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Prof Ilan Pappe: This absurdity can only be explained by the timidity European governments

January 31, 2014 at 12:49 am

While the British government does its best to prevent human rights’ organizations in the UK from bringing to justice Israeli war criminals, it authorized its security forces to arrest one of the acknowledged leaders of the Palestinian minority in Israel. For years, due to his popularity and steadfastness, Sheikh Raed Salah has been persecuted by the Israeli authorities who could not find any discriminating evidence connecting him to terrorist activity or organizations, and no wonder: he is leading a social and political reform movement. And yet it seems that the British authorities had some such knowledge which the Israelis failed to produce.

This absurdity can only be explained by the timidity European governments feel now that Israel is demanding from them to stop the growing popular and non-violent resistance to the state and its criminal policies. The timidity is hard to understand but easy to notice. The British public, however, has already shown its rejection of British collaboration with criminal policies such as the step taken against sheikh Raed Salah.

Unless Raed Salah is released immediately and allowed to come back and explain his movement’s positions on the Palestine question, Britain will remain complacent in and collaborative with illegal policies and abuses of human and civil rights. One would have thought that given Britain’s past and the present clear stand of public opinion in the country, that such insidious decisions would not even be contemplated seriously. But it does seem that one call from the Israeli government still leads British politicians to violate their own declared moral and ethical code in a shameful and regrettable way.