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Letter to the Sun:
Ariel Sharon is no Peacemaker

In a recent editorial ("Sharon's Peacemaking", the Sun, 8/10/03) the idea is actually put forward that Israeli Prime Minister is acting as a peacemaker. The editorial writer wonders whether Sharon has "undergone a political transformation" because he has "transformed the political prospects for peace". The reasons given are a release of 334 Palestinian prisoners last week, a withdrawal of some IDF troops at Bethlehem and the Gaza strip, an increase in work permits allowed to Palestinians and a removal of some checkpoints.

Unfortunately, Ariel Sharon is every bit the same man that an Israeli Commission of Inquiry, as well as numerous human rights activists around the world, state was "responsible" for the 1983 massacre at Sabra and Shatila. For one thing, the gigantic "Wall of Separation" he is building encroaches on Palestinian land, takes large amounts of additional water from them and is believed to be intended to hold 1.5 million people in humanity's greatest prison.

In addition, Sharon continues to keep the Palestinians under a brutal occupation that has been continuing with cessation for 36 years. He doesn't have the right to install checkpoints, grant work permits, demolish homes, build new settlements and move in troops in Occupied Territories. For these reasons it is extremely disingenuous for the Sun to accept apparent reductions of Ariel Sharon's control over his unwillingly occupied subjects as an indication that he is conducting "peacemaking" in the Middle East.

Scott Loughrey

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