On first observation, one would say that the two are not connected at all. However on examining this closer, there is more that meets the eye than what can be taken at face value. An Israeli-Arab friend was discussing this with me and I realized that what he said rang a chord with my way of thinking for whatever it is worth. Those who are involved in hit men operations on various crime families were more than likely also involved in cruel raids in Palestinian homes and being quick with the trigger.
The crime leaders seem to be having a field day in Israel as the gang wars continue unabated. There is no sensitivity towards the targets and hired hit men riding on scooters, armed with pistols take pot shots at crime leaders sitting in cafes without any consideration for those innocent passers-by who happen to be in the area at the time of the targeted shootings. It would not be surprising if these hit men had training in the Israeli Army putting down the intifada in the occupied territories.
They know how to break into Palestinian homes and kick Palestinian children out of beds in the middle of the night and conduct searches. Now they have been demobilized from the security forces. They are hired as hit men for the warring crime gangs in Netanya, Lod,
The crime syndicates of
The moment one closes one’s eyes to the Palestinian side and justifies all kinds of draconian measures against the Palestinians in the name of security, then the abuse will land up in
As if this is not enough, many members of the Knesset have also fallen foul of the law on suspected bribery and corruption charges. Head of this list is Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.This is all part of a general deterioration in Israeli society because of a number of factors.
Meanwhile, Olmert’s Kadima held primaries and Tzippi Livne, the Foreign Minister - a rather mediocre MK with a clean record (you do not have to be great to succeed Olmert; you just need a clean record untainted by suspicions of crime and corruption not to mention toadying with wealthy people who hand out money in envelopes).
Under these circumstances,
In practice, this means that apart from other internal issues such as education, economics, health services as well as salaries of employees are placed on the back burner. The peace process is almost non-existent and the occupation continues with all the insensitivities towards the plight of Palestinians. The Security Forces brutality continues towards pregnant women at check posts as well as other critically ill Palestinians in need of emergency care.
A society that is losing its heart gets the poor leadership that it deserves. The occupation is creating an insensitive, corrupt Israeli society. It is a catalyst for crime gangs of all kinds to prosper as well as an impetus for the continuation of a cruel occupation that encourages settler violence against Palestinians. Human values in
During the month of August 2008, my wife and I travelled to
I had written in a previous post about the differences between apartheid South Africa and the Israeli Palestinian Conflict and I shall not delve into this again.
However, the racial aspect does remain and this can be found in the way
Had the security fence been built along the green line and not crossed into the Palestinian lands the case for its necessity to protect Israeli citizens from terror would be stronger and justified.
Here in Israel/Palestine, a leader of the calibre of Nelson Mandela is lacking.
However, this does not mean that
Another serious problem is the AIDS problem which was not addressed by President Thabo Mbeki in the past.
Many South Africans won their freedom from apartheid but lost it to AIDS.
Despite all these serious problems, there is a feeling of a common patriotism shared by all South Africans, irrespective of their race, colour or creed. We, who live in volatile Israel/Palestine, could learn from the way South Africa had solved its racial issues and instilled a common feeling of “we are in this together and we owe it to ourselves and our children to move forward together for a better South Africa”. This feeling unfortunately is lacking in this part of the world and from this we can learn from
On previous visits to
On my recent visit, there were fewer homeless and beggars. There used to be parking meters for those parking at the side of the pavements. These meters have been replaced by parking attendants who give out parking tickets for a nominal fee. This is one of the many ingenious ways to create jobs.
The shopping malls are very upbeat and are a real treat – very inviting to spend money! Wherever one goes one becomes more and more aware of how apartheid has collapsed being replaced by a multiracial society with an eye towards a better future.
The beauty of the