To: Detroit Workers' Voice
Date: July 9, 2015
RE: Israeli racism against Ethiopian Jews
Since at least the 1960s progressive activists supporting Palestinian liberation have been declaring that Zionist Israel is a racist society. Palestinians were robbed of their homeland, drive out by the millions, murdered wantonly, and those remaining had been made into second-class citizens. To be Arab in Israel was to be stigmatized, threatened and even killed. Revolutionary activists around the world denounced Israeli Zionism.
At the same time, these activists declared that Jewish people as a whole were not the enemy; the enemy was the Zionist state. “Yes to Jewish people; no to Zionism!” was one of the slogans raised at demos.
Through the long years until now, the Zionist state of Israel went on consolidating its power and further disfranchising the Palestinians. The policy of “two states” showed its impotence as the West Bank, under the corrupt bourgeois semi-state of the Palestinian Authority, shrank in the face of unending Zionist settlement expansion, while the Islamist Hamas ruled the prison of Gaza. Israel was not going to accept a Palestinian state that had any unity and power whatsoever; at the same time, the Palestinians had a just claim to the whole of their original homeland. More and more, activists were pointing out that Israel is an apartheid state, akin to apartheid South Africa. The demand grew for a single, democratic, unified, non-racist state on the whole territory of 1947 Palestine.
The movement to boycott Israeli concerns and divest investments from Israel grew in recent years and has caused deep worry in the Israeli ruling circles. Last summer’s genocidal assault on Gaza by the Israeli military shocked the world.
“Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Israel dropped by almost 50% last year in comparison to the year before as the country continues to feel the effects of last summer's Gaza conflict, a new UN report has revealed.” Reuters, 6-25-15.
Ethiopian Jews, black people who have emigrated to Israel in
response to famine in their homeland and to promises of a better life,
have erupted in protest against racist conditions and racist attacks.
The Black Lives Matter movement has emerged in Israel. Ethiopians
comprise two per cent of the Israeli population and one-fifth of the
prison population, a statistic which mirrors the fate of Blacks in the
U.S. (as well as the UK, according to recent reports). Israel has been
the scene of racist anti-Ethiopian pogroms (or riots) in recent months.
These conditions have given rise to a vigorous protest movement, which
is affirming, once again, the long-standing progressive slogan: ZIONISM
-Tim Hall, editor of "Struggle",
a magazine of proletarian revolutionary literature
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Posted on August 15, 2015