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The Middle East martyrdom game: Ze'evi, Yassin, Arafat..- converting bad leaders into dead saints


As everyone knows, the Middle East suffers from bad leadership. We have number of aging, corrupt and undemocratic leaders who represent extremist ideas. Until now, these gentleman have proven to be insuperable obstacles to peace, democracy, progress and improvements of the well-being of the populace. However, Middle East innovation and ingenuity have now come up with a solution. Any fanatic, illogical, corrupt or bloodthirsty leader can be instantly converted into a revered saint and martyr by assassination.

The first demos have already been given with great success, so it is surprising that the model has not been adopted.

The first demonstration of the power of this method was the assassinaton of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi. Remember him? Do you remember that he was an old racist who believed in transferring the Arabs out of Israel 'voluntarilly,' or do you remember that he was a heroic figher in the Palmach, a rriend of Ytizhak Rabin, a great believer in democracy and a great Zionist?

Case number two was the assassination of dear old Ahmed Yassin. On Monday marning at 5 AM, darling Ahmed was a vicious religious fanatic, head of a terrorist organization which sent people to blow themselves up in supermarkets and hotels in order to murder innocent women and children. His goal was wiping out the state of Israel. Alive, he was a burden, a threat and an embarrasment. A half hour later, Yassin had been kicked upstairs by an Israeli missile, promoted to instant sainthood, and worthy of praise and mourning from the Pope, David Ignatius, Sky news, AFP, AP, Reuters and CNN as a "frail spiritual leader." Last week Palestinian PM Ahmed Qurei was trying to figure out how to contain the damage being done by Yassin, this week he visited his funeral tent and sang his praises.

This first effort by the IDF was so successful, that now we are offered the prospect of more and better targets. IDF Chief of Staff Yaalon and Israel Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz both promised more assassinations, not excluding, perhaps, Yasser Arafat himself. Consider that while he is alive, Mr. Arafat is more or less a total loss. He a burden on the Palestinian people, who must pay $100,000 a month to support his wife in stye in Paris, a corrupt leader who blocks eery hope of reform, as well as an obstacle to peace with Israel. Dead, he will be a priceless as a symbol of Palestinian resistance, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize and the father of the PLO.

Now Hamas spokeman Khaled Masha'al has announced that the Hamas are targeting Ariel Shaon. Sharon is an old man, rather obese and probably not in the best physical condition. He is hated throughout most of the Middle East, and even in Israel people are getting tired of him. He is beset by corruption scandals. In one minute, an assassin's bullet can transform him into a second Yitzhak Rabin, the general who saved Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur (October) war, a great Zionist, a frail old man. Yes, that's right. Sharon is probably eight years older than Ahmed Yassin, since Yassin was supposedly born in 1936 according to most accounts, but Sharon was born in 1928. Sharon, the 'butcher of Sabra and Shatila' will become St. Sharon if he is assassinated. The Likud party will get 50 knesset seats to show identification with its martyred leader, though at present many Likd members are trying to figure out how to put the same leader out of office. Even Kofi Annan and John Kerry will sing his praises in death.

There is another benefit of course. The assassination of any leader, even the worst political liability, gives a license to kill unlimited numbers of people on the other side. In addition to raising the popularity of the Hamas, and elevating terrorism to piety, the assassination has given a green light to terror. The leaders of the EU have already tacitly given Hamas an excuse in advance for a number of horrific suicide bombings that are promissed in the coming weeks. Any Israeli attempt to stop these bombings or catch those responsible will be greeted with hypocritical admonishments to practice restraint. If Israel had allowed Yassin to die of natural causes, the Hamas would never have reaped this benefit. If Ariel Sharon is murdered, it will probably ensure the election of the representative of the most extreme faction of the Likud as Prime Minister, and immediate action to throw all the Palestinians into the desert and annex all of the occupied territories.

Ami Isseroff

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000232.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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