Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Palestinians Will Free Themselves, And So Will We

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This last month’s explosion of Israeli violence against Palestinians shows a telling historical pattern in colonialist states: when a colonialist state feels uncertain for its future, it resorts to more brutal attacks on the target groups. The resistance to South African Apartheid provoked violence, like the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960-just like how resistance to all tyrannies are met with increasingly brutal attempts to put them down. Histories like these, though, tend to go in the direction of positive social change, something that both the Palestinians and we have to remember.
“Ultimately, the people of Palestine will liberate themselves,” concludes Lana Habash’s commentary on the recent Israeli massacre of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza, “but those in the international community who are horrified by recent events in Gaza, can still do their part. If you reject white supremacy and you care about black and brown lives, then you must also reject the legitimacy of Israel, as a colonial settler state. Support boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. Stop the 3 billion dollars a year that the US government gives to Israel (soon to be 3.8 billion). Support the right of Palestinian people to reclaim all their land.”
As Americans, our struggle against oppression isn’t as serious as the holocaust that Palestinians are effectively undergoing, but we need to take comparable actions: boycotting corporations like Amazon, which is part of the empire of the dangerous plutocrat Jeff Bezos. Stopping the United States’ military expenditures by refusing the war tax; organizing to support the rights of Muslims, undocumented immigrants, blacks, and others who are being targeted.
Like the American political establishment, the Israeli government is under threat as more and more people take actions like these. As Israel has committed recent atrocities like the jailing of Ahed Tamimi, the cutting off of the water supply in Gaza, and this month’s shootings of peaceful Palestinian demonstrators, many people around the world, including in Israel itself, have become outraged at Israel’s decades-old paradigm of corruption and brutality.
The glorifications of Israel, anti-Palestinian racism, and Orwellian denials of human rights abuses can’t stop people from seeing what’s going on. Neither can the propaganda for corporate capitalism and globalization, which has dissolved amid the complete discrediting of these ideologies. So like Israel, the American corporate state is lashing out. Increased police militarization; the revival of McCarthyism in media; heavy anti-“fake news” censorship measures, epitomized with the recent codifying of Facebook’s policies to shut down dissent.
The Israeli and U.S. governments are naturally working together in their campaigns to silence opposition, like when the senate considered a (failed) bill to criminalize the boycott of Israel last year. And like how the Israeli government is currently colluding with the CIA-partnered Facebook leadership to delete accounts of vocal Palestinians. Israel is also recruiting paid online trolls from around the world-a standard internet era psyop tactic known as astroturfing-to police opposition to Israel’s practices even on the level of online threads. The militarized, despotic governments of Israel and America will do all they can to get rid of the growing popular resistance to them.
As we keep building our social movements, we need to create solidarity with the Palestinians, like we need to have solidarity with all oppressed people around the globe. The Palestinian people’s decision over these last several decades to keep existing, and to keep resisting their bondage, is finally showing signs of being worthwhile. We should take example from their story as we try to overcome corporate power.

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