Colombo Telegraph

Is Israel Our Friend?

By Hameed Abdul Karim

Hameed Abdul Karim

In the recent past there seems to be a rush by sections of the media and top government officials to embrace Israel as a bosom pal.

An article in the once prestigious Daily Mirror claimed the Sinhalese were related to the Jews through the ten headed King Ravana who lived 5000 years ago. It was not the absurdity of the logic of the writer that was in debate, but the fact that the said paper decided to publish the said article that raised eyebrows. Somewhere in the corridors of power in Tel Aviv there will  be top officials laughing their heads off at the thought of being related to ‘monkeys’ as the Sinhalese were described by Mossad officials according to Victor Ostrovosky in his book ‘By Way of Deception’.

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke, the controversial political analyst and Sri Lanka’s former permanent representative at the UN had said that in the good old days the ruling class Sinhala Buddhists went to Bodh Gaya for blessings. Today they go to Tel Aviv. He also disclosed that Israel had complained about him to the government in a five page document over Sri Lanka’s stand for Palestinian rights at the UN. At a lecture in Colombo he said he had given copies of this document to friends in case ‘something was to happen to him’.

There was talk that despite Sri Lanka serenading Israel, a top official in the defence ministry was shabbily treated by Israeli officials at the Ben Gurion airport when he claimed VIP status.

Apart from this Israel was one of the co-sponsors of the US instigated resolution against Sri Lanka at Geneva.

In a recent statement the Shoora Council of Sri Lanka said Israel had voted against Minister Nimal Siripala at the elections at World Health Organisation (WHO) on the grounds Sri Lanka had committed ‘war crimes’. Coming from Israel this must be considered quite rich!

Amidst all this bad history comes the news Sri Lanka and Israel are going to increase trade relations at a time when there is a huge worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign on against Israel on account of its racist policies under Zionism which are worse than that those practiced in South Africa under its pernicious apartheid system according to human rights activist and elder statesmen Arch Bishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter.

EU countries have boycotted Israeli products made in Occupied Palestine whilst dock workers in US harbours refuse to service Israeli ships. That’s how badly Israel is being exposed for its war crimes in Palestine.

Way back in 1991 Commodore Douglas Ivan Attanayake told an inquiry the Israelis had tampered with the engines of the three Super Dvora boats the government had purchased thus preventing the boats from travelling at its rated speed. The Commodore said if the tampering had not been detected the engines would have seized and would have had to be thrown away. Initially Israel refused to entertain our complaint and it was through Lloyds that Israel agreed to replace the engines. Why did Israel tamper with the engines? Was it to allow the LTTE to destroy them with the weapons Israel had provided them?

In his lid blowing book ‘By Way Of Deception’, Victor Ostrovosky said the Israelis described our army personnel as monkeys. After a hard day’s work they were probably having some fun at the expense of our boys. That they trained the LTTE whilst training our army personnel at the same time is no secret. India’s Subramaniam Swamy is on record boasting it was he who had introduced the LTTE to the Israeli Mossad. Today this same Subramaniam Swamy is a close ally of the government. Sri Lanka doesn’t have Think Tanks anymore. Only ‘Imagination Tanks’.

The Jain Commission probing the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi reported there were links between the LTTE and Israel’s spy agency Mossad. Evidence for this report was provided by RAW and IB.  On July 15, 1995 the Lanka Guardian edited by the legendary, fearless and irreplaceable Mervyn De Silva, reported ‘hard evidence of Israel supplying arms to the LTTE’ under the headline ‘Australian Police Confirm Israel Supplied Arms to the LTTE’. Add to this the fact that an Israeli arms shipment to the government was conveniently hijacked by the LTTE. In 1994 the Israelis abused Sri Lanka’s port rules when they were nabbed with four containers of chemicals they use to manufacture nerve gas. There was no apology. That’s how much Israel respects our sovereignty.

In 2007 a Sri Lankan expert on defense died under mysterious circumstances while on a trip to Israel where he was to inspect arms and attend a workshop. Dr. D.A. Munindrasa’s family does not accept the cause of death, according to media reports.

The Israelis had humiliated a government minister who had to travel via Jordan to attend a Palestinian trade conference. He was refused the VIP lounge even though the Palestinians had paid for this facility. The Israelis even refused our diplomatic vehicle from entering occupied Palestine via the Allenby Bridge at which point he was compelled to take a taxi to reach his destination. But you can be sure when the Israeli arrive in Sri Lanka they will be accorded the red carpet treatment and our reporters will go gaga over them..

Reporters from different newspapers in Sri Lanka often are taken on an all expenses paid jaunts to Israel as guests of the Zionist regime. One such ‘journalist’ was Uditha Kumarasinghe, who unashamedly admitted he was on a ‘tour’ of Israel when he wrote an article for the state owned ‘Sunday Observer’ praising Israel’s first premier David Ben Gurion as a great humanist and going so far as equating him with Mahatma Gandhi. Ben Gurion’s crimes against humanity are well known when he ethnically cleansed Palestine of its original inhabitants by way of slaughter. Mahatma Gandhi was the opposite of Ben Gurion and to compare him with the latter is an insult to Gandhiji’s memory. The Sunday Observer refused me the right of reply despite my many pleas.

The Sri Lankan media was once Palestine friendly. But after Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations with the Zionist apartheid state a sudden shift came about. It is well known the Israeli ambassador went around media institutions and spoke to owners as well as editors and journalists hectoring them on their ‘evil’ sympathy for the Palestinian cause and Israel being a country based on humanitarian morals and principles thus fitting Lord Acton’s description of ambassadors lying abroad for their countries.  Since the Israeli ambassador’s visit there is hardly any report that favours the Palestinian cause.  The John Pilgers and the Robert Fisks don’t embellish the Sunday Times as they used to in days gone by.

It is often said Israel helped us defeat the LTTE. But this ‘help’ was actually of a commercial nature in arms and ammunition and it didn’t come cheap. Sri Lanka paid upfront in cash for the Kfir jets and other machinery of war.  When our High Commissioner to Pakistan went over to Gen. Yahya Khan to find out how much we owed the country for the arms and ammunition Pakistan supplied to fight the JVP insurrection here, he said Pakistan doesn’t take money from friends when they are in trouble. Now that’s help!

It is also possible the Israeli push to entrench themselves in Sri Lanka could be to act as an agent for the US which wants to counter China’s influence in Sri Lanka.

The fact that we have to seek assistance from Israel in the field of agriculture comes as a shame. We have been an agrarian society for well over 2500 years and the Jews have never been known for their prowess in agriculture. The Israeli claim to ‘making the desert bloom’ is an absolute myth. As far as is known the Negev desert is still a desert. What the Israeli’s have done is steal the arable land from the Palestinians and cultivate it themselves. The Palestinians were exporting Jaffa oranges to France long before Israel was created by the western powers.

If we really need help in agriculture we could always turn to India, Pakistan or Bangladesh – all SAARC countries. They grow enough food to feed their near 1.5 billion people. Or do we think it would be below our dignity to ask for help from our brown neighbours and instead go to those we have been trained to believe are superior to us by way of colour and race?

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