I was sitting in the Richmond City Council meeting waiting for the Israeli condemnation resolution to come up for discussion. Instead the resolution was taken off the agenda, which was apparently more of a tactical retreat than a defeat. Once it was off the agenda I realized that I was kind of tired of talking about the Flotilla. I've written a stack of articles
about it, but before I move on I’d like to make some closing remarks.
For starters, the idea is genius. It’s clear that civil disobedience is the most affective means of achieving political change, and the political process is a hamster wheel designed to channel energy into unproductive activities. As Stefan Molyneux
puts it, “voting is a suggestion box for slaves.” The greatest lesson of history should be that radical political change has only ever been achieved by working outside the system. Though the loss of civilian life was tragic, as well as avoidable, it was not for nothing. The primary goal of civil disobedience is to raise awareness, and apply pressure. Already policy is changing.
Second, the tense emotions involved are not a response to this incident. The issue of Palestine and Israel is bitterly partisan. Anger runs deep on both sides, and even when the demonstrations die down that outrage lays dormant, like a powder keg, waiting for the next spark. So, the issue is fading from the news cycle, but very little has been resolved.
Third, I was not surprised enough to be angry about this incident. There is a Native American parable
in the movie Natural Born Killers. A woman was picking up firewood when she came upon a poisonous snake frozen in the snow. She took it home and nursed it back to health. Then the snake bit her, and as she lay dying she asked the snake why, and the snake answered, “Look B**ch, you knew I was a snake.” This is how I feel about Israel. It is a snake, and I'm not surprised when it behaves like a snake.
When I say that many people immediately launch accusations of anti Semitism. This is a tired old cliché that has no persuasive power. My own brother is a Jew. His mother, my stepmother since childhood, is a Jew. All my grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles on that side of my family are Jews. To suggest that I harbor a hatred for Jews simply because I am critical of Israel is not only deeply misguided, intellectually dishonest and personally offensive, it is incompatible to the peace process.
The Jewish State is not a snake because it is Jewish, but because it is a State. Their defining characteristic of a State is the legal monopoly on violence
. They wield deadly force with no accountability. They are, by definition, natural born killers. Why are we surprised when they kill? Philip Zimbardo’s prison experiment showed that psychologically healthy people put in positions of dominance quickly become authoritarian sadists, and their subjects quickly resort to civil disobedience. Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians is an example of the Stanford prison experiment writ large. Hamas is not exempt. Whether you regard them as a terrorist organization, or a democratically elected government, one state triumphing over the other will not achieve peace. The result will only be that the triumphant state will be larger and more oppressive toward its own people than the rogue state ever was.
The final word belongs to Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer who said the following
to the Orthodox Union:
“The Palestinian people still don’t believe in a Jewish State, in a two-state solution. More do than before, but a majority still do not. Their fundamental view is, the Europeans treated the Jews badly and gave them our land — this is Palestinian thinking. They don’t believe in the Torah. They don’t believe in King David… So, you have to force them to say Israel is here to stay.”
Muslims believe in the Torah, and in David, but we will never concede that the Torah is a deed to land. This is a dispute over property not religion. Every grievance must be on the table. The only property which is rightfully owned is that which is purchased directly from the previous owner. Property which is forced from the previous owner by coercive violence is illegitimate. That is the discussion which must be had, the history which must be examined, and the peace which must be achieved.
I do not believe Israel has a right to exist. No state has a right to exist. Only people have the right to exist. In this matter I agree with the Declaration of Independence, that the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty and property, that they must derive their power from the consent of the governed, and that when they become destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish them. Israel is utterly destructive to life, liberty and property. It behaves exactly as any coercive institution will when built upon the concept of a “Chosen People” or a “Supreme Race.”
There is an inherent contradiction in the concept of a Jewish Democracy. Israel cannot remain a democracy and a Jewish State without marginalizing Gentiles, and the moment Gentiles outnumber Jews, it will be forced to decide which it intends to be.
“The boycott of Gaza to me has another purpose — obviously the first purpose is to prevent Hamas from getting weapons by which they will use to hurt Israel — but the second is actually to show the Palestinians that when there’s some moderation and cooperation, they can have an economic advancement. When there’s total war against Israel, which Hamas wages, they’re going to get nowhere. And to me, since the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, to strangle them economically until they see that’s not the way to go, makes sense. So, I think the boycott is important to bringing about peace in the Middle East.”
Schumer agrees with me
. The blockade is not only about security, as we have been told. It is a policy of economic warfare. When non state actors use violence against civilians to put pressure on their government we call it terrorism. When Israel uses violence against civilian Palestinians to put pressure on Hamas I think we need to call it terrorism.
Peace will be achieved when the people awaken to the fact that both governments thrive on conflict, and both people thrive on commerce. As French economist Frederick Bastiat is credited with saying "If goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will."