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The Middle East Tragedy Through The Prism of Anarchism
by Seyed Javad
16 April 2002 23:16 UTC
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The Question of Middle East Through The Prism of an Anarchist. Ronald Creagh is an anarchist. In this brief article he tries to look at the Muslim Question in the occupied territory. Hope you enjoy it.



University of Bristol 


The Middle East Tragedy

The Middle-East tragedy is more present than ever, including in the
media. Many wonder if part of the solution is not to grant a Palestinian
state. But this may be part of the problem, rather than the answer, and
other forms of action should be worked out.
The ruling classes set up the range of acceptable political debates in
the media (as well as in electoral periods). Their interclass areas of
dissent and conflicts generally appear in the spectrum of opinion,
following an American tradition that dates back to the nineteenth
century and is now spreading in other countries. Tycoons and powerful
organizations wish to enlist the media in their conflicts with their
rivals. Thus, dissent about the Vietnam war only appeared in the major
news media when opposition to warfare developed within the
This could well be one of the reasons why the Middle East is presently
in the news, whereas there is hardly any mention about other tragedies,
such as the endemic wars in some parts of the world, the situation in
Africa or South America, the millions of Chinese now suffering from AIDS
and so on. The United States government and Israel share the same views
about the existence and nature of a Palestinian state, which is to
maintain the
Palestinians in the situation of a colonized population, but they
presently disagree about the ways Israel should protect itself and both
endeavor to influence public opinion.
No doubt, the situation is tragic. On the one hand, terrorists blow
themselves up in Israel, some out of despair, but others probably
manipulated by the Hamas and the Hezbolah, which in turn are controlled
by Arab countries who also intend to vassalize the Palestinians. On the
other, a country and an army whose commander in chief, Sharon, is a war
criminal in office (remember Sabra and Chatilah?), behaving like a
conqueror in other people’s lands and inviting millions of Jews to come
to Israel as if the area was his. The present situation is getting more
and more similar to an apartheid, where the Palestinians would live in a
number of refugee camps scattered through the territory and a specific
passport, which would make them tributary of “a state”, named
Many activists, on both sides, are now calling for a Palestinian state,
in order to stop the massacre. They claim it in the name of democracy:
if one people is entitled to a state, so do other people. But when does
international law give a group the right to choose its sovereignty? The
answer is never found in democratic procedures but in the history of
power relations. The right of self-determination, proclaimed during
World War II, was meant by Roosevelt to decolonize the British Empire.
Churchill thought it applied to others and told it to Stalin, who
concluded that this would not be meant for the Soviet Union
either. Since then, the beautiful proclamation of the United Nations has
meant nothing. Who has ever bothered about the right to
self-determination of the people in Hong Kong, for instance?
In the Middle East, the choice could have been a democratic state where
Muslims, Jews, Christians and others would live together. Instead,
Israel became a state on its own right, and a religious state at that,
one in which those devoted to religion could preach intolerance and send
other people to fight wars, while they were dispensed from military
service. And now, activists call for a full-fledged Palestinian state,
which would be directed by the very people who have received millions of
dollars from the European Union and kept the rich pickings to
How can an anarchist call for autonomy, self-management and in the same
sentence plead for a state, which has always been exactly the opposite
and today is the driving belt of the new world order ? Whether we like
it or not, there will be a Palestinian state, because Bush needs to stop
the massacres there in order to start new ones in other areas of his own
We have better things to do: help all war resisters, in both sides.

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