Israelis can try, but they can’t ignore the occupation

Gideon Levy writes: The abduction of three yeshiva students in the West Bank last Thursday was ordered in advance – by Israel. At the time of writing, Saturday, their fate was unknown and concern for their welfare outweighed all other issues connected to their disappearance. But no matter what happens in the end, whether they return home safely or not, God forbid, whether the responsible party turns out to be global jihad or the local kind, the context of the action cannot be ignored.

Perhaps the operation took Israel’s oh-so-sophisticated espionage agencies by surprise, but it could not have been a real surprise to anyone.

Those who stubbornly refuse to release Palestinian prisoners, some of whom have been incarcerated for decades, from before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, and some of whom Israel has promised to set free; those who imprison detainees without trial for years; those who ignore the hunger strike by 125 “administrative” detainees, some of whom are dying in hospitals; those who intend to feed them using force, and those who planned to pass sweeping laws to prohibit their release – these people cannot pretend to be surprised or shocked by the abductions. They arranged for them in advance.

Israel, which is so worried about the welfare of every one of its citizens, has for years arrogantly ignored the Palestinian concern for the welfare of their prisoners.

Israel holds the copyright to concern for its people, as it does for the worship of the heroes of the national struggle. Meir Har-Zion [a founding member of Unit 101, who in 1953 led a retaliatory raid against a Bedouin tribe after his sister and others were killed while making an illegal trip to Petra] was a national hero; Ahmad Sa’adat [the secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] is a base murderer.

Gilad Shalit was all ours, but the fate of Walid Daka, who has been imprisoned in Israel for more than 30 years, for the crime of membership in a militant cell that killed an Israeli soldier – without a single furlough or conjugal visit – is of no interest to anyone here.

No one here cares about the thousands of Palestinian prisoners. Last week, Israelis were much more interested in Meir Sheetrit’s housekeeper than in 125 hunger strikers who have been slowly starving to death for 53 days now.

Among the thousands of Palestinian prisoners are some base murderers, but also many political prisoners – and all of them are seen as heroes of the Palestinian national struggle. It’s the same in every national struggle. Behind them stands an entire society, which is no less worried about their fate than Israelis are for that of their loved ones. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Israelis can try, but they can’t ignore the occupation

  1. Norman

    I guess no one comments here any more, or perhaps I’m isolated because of my comments. That said, the mess going on there in Israel, like the mess in Iraq, seems similar, as far as the people running the show go. Inept, self serving, corrupt. Ah, corruption, no country seems to be above it, be it ego, monetary, power. There just appears that too many interests, foreign or otherwise, control the agendas. IMHO, I have to ask the question: “why is war chosen over reason”? When one considers the world today, the population, the advances in almost every area that effects humankind, the continual hunger for war over peace, is crazy.

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