Saturday, September 20

Mafia in Israel and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

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, Bat Yam, Jerusalem and other areas where opposing crime family syndicates are active.

The crime syndicates of Israel and those who support the continued occupation have one thing in common and that is lack of sensitivity for the human condition and an ambitious desire out of greed to increase their influence and extort others to tow their line. There is a number of opposing crime families and the police are only beginning to scratch the surface of the problem. Some examples of crime families cartels are: Abutbul, Alperon, Abergil and Ze’ev Rosenstein (who is at present serving a sentence for illegal drug trafficking). In the territories, it is the greed of settlers taking away Palestinian lands and building settlements in their place. This is done by stealth. Israel discusses peace with the Palestinians while at the same time a phony freeze on building new settlements is declared. This does not do much for Israel’s credibility in negotiating with the Palestinian leadership. If many Knesset members are corrupt and dishonest, how can we expect them to be honest when negotiating with the Palestinian leadership?

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 Israel as well under the control of lawless crime syndicates of various shapes and sizes. It is a part of the deterioration of Israeli society into indifference when it comes to injustices even if it is directed towards their own.

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, Israel has no leaders. The parties in the coalition have not resigned because of the various cartels of power that has become very much a part of the ruling Kadima coalition. Apart from threats of breaking up the coalition, nothing has come from Labour, the main coalition party or the other miserable parties that are part of the Knesset Cartel.

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 Israel are being eroded and this is a true cancer in Israeli society.

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