Ariel Sharon Is a Couch Potato

(This was written before Ariel Sharon's stroke and disability.  Nevertheless, I think the issues it raises are relevant today. )


In 1982, General Ariel Sharon failed to stop Lebanese Phalanges from slaughtering Palestinians in a refugee camp in Lebanon.  The world called him a murderer.  Normally, Americans call people who watch murder couch potatoes rather than murders. 

Twenty-five years later, the Lebanese government is killing Palestinians in a refugee camp and UN troops are being couch potatoes.  But nobody is complaining (except, of course, the Palestinians who are dying, but thatís a self-correcting problem.).  I wrote to Amnesty International to chide them for not taking note of human rights violations in Lebanon.  They wrote back claiming they had reported on human rights violations in Lebanon and directed me to websites which accused Israel of violations in last yearís war but didnít mention the Lebanese government. (Presumably Israel is responsible for teaching the Lebanese government how to violate Palestinian rights.)

So we are left with an inescapable conclusion.  Sharonís crime was being a couch potato. After all, everyone agrees that he didnít do the actual killing.   If Sharonís crime was actually failure to prevent murder, then the UN troops in Lebanon now are evil for failure to prevent murder.  But wait, why arenít the Lebanese Government and the Phalange evil for killing Palestinians?  After all, that is why Israel is evil.  And since Americans, Australians, Europeans, the UN, Mr. Rogers, Kermit the Frog and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia are couch potatoes about Darfur even though we could stop it, are we all evil (except for Mr. Rogers who canít do much of anything now, and Kermit who is listed just to make sure you are actually reading this)?

Now British reporters have decided to boycott Israel for doing exactly what Lebanon is doing, shelling Palestinian civilians.  (One hopes that they will now let someone with better skills write the news stories, but I donít think they mean that kind of boycott.)  They arenít condemning Lebanon, by the way, which is confusing. I mean, does the dead Palestinian care who killed him?  Maybe the Knesset could find out who the Palestinians would like to have kill them, so that we can end the bloodshed amicably, if you know what I mean.

I am forced to conclude that according to Arabs and British journalists it doesnít matter whether Palestinians are killed, but it matters who kills them.  If other Palestinians or Lebanese kill Palestinians, thatís not evil; but it is evil for Jews to kill Palestinians.  It has been okay for Lebanon to keep Palestinian refugees stuffed in camps for 55 years but it has been evil for Israel to do it for 40 years. 

I think that this is too complicated for me.