TEL AVIV – Israel is a racist state that commits war crimes and resorts to terrorism worse than that employed by the Palestinians, former Education Minister Shulamit Aloni charged in an unusually scathing interview with Nazareth-based Arab-Israeli newspaper Kul al-Arab.
Other highlights from the interview include “(Prime Minister) Sharon should face justice,” “Israel is following Mussolini’s way,” and “some soldiers behave like animals.”
When asked how she characterizes the prime minister, Aloni responded: “Sharon is a big, arrogant nationalist. He suffers from megalomania and doesn’t mind sacrificing the lives of others, as happened in the invasion of Lebanon.”
“Sharon and the Israeli leadership always try to make Israelis believe the lie that the Palestinians want to throw us to the sea,” the former minister charged. “In fact, we are the ones who commit war crimes against humanity, and I hope Sharon will face justice.”
‘Government, settlers coordinate anti-pullout campaign’
Turning her attention to the disengagement plan, Aloni leveled more charges, saying she fears the evacuation from Gaza will turn Palestinian life in the West Bank “into hell.”
“I want to note that National Union Knesset Member Benny Elon recently said that settlers intend to embitter the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank, until they emigrate from here,” she said. “I see testament to that in the existence of an IDF unit comprising radical religious soldiers, who are no different than animals in their daily behavior.”
Aloni also expressed her surprise that Israelis continue to play the “role of victims” and the American President accepts that image while declaring that “Israel has the right to defend itself, while ignoring the fact we have one of the most powerful armies in the Middle East.”
The former minister also resorted to apparent conspiracy theories, claiming the government and settlers were “secretly coordinating” anti-pullout resistance in order to create a “national shock” and convince the world of the difficulties inherent in withdrawing from the West Bank.
‘Israel no different than South Africa’
Turning her attention to the Palestinians, Aloni said had she been a Palestinian she would have called for the cessation of suicide bombings and the adoption of the non-violent approach of Mahatma Ghandi.
“It’s true that the terror utilized by Israel in the territories is worse than Palestinian terrorism, but the Hamas movement gives the occupation the opportunity and means to deepen,” she said.
When asked about how she views Israel’s future, Aloni responded: “I can show you Mussolini’s books about fascism . If you read them you’ll reach the unequivocal conclusion that ministers in the current Israeli government are walking on the same path.”
“Only in a country like this can a murderer…reach the post of Defense Minister,” she charged. “Israel, in fact, is no different than racist South Africa as long as it presents itself as Jewish state instead of a state of all its citizens.”
However, when asked about the chances of a leftist revival in Israel, Aloni was pessimistic, and chose to level some more charges.
“If you look for the Left, you won’t find it,” she said. “Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak killed it. The Left’s collapse resulted from several reasons, including the Labor party’s participation in Sharon’s former government.”