43 Courageous Israeli Edward Snowdens Expose the Dark Underbelly of Israel’s Oppression
Yesterday Counterpunch featured a piece by Jonathan Cook detailing the disturbing reach of Israel’s STASI into the lives of Palestinians. We get this peek into the dark underbelly of Israel’s oppression because 43 individuals signed off on a letter describing their moral objections to what they are told to do in their elite unit, Unit 8200:
According to the refuseniks, much Israeli intelligence gathering targets “innocent people”. The information is used “for political persecution”, “recruiting collaborators” and “driving parts of Palestinian society against itself”.
The surveillance powers of 8200 extend far beyond security measures. They seek out the private weaknesses of Palestinians – their sex lives, monetary troubles and illnesses – to force them into conspiring in their own oppression.
“If you required urgent medical care in Israel, the West Bank or abroad, we looked for you,” admits one.
An illustration of the desperate choices facing Palestinians was voiced by a mother of seven in Gaza last week. She told AP news agency that she and her husband were recruited as spies in return for medical treament in Israel for one of their children. Her husband was killed by Hamas as a collaborator in 2012.
The goal of intelligence gathering, the refuseniks point out, is to control every aspect of Palestinian life, from cradle to grave. Surveillance helps confine millions of Palestinians to their territorial ghettoes, ensures their total dependence on Israel, and even forces some to serve as undercover go-betweens for Israel, buying land to help the settlements expand. Palestinians who resist risk jail or execution.
Anyone who thinks what is occurring in Israel’s petri-dish of oppression won’t eventually be applied with the same vigor here in the states is in denial.