Does the Palestinian People have the right to exist?                                                                                                                                                                                          

The kidnapping on last June 12 of three young Israeli settlers in the West Bank, followed by their murder, the responsibility for which has not been claimed by any Palestinian group, has led to a new wave of repression and arrests – the most significant wave since the second Intifada of 2000-2005 – against the whole of the Palestinian people. The homes of each of the families of the two suspects were immediately dynamited. The Gaza Strip, which is a veritable open-air prison, whose population is three-quarter composed of women and children under 16 years of age, was bombed over 30 times on July 1st, in retaliation.

Once again, this is collective punishment being inflicted on the Palestinian People by the occupying military forces. In the West Bank, which is a territory that has been under military occupation since 1967, the Palestinian population is controlled in all its movements by a high-technology surveillance system and over 350 checkpoints that hinder any and all travel. The on-going theft of land, the regular destruction of crops by brutal and unsanctioned settlers, the destruction of houses, the imprisonment or “administrative detention” without sentencing, the repression, the shootings with real bullets are just so many acts that – no matter which Israeli government has been in power – have shown by the facts what the real position of the Israeli State is.

On Tuesday July 2nd, by way of retaliation, a group of Israeli settlers kidnapped, a young Palestinian from East Jerusalem, beat him and burnt him alive, leading in return to demonstrations of anger on the Palestinian side. These demonstrations were marked by the very strong presence of youth, in the West Bank as well as within the State of Israel.

After the lynching, which brings to mind those committed against the Blacks in the south of the United States, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to express his “disgust”, as if the whole of the policy that he has led – in keeping with all the preceding Israeli governments – which has aimed at denying the least Palestinian demand, were not responsible for the current situation.

While the situation remains extremely tense at the time of this writing, neither Mahmoud Abbas, the deeply discredited president of a Palestinian Authority that the Palestinian population no longer recognizes, nor Netanyahu are capable of controlling the situation. The policy of separating the peoples of the historical territory of Palestine, which has been conducted for over sixty-five years, and the big lie of the “peace process” are at the origin of the current crisis.

But in Haifa, in Nazareth and in several villages of Galilee – in other words, along the borders of 1948, young Palestinians have been, through their movement, reasserting the unity of their people and their demands. In order to re-configure the region and to “stabilize” it according to its own interest, the American power needs a disciplined Israeli State.

But the situation in Iraq is pushing the American government to seek to negotiate with the principal official enemy of the State of Israel, i.e., Iran. This in return has brought about a crisis within the Israeli politico-military apparatus: on Friday July 4th, the minister of Strategic Affairs and Information, Yuval Steinitz, declared that Iran “is an existential threat to Israel, much more so than terrorism and rioting”, whilst the new head of the Mossad (the secret service – editor’s note), Tamir Pardo, declared on the same day that “the Palestinian conflict is the main threat to the security of Israel, not Iran”.

Repression and collective punishment on the inside, the threat of new wars on the outside, the State of Israel, the major element of regional “order” has nothing else to offer.

F.L

(Article written on July 7 at 12 midday, appearing in Informations ouvrières on July 9)