|Carnage after the Qana massacre.|
Shimon Peres has died.
The butcher of Qana, who introduced nuclear weapons to the Middle East, is being bewilderingly hailed as a man of peace by U.S. media and politicians.
Peres was a nationalistic war criminal, whose atrocities against the Palestinian people predate the state of Israel. Peres immigrated with his family to Palestine from a Polish town in what is now Belarus in 1932. As a teenager, he joined Zionist gangs who terrorized Palestinians, causing the exodus known as Nakba.
Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, along with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, for his role in the ill-fated Oslo Accord, which would have led to establishing a fragmented Palestinian state in exchange for recognition of Israel by the Palestinians.
But a peace prize does not erase decades of aggression and violence. Until his dying days, Peres was a man of war.
Peres participated in all of Israel's criminal wars in some capacity. Even past the age of 90, he oversaw the massacres in Gaza in 2014 as president.
But perhaps Peres' most infamous war was the 1996 Israeli assault on Lebanon, dubbed “Operation Grapes of Wrath.” During the offensive, the Israeli military, led by the Nobel Prize laureate as prime minister, murdered hundreds of Lebanese civilians and committed the massacre of Qana.
The carnage in Qana, which according to Biblical texts was the town where Jesus turned water into wine, lives in the collective Lebanese and Arab consciousness.
On April 18, 1996, the Israeli air force bombed a clearly marked United Nations compound that sheltered southern Lebanese refugees, most likely with the government’s knowledge.
Amnesty International's investigation of the Qana Massacre revealed that the Israeli army "intentionally attacked the U.N. compound, although the motives for doing so remain unclear." A U.N. investigation concluded that the shelling, which killed 106 Lebanese civilians, was "unlikely...a technical or procedural error." And Human Rights Watch described the massacre as a "violation of a key principle of international humanitarian law."
Two American boys from Dearborn, Hadi and Abdulmohsen Bitar, both under the age of 10, were killed in the tragedy for which Peres bears the most responsibility.
Yet Gov. Snyder found it in himself to order the lowering of flags in honor of Peres, whose army murdered two Michiganders with impunity.
It was not Snyder alone. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich) sent a warm letter of condolences in Peres' memory. President Obama is attending the funeral. The Clintons, Donald Trump, Congress members, governors, the media — America seems to be collectively mourning the butcher of Qana.
At a time when American politicians are expressing concerns about Iran's nuclear program and whether the 2015 agreement will prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb, everyone seems to be lauding the man who brought nukes to the Middle East half a century ago.
In the mid-50s, Peres helped Israel acquire nuclear weapons against international law in a covert program that remains secretive. In 1975, he offered to sell nukes to the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Peres died, but his transgressions may live on for generations.
Arabs follow their Romans
We find it difficult to criticize American politicians' tribute to Peres at a time when Arab leaders are hailing the late war criminal. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had to apply for a special permit to attend Peres' funeral in Jerusalem.
"Rest in Peace President Shimon Peres, a Man of War and a Man of the still elusive Peace in the Middle East," tweeted Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid Al Khalifa.
This farce reminds us of the words of the legendary Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish:
Arabs have obeyed their Romans
Arabs have sold their soul
Arabs have gotten lost.