Sunday, August 24, 2008

Uri Avnery's Despicable "Devil's Hoof"

In his "The Devil's Hoof" Uri Avnery writes as if he were giving friendly advice to Palestinians. But his real message is a despicable threat: If you frame your struggle not as one for a separate Palestinian state but rather for full equality with Jews in a single state for all of Palestine, then we--the Jews of Israel--will ethnically cleanse you from all of Palestine. Using his "friendly advice" writing style, Avnery warns:
"There is no chance at all that the Jewish public will agree, in this generation or the next, to live as a minority in a state dominated by an Arab majority. 99.99% of the Jewish population will fight against this tooth and nail. The demography will not stop haunting them, but on the contrary, it will push them to do things which are unthinkable today. Ethnic cleansing will become a practical agenda. Even moderate Israelis will be driven into the arms of the fascist right-wing. All means of oppression will become acceptable when the Jewish majority adopts the aim of causing the Arabs to leave the country before they have a chance of becoming the majority."
This is no different from a Mafia thug giving "friendly advice" to a shop owner, warning what the consequences will be for failure to pay the Mafia's "protection" fee. Here we see Avnery the Zionist dropping his facade of "kind friend of the Palestinians" and making it perfectly clear where he stands: challenge the Zionist project of an exclusively Jewish sovereignty in most of Palestine, and we will all unite as a "fascist right wing" to drive you out of Palestine.

Let's look closely at what Avnery and a Mafia thug have in common. The Mafia thug does not want the recipient of his "advice" to know how the Mafia can be defeated, and he does not support the efforts of people to do so. Likewise, Avnery does not want Palestinians to know how Zionism can be defeated, and he does not support the efforts of people to do so.

Avnery's Devil's Hoof Hides the Achilles Heel of Zionism

Avnery uses bogus talk about a Devil's Hoof to hide the Achilles Heel of Zionism. He does not want Palestinians to know that Zionism can be defeated by waging class war against it. Zionism is the ideology and practice of a Jewish upper class whose chief goal is to rule over and exploit a mainly Jewish working class. The chief strategy of Zionism for controlling that Jewish working class is to make ordinary Jews so afraid of non-Jews that they will cling to their Jewish rulers for protection. This strategy requires fomenting non-Jewish hostility towards Jews, which is the purpose of every Zionist act of terror and ethnic cleansing against non-Jews. The contempt it has for even "its own" people is the Achilles Heel of Zionism.

A class war against Zionism can defeat it. A class war against Zionism, for example, would, as I have discussed in detail elsewhere, call for wealth in the possession of the eighteen wealthiest families in Israel to be used to return to Palestinians the property that Zionism stole from them. The wealth of these eighteen families alone could make it possible for every Israeli family living on stolen land or in a stolen house to have one million U.S. dollars to either buy the property from the original and rightful Palestinian owner or return the property to them and use the million dollars to build a new house for themselves, thereby causing an economic housing boom that would benefit practically everybody, Jew or non-Jew, in all of Palestine. Ordinary Jews, far from fearing it, would welcome the return of Palestinians inside the Green Line if it were framed this way.

The Zionist ruling class of Israel (and Uri Avnery) does not want such a political agenda to see the light of day. It is horrified by any framework that puts ordinary Jews and non-Jews in Palestine on the same side of the issue. It loves the opposite, and it loves for its "enemies"--from Avnery to the PLO to Hamas-- to play along with the game of making it seem that ordinary Jews and non-Jews are necessarily enemies. As long as this game is played, the Israeli Zionist ruling class can continue to drive down ordinary Jews the same way the American ruling class is driving down ordinary Americans while controlling them with a "war on terror."

Another thing that Avnery does not want the recipients of his "advice" to know, is that a class framework makes it possible to turn the American public against Zionism, and to make a revolution in the United States, thereby depriving the Israeli ruling class of the American backing that it needs to stay in power.

Another thing that Avnery does not want his "friends" to know is that Jewish support for Zionism is no more carved in stone than white support for apartheid in South Africa was carved in stone. When the rulers are persuaded that an overtly racist strategy of social control is no longer viable because it is condemned by too many people around the world, then, like South Africa's President DeKlerk, they give "their own" people a green light for rejecting what had previously been beyond criticism, and suddenly what was thought impossible becomes quite possible. For example, in 1992 the BBC reported that “White South Africans have backed an overwhelming mandate for political reforms to end apartheid and create a power-sharing multi-racial government…In a landslide victory for change, the government swept the polls in all four provinces, and all but one of 15 referendum regions…It won 68.6% of the vote in a record turn-out, which, in some districts exceeded 96%.” Avnery doesn't want Palestinians to appreciate the lesson of this historical event.

While Avnery is no better than a Mafia thug, the problem is not just Avnery. Good people who have been advocating for a One State Solution have been remiss in failing to identify the struggle as part of the class war--a war of ordinary people around the world to overthrow their elite rulers and shape society by the working class values of equality and democracy and solidarity. The consequence of this failure is that Avnery's "advice" persuades many people that our struggle is hopeless. Another consequence is that advocates of One State, fearing the permanence of the Israeli public's hostility to the just demands of Palestinians for a return of their property, try to avoid talking about or even thinking about how those just demands should be met; this makes the One State idea appear to many Palestinians as a goal that does not really address their concerns. We need to get on the right track--class war--if we are to prevail against Zionism and its "devil's hoofs" like Uri Avnery.

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