The Creation of a Palestinian State?

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2existis2resist
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Mar 8 2008 07:15
The Creation of a Palestinian State?

I am currently working with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank. We help Palestinians by using our international status to do things that they cant. We put ourselves between the Palestinians and the Occupation.
However our efforts appear to be going towards creating a Palestinian state, because in the end all Palestinians beleive that this is the answer to their problems. At present almost all ordinary people hat their leaders in Palestine. I have met very few people who agree or support Hams or Fatah or the PFLP, and even less people who like the PA. Yet they still cling to a hope that one day their perfect State will come to save them.
I wondered what people views on this topic were and can anything be done to prevent such a catastrophe.

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Tojiah
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Mar 8 2008 10:50

Lovely place, Hereford. Nice church. Plus, best way to get to Hay-on-Wye. But I digress.

I'm glad to hear that a lot of people on the ground are disillusioned with all those bourgeois parties - hardly anyone on the Israeli left/anarchist milieu seems to realize that. Then again, hardly anyone there realizes how much Israelis are disillusioned with the Israeli parties, so it's really no surprise.

As for a the hope that a perfect state will come to save them, I doubt that it will be such a catastrophe if one does come to be. Or, rather, it seems that two are coming into being as we speak: a more Israel-antagonistic Hamas-led state in Gaza, and a more Israel-subservient Fatah-led state in the West Bank. There are potentialities for an Arab Oversight Committee-led state in the Galilee, a Beduin state in the Negev, Haredi islelets in various locales, or possibly only autonomies, or possibly something in between. None of their materializations would be "catastrophes", in my opinion, for the working class; only for factions of the bourgeois. Of course, they will be of no help to the working class, either.

If you want to convince your Palestinian comrades of that fact, you can just cite, well, pretty much every state that's declared independence since the Second World War as a counter-example. Especially Israel, by the way; it's doing well, but that's just because it stands on the positive side of US policy; as soon as that stops, so will its apparent success, which is backed quite a bit by US defense spending. And even as it stands it is starting to dissolve, internal class differences are becoming more and more apparent, especially due to a significant geographic divide between the relatively safe center and the rocket-riddled periphery (and this is a very broad generalization, I know, I come from a peripheral town where maybe one missile has landed since the October War, and maybe one suicide bombing at all, while Tel Aviv has had its share of war damage, suicide bombings and the like).

magnifico
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Mar 8 2008 11:06
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Arab Oversight Committee-led state in the Galilee

i spent some time living in galilee in '99, that sounds like a pretty bizarre thing to suggest from my experiences of it. what do you mean exactly, some kind of parallel administration for Nazareth and the Arab villages which has no authority over Jews, or what? (Not saying you're talking bollocks or anything, just curious)

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Tojiah
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Mar 8 2008 11:22

There have been many position papers presented by the Arab Oversight Committee as well as other Arab political organizations about cultural and political autonomy for the Arab minority in Israel. Since the Galilee has an increasing Arab majority, this whole thing could, hypothetically, become a nation-building/autonomy-building/whatever issue. The point is, it doesn't matter as far as employment prospects and wages are concerned. So Arab workers won't be culturally oppressed: they'll just be poor. Victory for some of the Arab bourgeoisie, meh for the Arab proletariat.

magnifico
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Mar 8 2008 11:35

But Israel has spent the whole of its existence building Jewish communities right next to Arab ones in the Galillee, presumably to avoid this happening (presumably also so Arab states will think twice about bombing them), hence Nazareth Illit and a Jewish settlement next to pretty much every Arab village. I'm sure the Arabs would love to have it as an Arab state but I can't imagine any Israeli government handing these places over, never mind Tiberias.

Also the Negev is a dustbowl and all the Beduin saw there looked like people from bible times. I suggest that any Negev Beduin government would need only three government bodies - the 'Ministry of Goat Affairs', the 'Ministry of Drinking Really Strong Coffee' and the 'Ministry of Trying to get Across the Border to Israel to Find a Job'. Not a viable state IMO wink

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Tojiah
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Mar 8 2008 11:55

Well, there's a "come live in the Galilee, please, or there'll be an Arab majority, here, take some money and tax refunds" campaign just like there's a "you're not a real Israeli MAN if you haven't killed some Arabs, and for a limited time only, you can get an authentic color-coded card based on how many you've killed" campaign, which should show you how that's just failing miserably. The "Ministry of Trying to get Across the Border to Israel to Find a Job" will have to be an essential government agency in any territory of historic Palestine which secedes from Israel, that's part of what I'm talking about. Declaring independence doesn't in itself create jobs, or raise wages, or battle gentrification (which in many ways is what the settlement movement is mostly about).

2existis2resist
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Mar 8 2008 17:48

Living here is interesting in many ways, i do enjoy the fact that every village has its own autonomy ( in a sense) in their own Popular Commitees. All people participate in these commitees and the delegates are chosen by popular concensus, and if they are not performing properly they are gotten rid of instantly.

But then again, everything in Palestine is controlled either by the Israeli's, their own very strong culture ( which seems to be anarchist in a lot of ways, except gender. But mutual aid not only exists here, it is a way of life) or by rough capitalism. But the people here seem to have a good grasp of what it means to boycott products. Everywhere i go Arab shopkeepers point out the Arabic products and not the Israelis.

I am curious about your work in Israel treeofjudas, do you work with the Anarchist against the Wall? they are great people but i dont know a huge amount about them. I work with ISM which seems to be mainly composed of anarchists. Its great fun.. sorry i waffle, i am in hebron watching over a settlement.. hoping for a quiet night!!

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Tojiah
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Mar 8 2008 21:47

I'm afraid I'm not doing any "work" in Israel at the moment. I am fairly content with making snide remarks from the couch. wink

Seriously, though, I was recently involved in a long and indifferently fruitful attempt at organizing workers at a major book retail chain in Israel, but I'm taking back seat and recuperating (not being recuperated!), as it has been a very tiring effort.

After having participated in a few actions regarding the Palestinian struggle I had decided to withdraw from it, since I found myself participating in acts whose utility was obscure and who were moreover run by organizations with class participatory agendas. I'm studying Palestinian Arabic and culture now, and will foray deeper into the "Territories" if and when I've come to an independent understanding of the politics there, and, most importantly, have come to the conclusion that I would be anything but a self-righteous outsider meddling in things he does not understand.

astonished
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Mar 8 2008 22:04

Time for a Palestinian State.Didn'nt they used to live there?

ronan
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Mar 8 2008 22:14

tree of: what is your opinion of the Anarchists Against the Wall? Do you think their work is useful?

ein auslander
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Mar 9 2008 12:11

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7204967.stm

i can't remember where i found out about it but the wall is heavily fortified by israeli troops, and was installed along the major trade routes of the palestinians. A route by car which would have taken palestinians perhaps ten minutes will now take over an hour for example through having to detour. It is impossible to say if it was deliberate but the lack of leniency is obvious

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Tojiah
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Mar 9 2008 18:39
ronan wrote:
tree of: what is your opinion of the Anarchists Against the Wall? Do you think their work is useful?

I don't know that much about them, to be honest, other than rumors through activists I know or have known (none of which, I think, are members), and the media portrayal (which is better to ignore, usually). Therefore, I don't know whether or not their work is useful. I know that aside from pissing off most Israelis, they also piss off many members of the traditional Palestinian village leadership, so they must be doing something right. Then again, one of their campaigns involved setting up blockades in various Tel Aviv roads which resemble those Palestinians are faced with. The result of this was presented without any kind of criticism at some kind of meeting afterwards, which I found annoying. They don't seem to be big on self-criticism, but this could be an outside impression, I'm really not sure about their internal structure and methods.

From what I have seen on demonstrations, they seem to be very confrontational and condescending towards police, which obviously is not a good way to come out unscathed.

To conclude, I'm not really attracted to their actions and campaigns. They're not the kind of thing you can engage with if you hold a regular job, for one, and to be honest, after an arrest and a few violent confrontations with the cops, they kind of scare the shit out of me, and I don't really want to seek out their fierce fists of justice if I don't see a very good reason for it, which I haven't in a while.

I don't know if it's intentional, but the news update is about the Gaza Strip (or Gaza Penitentiary...), where such blockades are no longer used, rather than the West Bank, where the issue below is highly pressing.

ein auslander wrote:
i can't remember where i found out about it but the wall is heavily fortified by israeli troops, and was installed along the major trade routes of the palestinians. A route by car which would have taken palestinians perhaps ten minutes will now take over an hour for example through having to detour. It is impossible to say if it was deliberate but the lack of leniency is obvious

Well, if you have two competing groups setting up infrastructure and expanding in the same general locale, their logistical routes are going to be at odds with each other. If, moreover, one group has guns, power, money and political legitimacy while the other has the occasional stolen gun and suicide bombers, you know who's going to get the short end of the stick. Most settlers probably don't think in terms of "yeah, let's expand in the way that makes Palestinian lives most miserable" but more like "hey, we would rather build another two-story house than just have built higher buildings, let's get more room over there, and by the way having Palestinians around is a security issue, they need to be blocked out."
Someone's going to take hours to travel what would take ten minutes directly, and you know it's not going to be the better armed group.

ein auslander
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Mar 9 2008 20:21
tojiah wrote:
Quote:

I don't know if it's intentional, but the news update is about the Gaza Strip (or Gaza Penitentiary...), where such blockades are no longer used, rather than the West Bank, where the issue below is highly pressing.

ein auslander wrote:
i can't remember where i found out about it but the wall is heavily fortified by israeli troops, and was installed along the major trade routes of the palestinians. A route by car which would have taken palestinians perhaps ten minutes will now take over an hour for example through having to detour. It is impossible to say if it was deliberate but the lack of leniency is obvious

Well, if you have two competing groups setting up infrastructure and expanding in the same general locale, their logistical routes are going to be at odds with each other. If, moreover, one group has guns, power, money and political legitimacy while the other has the occasional stolen gun and suicide bombers, you know who's going to get the short end of the stick. Most settlers probably don't think in terms of "yeah, let's expand in the way that makes Palestinian lives most miserable" but more like "hey, we would rather build another two-story house than just have built higher buildings, let's get more room over there, and by the way having Palestinians around is a security issue, they need to be blocked out."
Someone's going to take hours to travel what would take ten minutes directly, and you know it's not going to be the better armed group.

hi it wasn't intentional thanks for noticing there! - it's been pulled down quite recently i see:

http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2008/02/05/israel-one-wall-down-a-new-reality-in-the-middle-east/

the troops in west bank were doing other needless things - like pulling down trees which the palestinians would pick fruit from - stuff like that. there were all these grown men just crying because their trees had been torn up.

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Tojiah
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Mar 9 2008 20:36

I guess it's a lot like the needless violence you in demonstrations, indeed in any kind of clash with effectively police forces with a license to be violent. I'm not sure if I really understand it myself, to be honest.

2existis2resist
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Mar 10 2008 06:24

The Anarchists against the Wall seem to have a mixed reception then , as far as I can tell because in some places they are loved dearly. In Bei'lin the people love them because they actually do stuff. One of the guys there, Jonathan Pollack, really nice guy, has been shot several times with bullets. One rubber bullet to the head!

Either way, I would agree that the Israeli forces do what they can to make life miserable for people because they can and its a power trip. They love dressing up in their gear and shooting tear gas and bullets at crowds of people. All the soldiers I have spoken to say thats its just a good game.
And as for the settlements, I would be suspicious of saying that they dont have Palestinian property destruction in mind cos they do. I have seen numerous times now the settlers attack people and property because they are in the way of Gods Holy land.

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Tacks
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Mar 10 2008 12:38
magnifico wrote:
Also the Negev is a dustbowl and all the Beduin saw there looked like people from bible times. I suggest that any Negev Beduin government would need only three government bodies - the 'Ministry of Goat Affairs', the 'Ministry of Drinking Really Strong Coffee' and the 'Ministry of Trying to get Across the Border to Israel to Find a Job'. Not a viable state IMO ;)

ROFL grin

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Mar 10 2008 12:43
2existis2resist wrote:
their own very strong culture ( which seems to be anarchist in a lot of ways, except gender.

Comrade PLEASE!grin

glad to hear the ISM is still in the west bank, its definitely lost the prominence it had when i was briefly involved.
I still get emails from palestinians i met, but that only demonstrates the fact there was a lot of international projects going on in the West Bank before the ISM.

Good luck 2ex, keep safe and don't go mental smile

...also, you can get a beer in Rammalla. PM me for directions wink

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Tacks
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Mar 10 2008 12:46
2existis2resist wrote:
The Anarchists against the Wall seem to have a mixed reception then , as far as I can tell because in some places they are loved dearly. In Bei'lin the people love them because they actually do stuff. One of the guys there, Jonathan Pollack, really nice guy, has been shot several times with bullets. One rubber bullet to the head!

he is quite a legend. I interviewed him and a friend for freedom. You know he got kicked out denmark for insulting the queen or something?

Quote:
And as for the settlements, I would be suspicious of saying that they dont have Palestinian property destruction in mind cos they do. I have seen numerous times now the settlers attack people and property because they are in the way of Gods Holy land.

Um no shit? Seriously did you need to go all the way to the middle east to find this out? The settlers are scum without almost any exception. Event the army hate them most of the time.

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Tojiah
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Mar 10 2008 14:52

You people are forgetting that the mass bulk of settlers live inside big settlement blocs, and hardly ever confront Palestinians (and would not have bothered moving if that wasn't possible). The settlers you usually see on the news (and meet in person on actions) are a violent minority, which are eager to wage battle for various reasons (quite a few of them would profess ideological grounds, but to be honest, a lot of the driving force is the same kind that brings about violent suburban youths in other countries).

baboon
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Mar 10 2008 16:11

Interesting stuff Tree, and I agree with your decision and reasons for not getting involved in the anarchist groups.
As to the mindless violence of the Israeli army, this is a given for any imperialist force, it's built in and part of the system for the Russian army, the British army, and so on. And violence doesn't come much more mindless than suicide bombing.
What would a Palestian state be, what would its form take? For a start, whatever the form, it would be an abortion coming from imperialism. An economically depressed and politically unviable entity, a prison for the vast majority of Palestinians, with a pathetic Palestinian bourgeoisie and a constant battleground for the rival imperialist tensions that can only deteriorate in the region.
I suspect Hamas, or significant elements within it, would welcome a massive Israeli invasion of Gaza. Hizbollah is certainly itching for another go, with its Russian supplied long ranged missiles that devasted Israel armour during the last "skirmish".

Bobby
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Mar 10 2008 23:10

From my own experience with Anarchists Against the Wall in Israel, are quite principled pacifists oh and 'meat is murder' man. They have a quite strong anti-organisational lifestylist current in the group which is a pitty. That said i met a couple of good comrades

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Mar 11 2008 02:47

bit of a garbled post there mate.