After 50 years of a racist military regime, it’s time for the Israeli Left to go out and protest en masse — and, in the face of such an urgent task, to overlook our differences.
Things can sometimes be very simple. Read, for example, the following invitation to the anti-occupation protest taking place in Tel Aviv this Saturday night:
We are about to mark 50 years of occupation. Fifty years of a racist military regime, which operates two separate legal systems in the West Bank — one for Jews and one for Palestinians. Fifty years in which Jerusalem has remained divided, although along national lines rather than recognized borders — separating citizens who get to build, receive services and take part in democracy, and those who suffer from systematic discrimination and home demolitions. Fifty years of Gaza seeing military rule replaced by a brutal siege and wars. Fifty years of destruction, killing and needless deaths.
Fifty years too many, as +972 Magazine’s project to mark half a century of occupation has been called. Fifty years that could have been prevented, and which we are obligated to bring to an end.
We are also witnessing the nonviolent uprising of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, who have been on hunger strike for 40 days in a demand for the basic rights that Jewish prisoners (including security prisoners) already receive: protection from extended administrative detention with no trial; the right to telephone access (under supervision); the right to study in jail in order to lay a foundation for the future once they’ve been released; the right to visits. There has been a growing protest movement in support of the prisoners both in the occupied territories and among Palestinians in Israel; meanwhile, dozens of the hunger strikers are already under medical supervision and are entering a hazardous phase of their strike.
Where is the Israeli Left today, in the face of 50 years of occupation, 40 days of hunger strike and popular Palestinian protests? Where is its own protest against the occupation? Where is the mobilization against the Israeli consensus, which chooses the status quo of settlements, perpetual military rule, siege and racism? Where is the opposition to the anti-democratic processes being driven by this extreme right-wing government, which censors art, shuts down Palestinian movements, parties and media outlets...Read More