Sunday, February 1, 2009

Governing Palestine

A colonial power can effectively control a colony by splitting the colonial population into a weak group and a strong group. It then grants day-to-day administrative control to the weak group, which immediately becomes discredited and has to struggle to prevent the strong group from taking over. To conduct this struggle, it must beg the colonial master for assistance, which comes at the price of obedience. It thus starts looking less and less nationalistic, provoking more opposition from the colonial population and provoking the radicalization of the strong opposition group. As this process, with all its feedback loops, intensifies, the weak group in charge becomes, both in appearance and in fact, a lackey regime; the opposition becomes increasingly radical; the moderate middle gets obliterated; revolution lurks in the shadows.

No, my point was not to review the long sad history of Vietnam or Iraq (1920s and more recently) or Stalin in Central Asia or Afghanistan today. I am referring to Palestine. Renegade Eye got me thinking about this with his comment about the prospects for good government in a future Palestine state. If that was not enough, the Jerusalem Post, of all places, just carried an article exposing:

  • an al Fatah purge of Hamas supporters, citizen activists, and journalists in a desperate effort to consolidate its discredited "lackey dictatorship" on the West Bank under Abbas, whose term ended three weeks ago;
  • the hand of American and Israeli decision-makers, who know the dangers of democracy, in provoking this purge.

Yes, indeed, the war against Gaza certainly did shake up things.

1 comment:


With regard to your comment on James Petras' article...I fully agree, Gaza was and is being used as a laboratory. Norman Finkelstein has also written about how the Gaza war was an experiment to test new, more devastating forms of colonial violence to then apply to strong adversaries such as Iran and the Lebanese resistance.

You have a brilliant way of analyzing things my friend, I admire your mind very much.