Missing the mark on Mideast peace

April 1, 2008

On April 1, the New York Times published another article along the lines that Hamas in the Gaza Strip is still preparing war and is unprepared for peace–“In Gaza, Hamas’s Insults to Jews Complicate Peace.”(1) MIM Lite would like to point out the hidden bourgeois diversion in this sort of article.

In I$rael there is a bourgeoisified Palestinian population. For a campaign of calumny against Palestinians to occur would violate norms of political correctness. In contrast, in Gaza there is no economic reason for Jews to clamor to live there, quite the contrary with the economic blockade I$rael has in place. We can say that the reason Palestinian society is not integrated is a lack of imperialism, a lack of super-profits to redistribute.

Palestinian homogeneity with regard to Jews is a hidden class struggle. The Palestinians inside I$rael’s borders are the disproportionate share of the Palestinian bourgeoisie. I$rael would be spreading war propaganda against its own people if it adopted Hamas’s ways in parallel.

Yet despite the lack of some kinds of war propaganda against Arabs in I$rael, I$rael always kills a multiple of Arabs relative to Jews killed by Palestinians.(2) Hence, the question of war propaganda itself is an unequal one.

Hamas considers itself at war with I$rael. The Oslo process failed to deliver as far as ordinary Palestinians are concerned. Pointing out Hamas’s war footing is a strange attempt to equate I$raeli and Gaza society, especially given that Hamas’s popularity arose thanks to the failures of Fatah’s involvement in the Oslo process.

The search for easy parallelisms in Mideast peace will frustrate the creation of peace. The classic approach to easy parallelism is a search for an underlying unified working class. Noam Chomsky and the late Edward Said suggested a straight-forward class-oriented binational socialism to solve the Mideast’s problems. They both ignored that I$rael has been bourgeoisified in its entirety for a long time.

What we must know is that the Barack Obamas of the world are the minority of the minority. Their vision of integrationist cooperation with class underyling only works where there is an economic resource to share. The economic conditions of Gaza and I$rael diverge by a factor of 20. That is the norm for the world, not the Black petty-bourgeoisie of the united $tates which is a tiny subsection of a thin stratum of the world called Amerikans.

The Chomsky-Said road is closed but still fogs the minds of many. Likewise, a Mao arising to lead occupied Palestinians to victory over colonial occupiers seems unlikely at this moment. The oppressed Palestinians and oppressor I$raelis are too evenly matched for Mideast peace to occur via a classic anti-colonial liberation. This leaves the possibility of an imperialist-brokered peace as the only available option of this moment.

One possibility in the Mideast would be analagous to South Africa where the whites finally agreed to give Blacks the vote. It was a case of a rich white minority agreeing to rule by representatives of the exploited Blacks. However, this would mean the end of Zionism, a nationalism that thus far seems unwilling to give up. The whites in South Africa faced a declining economy and management shortage that a rigid economic system would not allow correction of. In contrast, I$rael thus far seems convinced that it can go on economically without the consent of the occupied Palestinians.

This leaves the possibility of an imperialist-brokered two-state solution. However, these two states are not parallel. An ironic effect of the New York Times article will be to priortize the interests of the Palestinian bourgeoisie inside I$raeli borders. Integrationist norms of political correctness serve the class interests of Arab-I$raelis. However, if there is to be a two-state solution, the Arab-I$raelis’ interests will have to be subordinate to those of the far more down-trodden occupied Palestinians. What the occupied Palestinians need will have to come first, not what the Arabs inside I$raeli borders need.

This raises the next point. While Arab-I$raelis do not face quite the equivalent propaganda that Jews face from Hamas, it is Hamas that must represent the Palestinians, not the integrationist Palestinians. Yet when we examine the question, we find that I$rael does not negotiate with Hamas, even while articles appear criticizing Hamas’s failure to end war-time propaganda.

In the history of war, war-time propaganda ends when wars do. The exploited Palestinians see no reason to end the war yet. Even Fatah-affiliated Palestinians cannot look at Oslo as a great victory. Economic conditions will have to change first, as they did for Germans under Allied occupation for instance. Obsessing on the current political stance of Hamas is missing that if the imperialists want to broker a peace, they are going to have to change economic conditions first. The interests of political correctness will have to be run over roughshod. Pretending as if the war could end without a peace agreement or steps satisfying the Palestinian population is missing the lack of parallelism in the Mideast conflict.


1. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/world/middleeast/01hamas.html?em&ex=1207195200&en=563e0fff71052510&ei=5087%0A ; see also, http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSL01467374

2. http://www.africasia.com/services/news/newsitem.php?area=mideast&item=080401035730.ujhucrt1.php


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