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Red Rag column: two pieces from the archive
By: Gideon Spiro
Posted in Occupation Magazine on 13 June 2016
Boycott is the solution
(First published in Forum Eretz HaTzvi:
8 January 2003
What is the most effective way to make people in Israel think seriously about getting a divorce from the Sharon government?
To me the answer is clear: international boycott. Only if the countries of the free world declare that as long as Israel maintains its cruel policy of ruling over another people, maintains a regime of apartheid and commits war crimes, it cannot be a legitimate member of the community of democratic states.
I am talking about a full boycott. That is, Israelis will be unable to travel internationally with an Israeli passport, shipments of arms to Israel will stop, Israeli exports will be boycotted, the flow of money from abroad will stop, Israeli universities will be unable to conduct scientific contacts with universities in other countries, and so on.
The civilized world will tell Israel: dear friends, we have nothing against State of Israel within its borders of 4 June 1967; we support it. But we are against Israeli colonialism, settlement and apartheid. You in Israel need to decide what is more important to you: settlers and war crimes or a democratic state that lives in peace with its neighbours?
You in Israel cannot claim that you face danger of destruction. On the contrary, you are threatening your neighbours with destruction with hundreds of nuclear weapons (please dismantle them). The Arab world is willing to recognize you and have peaceful relations with you as the Arab League decided, if you withdraw from the Occupied Territories and dismantle the settlements and reach an agreed-upon solution to the refugee problem.
So please to act accordingly.
Israelis will very quickly feel the implications of the boycott. The supermarket shelves will be empty because there will be no products from abroad. We will return to the era of austerity, with ration coupons, as in the first years of the existence of the State of Israel. Gasoline will be meted out in measuring-cups and car-owners will be unable to drive due to the high price of fuel. Electricity will be expensive and available only at certain hours of the day. In short, Israelis will see that the fundamentalist madness of the fanatical settlers and their government enablers will exact a price that no one can pay.
My guess? Before the passage of three months the people of Israel will throw out the Sharon government or some other right wing government and a government of peace will emerge which will tell the settlers to get out of the Territories, and fast, before we use the army and the holy cannon on you like we did with the Altalena.
And peace will come to Israel.
By: Gideon Spiro
20 May 2004
A despicable and repulsive celebration
For two weeks now, after 66 years, I have been living outside Jerusalem, and already I have got a nice bonus. This year I will not be in Jerusalem for the despicable and twisted “celebration” called “Jerusalem Day” in honour of what the language-laundering machine of the Israeli Occupation calls the “unification of Jerusalem” – and there are those carry conceptual castration even further and call it the “liberation of Jerusalem”.
I doubt that George Orwell could have invented a more Orwellian holiday, for it is precisely on that weird day that the division of Jerusalem in the context of the regime of apartheid to which its Palestinian part is subject is emphasized more than any other time.
As if the discriminatory and racist treatment the Palestinians of East Jerusalem undergo at the hands of the Israeli authorities, the municipality and the government were not enough, along comes this “day” which doubles and triples it. On this day the residents of the east of the city are under virtual curfew. Armed Israeli police and soldiers are posted on rooftops, their fingers ready to pull the trigger on the first Palestinian who arouses their suspicion (even if it turns out afterwards that there were no grounds for suspicion).
This is an idolatrous festival, the fruit of a dictatorial outlook. It is reminiscent of the kind of festivals held in totalitarian regimes in which the regime tries to pump up “joy” that does not actually exist. Like in the Soviet Union were members of the Communist Party were enlisted into “mass celebrations” while the eyes of most citizens remained dull and downcast from suffering and hardship. That’s how it is here too.
The Palestinians in the east of the city certainly have no reason to party in face of the trials and tribulations that the Israeli Occupation imposes on them. But nor do the masses of Jerusalemites in the west of the city, the poorest city in Israel, have any cause for celebration. They know the truth from their daily lives that that not only is there no unification and liberation, they also continue to suffer from poverty, hardship and unemployment, if even if many of them have not yet internalized the connection between their harsh economic conditions and the abomination of the Occupation.
On this festival the messianic Gush Emunim gang plays the role of the role of “rejoicing masses” and its members try, like the members of parties and organizations that were at the disposal of fascist dictatorships, to play the role of mobilized joyous masses enlisted in service of the regime. They provoke the Palestinians with rowdy processions through the east of the city, enlisting the support of the Almighty as if He were an event organizer, but even that does not succeed in converting this day into a merry and joyful celebration.
Jerusalem Day is part of an idolatrous cult that worships stones, shared, amazingly, by the secular and religious alike. In that regard there is no difference pork-eating secular mayors like Teddy Kollek and Ehud Olmert and the “kosher” black-kippa-wearing Haredi mayor Uri Lupolianski his knitted-kippa-wearing and mezuzah-kissing deputies. They are all members of the cult of idol-worshippers who slip notes into the cracks in the Western Wall.
When will we have real cause to rejoice? When Israel liberates itself from its racist and colonial policies and the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Territories are free from the stranglehold of the Occupation and apartheid.
Then we can celebrate the true day of liberation.
Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent
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