OPINION by Iqbal Jassat
What is it about proclamations of “peace” that allows injustice to continue unhindered?
Its a question applicable to governments, security institutions, media columnists and pro-Israel lobbies who regularly espouse a passion for “peace in the Holy Land”.
While on the surface it appears to be a perfectly normal and laudable aspiration, in the experience of Palestine it is unfortunately riddled with inconsistencies making it alarmingly dishonest.
“Peace” as espoused by Israel’s leaders is no more than a fig leaf for it seeks to conceal the regime’s unremitting repression of Palestinian rights.
Though “peace” is a concept embodying humane values associated with calm and serenity, for Palestinians it has had a devastating opposite effect. Their daily experience whether as refugees awaiting return home or as a collective of Occupied people, points to a life of subjugation which has for decades been exploited by successive governments in Israel.
While the deception inherent in Israel’s so-called desire for “peace” is known and documented quite extensively, it is also known that by leaning on this false notion, the regime has attempted to deflect scrutiny of its unjust conduct towards Palestinians.
Such deliberate and calculated sophistry has assisted Israel and her supporters to bluff the world. By staking its claim as a “peaceful” state whose citizens deserve to live in “peace”, Israel’s social architects expect immunity from censure for any and all forms of oppression and military barbarity.
“Peace” is thus a linguistic political tool without any connection to the noble values it incorporates. Malicious and misleading to the extreme for it implies that to oppose Israel is to oppose “peace”. In other words, anti-Israelism is equated with mindless violence.
This type of faulty rationale is deliberately constructed to demonise opponents of the regime’s colonial status as violent. Thus in the context of contrasting “peace” and “violence”, Israel continues to rally support for its savagery on the basis of an aspiration most people would unhesitatingly subscribe to.
Netanyahu has repeated this trick once again at the United Nations. By casting Israel as a victim of “terrorism” perpetrated by “violent” ideologues of “Islamist radicalism”, he hopes to garner global sympathy and thereby shield his apartheid regime’s catalogue of atrocities.
America’s current bombing spree in cahoots with Britain and France and their respective Arab client-states gives Israel perfect timing and cover. In Iraq and Syria, the US-led “war on terror” has a new enemy in the guise of ISIS commonly referred to as the Islamic State.
Overnight, ISIS has emerged as a new villain threatening the existence of Western civilization. Its dominance over large swathes of Iraq and Syria including key oil fields precipitated what most people currently associate ISIS with: beheadings of Western journalists.
Suddenly this new “Islamist bogeyman” emerges to not only distract global attention from Israel’s beheadings of Palestinian families, but also to extend a fresh lifeline to America’s military industrial complex. And of course to provide Netanyahu the opportunity to cast resistance movements such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the mould of ISIS.
Such tricks conjure the minds of magicians and keep people enthralled while deceptive policies of dispossession continue uninterrupted.
Netanyahu and his clique of magicians may believe that waving the wand of “peace” will conceal Israel’s bloody carnage and ongoing aggression, but unfortunately for Zionism this illusion wont last.
If South Africa is used as a yardstick to measure whether Israel’s bag of dirty tricks has worked, its pretty clear that Netanyahu has failed dismally.
Here, a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) led by the ANC as the ruling party and a formidable formation of civil societies, churches and trade unions has demonstrated that it has not been deceived by false notions of “peace”.
Iqbal Jassat is an executive member of the Media Review Network, a Johannesburg based advocacy group challenging Zionism and Islamophobia.