Monday, July 11, 2011

Israel Attacks Free Speech To Defend Democracy

When is an attack on democracy not an attack on democracy? When the government says that they are defending democracy, of course. That seems to be the thinking in Israel's higher circles in any case as a bill moves towards becoming law that will ban Israeli citizens from advocating boycotts of Israel or its illegal occupations. It seems likely that the bill will pass with more or less fillibustering from the parliamentary opposition.

The real story here is that it's not surprising that over the long term, in order to sustain the Israeli dictatorship over the Palestinian population, it will have to reduce more and more the trappings of democracy for the minority of its population who are Jewish. Since its founding Israel has moved more and more away from "labour zionism" and "socialist zionism" towards the kind of far-right revisionist zionism espoused by people like Ze'ev Jabotinsky.

And since the only justification that could exist for taking over Palestine and re-designating it by its (short-lived) biblical name was to refer to religious doctrine, it's also not a surprise that the reversion to open racism has been accompanied by a rise in power of obscurantist Jewish fundamentalism. The religious fervour, the racism, the regime of permanent military crisis, these things are all necessary to sustain the campaign to colonize "eretz Israel" by driving out the indigenous population.

The present law, a response to the global disgust and growing boycott/divestment movement directed towards Israel's apartheid policies, is just another step down a road whose path was laid at the very foundation. Any society that is founded upon oppressing, dispossessing and humiliating another, will ultimately turn inwards and devour itself.


Israel prepares to pass law banning citizens from calling for boycotts | World news | guardian.co.uk
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