February 14, 2008 at 7:37 am
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem
Is there a real difference between a criminal state and a criminal individual? Is there a difference between classical gangsters and armed robbers who hold-up people and steal their money at gunpoint, and a state, which claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East and a light upon the nations of the world, that commits very much the same crime?
On Monday, on 11 February, and in broad day light, Israeli occupation soldiers raided dozens of homes, money changers and businesses throughout the West Bank after ordering “forces” answerable to Palestinian “Authority” Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to stay indoor until a further notice.
According to one of the victims in the city of Hebron, the soldiers behaved “very much like gangsters, thugs and common criminals.”
“They stormed my shop, trained their guns at me, and ordered me to give them the money, or else,” said one of the victims who implored this writer not to mention his name lest he be further savaged by the “most benevolent” occupying army.
His neighbor, a grocery store keeper, said the soldiers simply emptied all the money, in Jordanian Dinars, Israeli Shekels and US dollars, in plastic sacs, and left.
“They behaved like cowboys in the wide wild west in classical American movies,” he said.
I asked him to describe his feelings, having watched Israeli soldiers ganging up on his neighbor and robbing him of all his money and life-savings at one fell swoop.
The man, visibly frustrated and furious, said “If the occupation is an act of rape, and it actually is, then the agents of the occupation, the soldiers, are the rapists by excellence.
“You see, they can do to us anything they want, they kill our children, they destroy our homes, they bulldoze our property, and they steal our money. And when we cry out for justice, they call us terrorists and dump us into detention camps like a piece of luggage.
“In brief, I’m talking about a criminal state that views us as creatures unworthy of living, very much like the Nazis viewed their victims more than 60 years ago.”
Arresting Palestinians for seeking redress
Raiding homes and businesses and stealing money is not the only gangsterly behavior of the Israeli state. This week, the Israeli Minister of Interior instructed the police to arrest several Palestinians in East Jerusalem for daring to appeal to the Israeli High Court to order a halt to the bulldozing of ancient Muslim archeological sites adjacent to the Aqsa Mosque.
The appellants violated no law and were only exercising their right to seek redress and justice.
However, the Israeli state apparently saw that “justice and redress” were too much of a luxury for non-Jews. This is the very same state whose “Justice” system last week ruled that there was no sufficient ground for indicting a number of crack policemen who had murdered 13 Israeli Arab citizens in October, 2000, during a demonstration against Israeli atrocities in the West Bank.
At least some of these soldiers had admitted that they killed their victims deliberately and unjustifiably because they were Arabs.
Well, while every civilized and decent human being is affronted by the behavior of such a wantonly mendacious state, no one should really be surprised.
We are talking about Israel, a state that not only acquits murderers of murdering Palestinian school kids, but actually goes as far awarding the child-killers hefty financial “compensation” for committing the dirty crimes. The case of 12-year-old Iman al Hams and her killer Captain R. will always be a clarion indictment of Israeli criminality and racism, and no amount of hasbara whitewashing will wash this shame away.
In fact, when dealing with Israeli crimes and terrorism against the virtually helpless Palestinians one is often at loss as to where to begin and where to end, because Israel is simply a criminal entity from head to toe. State-sponsored crimes are Israel’s modus operandi. In recent days, Israeli leaders, from Noble Laureate and proverbial “peace dove,” Shimon Peres, to Ehud Olmert, to Ehud Barak to Haim Ramon to the end of the list have been threatening to annihilate Gaza and throw its 1.5 million residents into the sea or into the Sinai desert.
The threats made by these certified war criminals must always be taken seriously. After all, it is they who have been imposing a Nazi-like blockade on Gaza pushing the impoverished coastal territory to a humanitarian disaster unprecedented since the Palestinian Nakba or catastrophe in 1948, when the legions of Zionism massacred and terrorized the bulk of native Palestinians into fleeing their homeland.
A Zionist genocide, partial or complete, of Palestinians, especially in Gaza, can’t be ruled out. There is simply nothing that would prevent these modern Nazis from emulating their former tormentors who also happened to be their ultimate mentors.
Israeli apologists often claim that Israel could annihilate all Palestinians in 24 hours and that the fact that it has not done so despite Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation underscores Israeli morality.
Well, this is not really true since the main obstacle preventing Israel from annihilating the Palestinian people is not really Zionist morality, but rather the world public opinion and the perceived long-term adversarial effects a monumental crime as such would have on Zionism.
Non the less, there is not a shred of doubt that the moment the world public opinion swerves right or left or goes into a slumber, Israel would undoubtedly embark on the unthinkable. Just listen to the gurus of Zionism and you will understand what I am talking about.
We are talking after all about a strange breed of psychopaths, not unlike Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Genrich Yagoda and Lazar Kaganovitch and other mass murderers who all committed their crimes while pretending to serve legitimate human purposes. They are capable of doing the unthinkable.
It is for these reasons that free-minded people around the world, especially honest and conscientious Jews, must remain vigilant and watchful.
It is true there are many other trouble spots in the world. However, the Palestinian plight remains the critical test of world conscience. Hence, the people of Palestine and their enduring just cause must never ever be let down.