Meeting with Michel Warschawski - Pierre Dumoulin

Article published on Aug. 28, 2007
community published
Article published on Aug. 28, 2007
Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, 9.30 pm (...) On the morning of the 15th of July, we are going to meet Michel Warschawski. We go to an Israeli anti-imperialist association’s premises… Michel comes and tells us he has created this association, the Alternative Information Centre (AIC). Michel is an Israeli activist for rights and justice. Yes, such persons do exist.
Michel tells us about the political situation in Israel.

Now, newspapers and the Internet are speaking about the possibility of a war against Lebanon this urge Israel to attack, in order to take a revenge on the Lebanon war fiasco last year. They want to earn more persuasion force and to maintain order.

Bush administration is thinking about an everlasting war against a threat (not an enemy but a threat...). This threat is terrorism ( a simplistic confusion between threat, terrorism and Islam is often made). Bush and his friends have a bipolar vision of the world: on the one hand, the Judaeo-Christian civilization, on the other hand, those who they describe as Barbarians...

The wall is precisely the epitome of this so-called shock of the civilizations …East of the wall, there is not only Palestine, there are also Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. West of the wall, Israel, the U.S.A, the U.E. This wall is then a global wall which is part of the strategy of the shock of the civilizations. Just like the war in Lebanon last year. It has been a fiasco: the conservatives and Israel want a revenge.

Michel keeps moderate concerning the possibility of a war on this summer...Indeed, Israeli society and army are in a weak position to wage war. Last year, the war was disproportionate. Still, the Israeli army failed. The Israeli society wants to wage war, but when they need to pay for it, few people want to be at war... The Israeli society imposes limits to the State in this global war. Last year, the crisis and the war in the North of Israel led Israeli people to leave their houses. The society then paid...Israel had not expected it…It did not know that Lebanon would counter-attack...While the Israeli intelligence service knew about it but did not draw any conclusion. It is typical of the colonial way of thinking: they think that the others will not return fire. They do not even think about the other, they do not consider the other as a subject, they do not recognise him.

In history, all the Imperialists have been faced to surprises...For instance, the first and the second Intifadas were surprises for the Israelis. The Algeria war was a surprise for the French imperialists. Michel pursues...These last twenty years, we have observed a phenomenon of privatization and individualization of the Israeli society. It is a problem for Israel since it leads to a de-nationalization and the will of Israeli people to be “normal”.

For instance, in some check points, privatization has begun and private security firms are working with policemen...This privatization means the State failure to take its responsabilities...Through neoliberalism, the State disappears...

Michel stops, stares at us : “Don’t you notice ?” The word “Palestinian” nearly never appears in his explanations...The Palestinian issue is indeed, in the Israeli society, relegated to the background. Israeli growth rate is one of the highest rates in the world. The society gets richer and still, there are more and more poor people.

Michel comes back to privatization. The public interest turns into private interest. The social factor which replaces the State is the mafia. Emptiness is filled by the mafia. For example, during the war in Lebanon, Arkadi, one of the mafia member, was in charge of bus services, Israeli families rehousing, children from Sderot. Privatization turns out to be mafiaisation. Israeli students ask for scholarships, demonstrate and call for Arkadi…Arkadi also subsidizes a detoxification centre ( he bailed out around 10 millions euros). He bailed out the racist football club of Betar Jerusalem... He is the godfather of every one. Arkadi has even anounced that he would found a political party. He would be Jerusalem mayor and then could be the leader of the Jewish people all over the world. All the parties have put themselves under his heel. The government and the State are meaningless : centrality is given to the great mafia. Michel pursues with the war, last year. The economic world is disconnected from the politics: a Stock Exchange fall could have been expected when the report on the war fiasco was published, it did not occur at all.

Michel comes back to Palestine : mass media and the Israeli society are not interested in the Palestinian issue. Occupation is now less bloody but is still as violent as in the past. Palestinian space is atomized: a new map is being drawn with Palestinian cantons disconnected one from another. Israel is drawing the map, defining the borders and the limits of the Palestinian power... With Sharon, it used to be question of cantons without any continuity, temporary borders being fixed. Bridges ( not at all beyond the wall...) and tunnels are being built to establish a continuity of the land for the Israelis...For instance, to go from Jerusalem to Bethleem colonies, they do not go through Palestine, but above or under it...

Do they allow the Palestinian continuity ? It is a fiction! Because there are roadblocks which ban from driving through the land. Oslo agreements have never been applied, so there is still no continuity in Palestine.

The wall is only a tool…Sharon was not a wall-addict, but his policy has been implemented: cantonization policy, insularization of the Palestinian zones to ensure the Israeli continuity... I keep telling you tomorrow...



Translated from French by: Zahira al-Marzouki