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Commentary Last Updated: Jan 21st, 2008 - 00:47:52

Is Hamas saving more Jewish lives than Olmert?
By Mike Whitney
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 21, 2008, 00:10

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Hamas's second in command, Mahmoud al Zahar, has saved more Jewish lives in his short tenure as Palestinian foreign minister, than Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. And how has he been rewarded?

Last Thursday his son, Hussam al Zahar, was shot dead, while defending a civilian enclave in the Palestinian territory, by a roving band of Israeli troops. The young man was not connected to any terrorist action. He simply got in the way of an Israeli bullet. End of story.

Eighteen other Palestinian men were killed in the attack which has been condemned by foreign leaders around the world, but not in the United States where such barbarity is considered laudable.

Even American stooge Mahmoud Abbas blasted the raid saying, �What happened today is a massacre, a slaughter against the Palestinian people. Our people cannot keep silent over these massacres.�

There are photos in Aljazeera of the elder al Zahar offering a final prayer over the corpse of his dead son. It is very sad. This is his second son to be killed by the Israelis. His eldest son was killed in a bombing raid two years ago that was aimed at him. Al Zahar still has not recovered.

As part of the democratically-elected government of the Palestinian people, al Zahar supported Hamas suspension of all suicide bombings within Israel.

How many Jewish lives have been saved by the directive?

At the same time, Israel's vain and stupid prime minister, Ehud Olmert--whose public approval is a paltry 4 percent -- is responsible for the deaths of 113 Israeli soldiers by his bloody and pointless invasion of Lebanon a year ago.

Consider the paradox: Hamas leaders are now saving more Jewish lives than Israel's own prime minister. What bitter irony.

No one in the Western media even has the courage to talk about the fact that Hamas was instrumental in stopping the attacks on Israeli civilians. Instead, the rationale for killing Palestinians has simply shifted to the random rocket attacks launched by Gaza militants who are beyond Hamas's control. It is just an excuse to continue the sanctions which have left Palestinian women and children without sufficient food, water, medical supplies or energy. The people of Gaza are paying a heavy price for being Palestinian; for merely occupying the land which every nation in the world has confirmed belongs to the Palestinian people. Al Zahar's son was killed defending that land.

The Israeli raid was ordered by rejectionist Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the former prime minister who sabotaged the Camp David negotiations with Yasser Arafat and then used his operatives in the US media to craft a narrative that Israel had made a �generous offer� to the Palestinian leadership. It was all rubbish. There were never even any maps; let alone any real effort to make concessions on borders, Jerusalem, air space, water, checkpoints, etc. Now, Barak is back doing what he does best: inciting Palestinians so that more land can be settled. It's a tedious and bloody cycle.

The Israeli raid was intended to send a message to Washington. Annapolis is over. The peace talks are over. The grand performance for the media is over. Now it's back to business.

It's only been a matter of days since Bush left Israel and already the provocations have resumed. Israeli leaders must find it quite gratifying to make the president of the United States look like a laughingstock to the rest of the world. Bush is a fool, but we don't need Israel to point it out.

A week ago Bush visited Yad Veshem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, where he said: �I wish as many people as possible would come to this place. It is a sobering reminder that evil exists and a call that when exists we must resist it.�

Bush only cares about the suffering of Jews, not Palestinians. The policy is counterproductive and hypocritical.

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas have been at war since street-battles broke out in Gaza six months ago. But they are in agreement about the sudden outbreak of violence following Bush's trip. Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu summed it up like this: �President Bush gave the green light for the new aggression and other such terrorism.�

Indeed. It appears that the operations had already been planned. As soon as Bush left Israel; the hostilities began.

Al Zahar said, �We believe that this Zionist escalation is the result of Bush's visit and a natural result of the cover supplied by Bush to the Israeli occupation authorities to go forward in their aggression against the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip. We will retaliate in the way they understand.�

One hundred-fifteen Palestinians have been killed by the IDF since the end of Bush's Annapolis Peace Conference.

Here's the video by Aljazeera of the Israeli attack on the Gaza suburb that killed al Zahar's son. Its nothing like the garbage produced by western media.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at

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