Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Where are the Palestinian dissidents?

Here's the story of one of them:

Sa'ad, 25, is a Palestinian policeman who was sentenced to death by a Palestinian Authority court in Hebron last week. His crime: alerting Israeli authorities to the whereabouts of four Palestinian terrorists, who were subsequently killed by Israeli forces.

In assisting Israeli counterterrorism, Sa'ad may have saved scores of innocent lives. For doing so, he was charged with "collaboration," and will face a firing squad unless international pressure forces Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, to commute his sentence. Or unless Israel, as Nudel urges in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, "launch[es] a rescue operation to extract the prisoner from his cell."

...Hundreds of Palestinian dissidents have been murdered through the years as "collaborators." During the intifadah of the late 1980s, so many Palestinians were butchered by fellow Palestinians that the internecine violence came to be called the "intrafadah." At times, incitement to murder any Arab who opposed the Palestine Liberation Organization's lethal tactics came straight from the top. When Elias Freij, the influential mayor of Bethlehem, proposed a truce to end the rioting on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Yasser Arafat issued a blunt warning: "Whoever thinks of stopping the intifadah before it achieves its goals, I will give him 10 bullets in the chest." Freij withdrew his proposal.

I was thinking of linking here to the Pete Seeger song: "Where have all the flowers gone", when it occurred to me that Pete and his friends would probably not approve of Imad Saad and his personal choice to go against the preferred Palestinian ethos... Besides, the rapt, narcissistic, saccarinated saintly look on the faces of the singers when they mellifluously sing this song, as though it were directly dictated by God himself, is too much for this contentious blogger, especially when a firing squad is awaiting to carry out the execution of a good man.

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