Sunday, August 7, 2011

Israel's Racist Spring

Laila kindly translated my editorial from Al Akhbar

The Racist Spring

There is no doubt that the protests taking place in Israel in the last few days are very interesting. They offer us a clear picture of the nature of the colonialist Zionist society. This society, built on persecution, occupation, massacres and land theft (and which opinion polls consistently show to be united in its racism against Arabs) still draws the admiration of the international media and even some of the Lebanese who are blinded by their sectarianism and racism.

When protests began as a reaction to the high prices of cottage cheese, the Zionist prime minister appeared before the world with his usual arrogance and declared that while the Arabs were having revolutions against oppression and corruption, the Israelis were having theirs against the price of cheese. The government put pressure on the cheese monopolists and the matter was sorted.

However, it did not take long before other groups began to stir, demanding more housing (there is a chronic housing crisis in Israel). They began to demonstrate and built a tent camp in one of Tel Aviv’s main squares. The international media covered this movement and blessed it. They saw it as a sign of the dynamism of Israeli society and of the democracy of Zionism. Some, stupidly and naively, compared them to the protests of the Arab Spring. This is an insult to the millions who are taking part in the popular Arab uprisings and the thousands of martyrs who have fallen.

What is going on in occupied Palestine at the moment can be summarised as follows: some Zionist colonialists are fighting over a piece of land that was taken by force from the Palestinians and to which they have no right to start with. Their racism has blinded them to such an extent that they do not notice the irony of their position: the demand to end homelessness by those who have themselves displaced the Palestinian people and occupied their land, by those who practice the vilest forms of racism against the Palestinians every single day.

The Arab Spring, despite all its shortcomings, is an popular liberation movement that transcends race and ethnicity. What is taking place in Israel is a racist movement that seeks to further entrench occupation and colonialism.

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