Palestine and the Arab World

Arab democracy and resistance

Israel and war …

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Strategies of race and nation: much more than war …

Settler colonialism is the meaningful order of Israel. Israel has been a colonizing power from its very beginning and it is this that gives the military logic behind the whole of Israeli society. Anything that does not service military aims simply falls from the frame. There is absolutely no place for international humanitarian law here and as Netanyahu said: “international pressure won’t stop Gaza strikes”. Since 1967, the ratio of the military balance between the IDF and Palestinian fighters has gone through the roof. This is because the founding mission of Israel is that of a military power. The mentality goes right back to Europe between the first and second world war. Israel learned everything it knows from the dark side of Europe, which we now see being continued in the current bombing of Gaza. Nothing was learned from 2008 or 2012 which says the present violence will only lead to more and more of the same. Israel should take Hamas at its word.



Racist military mission

Israel sees itself as racially superior to Arab neighbors. Alas it is not just this racist ideology that comes from Europe; it is also the execution of military strategies. Israel’s Operation Protective Edge has its origin in the final days of World War II and the mission code-named Thunderclap, which involved four days of bombs being dropped on the civilian population of Berlin by Britain and the United States. The primary aim was not to conclude the war but to shatter the German will. The strategy was to reduce Berlin to smoking rubble. The exercise came to give the meaning of “strategic bombing”, which in fact has little to do with “specific” targets. The target in the concluding days of WWII as now was an entire people. Thunderclap came to define “success” in war, which since 2006 Israel has been quick to endorse. Garret (2010) notes the strategic application of air power simply means direct assaults on the enemy’s homeland. It means the destruction of schools, clinics and public amenities. This is the strategy. The target is anything that indicates aspirations of Palestinian statehood.

The pattern of bombing also fits with what Lemkin (Levene 2008) describes as genocide in “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves”. This, he said, did not have to entail “immediate destruction” but could be part of an overall plan to cause “the disintegration of the political and social institutions of the group”. In Gaza this means the destruction of schools, clinics and personal dignity in any number of ways. Again, the target is anything that sniffs of a separate, independent Palestinian state …

Gaza 2012

During the siege of Gaza in November 2012 I was in Gaza. Shelling came at us from three directions: the sea, the other side of the security fence and the air. At times it was constant. On leaving Gaza I could not get the smell of the siege out of my head – the crumbling structures of camp buildings, the severed electric cables that thrashed around in the air, the burst water pipes in craters across roads and above all the death and fear that could be felt amongst children everywhere in camps like Jabalia, Al Shati and Rafah. In the UK nothing was said about the thousands of leaflets dropped by Israel telling Palestinian families that they should leave their homes and flee. To where do people flee when all their borders are closed in one of the most densely populated strips of land in the world?

Of course everything Israel does in its military campaigns are considered well in advance and the military function is well integrated into the body of Israeli society. There are none of the separations we might expect to find elsewhere. Strategy is in Israel’s every move. At the same time that the military are defying international humanitarian law, academics like Professor Asa Kasher are rewriting the IDF code of conduct. Others in the universities develop drone technology. Nothing happens that is outside the settler colonial plan. And absolutely nothing will change without the international community standing up and opposing the Zionist state at its racist roots. What we are seeing is not Netanyahu, the man with a plan, but an entire state shaping itself around an apparatus for making war on the Palestinians. The historic mission of Israel in 2014 is exactly what it was in 1948.

Past in the present

Rubinstein, (Stav 2001) the former Minister of Education has said of the obstacles to the Zionist mission …

“Since the days of Goebbels, there has been a similar case in which the interminable repetition of a lie produced such plentiful results, and among all the Palestinian lies there is no greater, more overwhelming lie than the one demanding the establishment of a separate Palestinian state”.

That Goebbels should be coupled with the project of an independent Palestinian state is indicative of the Israeli mind, which sees the very existence of Palestinians as a constant threat. The worst fear of Israel is that Palestinians should be seen as having valid political rights on the West Bank and in Gaza. Indeed this is the threat that is read to be behind the formation of a national unity government.  The government of national unity is the real target.  If that government decides to mobilise whatever instruments of international humanitarian law in its claims against Israel then the result would be Israel’s worst nightmare.  That nightmare is coming but before then we will see hell unleashed on Gaza.


Garrett, Stephen A. (2010) ‘Airpower and Non-combatant Immunity: The Road to Dresden’ in Civil Immunity in War, Igor Primoratz. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Levene, Mark (2010) The Meaning of Genocide. (Volume 1) London: I.B. Taurus.

Stav Arieh (2001) Israel and a Palestinian State: Zero Sum Game?  Shaarei  Tikva: ACPR Publishers





Written by uprisings230950

July 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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