What the Tamil Tigers and Zionists have in common

is The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which was banned by Canada this week in what could be described as one of the biggest blows to Tigers, following the Zionist’s approach to sustain its struggle? There appear to be striking parallels between the LTTE and the Zionist movement when it comes to fund-raising and spreading terror.

By Ameen Izzadeen

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Published: Wed 12 Apr 2006, 10:40 AM

Last updated: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 2:07 PM

Canada is home to the largest segment of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora of about one million spread across Europe, North America and Australia.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch group’s annual report released last month accused the LTTE of subjecting Sri Lankan Tamils living in Canada, Britain and other Western countries to intimidation, extortion and even violence to ensure a steady flow of funds for its operations in Sri Lanka. The HRW report backed by evidence said the Sri Lankan Tamils were threatened by the LTTE that if they did not pay the prescribed sum, they would not be able to return to Sri Lanka to visit family members. Those who had no desire to return to Sri Lanka were warned by LTTE gangs active in Western countries that they would be "dealt with" or "taught a lesson" if they did not comply.

Compare the LTTE’s fund-raising methods with those of the Zionists.

French academic Roger Garaudy, who faces multi-faceted threats from various quarters for his works that shatter myths surrounding Zionism and anti-Semitism, in his book, The Case for Israel, cites several examples of how the Zionists raised funds for the Jewish state in Latin America and elsewhere. He says that in the spring of 1948, the United Fund, a Zionist group in Mexico where the Jewish community had been reduced to an Israeli colony, warned that persons who refused to contribute to the Zionist fund or make adequate contributions would be subject to harsh judgment and humiliation.

He says that in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Peru, Jews who refused to pay the two per cent tax on their wealth demanded by the Zionist leaders in the early days of Israel found themselves excluded from the synagogue and could not find a rabbi for a marriage, funeral or circumcision.

Although the price paid by the recalcitrant Jews and the defiant Tamils for not acceding to the demands of political thugs differed, the underlying coercive factor was threat.

If this example is not convincing enough, here is another. The LTTE has been vigorously carrying out a fund-raising campaign among the Tamil diaspora since last year for what it calls "the final war".

The LTTE has been craftily, like the Zionists, making an appeal as though the very survival of the Tamils in Sri Lanka was at stake and that it had been compelled to launch the final war to achieve the objective of a separate homeland where all Tamils could live in peace without being subjected to harassment of the Sinhala-dominated government. The message the LTTE gives is "we are fighting for the common good of all Tamils and therefore it is your duty to support the cause".

Compare this with the Zionist fundraisers’ appeal in 1982 in the midst of Israel’s murderous invasion of Lebanon in 1982. In his book, Garaudy quotes Nessim D. Gaon, president of the Swiss branch of Action Israel as saying: "The army of Israel is looking after the military front. The second front, that of Israel’s economy is in your hands. Support it to the utmost of your ability proving once more that the Jewish people are one and indivisible."

Just as Israel depends on the financial and moral support of the Jewish people living outside its borderless borders and demands that their loyalty should be to the Jewish state even if they are citizens of other countries, the Eelamists too stir the emotion of Tamils, who are citizens of other countries, to get their support. It is not only among the Tamils in India’s Tamil Nadu that the LTTE is finding a support base but also among the Tamils in South Africa, Mauritius, Singapore, Malaysia — countries where Tamils make up a substantial part of the population and are in a position to influence government policies.

Again, just as Israel is the state of one race, the LTTE envisages a homeland for a single race. The Muslims and the Sinhalese living in Sri Lanka’s northeast are an anathema to the LTTE. So it has used terror tactics to expel hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Sinhalese people in areas controlled by it. You don’t have to try too hard to find the Tigers’ source of inspiration.

Talking about Zionist-LTTE parallels, it requires discipline to resist the mention of Mossad’s role in Sri Lanka’s conflict. Victor Ostrovsky, an Israeli spy and author of, By Way of Deception, claims that Mossad had trained Sri Lankan military personnel and a group of Tamil guerrilla factions simultaneously. It is said that the Tiger guerrillas acquired expertise in landmine technology during their Israeli training. Although we cannot say with authority that Mossad is still active in the Sri Lankan conflict, we can presuppose that the Tigers are studying and adopting Zionist methods of terror and fund-raising.

Ameen Izzadeen is a Sri Lankan journalist based in Colombo

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