Thursday, July 27, 2006

[Israel] Israeli activist speaks on present Israel-Lebanon conflict

Audio Transcript

Let me just first maybe say that it's been a difficult few days, I think for everybody around here, even for those who are not getting any rockets falling down, it's been certainly very bad for people in Lebanon, and in Gaza, as well as people in Haifa, which is my Home town - my Dad works there at the Train Company and he knows a lot of people who were killed, yesterday.

Inside a situation like this it is really difficult to find strength in the visions we all have for this region. Things are going from bad to worse. Many of us feel that we have very little we can do about the situation. The Government isn't asking it's population whether it can do this, or not. It hasn't officially declared war, and that's why they're not going to declare official war, and the public is captured by the ideology machine.

One kind of shred of light was yesterday's demonstration in Tel-Aviv. There were One Thousand (1,000) People there. We called for negotiations, basically, called for ceasefire, and peaceful resolution.

Now, the goal of the demonstration itself, was just to voice dissent, apparent dissent, to make it there, because until now, no-one had really been saying anything against this. Everybody seems to be in a consensus that it's inevitable.

In Israel, at least, people are completely caught up in a Tidal wave, that's carrying them. They have lost any belief in their own capability to make their own history, which is what we need. And from there the question can be divided into three parts:

1. What is Israel supposed to do?
That is a question which I feel I have little to contribute to, since the Government isn't asking me, or any other citizen what it's supposed to do. That type of thinking which defined the mainstream media opinion columns, the thinking about things from above, and within the political perspective, is something that as an Anarchist, doesn't really speak to me, and I think it produces the illusion that what people think and have to say about what Governments do, somehow actually translates into what those Governments do. That is the assumption of democracies.

Since this assumption is, I think, very false, we need to maybe focus on two more important questions.

1. What kind of vision do we have for the region?

2. What we can we actively do to promote those visions?

I'm really inspired by the joint struggle around the world, which includes Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals from the beginning. It's a joint struggle that tries to show that this kind of division - Israelis on one side, and Palestinians on the other - is *false* (instead of "complete"), and that there is *more than* just these two blocs, these two nations in conflict.
(But that) And there is solidarity (But that solidarity includes an anti-Zionist perspective...) It is, but wait a minute! From conversations with lots and lots of Palestinians in villages who have had relations with Israelis for years, I believe them that they don't want to kick us into the sea. Ok?

Believe them with me for a moment that they don't want to kick us into the sea. And I'm talking about some local villages, in which local council is Hamas. . The people are not Islamic Militants in that village, right, they struggle with Israelis.

But the Hamas is there for political reasons. They were elected because of the corruption of the PA (the Palestinian Authority) and you need to look at situation with some degree of political sophistication, to understand conflicts inside Palestinian society and understand how it works in order to appreciate that this is not a unitary bloc of people.

There are a lot of Palestinians who, despite all the rendering asunder, want to live side-by-side with the Israelis, live a good life, raise kids, you know, have a good good life.

The question is, how do we respond to the hijacking of the scene by the power brokers? Look! This is not my war, ok. It's their wars, and our dead. And we have an ex-compatriot in Lebanon that we're in correspondence with, and French anarchists that we're connecting with, and they feel the same thing. but, forget anarchists! There are bloggers in Lebanon pushing out a huge spectrum of opinions.

How do we deal with the clash of civilisations? What is it? Is it an ideology? Is it a lie? Is it a type of self-fulfilling prophecy fulfilling itself? I mean, the whole war on terror, clash of civilisations, two sides locked into permanent irresolvable conflict until one of them surrenders. I mean, that's they want. And it hurts me every time again to see people repeating that, as if they wouldn't have learned by now.

Especially here in this region, people are so cynical about politicians. They know how this shit works. Israel is the most news intensive place in the world. Everybody is savvy to the political game. It's a very politicised society by it's nature, and still people will tell you that politicians are corrupt, and that they're only interested in their own chair, and that the Generals go straight to the Government, and that it's wrong.

These people will still kind of enter the victim mentality, which is part of the Jewish oppression. And the State of Israel was supposed to be Jewish Liberation, but Jewish Liberation is an incomplete project, to be sure. And we're in a struggle. To liberate ourselves as Jews, in the midst of struggling, against the state of Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Argentina, Uganda and the United States (someone giggles in the background)

I mean, that's my outlook. I try to remind myself like there is no spoon. It's like a mantra here. I just don't want to get into that mind of discussion: the very asking of what should Israel do? And it would be nice if they declare a ceasefire, and get into some kind of political process, and they can have negotiations for 5 years.

You know, until they reach an agreement or a peace deal or something to that effect. As long as you talk. If you talk, you don't shoot. I mean, that's the minimum expectation, and I think that as citizens we do have to demand things from their Governments, even if I'm an Anarchist, and I'm not sure there should be a Government), but still, off course I engage in the political process in order to get that kind of thing happening.

But that's a short term thing, what we need is social change. But we need a breathing space for social change. That's why a ceasefire and negotiations are important. Because like, you know, when the guns fire, also all of our social and ecological agendas, feminist agendas, are forgotten by the vast majority of the public.

The Military apparatus, which owns this state, is interested in keeping itself in this position, so it shoots and fires and makes a lot of blood, in order to shut up the social forces. People forget that they're poor. That Israel is one of the poorest in developed nations. Rampant Privatisation, you name it. People forget that.

So we need the breathing space.

(second draft)

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