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(en) Israel, Media*: "A little bit of anarchy won't" hurt By Meron Benvenisti

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 1 Jan 2004 17:50:38 +0100 (CET)

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The incident in which soldiers fired at demonstrators got
immense media coverage. One detail however - marginal but
symbolic - did not get the proper attention: the identity of the
group of demonstrators, called "Anarchists Against the Fence."
Apparently the demonstration was not aimed only against the
fence, which makes the lives of hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians a misery, but was also an ideological defiance of
those who belong to the anarchist stream towards the very
concept of the Israeli state and the sanctity of its laws. There
is no need to overestimate the importance of this group,
which represents a marginal left-wing stream, with almost no
influence. But one should also not underestimate the
ideological and intellectual challenge that anarchists set
before a society that attributes to the "Jewish state" an
absolute, sacred value, and worships "laws" as though they
embody, by their very legislation, supreme moral and social
values. There is no democratic state in the world in which
statism and submission to the law are the main principles of
faith, as they are in Israel.

Anarchism is not a rude word for law breakers but an ancient
and glorious social philosophy, advocating that justice and
equality will be achieved by canceling the state and replacing
it with voluntary arrangements among people. It also says
social harmony will not be achieved by surrendering and
obeying the orders of the state, for it is a bullying instrument
of control in the hands of minority ethnic and class groups.

Anarchism, or "constructive socialism," was a term in the
foundation of the cooperative, as opposed to the Marxist
stream of the kibbutz, and therefore has a place in the history
of the Zionist enterprise. The ideology of the kibbutz, as a
voluntary social cell that will aspire to replace the alienated,
coercive state, was frontally attacked by David Ben-Gurion,
who raised the "statism" banner, and since then "the state"
has become Israel's secular religion.

Anyone who dares to imply that there is nothing sacred in a
bunch of bureaucrats who assumed power and wrapped it in a
mystical mantle of power, and that there is no meaning to the
definition "Jewish state," as there is no meaning to the
concept "a Jewish airplane," any heretic who denies this will
be placed before a virtual shooting squad (and possibly a
tangible one as well) as a traitor or "terrorism supporter."

The test of loyalty is unconditional obedience to any decision
taken by those "authorized by law," and democracy means
the dictatorship of the majority. Whoever wishes to claim the
right to refuse - because democracy also means defending the
rights and beliefs of the minority - is branded as a law
breaker. Anyway, everyone is an expert in defining "a
patently illegal order," and everyone is preoccupied with
whether the law may be violated for conscientious reasons "if
one pays the price." As if obedience to the law is the supreme
social test rather than the moral and social values inherent in
the law.

"The rule of law" is placed as an ideal that binds all, without
distinguishing between "the rule of law" as a concept
encompassing universal social values, just and moral, and
"the rule by law," which is nothing but a system reflecting
changing and sometimes corrupt interests, that are legislated
in the Knesset.

Everyone bows their head before the parliament and its
members, who are pompous with self-importance and
unashamed to make cynical use of this awe. The finance
minister readily condemns the Histadrut chairman as one who
"undermines the foundations of democracy," because he
dared object to a Knesset law, as though it were the 10
Commandments instead of a non-democratic law that passed
with a meager majority.

The awe of power, the cynicism and the confusion between
the "rule of law" and "rule by law," all culminate in the
occupied territories. There, because of a judiciary fiction that
is convenient to the occupying power, every general is
defined as a "sovereign" and issues "ordinances" determining
the way of life of millions of people, without being subject to
any effective control system. On the face of it, the High Court
of Justice has judiciary control of what goes on in the
territories. However, its influence is marginal, and anyway
the Israeli High Court's status in the occupied territories is
questionable, and the issue does not arise only because
nobody raises the question. The "military ordinances"
accumulated over two generations to thousands have created
a fiction that the settlements, outposts and entire judiciary
system conducting the lives of hundreds of thousands of
settlers is legal. One can therefore argue about the "legality
of outposts," about the "validity of zoning plans" and other
legal affairs that camouflage, with a screen of paper,
documents and maps, the overpowering fact that this system
is patently illegal.

After two generations of occupation, the precarious basis of
the legality of the occupation power has been forgotten, and
everyone takes the "legality" or illegality of the outposts
seriously. So it won't hurt to have a little bit of anarchy, that
shouts out: "The emperor is naked."

* Ed. Note: The article appeared in the serious capitalist daily
"Haaretz", the mouth peace of the fraction of the capitalist class
which prefer the globalization and exploiting Palestinians and neighboring
arab countries wage slaves over the old nazionist settler colonialist

Miron Benbenisty - who was long ago the vice mayor of Jerusalem
have gone a long way, and even support the one state claiming
the two state solution - supported by Zionist left and Communist
party, is no more a viable option.

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