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Sharon must go

Fri, Apr 26, 2002; by Dave Winer.

Of course Scripting News is a weblog about scripting, Web development and the politics of technology, and I usually stay away from international, religious and cultural politics, but recent events in the Middle East are building to what looks like a war, a big one, and while I've been following the news and thinking about what's going on, I haven't said anything. Now I feel strongly that it is time to speak.

First, I am Jewish, and I was born and live in the US. I'm a son of immigrants, refugees from the Holocaust, so I understand that Jews needed a place to go after World War II. My family went to North and South America, mostly, but some in my family, distant relatives, are in Israel.

Now, I don't see how Israel could have kept accepting terrorist bombings and done nothing about it. On the other hand, I don't understand why Israel allows Jewish settlements in Palestine. To the extent that they do, they invite the terrorism, because they leave the Palestinians, who also have a right to a homeland, without any hope of getting it.

A picture named dubya.gifI try to see both sides. Sharon went out of his way to press Palestinian buttons. He's as responsible for the terrorist bombings, imho, as Arafat is. I would not support the US defending Israel as long as Sharon is Prime Minister. In other words, it's time for Israel to back down, to withdraw, as President Bush has insisted, or lose the support of the US. It's time for the people of Israel to change their government. I strongly believe there will never be peace with Sharon in charge.

Now of course I will get flamed for this, probably from some of my fellow US citizens, probably most of them, like me, Jewish. I'm open to different points of view, and I'm open to learning. But I doubt if I'm going to buy any arguments that say that the Palestinians are to be blamed and that Israel is blameless. If we're going to find peace, there must be a Palestine, and that means Israeli withdrawal, and it also means Sharon must go, the sooner the better.


Mike Cohen: "Even though my family background is Jewish, I don't support Israel's actions and I'm appalled by their aggression."

Daniel Berlinger: "If you see both sides why is there only a suggestion for what Israel must do?"

 I'll give it some more thought Daniel, but my first reaction is that only Israel has the power to avoid a full-scale war in the Middle East, and I don't see anything that the Palenstinians or anyone else can do to avoid it if Israel continues on its current course. The recent escalation has all been by Israel. I suppose the US has some power to avoid full-scale war too, we can refuse to back Israel.

 Later, another reason. Because I am Jewish, and a US citizen, I identify with the Israeli and US points of view. I'll let Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians in the US and elsewhere say what the Arabs and Muslims and Palestinians should do to avoid a full-scale war. Daniel you must surely know that to get to peace from the brink of war requires compromise and forgiveness, or at least letting-go, on all sides.

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