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Israel’s Shakespearean Plot to Punish Palestinians
By Fadi Zanayed
It has not been proven to me that members of Hamas or any other Palestinian committed the alleged murder of the allegedly missing Israeli teenagers. The scenario put out by the Israelis just does not make sense. Given the diplomatic failures or setbacks that Israel has suffered in the past several months leads many to believe that this kidnapping was an Israeli fabrication that was conjured up to achieve Israel’s real aim without bringing on the wrath of the world leaders.
Israel is vehemently upset at the Palestinian unification government that ended the 7 year rift between Fatah and Hamas, the two leading political rivals in Palestine. This is no secret. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call to world leaders not to recognize the new Palestinian unity government was rebuffed, including U.S. and Western European leaders.
It is also no secret that Israel wanted to punish the Palestinian Authority for bringing Hamas into the Palestinian government. Israel, as the collector of duty fees on products imported to the Palestinian Authority, is withholding those fees as one form of punishment. But Israel wanted to do more.
The concoction of having 3 Israeli teenagers go missing was pre-told by non-other than the head of the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, one week before the alleged kidnapping. This “terrorist” kidnapping plot against 3 Israeli teenagers would elicit the support not only with Israelis but with foreign governments—a much needed element in order for Netanyahu to carry on his plan to punish the Palestinians for its unity government with Hamas. He needed to punish the Palestinians without engaging the wrath of the US and Western powers. Thus the Netanyahu government was presented with a story about 3 missing “innocent” Israeli teenagers—what a wonderful Shakespearean plot.
So Israel carried on with this Machiavellian scenario. A news blackout was imposed during the initial hours or days of the search. The plot was developing. The sympathy from around the world was pouring in as the Israeli media broadcast the names and images of the teenagers. Their mothers were crying.
The mothers even went to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland to plea for help. They left behind 198 Palestinian mothers whose children innocence was wasted in Israeli Military jails and over 1500 Palestinian mothers whose children were killed since 2000. Motherly instincts are not exclusive to Israeli mothers and thus I wonder if they spoke on behalf of all mothers.
This Shakespearean plot was such a masterful plan aimed at achieving two results. It would elicit the sympathy Israel needed after months of diplomatic setbacks and it would allow Israel, under the cover of “rescuing” its children, to punish the Palestinian Authority and Hamas for the unification government that Israel opposed.
Israel was suffering in public opinion. In April, 2014, Israel was blamed by U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, for the collapse of the “peace” talks; settlement start announcements by Israel was hurting its image; the Palestinians united; and Palestine applied to 15 international agencies for membership. Divestment victories at U.S. campuses were gaining steam for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The Presbyterian Church voted to divest from 3 U.S. corporations that are profiting from the Israeli occupation. Western European countries called upon their businesses to refrain from any business with corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation.
Israel could not accept any more condemnation and needed a sympathetic ploy to do what it wanted. Thus the plot to punish the Palestinians for the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah needed a cover. The scenario of having 3 Israelis being kidnapped by Hamas proved to be the cover Israel needed to carry on with its plot.
Under the cover of the alleged kidnapping and after gaining the needed sympathy of world leaders, Israel launched its media campaign and its Operation Brother’s Keeper, eloquently named to elicit maximum sympathy. It called up an army brigade which consists of 5,000 soldiers. Israel was going to war against the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli soldiers, in the past several weeks since the alleged kidnapping, freely and indiscriminately entered into over 1,000 Palestinian homes without any search warrants; killed 8 Palestinian children; arrested hundreds of Palestinian men; and ransacked homes—many times just in search of a TV which carried the World Cup games. Thousands of pictures where posted on social media sites showing Israeli soldiers blindfolding and dragging Palestinian children, as young as 7 years old off to prison. Israeli has bombarded an already devastated Gaza relentless for over the past week. The collective punishment against the Palestinian people was being carried out relentlessly and not a word was heard from world leaders.
When news broke that the 3 missing Israeli teens were found dead, Israel’s bombardment of Gaza escalated and the indiscriminate collective punishment against the Palestinian people went unabated and again without any condemnation by world leaders. Israel had achieved its objectives: gaining sympathy and punishing the Palestinians.
In analyzing the events of the past several weeks, the Shakespearean plot put out by Israel seems unrealistic. Killing the teenagers would not have served Hamas’ interests as the value of abducting Israelis is in the prisoner exchange. Murdering the teenagers has no value to Hamas, as the merciless bombing of Gaza has proven. Israelis did not like the prisoner exchange that was made to entice the Palestinians to renew the peace talks last year. In fact, Knesset members introduced legislation this year to prevent the Israeli government from agreeing to prisoner exchanges. Thus the chance of knowing that the teenagers were alive and held as a bargaining chip to exchange prisoners was not in Israel’s self-interest. Israel would have been in a real dilemma had the children been alive and it could not bargain for their release.
Thus the allegedly kidnapped teenagers were found dead. But Hamas never claimed responsibility. Again, it was not in Hamas’ interest to kill the teenagers.
Israel, a mastermind of staging media events, did not provide a picture of the bodies of the teenagers. They did not offer any evidence that members of Hamas committed the alleged kidnapping other than the preordained accusations by Netanyahu and his war hawk ministers.
The question is really not: Where is the proof that members of Hamas committed the alleged kidnapping and murder of these Israeli teenagers? The question should be: Who has the motive to present a scenario to the world that would gain sympathy for the preordained Israeli desire to punish the Palestinians for uniting? Shakespeare could not have written a better plot.
(Fadi Zanayed is an attorney and a Palestinian-American community activist. He blogs at http://fadizanayed.blogspot.com/ and his poetry collection is at http://poetrybyfadizanayed.blogspot.com/. He can be reached at FadiZ4u@yahoo.com)
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