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    The Shalit tale is yet to end

    شاطر

    مـحمد أبو عـرة
    1
    1

    ذكر
    عدد الرسائل : 1256
    العمر : 30
    الأقامة : في المنفى...
    العمل : Technological techniques
    تاريخ التسجيل : 27/04/2007

    The Shalit tale is yet to end

    مُساهمة من طرف مـحمد أبو عـرة في الأربعاء يوليو 18, 2007 11:21 pm

    The Shalit tale is yet to end















    Last week, when Israel received from Hamas via the Egyptian mediators a list of the names of Palestinian political and resistance prisoners the movement is demanding their release in return for freeing an Israeli prisoner, many people voiced the hope that a prisoner swap was imminent.

    However, these hopes were soon dashed when Israeli Prime Minister and other officials rejected the list, on the ground that it contained too many names, including key political leaders Israel is holding as bargaining chips to be used in any prospective negotiations with the Palestinians.

    More to the point, Israel is worried that freeing that many Palestinian prisoners would boost the morale of the Palestinian society and strengthen the Palestinian national unity government as well as the Hamas movement.

    But Israel is also facing a predicament. The Israeli soldier taken prisoner by Palestinian guerillas nearly ten months ago will not be released alive (or even dead) unless and until Israel releases Palestinian prisoners.

    The Palestinian factions holding the soldier, Gilad Shalit who has become a household name thanks to Israeli hasbara efforts, are emulating Hizbullah’s tough bargaining tactics vis-à-vis Israel whereby no piece of information, not even a tangible proof that Shalit is alive, will be given for free. Hence, all Israeli efforts to know the whereabouts of Shalit have failed.

    The Palestinian stand on the Shalit affair is actually vindicated by Israel’s apparent ill-will and condescending posturing with regard to the Shalit affair.

    Initially, Israel sought to free Shalit by force by carrying out deadly incursions into Gaza population centers, causing the death of hundreds of innocent civilians, including many children, and utterly destroying much of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure.

    When that failed to liberate Shalit, the Israeli army resorted to taking dozens of Palestinian officials, including cabinet ministers and lawmakers as hostages to be used as bargaining chips to bring about Shalit’s release.

    And when this tactic also failed, the Israeli government resorted to the characteristic tactics of deception and equivocation by rounding up hundreds if not thousands of mostly innocent Palestinians citizens from the West Bank and dumping them in Israeli detention camps without charge or trial, with the clear aim of bullying the Palestinians to free Shalit.

    At one point, Israel went as far as suggesting unfreezing hundreds of millions of dollars of Palestinian tax money withheld by the Jewish state since last year in exchange for releasing Shalit from Palestinian custody.

    Those who are holding Shalit seem to have been unimpressed by all these tactics and are actually showing sophistication as well as a high degree of patience.

    Indeed, at one point, Hamas openly criticized the Egyptian mediators for giving Israel the impression that the Palestinians would settle for less, in terms of the number and “the quality” of prisoners whose release is demanded.

    It is not difficult to analyze the Israeli posture with regard to Shalit.

    Israel, as a matter of principle, is committed to repatriate any Israeli soldier taken prisoner by the enemy, irrespective of the price to be paid.

    This has always been part and parcel of the Israeli doctrine, which views Jewish lives as superior than non-Jewish lives and Jewish blood as redder than non-Jewish blood.

    However, the price Israel is demanded to pay this time seems to be too high, at least from the point of view of the Shin Beth, Israel’s main domestic security agency. Hence the dilemma.

    The Shin Beth believes that releasing 1300-1400 Palestinians, many of them veteran leaders of the Palestinian national movement, would, using the words of Uri Avnery, release an outburst of joy all over the occupied Palestinian territories, as there is hardly a Palestinian family that doesn’t have a relative in Israeli jails.

    Moreover, there is always the argument that releasing “terrorists” would encourage Palestinians to carry out more “kidnappings” of Israelis to use them as hostages and bargaining chips to force Israel to free Palestinian prisoners.

    Well, this is a spurious argument. In the first place the vast bulk of Palestinians released from Israeli jails since the Olso Agreement have been leading a quiet life and are busy building their lives and raising their children.

    More to the point, it is clear that most of the former prisoners are politically moderate and advocate a dignified and just compromise between Israel and the Palestinian people pursuant UN resolutions and the land-for-peace formula. In fact, many symbols of the Palestinian leadership happen to be former prisoners released either before or after the conclusion of the Oslo Agreement.

    Second, it is amply clear that it is Israel that forces the Palestinians to resort to desperate tactics, such as kidnapping soldiers, to force Israel to do what it should have done a long time ago, namely releasing Palestinian political prisoners, especially those who have spent many years in prison.

    But the most mendacious and often-cited mantra against freeing Palestinian prisoners is the manifestly racist argument that Palestinians are “terrorists” not prisoners of war and that they have “Jewish blood” on their hands, as if the hands of tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers, officers and even politicians didn’t have tons of blood (Palestinian blood) on their hands.

    Well, It is obvious that Israelis in general don’t like to discuss this matter since doing so would expose their racism and moral duplicity.

    Needless to say, these condescending attitudes emanate from the overall Israeli perception of Palestinians as lesser human beings with lesser rights and whose lives are expendable, or at least incomparable to the paramount Jewish lives.

    Israel needs to discard this arrogant attitude toward its neighbors and victims. Otherwise, the possibility of true peace in this region will never materialize.

      الوقت/التاريخ الآن هو الأحد ديسمبر 04, 2016 11:54 am