Friday, July 01, 2011

The Collaborator

Last week, the Wall Street Journal had a piece up on a prisoner being held by Hamas inside the Gaza Strip. Not Gilad Shalit, but rather, a man by the name of Mohamed Abu Muailek. Mohamed was a former member of a Fatah rocket unit in Gaza. But, after striking up a friendship online with an Tel Aviv computer enthusiast, he had a change of heart, and refused to fight.
Mohamed went further than merely expressing dissent: In the eyes of the omnipresent security services, he did something that would make him a potential or actual traitor. He had developed an online friendship with a young computer enthusiast from Tel Aviv. Mohamed the Palestinian had never met an Israeli, face-to-face. Dan the Israeli had never met a Palestinian. This contact with the "enemy" was deeply suspicious to paranoid Islamists committed to Israel's destruction.

Mohamed had felt increasingly uncomfortable about firing rockets into Israeli civilian areas while also having Internet chats with his Israeli friend. "It was such a contradiction. I had to choose, and I chose friendship, not violence," Mohamed told me as he hunched over his computer.

These twin facts -- that he refused to fire rockets into Israel, and that he had an admitted friendship with an Israeli -- led to his arrest by Hamas security services on accusations of being a collaborator. He is being held incommunicado, claims he has been tortured, and faces potential execution. The journalist who reported on this story himself was arrested and imprisoned for several weeks after traveling to Gaza in an attempt to testify on Mohamed's behalf.

Obviously, part of posting this is simply to highlight the oppressive depravity of the Hamas government. But there is another thing that should be said here. Hamas, after all, is hardly the only group out there who demands that the only just maneuver in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is severing contact with all Israelis. They aren't the only ones who believe that building bonds of friendship between Israelis and Palestinians represents the act of a "collaborator". These are the primary tenets of the BDS proponents too. Friendship with Israelis is national treason.

In the case of Mohamed Abu Muailek, Hamas and the BDS campaigners are in accord.

H/T: Greens Engage.

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