A Couple Thoughts to Share on Israel-Palestine

Andrew Gavin Marshall

45,000 people took to the streets in London to protest against Israel’s actions and in support of the Palestinian people. Other protests took place all around the world, in Paris, Toronto, and even 7,000 in Tel Aviv, Israel (representing what’s left of Israel’s left, as the country takes a hard turn into the racist far-right and rise of fascism). Israel is taking a turn for the worst; OCCUPIED Palestine is taking a turn for the worst. The occupation – lasting now 47 years, the longest military occupation in modern history – in all its ruthless realities, is destroying everything and everyone it touches. The only way the occupation can stop is if we – the privileged few – within the ‘West’ force our governments to stop supporting, justifying, profiting from and financing the Occupation.

Israel’s domestic political rulers have gone over the edge of reality: rampant racism, massive war crimes, dismantling basic rights and protections, fostering the development of fascism, pushing for total ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population; they round up thousands of African asylum-seekers and migrants escaping the horrors of their own dictatorships and violent regimes, and put them in the world’s largest “detention center” – among several other national detention centers, where they pass laws saying they can keep them imprisoned ‘indefinitely’. And this is a country with at least 200 nuclear weapons. It is an extremist, fundamentalist religious regime, with hundreds of thousands of religious extremists (called ‘settlers’) undertaking a relentless colonization of the occupied territories in the West Bank, attacking, abusing and even murdering Palestinian civilians caught in the wake of the ever-expanding settlements.

A mainstream Israeli MP recently said that Palestinian mothers should be murdered to stop them from giving birth to “little snakes”. Far-right groups of fascist thugs roam the streets of Israel – literally wearing neo-Nazi symbols – beating up Arab citizens, or “leftists” ( a really bad word in Israel now), chanting ‘death to Arabs’ and ‘death to leftists’. They attacked protesters in Tel Aviv denouncing Israel’s massacre in Gaza.

The occupation – of the West Bank and Gaza, specifically, and Palestine more generally – is the root cause of the current and almost every preceding crisis. It has corrupted the occupier, controlled and killed the occupied, and thus, it has dehumanized both.

The Occupation MUST End. For the continuation of the current path, and at its prevailing pace of acceleration, the near and medium term future for all the people in Israel-Palestine, occupied and occupier, is horribly grim. A widely-respected Israeli newspaper (Haaretz) had a recent headline stating, ‘Jerusalem 2014 is Berlin 1933’. The writing is on the wall, it’s in the pages of Haaretz, it’s all across the Arab and Muslim world, across the entire world, save for the stubbornly blind Western World – the ‘advanced-in-all-but-common-sense world’.

We need to wake up. This is utterly insane. The entire world is waiting for us to act and force our so-called “democratic” governments to stop their participation and profiting from the 47-year occupation, dehumanization and ethnic cleansing of an entire population. And the worst insult of all, is that we justify it in the name of making amends and ‘protecting’ a people whom the West (notably Germany) previously occupied, dehumanized and ethnically cleansed.

There is a very clear problem with the prevailing ‘narrative’ of this conflict, and, for that matter, of reality. If we do not recognize this, and act on this, while we have what remains of a tattered skeleton of what we call ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ (though, this too, is changing, very quickly), then we are culpable. If we ‘could’ have done something to prevent what seems only inevitable if we do nothing, then we must. We cannot say “we did not know,” we do not have that excuse.

But the only thing worse I could imagine is if we say, “We did not care.”


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