Israel not only uses its highly-trained military and security forces against what it calls Palestinian or Islamist “terrorists”, but also against organisations and movements that everyone agrees are civilian and peaceful entities made up of people from various nationalities and backgrounds.
Confirmation of this was revealed this week by Noa Landau writing in Haaretz newspaper. Details were provided of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan — an extremist if ever there was one — and his cooperation with Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, which is notorious for its assassination of Palestinian and non-Palestinian figures around the world. Their collaboration aims to bring down the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
As an occupying power and apartheid state, Israel is so unsure of the “democratic” veneer over its colonisation of Palestine that it cannot tolerate criticism of any kind. Nor can it accept anyone trying to halt its racist practices in Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Triangle cluster of Palestinian towns close to the Green (Armistice) Line, and the Galilee. As such, it feels the need to use all of its security agencies, surveillance systems and advanced intelligence gathering — as well as its military might — to confront and silence critics, claiming that they pose an “existential threat” to the state, as well as being “anti-Semitic”.
What is the position of European democracies regarding foreign surveillance and intelligence agencies, in this case Israel’s Mossad, working under the cover of embassies and unofficial organisations against their citizens as they go about their peaceful and legal pro-Palestinian activities? Will they stay silent, or will they work together and reward Israel for its violations as the German parliament has done by declaring the BDS movement to be “anti-Semitic”? Or will they take action to stop Israel’s aggressive and anti-democratic actions which violate basic human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful action against Zionist occupation and racism?
What if, for example, it wasn’t Mossad doing this anti-BDS action, but a Turkish intelligence agency? Would the international community take the same position? Or would a relentless campaign be launched against “Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan”? We know the answer to that.
Despite clearly having a free pass to act with impunity, Israel — the occupying, nuclear-armed, apartheid state — still wants to eliminate the right to free speech and expression, as well as the right of justice-loving people to reject its military occupation and oppose it by all means. Western and European governments and institutions are weak and hypocritical and have basically surrendered their sovereignty under pressure from the pro-Israel Lobby funded by the extreme right-wing government in Israel. The Palestinians and their supporters, meanwhile, continue to exercise their legitimate right to oppose occupation and racism, and resist the Israeli oppressors.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 13 June 2019