A recent editorial in the Egyptian government-sponsored daily Al-Akhbar of
March 12, 2002, titled ‘Advice to general Zinni on his new mission,’ read:
The heroic operation carried out by the military arm of the Hamas
movement, the ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, in West Jerusalem is an
important turning point in Palestinian resistance activities.
This is because it was 50 meters away from the official residence of Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in one of the most [heavily] defended areas in
Israel. This means that the resistance movements have developed and are
capable of striking painfully at Israel, even close to the homes of the leaders of
the bloodthirsty Israeli regime.
Maybe this operation did not [cause] the most bloodshed, but the important
point here is the site where it was carried out. The target was a well-known
cafe near Sharon’s residence. This was a direct message to the Israeli
leadership: The Palestinians, who have nothing to lose, are capable of making
horror, the Israelis’ daily bread.
This message has two parts. The first part is that if Israel can get to Arafat and
turn his Gaza headquarters to ruins, the resistance can reach the residence of
the blood-shedder Sharon. The second part of the message is that there is no
safe place left for Israelis.
Despite this picture, Sharon still, in his stupidity, persists with a military
solution, continuing to attack while disregarding all international counsel. Thus,
the region has entered an equation with only two solutions: Either Sharon
succeeds in setting off the powder keg in the Middle East, or influential
international bodies, led by the U.S., the E.U., and Russia, intervene to stop the
insane Israeli war.
We hope that the Bush administration will translate [into practice] the positive
declarations stating that Sharon’s terrorist attacks on the Palestinian people will
lead only to more bloodshed. Everyone understands that President Mubarak’s
efforts have made Bush aware of the failure of the [non-intervention] strategy
he declared when he took office.
But the dangerous state the conflict has reached proves the justice of President
Mubarak’s approach: He warned of the possibility that the conflict could get out
of control and threaten not only the Middle East but also international security
We hope that Zinni will keep this advice in mind.