, the United Nations too ended
their cooperation with the Palestinian government although it goes
against UN principles and covenant. The UN is an international
institution that must not be influenced by the political decisions that
the United States and the European Union take from time to time.

Following the Israeli Army’s brutal operations in the Gaza Strip, the
Arab group in New York submitted a proposal to the Security Council
calling on Israel to stop the continuing violence against the
Palestinians. Fourteen members of the council supported the motion, but
as was only to be expected, the United States vetoed it. The Americans
said the proposal was unfair to Israel. What is more, it will “hurt the
feelings” of Israelis while they were celebrating the Jewish festival of
Passover. Thus the United States gave Israel the green light once again
to go ahead with its one-sided steps.

The strange thing is that the White House wants the Arab nations to be
democratic and strengthen their relations with Israel. The American
administration has always sided with Israel at the expense of Arab
countries and Palestinian rights since the founding of the Jewish state
on usurped Palestinian lands. The American bias in favor of Israel is
such that at times it looks like racial discrimination against Arabs.
This would only harm American interests in the long run.

A former US diplomat, John Gunther Dean, admitted as much when he said:
“In many ways, the Palestine problem is the most pervasive, complex and
dangerous problem in American foreign policy. It is also the most
difficult to address because it is so deeply embedded in guilt, emotion
and fear as to be almost beyond rational thought.”

He said that Americans, both government officials and private citizens,
feel far freer to criticize America, Britain or France without being
thought to dislike or oppose the peoples of those countries, but most
non-Jews are afraid of being charged with anti-Semitism even if they are
only critical of the hard-line policies of former Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon. Dean said Israel is no longer, if it ever was, an international
charity. “It is a relatively powerful, rich nation-state. It should be
analyzed, as its own citizens analyze its actions, in respectful terms.”

Dean, who worked in US foreign service for 50 years, added: “When Israel
saw a conflict between its goals and ours, it naturally chose its own.
America has seldom done so. At the governmental level we tiptoe around
issues, which have severely harmed American interests. Example: the
Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon was profoundly disturbing to
American relations throughout the Middle East; its policy toward the
Palestinians has stopped the peace process and certainly promoted
terrorism directed at America.”

Can we ever expect a balanced approach from the Americans to a problem
that threatens both international security and peace?