Batur: When did the Palestinian movement actually start to
affect life in Israel? Since it was built up? (I mean the lives
of ordinary people.)
Ilan: There was resistance from the beginning, in the 1880s.
Batur: Later after the founding of the Israeli state?
Ilan: The hottest struggle was in the 1936-9 period. It was
suppressed by the British Army and the naZionist paramilitaries.
Then it flared up again in 1947-9.
Batur: Do you think it was a deep national or ethnic thing in
the people? Zionism I mean. Or did it increase after the
reaction from Palestinians? Or was it also something related to
(capitalist) power struggles?
Ilan: It was a nationalist thing from the beginning - the
opposite of anti-semitism. It was a secular version of extreme
religious nationalism. The Jewish religion is very racist and
its most vicious exponents are the Religious Zionists.
Batur: How about the peace process and such events? In about
1990s it looked like things would work out well - until that
assassination. What do you think about that?
Ilan: It was a fake from the beginning. The day after they
signed the Oslo thing, the government started to harass the
Palestinians to force them into submission, both economically
and by refusing to get out of the agreed areas according to the
Batur: But it was declared to the world as something very
brilliant! It was said to open the way to a Palestinian state!
Ilan: No. The Oslo accord left that open. Entity yes -
independence no. To this day, Israel never agreed to full
independence for Palestinians.
Batur: By the way, what do you think about the Palestinian
resistance? Is there any connection of those people within the
Israeli side? I mean what is the actual relation between Israeli
dissidents (leftists and non-Zionists) and Palestinians?
Ilan: There were a few leftists that tried to co-operate with
the resistance of the Palestinians in an illegal way. The
Palestinan resistance mainly consists of an elite striving for a
state of their own. There are leftist tendencies among the
Batur: I also wonder how daily life is in Israel. As someone
looking at it from the inside - how is Israeli society for the
Jewish community of Israel? Are they frightened, militarized,
Ilan: They are frightened. Neo-liberalism is fucking the working
class - like Thatcherism. There is 12% unemployment. A majority
would agree to a Palestinian State. People are frightened, and
there has been a 10% drop in income over the last few years.
Excellent interview. Thanks for posting. I think there must be a lot of people in Israel who feel just like lots of people in the US. That is, they are opposed to their respective leaders' tendency towards massive military violence, but are powerless to change it. Those leaders are in office for their full term and, just like everyone else, they just have to live with it. The Palestinian militants are also just as extreme, but in their case, its not the elected group that is the central advocate towards violence. Thats not an excuse for their side of it, but while Bush and Sharon clearly have their finger on the trigger, Arafat does not control those who resort to the suicide bombings.
They are like pseudo dictatorships in the sense that you get voted in (or appointed in Bush's case) and then get to act like a dictator or 'commander in chief' for the next 4 years. No amount of public outcry seems to even slow down whatever campaign they are bent on.