Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rendition, Israeli Style

Dirar Abusisi might be a brilliant Hamas rocket developer, or just an engineer in Gaza’s power plant. It does not matter.
What does matter is that Israel found another way to break away from any reasonable, moral behavior by abducting Abusisi while he was with his family in Ukraine, on his way to settle his immigration process away from Palestine. 
After he was taken away from his wife and kids during a train ride to Kiev on Feb 19th, Abusisi disappeared for several days, just to reappear with handcuffs on, in an Israeli courthouse, this time as an accused person.
Needless to say there was no arrest warrant on his name and no extradition request by Israel was brought in front of the Ukrainian authorities. Abusisi was presumed guilty even before appearing in Israeli court and his so called legal procedure is an embarrassing farce.
At first Israel tried to claim that Abusisi is a high ranking officer in the Hamas operation, and that he is someone with intimate knowledge about the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit – the IDF soldier who was taken by Hamas after a cross-border raid more than 5 years ago.
The attempt to recover information regarding Gilad Shalit as a reason for Abusisi abduction was fast discredited. Even IDF correspondents and military-political analysts – usually a mouthpiece for the IDF - did not buy this argument.
The next (and current) version by Israeli prosecution was to claims that Abusisi is a prominent engineer who had helped Hamas with their rocket technology. A desperate attempt was made to connect Abusisi to the ‘who’s who’ of Hamas’ leadership in Gaza, and to picture him as the mastermind behind Hamas’ capabilities regarding rocket technology.
Given that even the Israeli security forces do not claim Abusisi was ever involved in direct-armed operations against Israel, and his involvement with Hamas comes down to  (at best) technical support, new questions have been raised. Mainly: Is this all it takes to abduct a man these days?
Again, the military correspondents came out, this time insinuating that there is much more that is hidden from the eye regarding Abusisi, saying: “you do not just kidnap someone over the stuff that Abusisi is accused of”; they refused, of course, to say anything more than that, as a gag order was placed over further details.
In effect, Israel is saying: “he was abducted because he is guilty” (of what is unclear). What is the best way to know he is guilty? “He was abducted, and you don’t abduct someone unless you have something BIG on him!”
There is, of course, a hidden assumption to Israel’s actions and responses in this affair. Israel (and its blind supporters among US-Jewry) believes that it is a moral entity, and thus all of its actions serve a moral purpose. Israel and Israelis see a categorical difference between Hamas’ abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and Israel’s abduction of (presumably) Hamas member Dirar Abusisi. While Hamas is seen as an immoral and ruthless aggressor in Shalit’s abduction, Israel’s abduction is ‘self-defense’.
So now it is in Israel’s interest to put Abusisi away for a long time; against any notion of fair and unbiased legal system. In the likely case of a major conviction with substantial punishment, Israel’s propaganda army could explain how “Abusisi was convicted as a terrorist in a court of law!’ In this case, his illigal abduction will be put into a ‘legal’ context and quickly overlooked.
The sad part is that Israeli decision makers do not even realize how, with every Abusisi-like case, Israel’s presumed moral standing is tarnished. The picture of Abusisi’s daughter holding his photo in his absence cannot be easily forgotten.
In addition, Israel, with its own hands, legitimizes future actions against Israelis outside of Israel. If Israel abducts a Palestinian rocket engineer, how can it complain when Hamas, Hezbollah or any other group does the same to an Israeli abroad?  Every other Israeli has served in the IDF, and many Israelis have direct or indirect links to the army, weapons industry or security services, thus making them legitimate targets according to the Israeli logic and actions.
Again, it is our duty as American-Jews to raise our voices and to object to this immoral, illegal and politically dangerous move by Israel’s decision-makers and those who carry out their orders. This is done in our name by our fellow Jews.  If we keep silent, we’re just as responsible for this.

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