Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel’s minister of national security, made headlines worldwide and on every social media platform when he stated in an interview on Israeli television that his rights come before the rights of Palestinians. Tamir Pardo, former head of Israel’s notorious intelligence agency, the Mossad, made the headlines when he said that the situation in the West Bank is tantamount to Apartheid. Both stated the facts. Both have dedicated their lives and fully support this reality.
Between these two statements, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, often known colloquially by his nickname, “Abu-Mazen,” was heavily criticized for saying Israel committed “fifty genocides” and for making anti-semitic remarks about why Jewish people were persecuted. Once again, this was headline news posted all over social media. This statement also brought about a reaction from prominent Palestinian figures who thought it necessary to distance themselves from the man and the statement, and they published a letter to that effect.
Something is puzzling about the reactions to the statements made by these people, and there is, without a doubt, a thread that connects them that I hope to make clear. While the motivations for their statements are very different, the backgrounds and positions of these three figures are entirely different. In fact, they could not be more distant from one another; they all work for one common entity, and their statements serve a single entity: Israel.
Tamir Pardo has the background of a typical Israeli security establishment chief. He served in Israel’s murderous special forces as a young man. Then he went off to serve in the Mossad and went up the ranks until he reached the top. What characterizes men like him is arrogance, racism and a love of violence that are camouflaged by what might be called the “professionalism” of a security man. In Israeli society, those who served in the assassin units called “Sayeret,” or reconnaissance units, are like members of a cult who share a secret ritual. They are adored and can do no wrong. Their vile actions are told as tales of heroism.
Itamar Ben-Gvir comes from the settler community, an entirely different world. They are mostly detached from the rest of Israeli society and are obsessed with following what are known to have been the Zealots who fought the Romans. Many within that community do not serve in the military but have their own paramilitary training and military-grade weapons. These are known as the “Kahanist” settlers, named for their “spiritual” leader, the racist Meir Kahana.
A man like Tamir Pardo could hardly imagine that a man like Itamar Ben-Gvir would stand at the head of Israel’s internal security as minister of national security. A man like Pardo is the man for that job, not a punk like Ben-Gvir, and many within the Israeli security apparatus despise Ben-Gvir.
But the Kanaists have been working hard to climb up the ladder of Israeli politics, civil service and even the security apparatus, and now their man is in the seat. As it happens, the other racist punk that has reached great heights is Bezalel Smotrich. He comes from the same background as Ben-Gvir, and he has not only the finance portfolio but is also a special minister within the defense ministry in charge of the Civil Administration, a bureaucracy created to manage Palestinian life within the West Bank.
So, how is Abu Mazen part of this? He is the fool who was placed to help Israel blame the Palestinians for keeping them under the Israeli boot. Here is an example of how Abu-Mazen is useful for Israel and Zionists.
At a recent event in Washington, DC, Representative Stephen Cohen from Tennessee came to speak. It was a small venue with an audience of less than twenty. The Congressman had to sit during the Q&A session because he had polio as a child, so he is quite frail and shakes severely when standing for too long.
In the Q&A session, he was asked why he does not support Betty McCullom’s bill, House Bill 2407, “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.” He said he didn’t recall if he’d signed on or not, as his name is not on the list of supporters and then went on to talk about how bad Mahmoud Abbas was and how he doesn’t like him. He was then asked why Congress insists on calling Israel a democracy when there is ample evidence – not to mention a report by Amnesty International – that Israel is an apartheid state.
Here, once again, Abu-Mazen came to the rescue. The Congressman went on about how bad he was and stated, “Palestinians never had a George Washington.” Well, there we have it – Palestinians deserve everything they are going through because they do not have a George Washington.
Abbas’ usefulness goes beyond being a punching bag for Zionists. He represents the illusion that there is a Palestinian state with a president. He is not an insignificant hurdle in the Palestinian struggle for freedom. For the sake of this article, he is one more character in a drama that places Palestinians at the bottom of the list of priorities and where Palestinians are blamed for their predicament.
What these three figures have in common is not only that they actively and willfully stand in the way of Palestinian liberation but that people listen when they speak. Over several weeks, all three made statements that made headlines and received endless commentary, and yet nothing they said was significant.
In response to the letter written by Palestinians denouncing Abu-Mazen’s comments, the Director of the “Electronic Intifada,” Ali Abunimah, wrote, “I have expressed my strong objections to an “open letter” signed by a number of Palestinians – many of whom I greatly respect and respectfully disagree with.” In a piece in “Electronic Intifada,” he writes, “Abbas is widely viewed among the Palestinians as the West’s and Israel’s quisling, not the leader of the Palestinians. And as such, Palestinians have absolutely no responsibility for his words or deeds.”
He continued by ridiculing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who, despite labeling Abu-Mazen a Holocaust denier, approved a shipment of weapons from the United States to Mahmoud Abbas to help the PA leader fight against the Palestinian people’s resistance.”
The moral of this story is twofold. First, there is not a single influential political entity fighting for the liberation of Palestine and the rights of Palestinians, leaving their fate in the hands of war criminals and thieves. Second, the three characters described here received far too many headlines for their words and too few for their crimes.
Feature photo | Illustration by MintPress News
Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”
The post Israel’s Puzzling Trio: Ben Gvir, Pardo, and Abu-Mazen—Agents or Accomplices? appeared first on MintPress News.
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