Monday, August 04, 2008


Well, that's the only word to describe this, from today's Grauniad.. The Israeli secret police has been stopping Palestinians requiring medical treatment from crossing the border, unless they agree to spy on their community, effectively making it a choice between dying themselves, or facilitating the deaths of other Palestinians.

The article quotes a journalist, who after refusing to co-operate has lost the sight in one eye, and is fast losing this sight in his other:

They took me through underground passages and made me sit in another waiting room for almost 45 minutes. A man approached me and called me to another room for interrogation. He asked me to sit down and presented himself as Moshe. After all my responses he said to me: 'I want to talk to you openly when you return from Israel so that you will have an acceptable reputation on the Israeli side. Either you make contact with me and agree to my demands, or you will not get any medical treatment which will cause you to be blind and you will become a burden to your family and friends,'"

We should be clear on this - this is the use of torture for coersion and to extract information. It is the action of a vile racist colonial settler state, acting as racist colonial settler states do. And there's no doubt that they're getting nastier and nastier. Last week IDF troops shot nine people at the funeral of a child they had killed.

And this has changed the arguments of zionists and their apologists. Only the most hardened or twisted now attempt to defend these actions. Rather the argument has shifted to Israel's right to exist, possibly the daftest argument of all. Who confers this mystical right, to exist as a racist, colonial settler state, that refuses to declare its borders and seeks to expand constantly through attacking its neighbours? It ignores the fact that nation states regularly pass into and out of existence. But this is precisely the point - the argument gets shifted away from political and moral questions, and into oscure mysticism. Anyone questioning the 'right to exist' becomes a pariah, guilty of the most heinous of crimes, elevated by these morons on to a par with holocaust denial (meanwhile they happily engage in nakbah denial). And if that doesn't work, you turn to the false claims about Israel being much nicer and fluffier than thae rest of the Middle East.

However, these are the acts of a state entering its death throes. Israel has fucked itself, not just through these acts of extreme violence and racism which have led black South Africans again and again to state that what the Palestinian people have to suffer is worse than apartheid was, but also through its expansionism. The settlements (with populations of up to 500,000 in some) in the West Bank have made a two-state solution utterly impossible, as Israel cannot draw its borders. And it's fucked because of what it sees as a 'demographic time-bomb', i.e. that it cannot maintain a Jewish majority, without resorting to even worse and more open forms of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Of course, it being fucked, being a failed state, is still not quite enough to finish it off. It requires forces beyond what Palestinians can muster to overthow the state of Israel. And that's why such importance is placed on the struggles being played out in Egypt. Because the Egyptian working class, if it takes power (and this is perfectly possibly during the next couple of years the way things are moving, although things could just as easily slip backwards there) has the size and the power to transform the entire region, including smashing the state of Israel.

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