In a new wikileaks cable, Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Israel Ministry of Defense, Maj. General (reserves) Amos Gilad, told American government officials, ‘we don’t do Gandhi very well’ in reference to unarmed demonstrations taking place throughout the West Bank and specifically in Nabi Saleh. The cable confirms that the Israeli army has, in recent months, decided to increase violent pressure on the demonstrations ‘even [if the] demonstrations appear peaceful.’
In the cable, titled “IDF PLANS HARSHER METHODS WITH WEST BANK DEMONSTRATIONS” and labeled confidential, the Israeli army is portrayed as fed up with the demonstrations and likely to engage in harsh repression if the demonstrations continue or grow. We learn that Israel has actively sought Palestinian secruity forces to help crush the demonstrations.
On orders from Mizrachi, West Bank commander BG Nitzan Alon and West Bank civil administrator BG Poli Mordechi reportedly met with the Palestinian security force commanders recently to deliver a strong message that they must stop these demonstrations or the IDF will.
For those following unarmed demonstrations in the West Bank, the material in this cable will not come as a suprise. Just look at the village of Nabi Saleh. The trial of Nabi Saleh popular committee leader Bassem Tamimi will resume on Sunday. 14 year old Islam Tamimi of Nabi Saleh who was arrested last Janurary and subjected to borderline psychological torture at the hands of Israeli interrogators is set to take the stand.
This cable should come as a surprise, however, to those in the media (Thomas Friedman) who often rant that what the conflict needs is a Palestinian Gandhi. There are many Palestinian Gandhis but many are in jail because Israel doesn’t ‘do Gandhi very well.’