200000 Israeli Fascists Demand

200,000 Israeli Fascists Demand Colonization of Gaza

Tens of thousands of rightwing Israeli imperialists formed a human chain aimed at stretching between Jerusalem and Gaza to protest plans of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to withdraw Israeli colonists from Gaza.

Let’s just talk a little bit about Gaza. The Palestinians are largely descendants of people who have lived there for literally thousands of years. Male Palestinians and male Jews are very closely related according to DNA research. Gaza was not given to Israel by the United Nations in the 1948 partition, and it was never a site of significant Jewish population. It was conquered by Israel in the 1967 war, but the United Nations charter forbids the acquisition of territory by military force. This is a place where hundreds of thousands of people face severe poverty and even hunger, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Palestinians in general are facing unprecedented poverty and malnutrition, including the children. So this is the place you choose to insert 7500 Israeli colonizers? While we are at it, why not steal some land from starving Ethiopians and colonize Ethiopia (oops, that was the 1930s)? I mean, it is one thing to lack compassion for people who are suffering. It is another to want to kick them while they are down.

The justifications given by the fascist protesters in Israel for colonizing Gaza included the conviction that God had given them the Palestinians’ land, that Palestinians did not educate their children to want “peace” (i.e. to accept being stolen from?), and that failing to colonize Gaza would somehow endanger Israel itself (hunh?).

Of course I am being provocative in calling the protesters fascists. Fascism, unlike other mass ideologies such as Communism, is not easily defined (and for definitional purposes it is better to look at Spain, Italy and Japan in the 1930s rather than Germany, whose ideology was in many ways peculiar and the scale of whose atrocities, including the Holocaust, make almost all comparisons invidious). The Likud Party is deeply influenced by the thought of Zeev Jabotinsky, a Zionist extremist deeply influenced by 1930s fascism. Fascism remains a useful analytical tool for understanding modern politics. Each country’s fascism has been different, since fascism is more a style than a specific ideology. Among its attributes is

1) Radical nationalism. Fascism celebrates a cult of the nation, seeing it as the ultimate human value, trumping all others. Thus, one may lie, cheat, steal, spy and murder for the nation without shame.

2) Militarism and aggressiveness. Fascist political movements are expansionist, dissatisfied with their national boundaries and seeking to colonize the territory of neighbors. Thus, Franco got his start by oppressing Muslims in the Rif and Ceuta, Spanish Morocco. Mussolini invaded Ethiopia. Japan annexed Korea and much of China.

3) Racism. Fascist movements, because of their extreme nationalism, tend to demonize ethnic groups considered outside the nation. Racism becomes a justification for violence, since groups of people are defined as essentially demonic or threatening, and therefore deserving of being repressed in order to prevent them from doing evil. Milosevic justified his killing of Bosnians on the grounds that they were disloyal to the Serbian nation and easily seduced by Muslim fundamentalism. (Before Milosevic attacked them, Bosnian Muslims were the most secular in the world).

4) Favoring the wealthy, punishing the poor. Franco put down miners in Asturia and the workers of industrially advanced Barcelona. Mussolini drove Italian peasants further into poverty. Both favored wealthy elites with their policies. They despised the poor and drove them deeper into poverty. In all the territory dominated by Israel, the poorest subjects are the Palestinians, who have been made dirt poor by Israeli policies.

5) Dictatorship. Fascists disliked open democratic elections. Here the Likud fascists depart from the profile, but only slightly. Although they participate in elections in Jewish-majority Israel, they do not want Palestinians to have independence. They have long favored Israeli military rule, which is to say, dictatorship, over the Palestinian population. That is, over 9 million people live under Israeli rule, but only somewhate over 6 million of them get to engage in democratic self-governing (fewer if one considers how many obstacles have been placed in the way of democratic participation by Arab Israelis). The Oslo process would have given Palestinians a democratic nation of their own; the Likud Party and its American acolytes conspired to keep the Palestinians from ever having that status, which has meant more years of living under Israeli military rule, not significantly different from Ceuta under Franco.

No American media will report the demonstrations in Israel as fascist in nature, and no American politicians will dare criticize the Likud. But the fact is that the Israeli predations in the West Bank and Gaza are a key source of rage in the Muslim world against the United States (which toadies unbearably to whatever garbage comes out of Tel Aviv’s political establishment), something that the 9/11 commission report stupidly denies. If the United States is hit again, as seems likely, the fascist Likud demonstrators will be in the chain of causality. If their cause were just, the US should stand with them and risk taking the hit. But although the cause of Israel’s own peace and security is just, the cause of colonizing Gaza and the West Bank is fascist. That shouldn’t be defended by the US, and the loss of even one American life in defense of Israeli aggression and expansionism is intolerable.