21 March 2010
The terrifying specter of non-violent resistance to the occupation and the apartheid regime is hovering over the State of Israel, and all the state’s dignitaries have been recruited to battle it.
This non-violent resistance operates both in areas under Israel’s reign of control, in the form of a popular struggle on both sides of the green line, and across the globe, through the Israeli and international affirmative response to the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions on Israel, until it ends the occupation and grants full equality to people from both nations living under its rule.
As an act of solidarity with the subjugated Palestinian people, a group of Jewish Israelis has decided to join those Palestinians who have chosen the non-violent struggle for civic and national justice.
This act has given politically conscientious Jewish Israelis a golden opportunity to join a campaign against their own government without forsaking their own people. Indeed, this act leads the way towards a broader joint struggle with the oppressed people, through a rebuilding of our fundamental human values, enabling us to do away with the friend/foe dichotomy, which lies at the root of Israeli racism and anxiety.
One should hope that this non-violent resistance, led by a popular Palestinian leadership, will evolve into a binational Palestinian-Jewish front for an equitable and egalitarian political solution.
Right-wing groups and government organs have joined forces with all their might at the face of this new adversary who has risen up to challenge the decades-long racist theft of land from one ethnic group and its transfer into the hands of another. This is not surprising.
It is the hysterical reaction coming from so-called “leftist” circles which ought to be considered more surprising. Those “liberals” prefer to march, shamed and humiliated, alongside the Netanyahu-Barak-Lieberman triangle, than associate themselves with enlightened Palestinians.
From their viewpoint, violating a Tel Avivian’s right to listen to Elton John in concert here is equivalent to, and possibly worse than, violating a Palestinian farmer’s right to cultivate his land. They accuse the “radicals” of opposing dialogue, though the support for the non-violent struggle and the boycott campaign is precisely what has breathed new life into the cooperation between action groups from both nations.
The call issued to rock musicians not to perform in Israel, which has elicited angry responses in Israel, is aimed at thwarting the normalization of occupation and apartheid, a normalization reflected in the insouciant everyday life of the city of Tel Aviv.
The majority of Jewish Israelis are complicit in the perpetuation of the current state of affairs. When growing groups of conscientious people refuse to play the game of building a fictitious democratic sand castle on the shores of the Mediterranean, the Israeli Jew behaves like a spoiled rich brat, who would rather destroy his own castle than see natives share his world and his dreams.
As long as the Jewish settler who is sitting on the plundered land of Bil’in, and the contractor from uptown Tel Aviv who is making a fortune from building on that land, are free to go to the Pixies concert, while the original inhabitants of Bil’in are prevented from doing so, simply because they are Arab – the concert should be regarded as an apartheid concert.
Neither establishment-drafted artists nor the President of the Israel’s Supreme Court can erase this sign of infamy from the collective face of Israeli society. Only those modest, yet determined, groups of individuals who have joined the non-violent Palestinian struggle can succeed in this. On that day, instead of smearing them as “irrelevant”, “puritan”, “condescending” and “self-hating”, the following statement will apply to them: never was so much owed by so many to so few