News Release

Israel’s Assassination: Larger Context


Niva wrote “Israel’s Assassination Policy: The Trigger for the Latest Suicide Bombings?” and other articles on Israeli violence and Palestinian suicide bombings. Niva, who is writing a book on the subject, is professor of international politics at Evergreen State College in Washington.
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President of the Palestinian National Initiative, a democratic opposition movement, Barghouthi said today: “There has been a shift in the intifada [the Palestinian uprising] toward more nonviolent struggle, with peaceful protests by Palestinians, Israelis and others against Sharon’s apartheid wall. This assassination is trying to push things in the direction of more violence….”
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Hijab is the executive director of the D.C.-based Palestine Center. She said today: “It’s not simply that this assassination is a violation of international law, it’s that so many of Israel’s actions in the occupied territories are against the law: collective punishment, home demolitions, curfews, the settlements. The occupation itself is illegal. When Israel breaks the law, it invites its opponents to do so. Suicide bombings are against international law, as are all attacks on civilians. The first suicide bombing took place on April 4, 1994, after 27 years of an illegal occupation that should have been ended back in 1967. Now that the violence has escalated out of control with nearly 3,000 Palestinian and 700 Israeli civilians killed, we need to find a way to protect the terrorized civilians on both sides. We need an international force to protect civilians — Palestinian and Israeli — while Israel immediately withdraws from the occupied territories.”
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Reached in Gaza, Abu Rahmeh is a retired lawyer and former attorney general of Gaza. He today: “Frustration in Gaza is against the assassination, against 50 percent unemployment, against an international community that does not seem serious about getting Israel out.”

Author of the books Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine and The Obstruction of Peace, Aruri said today: “The assassination of Shaykh Ahmad Yassin, the political and spiritual leader of Hamas, represents a leap forward in the Israeli escalation of the ongoing daily incursions and killings of civilians and other Israeli acts calculated to obstruct initiatives for a political settlement…. Sharon has invited a major retaliation, which in turn would allow him to commit new and bigger acts of state terrorism….” Aruri is president of the Trans-Arab Research Institute and chancellor professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
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Founder of Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc) and a former Knesset member, Avnery said today: “This moves the conflict from the level of a solvable national conflict to the level of religious conflict… The fate of the State of Israel is now in the hands of group of persons whose outlook is primitive…. They try to cover up their failures by a catastrophic escalation.” Avnery noted that in the early 1980s Israel encouraged the founders of Hamas to create a counterweight to the PLO. Keller is a spokesperson for Gush Shalom. Both are currently at peace protests in Israel.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167