By Izeth Hussain –
This writer’s last article Israel and Sri Lankan Islamophobia provoked a great many replies in the Colombo Telegraph including of course from Backlash, one of the two chief propagandists against this writer. He came out on April 23 with a spectacular revelation that merits dissemination on a national scale. He wrote “Israel’s contribution to the good of mankind, then and now, is unmatched in the annals of man’s history”. That of course is mind-boggling for its hyperbole. But the dog-like devotion to Israel that it displays is the sort of thing one has to expect from a fierce Islamophobic racist such as Backlash. It does not therefore merit status as national news. What does is the following: “That the Israelis backed the BBS is the worst kept secret in the country”.
That has to be regarded as a spectacular revelation. Every Muslim with whom this writer has checked – all of them very well-informed persons – reacted uniformly by stating that Israeli backing for the BBS has been widely suspected among Muslims but nothing has been established. None of us has seen anything to that effect in print. It is therefore not one of the worst kept secrets in the country but one of the best. Why is Backlash making the revelation now? According to a contact who has made a professional study of propaganda Backlash is resorting to a well-known ploy: when a propagandist loses credibility he does something to restore it so that his further lies will be believed. Backlash was losing credibility with suspicions being roused that he is an Israeli agent – so he distances himself from Israel by making the seriously incriminating revelation about Israel’s backing for the BBS.
However he has made it clear that he remains staunchly pro-Israel. His bizarre hyperbole about Israel’s unmatched contribution to the good of mankind, then and now – meaning today’s expansionist apartheid Israel that outrages most of the rest of the world – declares unequivocally his continuing dog-like devotion to Israel. That devotion is apparent also in his virtual justification of Israel’s backing for the BBS. His panegyric is worth quoting in full: “This may be because misguided Muslims unnecessarily annoyed the Israelis by their weekly demos opposite the US Embassy in Colombo. This went on for years – until the Israelis obviously retaliated. The Tamasha demos after Friday Jumma prayers at Kollupitiya stopped immediately. Another debacle like the ill-considered Halal misadventure”. This writer cannot vouch for the accuracy or otherwise of what Backlash is claiming. What can be said with certainty is that he has been so accustomed for so long to being economical with the truth that the divide between fact and fiction no longer exists for him. A glaring instance is his assumption that three editors continue to publish this writer’s weekly articles – which are no better than excrement – knowing that they make most readers “grin and bear”. He expects others to believe that!
The contradiction between Backlash’s devotion to Israel and his exposure of Israel’s criminal backing for the BBS is beyond this writer’s comprehension. What is important is to examine the implications of his spectacular revelation. We know that the BBS was funded with extravagant munificence supposedly by Norwegian Islamophobic groups. We know that the BBS was in association with the Wirathu gang in Myanmar, both of which had the same force behind them. We know that Wirathu has been forced into silence by the Buddhist authorities in Myanmar while the BBS leader was received the other day by President Sirisena along with nationally respected Prelates. We have good reason to suspect that the last Government knew the Israelis were backing the BBS but chose to keep quiet about it.
We can have many convictions and suspicions of the order outlined in the preceding paragraph but what evidence is there to show that the Israelis really backed the BBS? Backlash, a propagandist devoid of moral scruples, may be lying. He may be lying for some unfathomable reason because he is an unbalanced person. After all, who but an unbalanced person will expect anyone to believe that three editors publish this writer’s weekly articles in the knowledge that they make most readers “grin and bear”? That surely bespeaks a pukkah lunatic. However, there are sound commonsensical reasons to incriminate the Israelis. We know that former President Rajapakse believed that the BBS hate campaign was part of the machinery set up by the West to topple him. Norwegian fundamentalist groups could not have been interested in effecting Governmental change here. One or more Governments had to be involved in that, and the most plausible candidate for the major role is surely Israel. By backing the BBS it could help the West in toppling the last Government and at the same time spread Islamophobic hatred. That would be consistent with the argument in the last article of this writer: an apartheid system in Israel would have the best prospect of enduring if there is an apartheid world order in which the Muslims in particular are held in special loathing as a lesser breed.
What should be done? It is relevant to recount a development that took place when this writer was Ambassador in Manila in the first half of the ‘eighties. He was asked by our Foreign Ministry to report on how the Philippine Government treated the Israeli Embassy. Foreign Secretary Pacifico Castro said that this writer’s impression was quite correct that the activities of the Israeli Embassy had been severely circumscribed. Castro had crafted the policy, got his Government’s approval, and summoned the Israeli Ambassador to tell him that the Philippines was facing a serious separatist rebellion in Muslim Mindanao and therefore the Israeli Embassy had to be virtually non-functional. The Israeli Ambassador, a very nice man, abided by that rule scrupulously.
Backlash’s spectacular revelation has to be officially investigated. He may be unbalanced in some ways but not in every way, and therefore he has to be taken seriously. Besides, the writer has given a very cogent reason above why we can be practically certain that Israel backed the BBS. The findings may show that the national interest requires that the activities of the Israeli Embassy be severely curbed. The writer will assert two principles. One is that a Government that acquiesces in a foreign-backed hate campaign against one of its minorities deserves to fall. The last Government fell. The other is that a nation that acquiesces in a foreign-backed hate campaign against one of its minorities is not fit for Independence. It will lose it.
There cannot be the slightest doubt that there has been a concerted smear campaign against this writer over a very long period. Common sense dictates certain conclusions. No one reads all the articles that become available to him, particularly today when there is so much excellent reading material to suit every taste through the internet. The reader will therefore eschew in particular articles they regard as no better than excrement by writers whose guts they hate – which is how Backlash and Kettikaran view this writer and his articles. But they obsessively read him week after week and month after month. In exchanges in the Colombo Telegraph they have been repeatedly asked to explain this paradox, but unsurprisingly they have failed to do so. Both specialise in the bucket attack in which fact and reason don’t matter, and only the dirt thrown at the writer does – as shown in the last article. Kettikaran clearly showed his extreme Islamophobia when he imaged Muslim children as “piglets”, and he has made it clear that he sees nothing wrong in that. Backlash concealed his Islamophobia but he now declares his dog-like devotion to apartheid Israel which goes together with Islamophobia.
Both have clearly been engaged in an Islamophobic hate campaign. In whose interest? All the indications are that they are servitors of Israel, may be without knowing it. The important point is that Israel is the only country in the world that could have an interest, a vital interest, in promoting Islamophobia on a world-wide scale. The Government should make investigations, particularly into the revelation about Israeli backing for the BBS, and take appropriate action, if necessary severely curbing the activities of the Israeli Embassy, as happened in Manila.