Palestine Held Hostage In Israel's Prison
Palestinians Serving Life in Israel's Domestic Prisons Held Hostage to American Interests
By Genevieve Cora Fraser
According to the Palestinian Authority, 3.5 million Palestinians are held against their will. Along with the refugee camps and concentration of holding cells that now comprise cities and villages of Gaza and the West Bank, there are more than 360,000 Palestinians packed into Lebanon's 12 refugee camps. In addition, the Palestinian Diaspora in Jordan number 1.3 million. Of these many still live in refugee camps that were established in 1949. Many Arabs, though living in Israel and holding citizenship, share a fate that is not dissimilar.
Typically when individuals are said to be held against their will they are held as criminals, or to prevent exposure of some truth, for the nefarious purpose of ethnic cleansing, or as hostages. But do these reasons apply in the case of Israel and its lock-up of the entire population of Palestine? I suspect the answer is a resounding, yes! There is also a fifth reason, to maintain the sadistic gratification of a master-slave relationship, the thrill of absolute life and death control over others which is fueled by an iron clad belief in one's superiority. But for those caught up in this psychology, the threat of loss of control creates a personal sense of terror which can border on the psychotic and often expresses itself in deadly rampages.
Israel views the Palestinian population. every man, woman and child as a terrorist who threatens the very existence of Israel. With this as justification, mass killings are ordered where tanks fire into refugee camps indiscriminately and bulldozers level homes, fighter jets rocket "strategic" assaults on densely packed cities and helicopter gun-ships fire at anything that moves. According to the United Nations, Palestine's future, approaching one quarter of its littlest children under-five are at risk of irreversible brain damaged due to deliberate starvation and dehydration tactics imposed by Israel's social planners. The health of the entire population is also at risk as wells, reservoirs, roof-top water tanks, water pipes and sewage infrastructure are destroyed by IDF troops.
Zionist coveting of all that is Palestine is legendary. This led to the Arab/Israeli War of 1948 with its massacres, expulsions and "special laws" such as the Absentee Property Law that allowed the confiscation of all lands and valuables including bank accounts held by Palestinians. Land was also the issue in 1967 when the occupation served as the foundation for "facts on the ground" that to this day attempt to gobble up what remains of Palestine.
But when all is said and done Israel may do what it does to Palestine for its own matrix of reasons but America funds it. At bottom, Palestinians are held hostage to serve American interests. Why? Because holding Palestinians hostage is necessary for America to maintain instability in the Middle East. Along with serving the oil interests and sustaining the war industry through guaranteed Israeli purchases, American policy makers, particularly the Israeli biased Neo-Cons, do not want a free and independent state of Palestine that would serve as a role model, an example for other Arab states. There is an underlying concern that if someday the Middle East should stabilize, grow and prosper, it might challenge US preeminence in the world.
The American media plays a double role in the subterfuge by justifying the Zionist agenda while perpetuating the Israeli myth of Palestinians as terrorists. The media highlights acts of counter-terror and resistance without acknowledging Israel's role as an American-funded terrorist nation obsessed with holding Palestinians at bay. Ironically but quite logically, Israel's sadistic efforts to subdue Palestine by making it the largest and longest keep torture chamber in the world has in turn wrecked havoc on their national mental stability. By all accounts, Israel is an increasingly violent gang-ridden society. And its long-standing image as the idealistic, above reproach nation recovering from the horrors of the Holocaust is wearing thin, not because of so-called anti-Semitism but by an increased exposure of its own monstrous deeds.
Recently I attended a conference which focused on Iraq and Palestine. One of the featured speakers was an American of Ashkenazi descent who immigrated with her parents to Israel when she was a child. As well-intentioned idealists, they had been swept up in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and risked their lives in the cause of black equality. Disillusioned with America, they moved to Israel in service to what they perceived was Zionist idealism.
The woman spoke of serving in the Israeli Army. She explained that to prepare for service in the IDF, the recruits would visit Concentration Camps in Germany and Poland. The Holocaust was a reminder of what their service was all about. least they face another Holocaust. But the enemy associated with this heinous potential was not Germany but Palestine. Israel's brutal usurpation of Palestinian lands and property was not highlighted, nor the fact that Israel occupies Palestine and is therefore the aggressor.
To further illustrate the attitudes ingrained in the Israeli psyche, the speaker described one of her recent visits to Palestine and Israel. At the end of her visit she had been staying in a hotel in East Jerusalem and admitted to having taken along too much luggage.
As she waited on the sidewalk for the shuttle van to take her to the airport, the Palestinian hotel staff fretted over her well-being. One brought out a chair for her to sit on while another brought her a cup of tea. Palestinians walking along the sidewalk stopped to talk and commiserate, though it was clear she was an American Jew. Her visit in the West Bank was likewise filled with memories of sensitive moments spent with Palestinian friends suffering under Israel's brutal occupation who nevertheless showered her with warmth and demonstrated the deepest respect, knowing full well that she was a Jew who had once been assigned to the tank division of the IDF.
But the story didn't end there. Fearing that she would miss her plane, she once again contacted the van driver from her mobile. He complained bitterly that she was forcing him to enter the dreaded East Jerusalem. When he finally arrived, he pulled to a screeching halt in front of her, jumped out of the van and started screaming and yelling orders while the Palestinians standing nearby helped shove bags into the van before he raced off. leaving the passenger and two of her bags on the curbside. She called the driver back and he returned cursing her loudly as the Palestinians helped her into the van. Once inside, the driver spoke in Hebrew to the other passengers, believing that as an American she would not understand.
However, this particular American Jew spoke fluent Hebrew and listened in astonishment as he cursed her as a dumb American who had put all their lives at great risk. Hadn't she noticed how the Palestinians had swarmed all over the van attempting to steal everything they could get their hands on? He knew they were about to slash the tires and had been prevented from doing so due to the van driver's quick actions. This American dim-wit had put all their lives at risk due to her stupidity, he complained.
And so it is with Israeli paranoia. Yet, every day members of the Jewish community from Israel and throughout the world opt to live in Palestine or spend time working in solidarity with Palestinians. All over the world members of the Jewish community assume leadership positions and swell the ranks of membership in Pro-Palestinian groups. Yet so many Jews in Israel live not only in terror of being victimized by suicide bombers but of the entire Palestinian population, the majority of whom prefers a peaceful solution and would readily concede to a just two-state solution.
It would appear that there is no way out of the madness, but the wherewithal to cut the Gordian knot is at hand. Disregard America's misguided attempts at hegemony. Accept Palestinians and Arabs in general as human beings with equal rights and there will be peace. But it's up to those with justice in their hearts in Israel and the Jewish community in America and throughout the world to lead the way.
If Israeli and American Jews as a voting block reach out in the spirit of Peace and Justice to the Arab community, they might be pleasantly surprised. Racism will dissolve and be replaced by a safer world where the global society can begin serious confrontation with the problems that will soon plague us all. surviving a global environmental catastrophe.