The tale of Israeli Occupying Force Corporal Gilad Shalit has been dominating international news since his capture by Palestinians in a dramatic dawn raid towards the end of June.
Apart from the surprise that was sprung upon the military unit of the Zionist regime – which regards its armed forces as the best in the world – , the precision whereby commandos of different Palestinian forces conducted its raid, sent shock waves to the political establishment of Israel.
Aware that the intifada was being shaped by new realities since the overwhelming electoral victory of Hamas, Israel had been hell-bent to incite civil strife as a means to stifle resistance to its oppression.
Working unashamedly through the office of Abu Mazen, Israel had defiantly funded and armed him in their drive to make Hamas ungovernable. For Abu Mazen, it’s been a merry-go-round, yet lacking fun! Much to his dismay, the Olmert regime has been using him as a political football, kicking him from pillar to post. From being ‘irrelevant’ to an embrace in full glare of the international media alongside the other sidekick of the Israelis, Abdullah of Jordan, the sorry figure of Abu Mazen has neither the trust of the Palestinians nor the respect of his so-called adversaries ensconced in the Knesset.
Yet the tale of Shalit has in its own strange way led Israel back into a cul-de-sac. Its ill timed investment in Abu Mazen is proving to be as futile as its siege of the Gaza. Not only has it failed to secure the release of Shalit; it has succeeded once again to attract the wrath of vast numbers of people across the globe due to its ruthless policies. Indeed, outrage for its brutal policy of ‘collective punishment’ and the enforced hardships imposed on 1.3million Palestinians left without access to electricity and water, is being registered within Israel itself.
Shalit’s capture has opened a new window allowing the world to peek directly at the cause of Palestinian suffering and the resultant justification for the continuation of the Intifada. It is able to see how modern day war crimes are being committed. News agencies such as CNN and BBC –” usually biased against Palestine –” are compelled to report the barbaric force unleashed upon a trapped and defenseless civilian population, evoking enormous sympathy for the innocent victims.
Well known South African jurist Professor John Dugard, in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine had these harsh words for the Jewish state: “Israel’s conduct is morally indefensible…..” !
His observations confirm earlier probes by a variety of human rights activists. Many share the view that Israeli policies regarding torture, detention without trial, land grab and denial of rights are embedded in the ideological short-comings of a colonial mindset reflected in Zionism.
This outlook condones the notion of Jewish ‘exclusivity’ informing the political philosophy of an Israeli social construct, which falls hopelessly short of western democratic ideals. Since Israel claims to be a ‘democracy’ and the bastion of ‘western civilisation’ in the Arab world, many of its friends in the west have been having a torrid time reconciling their own ideals of freedom and human rights with the tyranny of the Jewish state.
Blowing up power plants and essential water supplies is not the practice of benevolent societies. Dropping bombs and missiles onto the most densely populated civilian areas in the world can and should be reviled as disgusting. Worst of all would be the crime of aiding and abetting such a regime.
Whether such aid takes the form of financial support by Zionist agencies in South Africa or elsewhere, or whether such abetting takes the form of bilateral diplomatic and economic ties; it remains inconceivable to the Palestinians that such solidarity against their freedom struggle exists!
Shalid’s fate therefore is tied to the ability of present-day Israeli leaders to accept the inevitable: a full-blown democracy for all!