WWIII Is Coming ´Whether They Like It
Or Not´ -Top Sharon Aide
By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
"The terror attacks on Sept. 11 and extreme turmoil in the Middle
East point to one thing - World War III, a spokesman for Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday during a visit to Tucson.
"We´ve been fighting a war for the past 18 months, which is the
harbinger of World War III. The world is going to fight, whether they
like it or not. I´m sure,´´ Ra´anan Gissin, a senior adviser to
Sharon, said in an interview Friday.
"Sept. 11 was a watershed event, and things will never be the same.
The battle lines have been drawn.´´
Gissin, 53, is in Tucson this weekend as part of a 12-day tour of the
United States to promote the purchase of Israel Bonds. The bonds are
part of a program that began in 1951 in which securities are sold to
individuals and corporations to finance economic growth in Israel.
"The Israeli government pays them back. . . . The collateral is the
eternity of the Jewish people,´´ Gissin said, dismissing an April 1
Newsweek story that questioned the future of his country.
"We believe the state of Israel will continue to exist forever.
Therefore, it´s a sure investment."
On Friday night he spoke to an audience of about 300 people at the
Reform Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club Road, as police stood on
guard at the doorways of the synagogue. Today at 5 p.m. he is scheduled
to speak at the conservative Congregation Anshei Israel, 5550 E. Fifth
Gissin called the war a clash between the civilized and uncivilized
"It´s a clash between the forces of evil, as (President Bush) so
neatly described it, and forces of life."
Mohyeddin Abdulaziz, 54, a Tucson resident and Palestinian who grew up
near Ramallah, did not attend Gissin´s talk. But in an interview Friday
night he said the Israeli point of view does not take into account the
suffering of Palestinians who live in the occupied territories of the
West Bank and Gaza.
"This is a war that is being fought against a largely civilian
population. It is a one-sided war,´´ said Abdulaziz, who still has
family living in the West Bank. "The Palestinians do not have one
tank, one airplane, one helicopter. These are people who have been under
a brutal occupation for 35 years and every nation on this Earth has
recognized it as an illegal occupation.
"We have generations of Palestinians who know nothing but brutal
occupation,´´ he said. "The West Bank and Gaza are only 22
percent of the geographic area of Palestine, and it´s all the
Palestinians are asking for. They want a place to call home."
Gissin said he did not believe that the Israeli incursion at the West
Bank refugee camp in Jenin earlier this month was a massacre as some
Palestinians have said. The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat,
has accused Israel of trying to hide "terrible things" at the
camp. Palestinians say hundreds died. The United Nations is sending a
fact-finding team there.
"Real peace can only exist or come about when there is an
understanding and a commitment among our Arab and Palestinian neighbors
to a process of reconciliation - to accept the fact that Jews also have
a right to their own land, to their ancestral homeland," Gissin
Stephanie Innes email: email@example.com
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