July 02, 2005

The Israeli road to fascism?

I know a lot of anti-zionists avoid likening zionism to fascism or Israel to a fascist or nazi state but I believe the parallels are there for all to see. Ron Hacohen sees them too in this article titledThe Seeds of Fascism:
Not everything leaves the average Israeli so indifferent, of course. When settlers again blocked highways all over Israel this week, angry drivers approached them with iron bars. This story made it to the headlines: on one side the settlers, well-organized as always, on the other side the police, or what's left of it after the neo-liberal waves of privatization and budget cuts, and some drivers, furious enough to confront the settlers physically. Indeed, if there is one thing Israelis cannot bear, it's waiting for a highway to reopen. Five years ago, when Israeli Arabs dared block a few roads in Israel as the Second Intifada had just started, the popular Israeli wisdom unanimously agreed that such blocking is totally unacceptable, backing the police decision to use live ammunition and kill Arab-Israeli citizens to keep the roads open. Nowadays, the police found out there are other methods to keep the roads open, or even that human life is sometimes more important than an open road – at least when Jewish, not Arab, life is at stake.

I wonder how many of those furious Israeli drivers ever think of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, where there are no highways (not for Palestinians, that is), but where the roads, wretched after decades of stingy occupation with zero investment in infrastructure, are paved with hostile Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks, where humiliated Palestinians have to wait again and again, sometimes long hours in the burning sun, just to be able to cross on foot (cars not allowed).
Obviously the apartheid system that values Jewish lives above Arab ones is enshrined in Israel's state structure but there are other groups subject to differential status in Israel. According to the article, if you have a radical leftist in your family you will be barred from elite units of the army. Now the son of the mass murderer, Baruch Goldstein, has been accepted by the Israeli airforce.

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