The Israeli military has named its jackboot operation in the West Bank “Operation Brother’s Keeper” in sync with the poetic names for all their ethnic cleansing operations in Gaza. It has a catchy lilt, but you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that something isn’t adding up in the abduction story. Even the UN issued vague misgivings saying ‘there is no concrete evidence the boys were actually abducted by Hamas terrorists’.
For a long while now, Israel has been recklessly accelerating illegal settlement projects throughout the West Bank, expropriating lands, forcibly removing thousands of Palestinian residents, using excessive, lethal violence against protesters armed only with rocks. It was so egregious & apt to negatively affect the international image of Israel that the US State Department issued little peeps of protest.
It cannot be said Palestinians have the character of leadership they deserve with the political program necessary to lead intifada to a democratic secular state including Palestinians & Jews. That is a critical problem for Palestinians to resolve. The question of their leadership, however, is of the greatest consequence to Israel & the US & they employ every treachery in the book to fracture unity between contending political forces in Palestine & to favor those most willing to betray intifada.
The recent (April) power-sharing agreement between Fatah & Hamas, the two most prominent Palestinan groups, was greeted with due skepticism, if not outright incredulity. The fault line of that so-called unity agreement is exposed only weeks after it was signed by Israel’s clumsy use of a divide & conquer strategy where they blame Hamas for the abductions & Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, walks right into the trap, berating Palestinians from a podium in Saudi Arabia for the kidnappings & pledging to work with the Israeli army to rout the culprits. Which of course means cooperating with Israel in it’s jackboot occupation of the West Bank. What about the Palestinian hunger strikers in Israel’s gulag, Mr. Abbas? Can you take even a moment to express solidarity with them, including the 220 children?
What is adding up in the story is the complete political bankruptcy of Mahmoud Abbas who is not even the elected leader in the West Bank but just keeps reappointing himself to serve as Israel’s handmaiden. In many ways, he’s only ever been the titular head of Palestinians, preferring to serve the interests of Israel & the US.
An article in Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, points to an extremely alarming development within Israel accompanying the acceleration of ethnic cleansing in Gaza & the West Bank. That is the crackdown on the right of dissent & the freedom for Israelis to oppose Israeli apartheid. The writer pointed to legislation (like the Naqba law banning support for BDS), attempts to curb public protests, attempts to curtail funding to dissident groups, & crackdowns on human rights groups, labeling them traitors & “fellow travelers with terror”–all tactics straight out of the McCarthy-era handbook.
There are important dissident groups within Israel, many who have for decades stood against Israeli ethnic cleansing, & defense of Palestinian rights includes active solidarity with those organizations against the crackdown on democracy within Israel.
Photo (from June 16th) is Israeli soldiers blindfolding a Palestinian “suspected of throwing stones” in Hebron, West Bank. The young man will likely end up in Israel’s gulag.
(Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters)