Saturday, May 01, 2004

Sharon's Ultimate Goal and Interim Maneuvering

With respect to Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, the fundamental question here is, as always, whether his ultimate intent is to do to the Palestinians what we did to Native Americans – beat them into helpless submission in isolated territories. Avi Shlaim, renowned Oxford University historian thinks it is: “His real agenda is to .. . smash the Palestinians into the ground, and to extinguish hope for independence and statehood.” (The Observer, April 14, 2002) Hence we have to distinguish between his tactical maneuvering for pragmatic purposes and his ultimate goal. Shlaim compiles the evidence in his book, The Iron Wall.

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