Let me share a true story about the abuse of innocence. Mohammad Al Halabi, World Vision-Australia’s respected Gaza/WB coordinator, has been been illegally held without charge and tortured by Israel since 2016 and is forced to futilely attend court – now 151 times! He is due in court again on 18-11-2020.
Mohammad is a man of peace and love. On World Humanitarian Day 2014, Mohammad was profiled by the UN as an Humanitarian Hero- a truly deserved honour when you consider the horrors Palestinian families face and particularly aid workers at Gaza’s emergency front. His decades of humanitarian care for children covered Israel’s infliction of carnage, destruction and torment throughout Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Defence and the 51 day monstrous war Operation Protective Edge.
Mohammad’s innocence reminded me of innocent Jews who suffered under Nazi occupation. Curious, I scrolled through every entry in The Timeline of Jewish Persecution in the Holocaust and the horror of the scale of the systematic German and foreign atrocities and betrayals is formidable and devastating.
I understood why Jews would want their own homeland for their families to live in peace free from the humiliation and pain of antisemitism: antisemitism is itself the abuse of the innocent.
And so it seemed reasonable to assume that Jews who survived the abject evil and violence of the Shoah would have bucket loads of empathy and compassion,
“In a place where no one acts like a human,” taught the sage Hillel some two thousand years ago, “strive to be human (or perhaps it is better translated ‘humane’).” Holocaust as a Paradigm for Empathy
And, just saying, it would be reasonable to assume that the assertion of their ‘Never Again’ ultimatum against genocide would be the foundation of a Jewish homeland.
So you will be surprised what lessons from the Nazi occupation Israel mastered. Let’s see how some of these lessons affected Mohammad’s family:
Lebensraum; (Nazi land expansion) For generations the al Halabi family lived their lives in the peace we all enjoy in Madjal, Askelon renowned for its beautiful weaving. ‘The three major fabrics produced were “malak” (silk), ‘ikhdari’ (bands of red and green) and ‘jiljileh’ (dark red bands)’. Wikipedia In the 1948 brutal lebensraum sweep across Palestine, the Israeli forces took over Askelon.
Deportations; (Nazi removal of civilians from their homes to camps) Throughout 1948 over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes in 675 villages and towns. Jewish troops mounted a military assault on and ethnic cleansing of Madjal; the majority of the population, including Mohammad’s forebears were forcefully rounded up and trucked to Gaza where they became refugees in their own homeland to this very day.
Establishment of Ghettos; (Nazis forced Jews into over 400 wretched ghettos) Palestinian towns have been ghettoised sealed off by hundreds of military checkpoints restricting movement. It is euphemistic to call Gaza, Mohammad’s home, a ghetto, a concentration or death camp is apt.
Human experimentation; (thousands of Jews were murdered and maimed in the name of military research) Gaza is a laboratory for testing Israeli weapons. This unthinkable fact has been documented in Israeli filmmaker, Yotam Feldman’s documentary The Lab. As mentioned, Mohammad tended the traumatised children through 3 major Jewish state assaults on Gaza.
Propaganda; (The Nazis set up a Ministry of Propaganda under Goebbels “to establish enemies in the public mind”. Through the hammering of lies and deliberate demonisation, Jews were promoted as a threat to the state.) Israel has poached the art of Nazi mental control. It set up a Ministry for Propaganda i.e. Hasbara, intensive PR campaigns, fake news directed towards establishing the indigenous Palestinians as terrorists. . . and presto! the victim is the enemy. Shin Bet falsely accused Mohammad of funnelling World Vision Australia funds to Hamas and despite the 2017 findings of the Australian government and World Vision forensic inquiries that refute the allegation, Mohammad remains incarcerated.
Gestapo; ‘In 1936, the Gestapo Law came into force. This allowed the Gestapo to act outside the law, as long as it was carrying out the leadership’s will. This effectively meant that they could arbitrarily arrest, imprison, or even kill anyone. No evidence was needed, and there was no judicial oversight.’ (Russell p. 26)
Sound familiar? These are the controversial powers of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, that arrested and tortures Mohammad.
Bandenbekämpfung (this Nazi military policy of deterrence and control includes the ‘special treatment’ of anyone, or group deemed a threat) Mohammad’s imprisonment and torture is not random vindictiveness but a deliberate act of scapegoating. Israel’s attack on humanitarian NGO’s is integral to its policy of ethnic cleansing by making life unliveable for the indigenous Palestinians. It is also pay back for recalcitrant NGO’s that dare to criticise Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity. In August 2015, World Vision joined human rights organisations in a public call to end the Gaza blockade.
The Palestinian word for their holocaust is Nakba – the Catastrophe, but unlike the decade of the Jewish holocaust which ended in 1945 it is ongoing to this day since the founding of the Jewish terrorist group Haganah in 1920. The Haganah and Palmach morphed in 1948 into the Israeli Occupation Forces.
Terrorism is the foundation of the Jewish state.
The Jewish colonisers brought neither compassion nor justice to Palestine. That ship never sailed. Instead, a Dark Tedrad personality has been inter-generationally cultivated composed of narcissism (chosen people) psychopathy (cruelty without conscience) Machiavellianism (exploitation of western media and governments) and sadism (malicious sense of entitlement to control, to kill, to maim, to punish, to torture, to dehumanise) which fuse in a form of schadenfreude, ie simcha la‑ed i.e. pleasure felt or gains from the suffering of innocent Palestinians.
Mohammad’s story is but one of 13.5 million (7 million in historic Palestine) stories, every Palestinian suffers (except the collaborators within the PA/PLO).
The effects of the illegal detention and vindictive ground-hog-appearance-days at court are deteriorating Mohammad’s health which is intensified by the emotional deprivations of cherished loving moments with his wife and his 5 children Khalil, 15, ‘Asem, 13, ‘Amro, 9, Rital, 6, and Faris, 4. Not only Mohammad suffers PTSD, his family too is trapped within the distressing corollary fears, anxieties, uncertainties.
Mohammad’s parents Amal and Khalil have mounted desperate campaigns for their son’s immediate release. I hope you will join them by contacting the Israeli Minister for Justice email@example.com and Cc your Justice Minister and Opposition counterpart.
In Israel, the abuse of innocence has sadistically become policy and humdrum, thus in sum, it is tragically reasonable to say that spreading over historic Palestine and all Palestinians is the shadow of Nazism in the shape of the Star of David.
Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She is the author of East Timor: Reveille for Courage, editor of a volume of Palestinian poetry, I remember my name and writes political commentary for a number of independent online magazines. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was convenor of Australia East Timor Association as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001.