Mark Regev’s official title is Spokesperson for the Prime Minister of the State of Israel and his job is to obfuscate public perception of Israel’s genocidal acts. Denying that Israel is committing war crimes and frequently in breach of International law is not a job for anyone without the thickest of thick skins. The ability to portray Palestinian civilians and children as “terrorists”, responsible for their own deaths on a regular basis, suggests to me that he might be implanted with a micro chip, pre-programmed with automatic responses which overide the normal human emotions of horror, sadness and guilt. For years, Mark Regev has been on our T.V. screens churning out the same spiel of “TERRORISTS” and “KHHAMAAAS”.
But things are changing in the region and I fear he may have to be sent away to Hasbara headquarters to be reprogrammed.
For years, Mark Regev has struck fear in the hearts of westerners with his use and pronunciation of KHHAAAMAAAAAS. Hamas is an Islamic resistance movement which like “Hizbollah” was formed to resist Israeli occupation. Hizbollah are part of the Lebanese government with elected MPs, although the U.K. has designated their military wing as a terrorist organisation. If terrorism means trying to change the political situation in another country through force or coercion, then there couldn’t be a better contender for that label than the State of Israel who have used collective punishment on the people of Gaza for exercising their democratic right in voting for Hamas and who are world-famous for their assassinations of those whom they do not like.
They say that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” and this is certainly true of Ismail Haniyeh, the elected Prime Minister of Palestine who has been on two tours of Mediterranaen and Middle Eastern Countries in the last few months. This willingness to accept Haniyeh in coutries from Tunisia to Turkey shows us that the whole regions attitudes are changing.
The overthrow of some of the Arab world’s most brutal dictators by their people has given rise to support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood style En Nahda in Tunisia, and a similar style Islamic party in Morocco. No doubt the rise of political Islam across the Middle East is causing great concern to the leaders of the State of Israel and their Western Supporters.
Arab dictatorships have always had an agenda of oppressing Islam in the countries that they rule, and this was especially noticable in Tunisia. If you can force Muslims into following Islam as a mere set of rituals and brutally oppressing them if they express concern or opinion on what is happening to brothers and sisters at home or elsewhere, then you can keep a whole population silent, inactive and ineffective. Egyptian and Tunisian prisons were full of those who dared to speak out against their leaders. The beneficiary of the separation of Islamic rituals from actions against injustice has always been Israel, hence the West’s enthusiasm for funding and propping up brutal dictators like Ben Ali and Mubarak.
I have witnessed first-hand how Mubarak’s regime suppressed the people of Egypt’s rightful anger over Gaza. Not only did Mubarak’s regime co-operate in the massacre called “Cast Lead” by keeping the Rafah crossing closed, resulting in the defenceless people of Gaza being imprisoned with no escape from the bombs, but they also hindered humanitarian efforts to take aid to Gaza through the Egyptian-controlled crossing. In fact, on my first convoy to Gaza, just weeks after “Cast Lead”, the Egyptian authorities removed blankets, tents, children’s clothes and toys from my vehicle and hundreds of other convoy vehicles on the basis they the Egytpian government would only allow medical aid through the Rafah crossing. See the video of my van being emptied of aid donated by people in the U.K. here. This kind of action goes directly against the teachings of Islam, where we know that we have a collective responsibility towards our brothers and sisters no matter where they are. It is also the normal response of any human being of conscience to want to help those in crisis.
Why was Mubarak so keen to maintain the siege of Gaza? Well, not out of a love of Israel as many believe, but rather after the success of Hamas in 2006 when they were voted into power in free and fair elections by the Palestinian people, Mubarak was afraid that their success would make the similar Muslim Brotherhood stronger in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood, although banned as a political party, had members in Egypt’s government who stood as independants and, because of their deep roots with long and successful social care programmes in the community at grass roots level, they were the only viable opposition to Mubarak’s regime. The Muslim Brotherhood now look sure to take a majority of seats in the Egyptian elections, just as the similar An Nahda party did in October in Tunisia.
Muslim Brotherhood style parties who base all their decisions on Islam and who put Islam and the Quran as the criteria for laws and good governance, are what Israel and pro Israel western powers have been promoting as something the world should be very afraid of. So successful are they that the words Muslim Brotherhood – Islam – Hamas equate to terrorism in many western minds.
However, the tide is turning in the Middle East and the West, desperate to keep control over those who are seen as a threat to Israel, is no doubt running fast to catch up with events. Sending millions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian Military has worked well in the past in protecting America’s regional interests and they also fund liberal, secular parties as a counterbalance to the Islamic ones.
As someone who grew up with Gerry Adams words being spoken by actors, and who lived though his subsequent elevation from terrorist to elected M.P., I wonder if I might also live to see the day when Ismail Haniyeh is allowed to represent his voters on the International stage. With 80% of British Conservative M.P.s being members of “Friends of Israel” I can see that after Palestine is liberated from Zionist occupation, the Palestinians will have to come here and liberate us as well.
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَلْبِسُونَ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿
Gilad Atzmon, author, does what many critics of Israel fail to do; he uncovers the links between Jewish identity politics in the Diaspora with their ardent support for the oppressive policies of the Israeli state.
Date: Wednesday, February 29, 201
Time: 7:00 – 8:00 PM central time
Israeli expat who served in the Israeli military, world-acclaimed jazz saxophonist, composer, author and activist. His albums often explore political themes and the music of the Middle East. Atzmon has published numerous political and cultural essays, and he brings his intellect and artistry to bear on Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestine. Gilad’s latest book is titled “The Wandering Who? A study of Jewish Identity Politics”.
A live discussion with Gilad Atzmon about Palestine, Israel, Zionism, and his recently published and highly controversial book, The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics.
Note: Gilad Atzmon will be speaking in Houston on March 5 at an event sponsored by One Democratic State. Click here for more details.
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