Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Tear down this wall

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's falling, a group of Palestinians  activists punctured a symbolic hole in one of the separation barriers that segregates their country's borders from that of Israel's. The Israeli-Palestinian division is relatively similar to the divided Germany, but international recognition of the Palestinian state is limited in comparison to that granted to East Germany. The consensus of the "international community" (usually a euphemism for the United States government that obstructs any attempt to hold the Israeli government accountable for its violations of international law) advocates a two-state "solution" that would only slightly modify the borders defined by Israel militarism and annexation of Palestinian territory, while doing nothing to address the human rights violations the Palestinians are subjected to, which is in many ways identical to South African apartheid both practically and geopolitically. A bill proposed by Israeli MPs in the Knesset proposes an Israeli state officially defined as a "Jewish" one, that would abolish the cultural, linguistic and religious recognition of Arabs in the country. This one-dimensional racism is presumably motivated by a mentality in which "Arab" is interchangeable with "Muslim", when the country is in actuality also populated by minorities such as Christians and Druze from Jewish, Arab and other ethnic backgrounds. The moral mediocrity of the two-state solution will do nothing to counteract the militarism and racism of the Zionist far-right, which chants "Death to Arabs!" in the streets and is supported by an intelligentsia including MPs, rabbis and journalists who are openly enthused by the prospect of a Palestinian genocide.

In a geographical and logistic sense, the segregation between the Israeli and Palestinian states is equatable to the quasi-enclaves in apartheid South Africa that were the designated territories of the abused and suppressed blacks.

The real solution would be the one-state solution: constitutionally ratifying a unified, secular Israeli-Palestinian state in which basic human rights, including religious freedom, are enshrined into law rather than repressed by it.

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