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WHAT WE THINK
Israel's ethnic cleansers in power

March 7, 2003 | Page 3

ISRAELI PRIME Minister Ariel Sharon used to be considered on the far right of Israeli politics. But you have to consider him a moderate in the new government that he formed last week.

In addition to his own conservative Likud Party, Israel's new coalition government includes the National Union, an alliance of three far-right religious parties dedicated to a platform of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homeland once and for all.

Now that the government has been seated, Sharon's administration has turned its attention to what it considers the "next step"--cheering on George W. Bush's campaign for war against Iraq. "We have great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after" a war, said Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.

In the meantime, the Israeli military is stepping up the violence against the Palestinian resistance, crossing new thresholds in its dirty colonial war against the Intifada, or Palestinian uprising. For the first time since the Intifada began more than two years ago, Israeli forces have targeted the political leadership of the Islamic group Hamas in Gaza's Bureij refugee camp.

In one raid earlier this week, eight Palestinians were killed--including two teenage boys and a pregnant woman who was crushed when her house was demolished while she was still inside. Eleven homes were destroyed in the process, leaving 150 people homeless.

The army's offensive against Hamas began two weeks ago, after Hamas blew up an Israeli tank, killing the four-man crew. Since then, 44 Palestinians have been killed in 14 Israeli raids.

The scale and intensity of the violence against Palestinians will likely grow as the U.S. war on Iraq approaches. We need to take up these atrocities as part of the growing movement against Bush's war on Iraq--and expose U.S. support for Israel's campaign of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.

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