Indeed, the United States consistently demands that the Palestinian Authority “arrest Palestinian terrorists,” punish their leaders and root out their infrastructure. By contrast, you will never hear an American official use the term “Israeli terrorist.” Rather, Bush and Secretary of State Powell continue to refer to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon -- architect of the Sabra-Chatilla and Jenin massacres, as well as of many others -- as “my good friend.” Needless to say, their spokesmen have never called for an Israeli terrorist -- first and foremost their good friend -- to be held accountable and locked behind bars. Rather, Washington funds his terror infrastructure to the tune of several billion dollars a year and provides it with the latest in American weaponry.
American calls for a cease-fire similarly lack the required sincerity, giving as they do the distinct impression that they are intended to apply exclusively to the Palestinians. Even the parched soil around my garden shrub understands that if Washington seriously wanted Israel to withdraw from Ramallah by midnight, its soldiers would vanish within the hour.
Although the violence and terror are horrific to Palestinians and Israelis alike, they are a symptom of the problem rather than its cause. As during the previous uprising from 1987 to 1993, Israelis are killing Palestinians in order to maintain the occupation. Palestinians are killing Israelis in order to end it.
Institutional racism has always been an integral component of the Israeli domination of the Palestinian people. It has reached the level of apartheid formerly practiced in South Africa. This is why the entire world now supports the Palestinian struggle for self-determination -- with, as in South Africa, the notable exception of the United States.
Think we have it bad? I’m writing from Ramallah, not Jenin.