As an American of Palestinian descent and Christian faith, I never cared much for the ultimate goal of Hamas: to establish a religious state in Palestine.

But I find myself angered and baffled at Israel’s decision to assassinate Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

What is even more baffling is the U.S. response, especially since its close ally, Ariel Sharon, personally commanded this extrajudicial killing.

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on NBC’s Today that “it is very important that everyone step back now and try now to be calm in the region. There is always a possibility of a better day in the Middle East, and some of the things being talked about by the Israelis… might provide new opportunities.”

So the good ideas will come from Israel, which just assassinated Yassin? I read that as implying that if Palestinians react, they will be held responsible for any fallout. Unbelievable.

One thing is certain about the killing of the blind and quadriplegic Yassin: A peace agreement that once seemed unlikely now seems unreachable in the near future. Sharon is not stupid; his government expects retaliation. And the Israeli Defense Force will use that retaliation as an excuse to kill more Palestinians. It is a script that has played itself out for the last 31/2 years..


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