I don’t like this thing of equating Israel with terrorism. Boyd Barrett calling it a ‘terrorist state’ last weekend and loads of other instances all over the place. WTF is ‘state-terrorism’ that isn’t already war, occupation, invasion, humiliation, starvation, colonialism and everything that goes on already? Is there some acceptable or legit ethic cleansing? State-Terror isn’t used for Cromwell or own history, not for any imperial project and what is state terror to the Palestinians when it isn’t even their state?
It falls into this unhelpful post-911 idea of terror. All violence is now terrorism for some reason or can be label so and where does that come from. We have all sorts of ‘insurgents’, ‘separatists’, ‘rebels’ in the news but they are all interchangeable with terrorist depending on what way the wind is blowing and I don’t think this kind of framing/rhetoric – that really took hold during the Bush era – is something we should bolster. Terrorist violence uses fear to achieve goals because fear is seen as most effective weapon available. Israel don’t have anything approaching a weapon shortage. Keeping US politicians or anyone who might dissent in check is one thing, there is fear there for sure but Israel don’t care if people in Gaza are afraid they just want to kill Palestinians and take their land.
And something else that bothers me is inseparable. Who gets labelled terrorist and who doesn’t in this day and age? Not Breivik, not school shooters not any shooters unless they are non-white. Sticking the banner of terror on Israel like some Extra Bad Terrible Thing beyond what they are already doing has connotations of saying they are just as bad as People of colour or more precisely Muslims, those Other people. There is no getting away from how the label of terrorism has been racialised and we must be mindful of that when people have dubious ideas of acceptable and unacceptable violence.
Dr. FIVE 25th July 2014