In this article I will outline my thoughts on Palestine, Hamas (And other rulers in waiting), the wider Palestinian resistance, Israel, the occupation, the apartheid regime and how I think we can contribute to the struggle. In my next post I will outline my thoughts of Zionism, Islamism, Imperialism, antisemitism and anti-Zionism.
As an anarchist my perspective comes from a thoroughly anti-national, anti-militarist, anti-imperialist; anti-fascist, atheist and class struggle perspective. I do not view things from a nationalist or statist perspective and I make no apologies for that. This is why on Palestine demos I never carry the Palestinian or any other national flag, I carry the red and black flag or the antifa flag (If any flag at all!) to reflect my libertarian communist position. I am with the Palestinian people (Arabs and non-Arabs) NOT with Hamas, Fatah, Palestinian Authority, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah or any other reactionary institutions and structures. I support the Palestinians against corruption, occupation, apartheid and imperialism and I fully support the right of the Palestinian working-class to arm itself, defend itself and repel occupation by whatever means THEY deem necessary including but, not limited to, the use of physical force. Of course I have my own opinions on this for example, bombing innocent people and suicide bombings for examples on buses and in restaurants are regressive and disgusting.
The West Bank and Gaza are under a state of siege from which they are being slaughtered by the world’s fourth (Or fifth?) ‘best’ military, The Israeli “Defence” Force [sic]. Since 1948 the Palestinians have been subjected to an imperialist occupation by a Western imperialist proxy state. They have been subjected to a regime of genocide and ethnocide. Gaza and the West Bank are open-air prisons in which unspeakable poverty is rife! Gaza, the West Bank and Israel (The area of Palestine under total occupation) is a military state. Gaza is surrounded on all sides with a blockade, walls, a military and a pro-Zionist regime to the South in the form of the current Egyptian government.
In case you have not guessed, I’m not going to argue the case for statehood. Palestine is a physical piece of land with a name and encompassing a variety of ethnic groups in which for a long time both Jews and Muslims along with others, lived together for a very fucking long time.
To me Hamas are reactionary and what could be considered as an element of a Palestinian ruling-class both currently and in waiting. They are Islamists, homophobic, anti-Semitic and often kill innocent people for example in the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing amongst others. This is not military or police people being targeted but a deliberate targeting of innocent civilians. Whilst it is true that this is nothing which the Israeli war machine has not visited on the Palestinian people ten-fold daily but such instances of dare I say it, murder, is not the legitimate targeting of soldiers, police or intelligence staff; but the deliberate targeting of civilians (Again, of which the IDF does not fare any better in fact, are worse).
In Gaza they rule with an iron grip and many say but “oh, they are the democratically elected government of Gaza” but then again the same people I hear argue that are the same people who I have heard criticise Margaret Thatcher (Who was “democratically” elected) and hey, Adolf Hitler by that standard was also “democratically” elected! Since when has any group been automatically acceptable on the basis that they were “democratically” elected? Hamas engage in the execution of political rivals, outlawed homosexuality, targetted trade unionists and engaged in other repressive activities such as not allowing unmarried young men and women to hang-out together. Hamas have seized trade union offices, broke strikes and kidnapped trade unionists. Summary executions are a Hamas staple.
In short, anyone with any decent politics will not continuously apologise and support by whatever means a bunch of pseudo-fascist Islamist bellends like Hamas.
Secular Palestinian nationalists do not fare much better either such as when the military wing of Fatah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, attacked the Palestine Workers’ Radio for the crime of “stoking internal conflicts”.
A free Palestine can not be ran by such people as that is a clearly documented matter of harsh reality. I recognise that this is coming from a privileged position and I am not in the game of preaching to Palestinians (Or anyone else for that matter) about their own struggle because of course they will always know far better than I do about the situation. My sentiments regarding Hamas, Fatah etc. though are shared by many Palestinians of which one organised group being Gaza Youth Breaks Out so I am not alone in this way of thinking. Of course I am going to have an opinion, that is natural, which is reflected not only by my anarchist politics and ideas but also by my privileged position of being born, brought up and living in the West. This can not be avoided. “How do you expect them to defend themselves then?” I hear many say. Well that is for the Palestinians to decide themselves, I am just speaking out loud with my personal opinion here.
Ultimately it is exclusively up to the Palestinian people how they want to resist and any attempt to say otherwise is a subtle form of imperialism but of course this is coming from such a privileged opinion on the subject. In terms of armed resistance; I would probably find it preferable to have autonomous and libertarian armed groups. Ones which take the fight directly to the Israeli military and wider state apparatus and act against reactionaries such as Hamas, Fatah etc. in defence of the Palestinians.
How can we resist outside of Palestine? Well, MANY ways and I will only mention some but through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, through awareness, through demonstrations and protests, through cultural and social events, union actions, disobedience etc. We need to disrupt the normal relations with the state of Israel, Israeli commerce and other Israeli economic interests. The list goes on but what we need to do is not just preach but do and not just do but become part of the Palestinian struggle by getting behind or alongside the Palestinians. We should not exist outside or attempt to lead it but fight from within it. We can no longer sit idly by, observing and cheerleading but need to entrench ourselves in the struggle. We need to form new anti-imperialist structures and initiatives and also form anti-Kahanist groups as a matter of anti-fascist solidarity from abroad.
Since the 8th July 2014 Gaza has been having the absolute shit pounded out of it by a particularly brutal and well-backed military machine. Upwards of 500 innocent people have been murdered since then (0 on the Israeli side), many more displaced, had their homes destroyed and infrastructure decimated. The images and videos I am seeing are of children with their skulls blasted apart, with guts spilling out of their bodies and with limbs missing. Schools and hospitals are being bombed, people being shot in the streets and children playing football on the beach are having bombs dropped on them. The streets are running red with the blood of innocent people and the Dead Sea is taking on a whole new meaning.
The kidnap and murder of an innocent Palestinian by Israeli settlers is fucking vile as is the kidnap and murder of three innocent Israeli teenagers. What we have now though is wholesale genocide.
What I think is different from Operation Protective Shield (The current slaughter in Gaza) as opposed to the last mass slaughter during Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009) is the severity and also the world-wide reaction. The anti-apartheid and anti-Israeli state feeling is building and gaining an upsurge in pace. The numbers engaging in protests are massively higher and a union (Unite), countries and celebrities are supporting BDS. I am not one for celebrity worship but I can not really deny that it is a positive sign when celebrities express their support whether through words or actions.
We can not sit by and allow this to happen because our inaction and silence is our complicity. We can not simply observe whilst genocide is being committed, we can not claim ignorance, the means to find the information and act are right before our very eyes. We must show our support and solidarity by actively becoming part of this struggle, we must get behind the Palestinian people on this. This is a struggle against racism, apartheid, genocide, imperialism and militarism. It is an anti-capitalist struggle to it’s core. Politics aside though, it is the right thing to do. In the 1930s and 1940s people around the world could claim a certain level of unwilful ignorance towards things like the Nanjing Massacre and the Nazi holocaust in Europe but now there is absolutely no excuse other than wilful ignorance. Now we have social media, a highly interactive and well organised alternative media, there’s also certain mainstream media outlets (Albeit not many) etc. It is our duty to bear witness to this, spread the word and most importantly, act! We need to hold those complicit to task starting primarily with this country’s (United Kingdom) economic, cultural, sporting (Although I do kind of like Hapoel Tel Aviv), academic and social relations with the Israeli state and commerce. No anarchist worth their salt will ignore this.
To this end I would like to express my solidarity and extend my offer of support to the Palestinian people and the Jews resisting Zionism both in Palestine and abroad.