23 Jun

Solidarity with the struggle in Israel/Palestine is all about power

With the ceasefire in place, Palestinians returning to their destroyed homes and Israelis leaving the bunkers, we believe there is a need to keep on talking about the conflict. And although for many among the anarchists and left in Germany the situation is clear, and the mind is set, we still think that there is a lot to say.

It is hard to talk about who started first. And although the history of conflict is important, it is out of the scope of this text. Here we would like to talk about power today and the relationship between the state and the people on the territory of Israel and Palestine.

The current escalation has a lot of layers. For example, the protests around evictions in East Jerusalem are fueled by the long history of settlement projects in West Bank. The right-wing claim that they were living in the city before the Arabs came, the Arabs claim that they are living in their houses for decades, and it is their home.

We do believe that no human being should be evicted from their home no matter what the state decides. As anarchists, we oppose attempts of the state to claim the living space of the human beings. And for us, it doesn’t matter if the person evicted is a Jew or an Arab. We also condemn any attempts of the state power to intervene in local communities whether to “decriminalize” them, or completely reshape the social composition of it based on race, religion or class.

That is why we believe that the resistance against evictions in East Jerusalem and other regions of West Bank is legit and support those resisting it.

The other side of escalation was about ethical riots between Jews and Arabs in different parts of the country. For some those posed even bigger danger for stability of the region than rockets from Gaza. We condemn any riots based on the national or ethnic division. In the free world there can be no space for racism, even when it comes from the oppressed.

And the last drop was the attack on Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem – one of the most sacred places for the Muslims. We do not believe in God and do think that institutional religion is an enemy of free people. However, attack on such an important symbol of Islam is a huge issue. It was clear from the very beginning that such actions would provoke a push back. The demonstration of force poured enough gasoline into fire to have riots for several days. Celebration of extreme-right next to the Mosque singing about the death to Arabs was another message, that can not be tolerated by any progressive and anarchist forces.

For Hamas and other right-wing Palestinian groups, the new wave of escalation was a gift. The organization got really fast back to its more or less symbolic rocket bombing of Israel. And although several dozen people were killed, the image of the fighter against occupation was once again reinforced. However, the reply of Netanyahu’s regime was completely disproportionate. Security of the Israeli state was in no way under threat, even though the intention of Hamas to harm and kill people in Israel by launching rockets is not possible to ignore. But advanced missile protection could destroy the majority of the thousands of rockets send from Gaza Strip.

Bombing of the highly populated areas of Gaza is a way of collective punishment and not an attempt to stop the threat. Right-wing Israeli government was saying that those houses were used by Hamas for their operations, however even in the wartime you do not have a moral right to kill all the people around the terrorist.

We’ve seen this happening on multiple occasions in the last 20 years of war on terror that killed thousands of civilians while western states were hunting top targets all around the world. And although this kind of “collateral damage” is acceptable in operation outside of EU and US, it is hard to imagine police or military doing collective punishment in operations to capture terrorist in Paris or Berlin.

It would be too far to go saying that the situation was planned from the very beginning by some bad or good side. But the conflict was used by different reactionary groups to grow power. From one side Hamas will have another wave of mobilization in Gaza Strip and outside of it. The growth of power of Islamist groups in the region is nothing good for any progressive forces.

From the other side Netanyahu, who accepted ceasefire from Hamas only after international pressure was back on the horse for short time. The conflict managed to temporarily stop negotiations between liberals and conservatives to get rid of him. However in the long the stategy failed and the infamous ruler of israilian state is now out of office.

Right now we see that Israel is split into two pieces. And although Israeli government is controlling West Bank and Gaza population of those regions are not considered equal to the Israeli citizens. The two state solution is dead and comes from time to time to live when the liberal politicians from the West are asked what should be done. The push towards acceptance of Palestinians as equals within the state of Israel is happening but has little chance of success without support from within Israel as well as from the international community. Whether you like it or not the biggest human rights organization in Israel B’Tselem does call the situation with Palestine an apartheid.[1]

The Palestinians captured by the Israelian security forces in recent weeks will have a military trial in contrast to civil court for the extreme right jewish rioters.[2] Which basically creates favorable conditions for the protests of one group and makes it extremely dangerous for the other.

Palestinian Authority (PA) established after Oslo Accords are seen by some anarchists from Palestine as a tool to further oppress Palestinian people[3]. PA does cooperate on security issues with Israeli forces. Many of the Palestinians see Fatah as a puppet autonomy government there to pacify the local population.

All of this is clearly putting the people of Palestine in hard conditions for any type of struggle. And response to protests or attempts to move further with the struggle for equal rights is always hindered with disproportional attacks from the Israeli security forces. The Gaza border protest in 2018-2019 left 183 dead and 9200 wounded including over 6000 wounded by snipers.[4]

Taking all that in account we would like to express our solidarity with the civil population of Gaza and West Bank who are fighting on the daily basis for survival as their struggle is repressed by one of the hardest security operations on the planet. This solidarity does not extend to the islamist groups that are trying to use the struggle in favor of gaining political influence in the region.

We also would like to voice our solidarity with our anarchist and anti-authoritarian left comrades in Israel who are fighting against segregation and the right-wing government under hard conditions of the militarized state.

Our solidarity goes as well to Palestinian and Israeli communities around the globe standing for justice and equality against state oppression!

[1] – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/12/israel-largest-human-rights-group-apartheid
[2] – https://www.btselem.org/topic/military_courts
[3] – https://anarchiststudies.org/palestinian-anarchists/
[4] – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/18/world/middleeast/israeli-shootings-gaza-border.html

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