Israel’s dirty tricks department keeps busy with failed inventions
Israel is inventive when it comes to being destructive and colonial. There must be a dirty tricks department somewhere in the Israeli security systems that are meant to create havoc and mischief for Palestinians, who choose dissent against the occupation.
They have now turned their attention on Omar Barghouthi whose personal popularity and credibility as leader of the BDS Movement has speedily grown. He has taken a movement which has also escalated into a global mass movement which non-violent, yet potent as an instrument of resistance. Israel is running scared being witness, on a daily basis, to one or the other movement for justice closing economic ties with the apartheid regime. More and more countries are expressing their disgust with Israel’s politics.
So, what does Israel do? It has now decided that they must discredit international leaders of the resistanec. Barghouthi is one such and Israel has claimed to have found a pretext which makes him look bad. They have chosen to call him a “tax dodger.” Israel’s ‘dirty tricks’ department knows how to be dirty but is not smart enough to hide its revolting side.
Only a few months ago, Israel ministers outdid each other in swearing they would destroy the BDS Movement. There was one of them who actually wanted to see Barghouthi exterminated. Target and /or destroy. Tactics such as Israel’s targeting on Barghouthi are now common place among dictatorships and authoritarian regimes around the world which also have over them the façade of democracy. In this case, it is about harassment, diminishing the image of the enemy, and lowering Barghouthi’s image and standing as an ethical, principled opponent of the occupation. They may eventually send him to jail or tax him in monstrous proportions. Either ways, the world knows that Barghouthi has put the fear of God into Israel. The BDS Movement will only swell will grow in popularity and Barghouthi’s personal stature as a hero of the resistance will enlarge.
Anti-BDS minister Gilad Erdan has warned that there will soon be a date base of Israel supporters of the BDS. Thankfully, this has been opposed by the attorney general who said there is no statutory authority for a civilian ministry to spy on or maintain files on Israeli citizens. This is yet more evidence just how much Israel has to hide and how hideous its oppressive measures are turning out to be.
The dirty tricks department in Israel’s government is nothing new. It goes back to the seventies. Haaretz reveals how, in the mid-1970s – not long after the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights – Israel used university faculty members to infiltrate Amnesty International. The state thus actively intervened to co9nfuse the human rights discourse just as the rights discourse was becoming one of the most popular forms of political struggle against injustice around the globe.
Still in the realm of dirty tricks. It is an open secret that the Hamas-Israel links are full of incongruities. “The relationship appears is adversarial yet both sides tacitly cooperate with one another. Hamas’ presence in Gaza is a self-imposed check for Israel. Hamas is allowed to retain its status as the exclusive resistance movement in the entire Palestinian political system and is positioned as an alternative to Fatah. Fatah’s image is that of a crooked and loathed movement. This entire stratagem works well for the colonial Israeli regime which uses the divide-and-rule system to sow divisions and maintain control.
The international community may be weak and disunited at this moment. But therer are moments of consolidated solidarity. At the UN Committee on Human Rights, condemnations have been swift, harsh, and continuous. Israel and the US have worked overtime to get other western nations to end this flow of condemnations. Indeed, to distort its own image, hide it hideous truths, and weaken the UNCHR. It has used threats, and the carrot-stick approach to win over friends with incentives. Not enough takers so far!
Whether Israel will finally jail Omar Barghouthi in jail is another question. He lives a life of intimidation and stress. If he arrives in jail, his namesake, he will surely join Palestinian Legislative Council MP, prisoner Marwan al-Barghouti, member of Fatah Central Committee, who has announced that Palestinian prisoners and Fatah captives in Israeli jails will start a hunger strike on the Palestinian Prisoner Day on April 17 around a number of demands. Iran has been abrupt in its dismissal of US pressure. Tehran has imposed sanctions on 15 US firms over their alleged backing of Israel and its perceived “atrocities” committed against Palestinians, according to a foreign ministry statement cited by the Iranian State Agency (IRNA).
Israel’s weak-kneed oppression stands on military might and covert/overt western support. A regime built on military machinery and opposed to the rule of law is on sinking sand. It will collapse and ebb unless it initiatives radical political transformation.
*Ranjan Solomon is an analyst and commentator on the ‘Question of Palestine’