Israel/Palestine social protests

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Mark.
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Aug 1 2012 10:19
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Beyond Compromise, a new Palestinian site, looks as if it may be worth following. One of the editors identifies as an anarchist.

From the Palestine Telegraph

Yasir Tineh wrote:

Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations.



Savor the above definition as we begin to examine the series of events that occurred in Palestine since June 30th.



On June 30th 2012, protesters took to the streets of Ramallah objecting to an announced visit of Shaul Mofaz to meet with Mahmoud Abbas. The protesters were met with brute force; they were beaten and insulted

.

The protest reformed the next day, now with two demands instead of one. They desired respect and they wanted to rightfully object to the visit by Mofaz. 

They were met this time with even more force, insults and humiliation. Women were slapped and cursed at with vile language. They were told that they have no right to protest because of their gender, insulting the very status of women in the Palestinian narrative, a status which is highly revered and respected. The women of Palestine have been pillars in every form of resistance Palestinians have practiced.



They were not met with men but with cowards, cowards in uniform. A funny thought and a more horrifying one is that not too long ago, Mahmoud Abbas was begging Israel for weapons as revolutions waged on in neighboring countries, and Israel denied him.



I presume he wanted more weaponry so he could attack not only women, but journalists as well, as his 'proud' forces managed to get to a few of them. Swollen eyes, broken cameras, head injuries and the highly efficient gang style group beatdowns.



Any citizen out in the streets protesting or documenting what was happening was not spared.
 Now comes the question of how this occurred, and the answer is simply the Oslo Accords. What the Oslo deal did was start a centralization process of the Palestinian struggle; it gave ultimate power to one entity. Power corrupts.



The Palestinian people and their struggle cannot become centralized for many reasons. First off, without centralized power, Palestine becomes represented by every member. There is nobody to negotiate with, nobody to make concessions to or compromises on behalf of the Palestinian people. The refugees will echo their demands louder, and Palestinians will become more united against the oppressions they face.



The political system in which Oslo has entrenched us eventually created division and alternate aspirations for power, diverting our focus of the reality of what is happening around us. We now have factions that consider each other rivals, and all they care about is power. We have people willing to physically harm others of their own blood and skin, simply because they are posing a threat to their political standing and their political existence. We have decisions being made that affect Palestine without any form of Palestinian unanimity.



Anarchy is aspiring to become without government. Palestine has had a “government” since 1993, a government which proceeded to negotiate with the occupying force pointlessly as more land was stolen, more Palestinians were killed and jailed and more refugees were born in exile.

Palestine does not need a government. The idea of establishing a government in a country that remains oppressed evades to normalization, deceiving the world and the public eye into believing that we are the masters of our own political fate. It also implies that this government is democratic and has the approval of Palestinians.



Palestine needs resistance and political chaos.

Mark.
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Aug 5 2012 22:59

+972: Divided society, divided protests

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Two separate protests were held Saturday night in Tel Aviv, in a bizarre drama that split the ritual Saturday evening demonstrations into two ragged parts, with each group claiming to represent the true social justice movement...

Mark.
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Aug 8 2012 10:08

Another Palestinian anarchist: Budour Hassan ----- on twitter

Mark.
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Aug 19 2012 23:15

+972: J14 activists launch political party

Mark.
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Sep 8 2012 23:21

+972: Palestinians take to streets in call for Fayyad to step down

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In the past few days, protesters have filled the Palestinian streets. This time, their protest is not against Israel, but rather against the Palestinian Authority and specifically Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The Palestinians are coming out to protest the rising prices in the West Bank, which have increased at a time when the Palestinian Authority has been unable to pay its employees their full salaries on time...

Mark.
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Sep 10 2012 11:33
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Thursday, 6 September

Nassar Ibrahim, Palestinian writer and analyst, reviews the factors which have led Palestinians in the West Bank to take to the streets and demand resignation of Prime Minister Fayyad and a decreased cost of living. Palestinians are facing a real crisis and whilst no one can now say to where such movement on the streets will lead, an understanding of the factors which mobilize and feed these protests is an essential starting point.

This week we began seeing expressions of the dynamics within West Bank Palestinian society concerning the economic situation. These expressions – demonstrations and strikes throughout the West Bank – indicate the huge pressure under which the Palestinian people live.

What is currently happening indicates a deep and real crisis facing Palestinians. On the political level, the crisis reflects the lack of a horizon in the political process between the Palestinians and Israel. Economically, the Palestinian Authority is facing financial difficulties following pressure from donors, which are not sending aid as agreed upon. Salaries to PA workers have not been paid for three months, thus putting a heavy burden on the lower and middle classes. Israel is also not committed to returning the taxes it collects on behalf of the PA, and is now threatening to cut off electricity in the West Bank if this debt is not paid. The global financial crisis certainly has an impact. Thirdly, what is now happening further reflects the dependence of the Palestinian economy on donors and foreign aid.

So Palestinians are taking to the streets, saying that while we can understand the political crisis, we don’t understand how to face the increased cost of living in such a difficult situation.

No one knows where this current movement will lead.

The links between and amongst the various aforementioned factors strongly motivate and feed this movement: political pressure, restrictions of the Israeli occupation, the dependency on donors and global financial crisis. These factors are reflected here more strongly than anywhere else in the world given the Palestinian dependence on the circles of the Israeli economy and flow of donations of the PA.

http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/news/opinion/5202-video...

Quote:

[Monday, 10 September]

Though rumors of a general strike that would have shut down all traffic and closed businesses in Bethlehem and other West Bank cities failed to materialize, streets have been blocked in several locations as taxi and truck drivers took to the streets to protest high fuel and food prices. Reports from Ramallah, Tulkarem, Nablus, and Bethlehem indicate a growing number of daily actions to protest the cost of living. Targets of the protest include the Palestinian Authority in general and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in particular. Protests are expected to continue in the coming days.

http://972mag.com/photo-palestinian-taxi-and-truck-drivers-protest-high-...

Palestinian protests on twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%23palProtests

Ramallah this morning:

AP wrote:

Palestinian demonstrators fed up with high prices and unpaid salaries shuttered shops, halted traffic with burning tires and closed schools throughout the West Bank on Monday in the largest show of popular discontent with the governing Palestinian Authority in its 18-year history...

Mark.
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Sep 10 2012 11:40

Admins: In the light of the developing protests against the Palestinian Authority could the name of this thread be changed, maybe to Israel/Palestine social protests, or whatever else seems appropriate. I'm inclined to keep this as one thread. It's one country after all, under the effective control of one state - Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah are only a few miles apart.

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Sep 10 2012 11:51

done

Mark.
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Sep 10 2012 11:57

Thanks

Mark.
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Sep 10 2012 23:33

Photo from Nablus: Taxis spell out "إضراب" (strike)

-----

Budour Hassan wrote:

When referring to the current protests in the West Bank, the following terms must be banned: "Third intifada" and "Palestinian spring"

‪@Budour48‬ I get your point, but what should it be called?

Social/economic protests.

‪@Budour48‬ weren't all the Arab revolutions that?

Protests in Sudan, yes. But other Arab revos combined demand for social justice with explicit political demands.

Mark.
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Sep 11 2012 10:18
Budour Hassan wrote:

Today at 5pm protest for freedom, dignity & social justice in Ramallah. Qe should NOT soften the rhetorics. Demand downfall of PA out loud

Don't forget prisoners on hunger strike. We must bring them to public discourse. Protest in Ramallah today provides an opportunity

Int'l activists in Ramallah: don't join us as protesters. You're welcome to film & take pics but that's it. Domestic affair

-----

More photos from yesterday

Mark.
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Sep 11 2012 19:41

Photos from today

Budour Hassan wrote:

Each time we see a glimpse of a protest movement against the PA, it's quelled thanks to donor charity and general lack of perseverance.

Fateh guys tried to hijack demo by chanting against Fayyad,an easy target.They booed as soon as ppl chanted against Abbas/PA

Fayyad is the Palestinian Authority's favourite scapegoat. They have no problem w/sacrificing him to maintain 'control'

As for the demo, it was typical Ramallah. Protesters were outnumbered by journalists & mukhabarat

Mark.
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Sep 11 2012 21:18
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The Israeli Radio, Channel 2, (Reshet Bet) reported that senior Israeli security officials filed an urgent recommendation to the Israeli Government of Benjamin Netanyahu to transfer large sums of cash to Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, in order to prevent the collapse of his government amidst massive waves of protests demanding his resignation...

http://www.imemc.org/article/64219

Mark.
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Sep 12 2012 11:21
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‪#PA‬ gov't having exceptional meeting with Western donors in ‪#Ramallah‬ now. Can fat stack of foreign cash lull ‪#palprotests‬ to sleep ?

#Israel is granting 5000 work permits for #Palestinians acc. to Maan - wonder if attempt to calm down #palprotests?

Just to clarify, the $250 million Israel is sending to PA is money it withheld from the latter as VAT

http://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%23palProtests

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Global Voices: Demonstrations against rising living costs continue

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Entdinglichung
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Sep 12 2012 11:24

collected links:

http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/show_news.pl?country=Palestine&alllan...

http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/show_news.pl?country=Israel&alllangua...

Mark.
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Sep 12 2012 11:32

Meanwhile on the other side of the wall

IlanS wrote:

Activists blocking a main street in Tel Aviv on September 8, 2012 during a protest calling for social justice. We were about 200 participants only, but the police got an order to tolerate us. For about two hours we marched along the Iben Gvirol main street blocking the traffic to the north. from time to time we converged for a while on specific targets like the war minister home, and banks, and occupied for a while the main intersections along the route. Speeches and chants were produced by the participants and loud-speakers.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/activestills/7957432364/in/photostream/ligh...

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Ed
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Sep 12 2012 16:45

Edit: there are some really nice photos here as well..

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Ed
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Sep 12 2012 17:19

Ooh, new libcom photo gallery.. smile

Mark.
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Sep 13 2012 09:56

Some analysis in this opinion piece on AJE:
Economic exploitation of Palestinians flourishes under occupation

Mark.
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Sep 14 2012 11:16

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Al Akbar English: US to grant Palestinian Authority $200m

Quote:

The US State Department Thursday said it was working with Congress to release some $200 million in funds to help the Palestinian Authority through a crippling financial crisis.
[…]
The Palestinian Authority is facing its worst economic crisis in years, largely because of a failure by donors to deliver pledged funds.

Over the past 10 days, towns and cities across the West Bank have been rocked by protests and strikes in response to the rising cost of living, particularly the spiraling cost of fuel.
[…]
On Tuesday, Fayyad announced cuts to VAT and fuel prices in a bid to quell the protests, and two key unions said on Wednesday they would halt further demonstrations while they hold talks.

As well as cutting taxes and fuel costs, Fayyad pledged to begin paying overdue August salaries to civil servants.

The US funds come after Israel urged Washington to help prop up the Palestinian Authority, fearing a popular uprising could unseat Israel's Palestinian ally.

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+972: An agreement on indefinite occupation: Oslo celebrates 19 years

Noam Sheizaf wrote:

Today, 19 years ago, hours before the Oslo agreement was signed in Washington, I set foot for the first time in Gaza. Our unit was sent for a week of foot patrols and flying checkpoints. Our commanders, who had been to the West Bank and Gaza in the past, were shocked to see the PLO flags that marked the signing of the agreement hanging in the streets. Until that day, flying a Palestinian flag was forbidden. It was a sign – an important one – that the occupation was ending.

The night before our deployment was tense – we had many leftists in our ranks, and at least one considered refusing to serve in the occupied territories. He was met with fierce pressure and threats from our commanders; but no argument had as strong an effect as the feeling that the entire occupation was about to end anyway. It made sense for us to help bring this temporary situation to an end, many in our ranks rationalized.

A couple of years later, I was back in Gaza. This time, my unit was in charge of the busy road between Khan Yunis and Gaza City. At a moment’s notice, we could cut the Strip in two. We often did. The pretext for our deployment there was the existence of – how surprising – a settlement. Unlike in the days before the Israeli withdrawal from Gazan cities under Oslo, Palestinians couldn’t enter Israel anymore, so the effect of the entire agreement on the local population was essentially a siege. So much for peace.

The same cycle of hope and disillusionment happened to me a year later in Hebron, after my unit transferred control over parts of the city to the Palestinian Authority. Since then, things have gotten much worse for the local population. Settlements in and around the city have expanded, and the IDF’s Civil Administration began pushing the Palestinians in the areas under Israeli control, especially south of the Hebron, into the cities, and declaring their lands natural reserves, archaeological sites or military training zones. Israel didn’t evacuate one settlement under this peace treaty. Instead, it began evacuating Palestinians.
[…]
The financial agreement which accompanied Oslo – the Paris Protocol – is keeping the Palestinian economy as a captive market for Israeli decision-makers and capitalists. Israel is collecting taxes for the Palestinians – and using them for diplomatic leverage. Under the Paris Protocol, the Palestinians are not allowed to have a central bank or use their own currency. In short, it is an agreement that was designed to make sure that regardless of other developments, the Palestinian economy will remain occupied.

It is not surprising then that Israel is doing whatever it can to prevent the Palestinians from walking away from Oslo or the Paris Protocol. The Palestinian Authority is exactly where Israel wants it – too weak and dependent on Israel and foreign donors to present a serious challenge to the occupier, but strong enough to oppress its own people (and it is treated by Israel with the same contempt all occupiers have for their collaborators). This is the reason for the financial aid Israel recently transferred to the Palestinians at the first sign of unrest. 250 million NIS is a tiny sum compared to the diplomatic meltdown and the financial costs that would accompany a move to the old model of direct occupation.

As Oslo – signed as an interim accord for six years – enters its twentieth year, it’s becoming clear that the only thing that the Palestinians got from the agreement was the right to raise their flag, given to them on day one. Today, Oslo is the occupation. The sooner we get rid of it, the better.

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Ma'an: Activists call for Friday protests against rising prices

Quote:

Activists have called for demonstrations in cities across the West Bank after noon prayers Friday to protest rising prices and the Palestinian Authority's economic policies.

In a call spread on Facebook, activists said the protests would call for social justice, the cancellation of economic agreements with Israel and the resignation of PA premier Salam Fayyad...

-----

http://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%23palProtests

Mark.
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Sep 17 2012 11:36
Mark.
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Sep 18 2012 11:34

Another perspective on Israeli-Palestinian relations:

Quote:

Several filmmakers have tackled the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But few have approached the thorny subject quite like French Jewish filmmaker Yolande Zauberman and her Lebanese writing partner Sélim Nassib: through the prism of sex.

In their new documentary “Would You Have Sex With an Arab?”, Zauberman and Nassib take to the streets of Tel Aviv at night, prowling bars and clubs, cafés and underground soirées, in search of Israeli Jews and Arabs willing to answer a startling question: Would you have sex with a member of the other community?

“Would You Have Sex With an Arab?” never aims to dissect the historical or political twists and turns of a bitter conflict. Rather, it is a wistful portrait of a damaged society in which human dynamics are often far more complex than we are led to believe – and in which deeply buried reserves of desire and regret are coaxed toward the surface, thanks to one single provocative query.

Here are some highlights from France24.com’s interview with the filmmakers…

Read the interview here

Mark.
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Sep 18 2012 11:46
+972 wrote:

As if Israel hasn’t been playing the victim long enough, as if it hasn’t exploited the Six Million to the absolute limit, now comes a new weapon: the “Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries.” This has long been an Israeli answer to the Palestinian refugees – that roughly as many Middle Eastern Jews as Palestinians lost their homes because of the 1948 war. This week, though, the government made the issue a major new front in its information war…

A response from a group of Iraqi Jews in Israel:

Quote:

“It is far from the first instance of tampering with, exploiting, and deleting our history, but it is the straw that broke the camel’s back, and so … we formed the Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan.”

This is how writer, poet and activist Almog Behar described a decision by a group of Jews from Arab and Kurdish backgrounds to speak out forcefully against renewed Israeli government propaganda efforts to counter Palestinian refugee rights by using the claims of Jews who left Arab countries for Israel in the 1950s.

Israeli diplomats, Haaretz reported last week, “have been instructed to raise the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries at every relevant forum. This is part of a new international campaign to create parity between the plight of Jewish and Palestinian refugees, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon announced on Monday.”

“The way the Israeli establishment uses our history from the 1950s, is not in order to give us our rights back, but in order to get rid of the rights of the Palestinians, and avoiding a peace agreement with them,” Behar wrote to The Electronic Intifada.

The idea is that Palestinian refugee and property rights are negated by equivalent claims from Jews from Arab countries, thus absolving Israel of having to make any restitution to Palestinians. Jews who left Iraq and some other Arab countries in the 1950s for Israel were deprived of their property and citizenship.

But in an extraordinary statement posted on Facebook last week, the newly-formed Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan, of which Behar is a founding member, hit back:

Quote:
We are seeking to demand compensation for our lost property and assets from the Iraqi government - NOT from the Palestinian Authority - and we will not agree with the option that compensation for our property be offset by compensation for the lost property of others (meaning, Palestinian refugees) or that said compensation be transferred to bodies that do not represent us (meaning, the Israeli government).

The statement went on to demand an investigation of Israel’s complicity in the departure of Iraqi Jews from their homeland including in terrorist acts against Jews:

Quote:

We demand the establishment of an investigative committee to examine:

1) If and by what means negotiations were carried out in 1950 between Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri as-Said, and if Ben-Gurion informed as-Said that he is authorized to take possession of the property and assets of Iraqi Jewry if he agreed to send them to Israel;

2) who ordered the bombing of the Masouda Shem-Tov synagogue in Baghdad, and if the Israeli Mossad and/or its operatives were involved. If it is determined that Ben-Gurion did, in fact, carry out negotiations over the fate of Iraqi Jewish property and assets in 1950, and directed the Mossad to bomb the community’s synagogue in order to hasten our flight from Iraq, we will file a suit in an international court demanding half of the sum total of compensation for our refugee status from the Iraqi government and half from the Israeli government.

Continue reading here

Mark.
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Sep 18 2012 11:55

+972 photo essay: Palestinians protest high prices

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Sep 19 2012 08:05

http://challenge-mag.com/en/article__337

Quote:
The hot Palestinian summer

by Yacov Ben Efrat

We can relax: the disturbances in the Occupied Territories appear to have subsided, and the would-be third Intifada may have skipped over 2012 as it did over 2011. Back then it was supposed to break out after Abu Mazen vainly sought a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council. Israeli intelligence missed the mark in 2011 and misled others. This year, when all its analysts were worrying about how to get through the Jewish holidays in peace and quiet, they completely missed what was about to happen in the Palestinian territories. The protest broke out in reaction against a hike in petrol prices, derived from a similar price hike by the Israeli government, which seeks to reduce its budgetary deficit. After the Israeli social protestors tired and lost interest in demonstrations, the baton has passed to the Palestinians, who suffer many times more from the cost of living. What can you do: after 45 years of an Occupation that flooded their markets with Israeli goods, they too eat Tnuva cottage cheese, whose price triggered protest in Israel last year.

The Palestinian response to the petrol hike came very fast and was far less polite than the Israeli version. The Palestinians weren't ashamed to shout that their prime minister, Salam Fayyad, should "get the hell out!" As for Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu, he didn't need to form a new Trajtenberg Committee to pacify the Palestinians. He simply injected $250 million from the taxes he collects for the Palestinian Authority (PA), thus enabling it to pay part of its August salaries. Fayyad too was compelled to roll back the increase on petrol prices, as well as reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 17% (the Israeli rate) to 15%.
Occupation economics

The Palestinian protest, like the Arab Spring, is not aimed directly against Israel, and this fact bothers Netanyahu. The hatred is not against Jews, rather against the PA that is supposed to be serving them. The demonstrating Palestinian youth understand that the protests against the Israeli checkpoints work in favor of the PA leaders, who like to blame the Occupation for their society's ills, shrugging off responsibility. However, ever since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Israeli Occupation has acquired a new form. Israel outsourced control over the Palestinian population, creating the PA as a service contractor. The latter is supposed to keep the peace and provide the residents with services, financed by donors like the EU, the US and the rich Arab states.

Like every subcontractor, the PA cuts itself a fat coupon on the workers' account, and the donor money greases the wheels of its high officials, business cronies, clerks and police (whose function is not at all clear). Beneath this thin layer is the vast majority, who suffer from unemployment of at least 20% (30%, according to the General Secretary of the Palestinian Trade Unions) and a daily wage of $12 or so. It is clear that the arrangement cannot go on forever. The same reality was a factor leading to the second Intifada in the year 2000 and the rise of Hamas. The same reality is preparing the conditions for the third Intifada, which will be directed this time against the subcontractor and will dispel the fond illusion which goes by the name "Palestinian state."

Economically speaking, we live in a binational state. The government of Israel is the sovereign in all economic areas: the Bank of Israel determines, by means of the shekel, the PA's currency policy, while Israel's Treasury Secretary controls PA fiscal policy by means of the "customs envelope" common to both parties. The problem is that the economic control in no way obliges Israel, because Israeli law is irrelevant in the PA territories. The labor laws, the national insurance, and all the public services which exist in Israel do not apply to the residents of the PA.

The outcome is social tragedy. The prices are Israeli prices, but the services and the wages are more like those in Syria and Egypt. Poverty rises—and with it anger at the PA leaders and their allies who benefit from the arrangement. The economic situation is similar to that in other Arab lands. A Palestinian Spring, long in the bud, can sprout at any moment.

The economic crisis in Europe and the US also has a part in the timing of the protests. The donor nations have cooled toward the PA. The Arab Spring has opened opportunities elsewhere, whereas the money that flows into PA coffers does not go to building an economy, rather only to financing the pleasures of the middle class, which consumes but does not produce. Israeli intransigence on a peace accord and the establishment of an independent Palestine have created an impression of pouring good money into a bottomless barrel.

To what have the donations contributed? To the creation of a big consumer bubble. Until now, the gap between PA salaries and the rise in the cost of living was bridged by loans from banks, which have sprouted like mushrooms. Today, when donations begin to dwindle while the PA deficit swells, it is clear that the party is grinding to an end. If in the past the middle class got benefits from the Oslo Accords, receiving mortgages and buying cars on credit, today it can no longer pay its debts. As in Israel, so in the West Bank, it was the middle class that first went out to demonstrate. The holdback on salaries, the petrol price hike, and the VAT propelled them into the streets. As in the Arab countries, the protest of the middle class opens a gateway for the protest of the poor, which will be more angry and more violent.
The PA on the verge of bankruptcy

Like Greece, Spain, and Ireland, the PA is on the edge of bankruptcy. But it has no Germany or Bank of Europe to bail it out, rather only Israel, and the coinage is not the euro, rather the shekel, which Israel controls. There is no chance in the world that the Bank of Israel will decide on a package to save the PA when it can't even save the million destitute Israelis. "The poor of your land come first," and the poor of the neighboring autonomy will have to manage alone.

However, the bankruptcy of the subcontractor places the boss before a hard choice. The fall of the PA will leave Israel alone in responsibility for the Occupied Territories. The result is paradoxical: The more Israel deepens its hold and builds settlements, the more it weakens the PA, increasing its own responsibility for those trapped behind the separation barrier which it built.

The Palestinian demonstrators demand cancellation of the Paris Agreement, the economic part of Oslo, for it chains them to the Israeli economy—as if the cancellation alone might lay the economic foundation for an independent state. But there's a fly in the ointment. Independence would mean not just control of the currency and of fiscal policy, but also the definition of the territory where the Palestinian law and economy will apply. Such a definition, however, is something that Israel refuses to discuss, and the settlement project makes the problem insoluble. The demand to cancel the Paris Agreement therefore puts the cart before the horse. The way to gain economic independence from Israel is first to gain political independence, that is, to cancel the Oslo Accords to which the Paris Agreement belongs.

Netanyahu is conducting a much publicized campaign on the issue of Iran and the bomb. He is ready to send planes 3000 kilometers in order to save Israel from an imagined new Holocaust. But right outside his window the ground is quaking. The Palestinians are again being pushed, with excessive force, into the Israeli agenda. Bibi sees far-off Iran, but he won't look into his own backyard. His economic policy and his political blindness are creating the conditions for a new round of violence.

Despite all the attempts to hide this reality, it is coming to meet us. The moment is approaching when Israel will have to decide between a return to full military and civil control over the Territories or, alternatively, withdrawal and abandonment of the settlements in order to enable an independent Palestine. Given that there is no political arrangement in sight, a Palestinian Spring becomes almost the only choice. Like Assad in Syria, Bibi may then send his soldiers to put down demonstrations by the Palestinian poor, but if he does this, then he, like Assad, will lose all legitimacy, and so will the nation he leads.

Mark.
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Sep 19 2012 09:23

So what happened to the Israeli social justice protests?

IlanS wrote:

There were high hopes at the beginning of the year both about the joint struggle against the occupation, about the social struggle, and about the treatment of guest workers families and the refugees. In all three of them there is a clear setback. Only one village (Qadumm) was added to the persistent weekly demonstrations, and settler colonialists harassments intensify the efforts to transfer villagers fro area C. Most of the activists of last year social struggle were lured to the parliamentary quagmire. Many of the guest worker families with children an lot of refugees were deported. More and more refugees are arrested and taken to the huge concentration camp most of the refugees are supposed to be incarcerated in... In spite of disappointment and the Autumn blues the struggle continue...

http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/palestine-israel-joint-...

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Sep 19 2012 09:28

Dimi Reider on his translation of Yehouda Shenhav's book 'Beyond the two state solution: A Jewish Political Essay'

Quote:

Tel Aviv sociologist Yehouda Shenhav - in a surprising move for an academic long identified in the public eye as far to the left - forcefully argues the case for expanding the conversation to include Jewish rights in his new book, Beyond the two state solution: A Jewish Political Essay.

Originally published as Trapped by the Green Line and due for publication this month with my translation, the book caused quite a stir in Israel, demolishing virtually every aspect of the Green Line's image as a progressive artifact and, again, remarkably for an author identified strongly with the radical left, coming out in force against the eviction of settlements from a moral as well as a pragmatic perspective.

The book has drawn considerable criticism and consternation on the centre-left but was welcomed by many on the further left - and right - of the Israeli public sphere, including figures in the settler movement as prominent as Uri Elitzur, Benjamin Netanyahu's former chief of staff and the deputy editor of the main settler paper, Makor Rishon.
[…]
In his book, Shenhav asks: "Are there indeed two states? If so, who provides the settlements with economic and physical infrastructure? Who provides them with telephone lines, sanitation, electricity and water? Who provides them with health-care and education? And what of the role of organisations such as the Histadrut Federation of Labour Unions, the JNF, the Jewish Agency and the United Jewish Appeal as subcontractors of the occupation? Why is there a special council for higher education (for Jews only) in the West Bank?

Who provides the legal infrastructure for the expropriation of lands? Who provides the engineering and construction services for the roads that cross the West Bank? As Israeli journalist Amira Hass has pointed out, the settlements are not a spontaneous and random undertaking by eccentrics, but rather a national project of the Israeli state."

For all their undeniable success, the settlements remain fortified, isolated ghettos sustained by nothing but fear. Some settlers have started to understand this and are actively pursuing accommodation and engagement with Palestinian neighbours, including joint ecological projects and solidarity visits to mosques defiled by extremist settlers.

Shenhav sees the settlements not only as a physical, military and legal issue, but a rights anomaly that can be rectified without necessitating the eviction of residents who by now have clocked at least a generation living where they live - which is to say, without requiring the fixing of one wrong by committing another.

The return of 350,000 to 500,000 settlers to within the Green Line is not a realistic option, Shenhav points out. "Many of the settlers hold prominent positions in the Israeli army and are controlled by their rabbis. What's more, the liberal left is not dealing at all with the moral questions and threat of violence pertaining to such an evacuation. Would it be possible to cast out members of the third generation because their fathers and mothers ate sour grapes? The settlement issue requires more serious consideration."
[…]
For Shenhav, one of the key rights crying out for reciprocal recognition is freedom of movement and residence, for all those living and with a historical claim to the land between the river and the sea, whether Palestinian or Jewish. It is a powerful departure from current discourse...

http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/comment/78617/rights-are-key-—-and-theyre-mutual

Mark.
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Sep 19 2012 22:09

Ma'an: Despite calm, Palestinian Authority still on brink of collapse

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jonthom
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Sep 20 2012 08:27

The Ramat Gan Committee now has a blog.

Mark.
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Sep 24 2012 23:52

Palestinian Anarchists on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Palestinian-Anarchists-فلسطينيون-لاسلطويون/153450298115953

The Palestinian Revolution - Arab Spring on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/Palestinianrev

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Uri Gordon: Anarchist mobilization in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2010)