Peace with a Jewish Imperialist State in Palestine? Never!
Peace in Palestine? Possibly.

Dedicated to the memory of the martyr Juliano Mer-Khamis murdered 4 April 2011

Lynda Brayer, lawyer

April 9, 2011

With the latest uprisings in the Arab lands, from North Africa through to Jordan, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, many are holding their breaths for the uprising to begin in Palestine. They forget, it seems to me, that there were at least two major revolutionary uprisings in Occupied Palestine in little over twenty years: the first uprising or intifada beginning in December 1987 and the second intifada in September 2000. In both cases these were grass-roots uprisings, but the repression that rebounded on the people by Israeli forces was more than helped by the Palestinian leadership, which has always been against a people's revolution to create a government serving the population, rather than a bourgeois revolution serving the elite. The demonstrations following the Egyptian uprising were suppressed both in Gaza and in the West Bank by the Palestinian leadership. There continue to be local demonstrations in Palestine which are non-violent but which the Israelis are deal with violently. What is even more disconcerting is that despite the low-towing of Palestinian leadership to both Zionist and imperialist capitalist interests, as the latest leaks on Palestine reveal, no Palestinian concessionary cooperation has ever been translated into any general Palestinian political or economic gains, although a miniscule number of the Palestinian elite have benefitted, for example, bourgeois Ramallah. Nothing Palestinians relinquish will ever be able to satisfy the Zionist appetite to make Palestine Arabrein politically and economically, if not physically, thereby disappearing into the trash can of history and allowing for a resurgence and flourishing of the Land of Israel. This term is now in ubiquitous use on all the Israeli government sites. According to the internet site of the Israel Meteorological Service, a government service which is part of the Ministry of Transport, the mandate given to the British by the League of Nations in 1923, was for the Land of Israel and not Palestine. In other words, between the collapse of the Ottoman empire, and the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, people lived in the Land of Israel, the a translation of the Hebrew term, Eretz Yisrael, with implicit reference to the bible, and used in place of Filistin, as in arabic or Palestina, as in Hebrew. The logic of this is quite clear: it automatically implies the non-existence of Palestine and hence the non-existence of Palestinians. This attitude is supported by long-established legal and social practices of the Israeli authorities. Arabs born in the territories of occupied Palestine are resident aliens who only have de facto domicile privileges if while they live in the territories. If they leave they have no de jure citizen or nascent citizen rights through the jus soli – legal birthrights in a territory – or jus sanguinis – rights to citizenship through descent. Therefore, in occupied Palestine they have no rights of residence, marriage, family unity, and property and none of the social rights such as the right to work nor the human rights of the rights to expression, freedom of movement, etc. With the latest additions to the Israeli legal system, the absence of Palestinian identity within the Zionist discourse has been reinforced whilst simultaneously, their history has also been obliterated! The Jewish state defines itself as Jewish and democratic - the former a specific term and the latter a universal one. This is an oxymoron, or contradiction in terms identical in form to an open secret . These laws include the deprivation of citizenship from any person committing treason against it, a move preceded by the 1935 Nuremberg Laws of Germany against Jews. The deprivation of citizenship and the legal gap it creates, deprives a person of his capacity to live in society as he has no protection whatsoever. We know to where the Nuremberg Laws led the Jews and it cannot be presumed that the outcome in the Jewish state will be different, even if the means are different. Furthermore, these laws will deprive organizations of public funding if these values of Jewishness and democracy are not upheld or adhered to, a situation which will require thought police and a strengthening of the system of collaborators amongst the Arab Palestinian population in Israel. We can expect, therefore, that if the crunch in the region grows, we shall see even more reactionary moves against those who were once the loyal opposition, but who will now become dissidents – exactly as in the former Soviet Union. These attitudes and practices are not ephemeral nor merely notional, with the major and over-riding effect being that Palestinians have never been, and are not treated with the dignity befitting them as human beings: that is to say, Palestinians are not recognized nor treated as human. Despite the temptation to use the expression fully human I exclude the adverb fully to qualify the status of being human, because either one is treated as a human being or not. Unbefitting behavior is inhumane: it serves to undermine, weaken and destroy human lives and human society. That this is both the practice and the result of the oppressing Zionist authorities and the existential reality of Palestinians is undeniable. Beginning from before 1948, plan Dalet, and the endless wars, up to and including the present conditions, one might well argue that both politicide and genocide have characterized Zionist attitudes and practices. For me, the extreme public example, the inhumanity of which bespeaks of barbarism and can be taken as paradigmatic, was the unprecedented humiliation of Yasser Arafat who was left to both live and work in a half-destroyed building, because he refused to sacrifice Palestinian refugees on the altar of US-Zionist et al capitalist interests, despite all his other capitulations. The lack of respect to a political leader translates, by definition, into genocidal practices against a people, for the simple reason that the absence of a recognized political leadership, treated and respected as such, logically plays out to behavior that does not recognize the existence of a people, or population, which requires and has rights to, such a political leadership with all that entails. This is also seen in the criminal Israeli assassinations of many individuals in the Palestinian political and cultural leadership. Just to remind the readers, that this is not the past about which I am commenting, at the time of this writing, April 9, 2011, Gaza is being bombed by Israel, despite Hamas' reported request for a ceasefire. Once again many civilians have been killed – although I prefer to use the term murdered.

Given this background, it seems to me to be irrefutably necessary to try and identify what a useful political discourse and position should be, taking into account this history. That this is vital is to be seen that Therefore, in the light of this history, to speak of, hope or pray for peace in Palestine is meaningless, and even highly detrimental, if not accompanied by serious political and economic analysis. I should like to put the proverbial cart before the horse, by saying that I believe that peace is not possible in a Palestine controlled by a colonialist capitalist Jewish state backed by Western powers within the present constellation of forces. This Jewish state represents the interests of a world capitalist elite and uses real force and violence with its very real army while benefiting from real American and international financial backing. Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Maghreb are aligned with the capitalist powers, as is the leadership of Lebanon, Hezbollah and other Islamic groups not being specifically anti-capitalist, if anti-colonialist. Spearheaded, with pun intended, by the United States of America and its Western allies the Arab countries have been forced to come to terms with the Jewish state either through peace agreements or implicitly recognition, in that they have not taken up arms against it. In the latest rounds of war against Lebanon, the Zionist state has initiated the hostilities and therefore has forced a resistance, quite naturally. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were and are being conducted to both control the oil and natural gas and their distribution as well as to prevent the strengthening of any local power which is not pro-Western. Saddam Hussein was not killed because he was another Hitler - but rather because he had regional hegemonic aspirations. The Middle East is vital for Western capitalist development – it contains its main energy sources – oil and natural gas - and there is no replacement for them at the present time, primarily, if not only, because capitalist interests have seen fit to interfere with the development of other sources of energy. It is this reality which preserves and protects the colonialist Jewish state in Palestine, originally underwritten by Britain and huge Jewish financial backing and subsequently supported by the Western powers, and Soviet state capitalism. The discovery of oil in Mesopotamia, the British Raj in India, the Suez canal and many other capitalist interests, all contributed to the insertion of a foreign body, a colony, as per the entire history of western colonialism, in Palestine to serve foreign interests and suppress local ones.

There is an interesting hypothesis which seems to support fully this thesis. In an article highlighting and supporting the Zionist venture as one promoting and protecting capitalist interests, financial and British imperial, represented by both Jews and Gentiles, there is a reference by J A Miller in the November 6/7, 2004 issue of Counterpunch, The Balfour Declaration Revisited, to an author, I. N. Saad who, in 1970, apparently, wrote an article in arabic positing what lay behind the November 2, 1917 letter of Lord Balfour, the then Foreign Minister of the British government, to Lord Rothschild, the banker, and a leading member of English Jewish community, the so-called Balfour Declaration. According to him this letter was motivated by capitalist imperialist interests who wanted to offer, and did offer to world Jewry, an alternative politico-economic solution to the Russian socialist revolution. In particular, of course, it was directed towards Eastern European Jewry, the majority of whom had been living in the Pale of Settlement under Russian sovereignty with its severe restrictions on freedom of movement, occupation and expression, as well as experiencing pogroms from time to time. The original letter was finally written just before the October Bolshevik Revolution (Julian calendar) but only published directly thereafter. Its background lay in the Menshevik February Revolution of 1917, a popular front government which included both socialists and bourgeois factions. It had overthrown the Czar and his government, with the support of the Bolsheviks, but it had continued the Czar's war obligations which was not supported by the peasantry as it was destroying the country, and it dithered as to the nature of its government, with the Bolsheviks adopting the position that the workers would carry the revolution beyond a bourgeois revolution of the nature of the French Revolution, towards a socialist, anti-capitalist revolution. Such a government stood in diametric opposition to the Western imperialist powers. It was no secret that many of the leading socialist Marxist intellectuals were also Jews as were a majority of the Jewish proletariat. The vast majority of politically aware Jews were socialists and given the economic situation in which they found themselves it was only natural. The Balfour declaration therefore, deliberately expressed a political option which it hoped would attract Jews, drawing them away from a socialist commitment. Saad posits that the Declaration was written precisely to draw away support by Jews of the Russian anti-capitalist revolution by offering them their own playing field in Palestine. I confess that this proximity of these two events: the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and Lord Balfour's Declaration, had not crossed my mind, although if one takes account of Zionist machinations during the preceding years, it is obvious that the Declaration did not come out of the blue but rather as a result of many contacts and negotiations over the years. One thing is certain, is that Britain and France were losing the war by 1916 and needed American intervention to save them, whilst much Jewish financing was bankrolling the German war effort. Although many have connected the Declaration it to the attempt by the English to attract Jewish finance and American support for its war effort, this does not exclude Saad's hypothesis, which seems to me to be quite apposite. This article by Winston Churchill three years later confirms this hypothesis as actuality. (http://library.flawlesslogic.com/ish.htm) But what the declaration did intend is that a Jewish homeland as the Declaration so sweetly puts it, would or could become a bulwark for capitalist imperialist interests in the Middle East. And the rest is history! From a Jewish homeland in Palestine morphing first into the State of Israel and today into a Jewish controlled Land of Israel, the Zionist state is not only an integral component of world capitalism, but an imperialist state to boot! It exports its capital to Third World countries where it engages in the super exploitation of workers, while drying up the manufacturing of the Jewish state. This internal conflict of Jewish capitalist interests versus Jewish worker interests has not yet erupted but could eventually do so.

To support the thesis that the primary function of the Jewish state is to promote capitalist imperialist interests, it is necessary, if not sufficient, to take account of the geographical placement of the Jewish state which, whether by design or by accident, is shaped as the tip of an arrow piercing into the very heart of the Arab world, separating Arab North Africa and Egypt from the Arab Near or Middle East thus destroying territorial contiguity between these regions, which historically have considered themselves conjoined religiously and ethnically, linguistically and culturally. In this regional context the Jewish state functions as a foreign implant both within Palestine and within the wider Arab world, which because of its nature, undermining, fragmenting and destroying what it can – both for its own and wider imperialist benefit. It has destroyed, and continues to destroy, the matrix of unity expressed in the shared cultural and social features of the region: the arabic language, Islam and Christianity, shared histories, and that overall ethnic-socio-cultural unity, if not actual union, known by the term watany, or people hood.

To understand the reactionary nature of the Jewish state in the region, and its horrendous effects, one merely has to imagine what would happen were there to occur the removal of the barriers set up by the Jewish State in all of Palestine and the dismantling of the Zionist army and its agencies. There would be no separate Gaza or the West bank, nor would there be Israel, the Jewish state. Instead, the free movement of people would create a reality which today it is difficult to imagine. No longer would Jewish Zionist interests take precedence over ordinary human lives and needs but the fluidity of movement would actually erase those notional categories of differences which have been produced in order to justify privilege and protection denied to others. Such fluidity would work in favor of Arab union, rather than Arab fragmentation, and no doubt would contribute to sweeping away the present pro-Western Palestinian political structures.

If this is a realistic vision and hope for a decent human future, why should or would any Arab or Palestinian want a two-state solution which, by definition, can and will only perpetuate fragmentation of the Arab world, serving as a break on its own, and the regional, development? The only people who could be interested in such a solution, are those who would benefit from it, and the only people who could benefit, are those who would be in power and their sycophants. Yet this power would and must be completely subservient, as it is today, to both Zionist and capitalist interests – because it presumes no weakening of the Zionist state military entity nor a weakening of foreign capitalist power.

If I am correct in my understanding, how should those who oppose a Jewish Zionist state develop a strategy for its end? My first observation is that any analysis which does not take account of this colonialist imperialist reality undermines any possibility of serious understanding of the situation and a subsequent move to resistance and change. In this regard, I would like to bring five discourses which serve to debilitate and undermine resistance to these foreign destructive powers either by centralizing or stressing issues which are incidental or merely symptomatic, and thus missing the central point, or by leaving out or ignoring the elephant in the living room completely. The first three discourses combine into a triple critique of Israel which is completely isolated from the question of imperialist capitalism. They assert the following, either separately or together as follows: a) support of the Jewish state is contrary to America's real interests, b) the huge funding to Israel could be better spent in the United States and c) the US is perceived as a victim of Israeli interests, forced upon it by the nefarious doings of the Israel lobby and the Israeli government. I have never found out what the American interests are that are being harmed through American support, unless these critics think that American can have all the benefits of the Jewish State while suffering none of its consequences, which would mean that the Arab masses would love the Americans – no doubt for their democracy. And yet, there are no American interests harmed by its support for Israel because the nature of the American imperialist capitalist beast is against the people by definition. At the same time, none of these critics mention the benefits to the USA in this transaction which include, amongst other benefits the following: 1) the inestimable value of the geopolitical fragmentation as mentioned above; 2) the biggest base camp in the Middle East without the need for one American ground soldier; 3) the best training and testing ground for new equipment; 4) that foreign aid is spent inside the United States and paid to American corporations; 5) the US enjoys shared intelligence with the Israeli intelligence forces; and 6) that the Jewish state is a completely reliable strategic ally, and etc. Yet these critics consider themselves American patriots who promote, whether explicitly or not, American exceptionalism and purity, while abstaining from condemning American war making and its undermining of democracy all over the world. Their lack of understanding of the political and economic framework of American actions in the world, serve merely to sustain such actions.

The fourth argument is the moralistic criticism of Israel's wrongdoing and concentrates on the evil deeds that the Zionist entity perpetrates against the Palestinians, yet once again without putting this critique in any overall, and comparative, political and economic framework. It is to be found amongst so-called Leftist Jews, many of whom remain Zionists, and some Christian groups. Some of this moralistic criticism is contextualized using the Bible to counter Zionism's biblical claims and to show up Israel's bad behavior. Most of the American and European-based moral criticism does not put its own country's atrocities within the same basket as that of Zionism, thus missing out on the integral relationship between the Western powers and Israel. Furthermore they fail to understand the necessity of these atrocities in order to main control and hegemony by and for capitalist interests. These people wish for a kinder and more democratic Israel. What is not understood is that the Jewish state, qua imperialist colonialist state, cannot reform itself into a decent democracy - and one questions whether such an animal exists within the capitalist framework. Its purpose was, and remains the defense of capitalist interests and if it were to suddenly morph into a Kingdom of Jesus, the United States and NATO would bomb it into smithereens – not unlike Iraq.

Finally I would like to tackle the discourse of national liberation and the purported freedoms which it is expected to deliver. I do not wish to belittle the throwing off of the shackles of colonialism, but the history of the second half of the twentieth century has proven that without independence free from the capitalist stranglehold, the only beneficiaries in the liberated ex-colonies are the elites of the colonialised. The case of South Africa, where the ANC reneged on its Freedom Charter, provides the latest example of the hollowness of the promises of liberation when it does not disconnect itself from capitalist imperialist interests. Most Black South Africans supported the African National Congress because they thought that the Freedom Charter's socialist program reflected the ANC's political program on taking power. Little did they dream that the ANC had sold out to capitalist interests even before the public negotiations began, the results of which were then justified as a historic compromise which prevented bloodshed. What is never mentioned is the continuing toll in human lives that the profit motive of capitalism incurs, nor the destruction of lives that it leaves in its wake. The statistics indicating standards of living and well-being in South Africa are worse at this time after liberation than they were under the apartheid government. The failure of all of the nationalist movements which arose following the capitalist state's' loss of their colonies, was owing to neo-colonialist actions, such as the use of financial instruments, together with physical force, which the former colonialist governments used against the newly liberated nations. In this sense Cuba was an exception, but it is feeling the crunch at this time . What we have seen therefore, In this connection, that the democratic option is a bourgeois capitalist option, not a socialist option, the institutions of which, such as courts, the legislature, the banks, the police and the economy all promote only bourgeois interests, that is, capitalist interests, as opposed to the promotion of the well-being of the entire population.

The implications therefore, are that national liberation can only truly take place outside of the capitalist framework, and in order to theorize productively we have to use not only marxist tools of analysis, which are the only tools we have to critique capitalism and imperialism, but we must especially, develop a theory of power, its structure and application against bourgeois capitalist power. There is much anti-capitalist writing today, but it seems to me that we have not yet cracked the nut of the nexus of power that is able to counter bourgeois power and institute an organic system, in the way that capitalism works as an organic system – which is to say, above and beyond the wishes of individuals. This new theory must go beyond the doctrinaire dogma of the messianic proletariat which has not proven itself to be the class, or force, which can, or has, managed to overthrow capitalist power. To merely repeat the mantra that the proletariat is the expected Messiah does not accomplish this task.

Finally, it seems to me that as human beings who can, do and must think, each one must decide how he or she wants to be human: in co-operation sharing this world with others, or in competition against others, each one accumulating wealth and resources and power to the best of his or her ability and to hell with the world. The first option involves societies built on cooperation and recognition of mutuality between persons, that is to say, on principles which promote, protect and nurture human life and our planet, while the second option sacrifices human life and our planet to Mammon – the Golden Calf which today stalks the world like the Angel of Death.

Lynda Brayer is an Israeli trained lawyer and has worked in public law and human rights for the past twenty years. She lives in Haifa and can be reached at lyndabrayer@yahoo.com

From DIALOGUE REVIEW ( www.dialogue-review.com )