What would $50,000.00, a Swiss Passport with new identity, free Swiss Air tickets, plus perhaps a few bottles of expensive wine and a courtesy “coupon” or two for Geneva’s highest quality escort services mean to a young, mostly secular (though not exclusively), disconnected, and discontented Palestinian male? If you answered “collaboration with Israel,” then you are razor sharp!
Who is launching these ill-advised mortar attacks into Israel-proper? One thing is the illegal settlements, with their heavily-armed, vigilante settlers (see “A Recharged Tug of War for Land As Jewish Settlements in West Bank Expand, Palestinians Try to Hold Ground” By Daniel Williams, Washington Post Foreign Service Monday, April 16, 2001; Page A11), but attacks against Israel-proper appear to be orchestrated by Israel’s extensive network of collaborators, Mossad spies, and undercover agents of the Shinn Bet. Notice that the mortar rounds landed harmlessly in a remote field. Notice how the “sniper-assassin-murderer” of the Pass infant has yet to be found despite the passage of several weeks and the presence of an elaborate Israeli network of intelligence operatives who live and operate out of Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin, and scores of other Palestinian towns. Notice also that the Pass infant was the ultimate target for a massive propaganda campaign, indeed Manna from heaven (yes, I know, I have used that metaphor before but we are talking about the “Holy Land”) for Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Let us examine the properties of her tragic death:
* An infant é who could not feel remorse over an infant’s death (unless of course it is non-European, then the Free World has its usual qualms)?
* A settler’s infant, Part 1: most Israelis can barely stomach the settlers. I can imagine some of them thinking in their sub consciousness, and even a few verbalizing the following to their closet friends: “Oh well, if the baby’s death serves as a pretext to squash these Palestinian cockroaches, then so be it. After all, those Hebron Orthodox breed like rabbits, and with so many kids, who is going to miss one?” The ghost of Machiavellian Realism rears its ugly soul. Does anyone doubt thoughts like these exist among some of Israel’s strategic planners (or just about any country’s for that matter)?
* A settler’s infant, Part 2: No chance whatsoever for an autopsy here, so it’s the perfect case for a “self-inflicted” wound by Mossad. Of course, Mossad or Shinn Bet would use collaborators to do the evil deed. We know Israelis would never shoot each other, right?
* Back in 1996 or so, a number of mainstream media networks reported that Israel had indeed created Hamas back in the heyday of the secular PLO. The Israelis saw in Hamas and other Islamic groups “natural enemies” of the socialist-leaning, secular PLO. The goal was to exploit the divisions between competing factions in Palestine that more or less reflected the larger-scale conflict in the Arab world between modern, secularizing, leftist-leaning Pan-Arabic political movements and the more conservative, religion-bound Islamic opposition. It was a gamble with great risks, but Israel was following the old adage: “The Enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Is there precedence for this? Well, during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1989), Israel supplied massive quantities of arms to both sides.
* Notice that after March 1997, the vast majority of Hamas suicide bombings tend to kill on average about three persons. Several recent bombings have hurt no one except the bomber. In some cases, even the bomber goes unscathed. This has the hallmarks of a carefully self-inflicted Israeli-intelligence bombing campaign designed to do minimal damage but provide maximum justification for an intensified assault on the few remaining garbage dumps and vacant lots the Palestinian Authority calls its sovereign soil. Israel must know that the continuation of relentless illegal settlement expansion, construction of illegal bypass roads, collective punishment, illegal administrative detention, closures, curfews, and worst of all, the IDF checkpoints (see Robert Fisk, “How pointless checkpoints humiliate the lions of Palestine, sending them on the road to vengeance” London Independent, April 14, 2001) that place a chokehold on all entrances and exits to Palestine only assures more desperate, violent reactions from Palestinians. What if that were indeed the desired outcome, so long as the Israelis, with help from collaborators, were able to control the extent of Palestinian violence? A death here or there may be tolerable in the warped minds of Realpolitik political leaders, and lord knows, Israel has a Titanic-full load of cynical, sinister leaders capable of such thoughts and deeds.
The bottom line is that while a rapidly expanding war of attrition is taking root in Israel-Palestine, and that entails a series of unconscionable atrocities by both sides, it is Israel who controls the upper hand. It is Israel who illegally occupies the soil of three nations é Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon (Shebaa Farms). It is Israel who boasts of her network of collaborators, of carrying out assassinations, and of a ruthlessly efficient military now deploying the most advanced conventional warfare weaponry against a people no better armed than David Koresh and his Waco, Texas “Branch Davidian” cult followers, who met a fiery death on April 19, 1993. There are many Janet Renos in Israel.
Mr. Michael Lopez-Calderon taught High School Social Studies in Miami, Florida for seven years until March 2, 2001, when he was asked to leave the Jewish Day school where he had taught for the past five years. Michael was asked to leave for having posted pro-Palestinian comments on Palestine Media Watch’s subscriber-only e-mail. He remains an activist in the Miami area.