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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
The Assassination of Sheikh Yassin

Worse Than a Crime; It is an Act of Stupidity

by URI AVNERY

The assassination of Shiekh Admed Yassin is worse than a crime, it is an act of stupidity!

This is the beginning of a new chapter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It moves the conflict from the level of a solvable national conflict to the level of religious conflict, which by its very nature is insoluble.

The fate of the State of Israel is now in the hands of group of persons whose outlook is primitive and whose perceptions are retarded. They are incapable of understanding the mental, emotional and political dimensions of the conflict. This is a group of bankrupt political and military leaders who have failed in all their actions. They try to cover up their failures by a catastrophic escalation.

This act will not only endanger the personal security of every Israeli, both in the country and around the world, but also the existential security of the State of Israel. It has grievously hurt the chances of putting and end to the Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Muslim conflicts.

In the early 1980s the occupation authorities encouraged the founders of Hamas, hoping that they would create a counter-weight to Yasser Arafat and the PLO. Even after the start of the first intifada, the army and the security services gave preferential treatment of Hamas. Sheikh Yassin was arrested only a year after the outbreak.

There seems to be no limit to the stupidity of our political and military leaders. They endanger the future of the State of Israel.

URI AVNERY is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is one of the writers featured in The Other Israel: Voices of Dissent and Refusal. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch’s hot new book The Politics of Anti-Semitism. He can be reached at: avnery@counterpunch.org.