There's No Excuse for Kidnapping Teenagers

Small nations like the Palestinians cannot allow themselves the luxuries of large nations, such as brutality and contempt for morality. A moral struggle is the strongest weapon a weak, oppressed people possesses.

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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Armed militants at the funeral of Islamic Jihad activists killed in Gaza on March 11, 2014.
Armed militants at the funeral of Islamic Jihad activists killed in Gaza on March 11, 2014.Credit: Reuters
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

Haifa-born novelist Emile Habibi coined the term, loosely translated, “Arab lifeline.” Every time expansionist policies were met with international isolation, Arab incitement popped up, either in the form of an empty threat or a horrible terrorist attack. And the millions of occupied Arabs became a hangman, while the policies of occupation and uprooting became the victim.

David Ben-Gurion would say “trust the Mufti,” he’ll make a belligerent statement that will legitimize more expulsions and more occupation. Similarly, during recent negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, the fanatics welcomed the American and European envoys with terrorism, turning the truth upside down.

The kidnapping of the three teenagers in the occupied territories fits this mold. It can’t be categorized as an act of armed struggle. It was perpetrated against civilians, even if they’re in occupied territory, protected by an occupying army.

This act cannot be excused, not even by millions of written words on the horrors facing the Palestinians, or on the struggles facing administrative detainees, which Israelis are callous to. After all, just methods are required for just opposition. Believe it or not, small nations cannot allow themselves the luxuries of large nations, such as brutality and contempt for morality. Moral struggle is the strongest weapon a weak oppressed people possesses.

Just a few years ago Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) was like a bird with a clipped wing. But through heroic struggle and a raft of Israeli disappointments and mistreatments, he has become the leader of a great moral power that is defeating the strongest army in the Middle East, politically.

Abbas even managed to get the United States, Israel’s Siamese twin, to express strong disappointment with the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This man has restored the world’s admiration of the Palestinians and has turned the Israeli occupation into a leper in the eyes of the world. But fundamentalist Islam has thrown Netanyahu a lifeline.

By the way, its not just in Palestine. Fundamentalist Islam is the biggest obstacle in the Arab peoples’ path away from dictators. Look at the achievements of the Nusra Front and ISIS in Syria. They’ve turned a bloodstained dictator like Bashar Assad into a beacon of humanity, with their cruel tactics and efforts to send Syria back to the Middle Ages.

Meanwhile, as Netanyahu sits in front of the microphones and cameras, every other word is aimed at Abu Mazen, not the kidnappers. Absurdity reigns. The whole act is like a middle finger to Abu Mazen. For years he has been holding onto Netanyahu and warmly accepting the “sacred” security cooperation while getting nothing for it.

Twenty years ago, when soldier Nachshon Wachsman was kidnapped, there was a different leader in power who said the kidnapping was Israel’s full responsibility because it occurred in Area C, under full Israeli control. And during the murderous terrorist attacks, Yitzhak Rabin said Israel had to fight terror as if there were no peace process, and seek peace as if there were no terror. Today, in this era of peacocks, the Netanyahu-Bennett-Lapid trio is seeking peace while pointing its guns at it.

I asked my friend if he thought this was a conspiracy of fundamentalists. “No need for a conspiracy,” he said. “The ends always meet, it’s a natural law. That’s the test of the non-fanatics: to unite and rise up against this alliance.”

“Inshallah,” I answered.

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