Israel must pay the price

Israel has made up its mind to rid itself of all the Palestinians in the territories it controls.  It does not care for demonstrations, declarations, warnings, resolutions, moral outrage, denunciations, international law or any other form of condemnation from any part of the world.

As Israel imprisons more Palestinian children, confiscates more land, denies more building permits, burns more infants, diverts more water, demolishes more houses, destroys more trees and crops, poisons more sheep, blocks more ambulances and executes more Palestinian women at checkpoints, it is welcoming and hoping for a third intifada to provide the excuse to kill and expel larger numbers of Palestinians at a faster rate.

This is a matter of planning and strategy.  Before Zionist Jews constituted even 1% of the population of Palestine,  plans had already been laid to eliminate its non-Jewish indigenous Arab inhabitants.  Since then, Israel has inexorably killed or expelled half of the entire Palestinian population and dispossessed three-quarters from their homes.

Today, Palestinians constitute 20% of the citizens of Israel, but they are permitted to live on and own less than 3% of the land.  In the West Bank, Palestinians are 80% of the population, but most of them are also confined to less than 3% of the total land area of Palestine (15% of the West Bank).  In Gaza, one of the most crowded areas in the world, Israel has made it even more crowded by preventing construction along the border and demolishing up to a kilometer or more deep, while the territory is less than 8 km. wide for most of its length. This leaves, again, only 3% of Palestine available for Palestinian habitation in Gaza.  In Jerusalem, more than 200,000 Palestinians, comprising more than 30% of the city’s population are forced to live on less than 7% of the land, and permits to expand living space are exceedingly rare.

Israel wants the land, but not the people on it.  It will pursue its ethnic cleansing project to completion unless the cost becomes unsustainable. But who could possibly make it unsustainable?

The US, Europe and other western nations like Canada and Australia have the power to stop Israel, but they are using it to enable the genocide, not prevent it.  Israel has so thoroughly inserted itself into the political, economic and media structures of these countries that it is unrealistic to expect this to change soon.

The Palestinians have the power to resist, but can they cause Israel enough pain that it will give up its genocidal actions?  Armed struggle is always a possibility, but it is a mismatch, with Israel holding most of the resources.  Conceivably, if tens or hundreds of thousands of Palestinians coordinate actions of mass civil disobedience of the kind practiced by some villages but on a vast scale, they will render themselves ungovernable.  But the price is potentially immense without international support.

Since we cannot expect support from governments, popular struggle is perhaps the only alternative, with coordination between international movements and the Palestinian resistance.  In order to be effective, however, the actions must make Israel pay a price that is too high to bear, and to maintain the costs for as long as necessary.  Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) actions are a good start, but the aim must be to shut down Israel completely, not just companies that are complicit in the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Some examples of effective actions are the blockage of Israeli ships in the ports of the Oakland and other US cities.  So is the shutdown of the El Al ticket counter at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens in July, 2010, blocking the departure of a flight.  However, these and other actions will be effective only if they are adopted on a massive and continuing basis throughout the world.

We cannot rest until this is the case and until Israel is treated as a pariah state everywhere.  Only then will its racist Zionist foundations crumble and Palestinian rights be restored.

The FPM  Team

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