Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Anarchists and their love/hate relationship with the Palestinian Resistance

Last night I was confronted with a contrarian viewpoint in a conversation, courtesy of an anarchist (full disclosure, this was frustrating because the general anarchist contention is not something I'm opposed to), in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was reduced to a hypothetical about what grounds the Palestinian resistance should be struggled on if statehood is the option being sought since an anarchist cannot support a nation state, therefore unless the resistance is reconstituted as a libertarian-socialist makeover then it can only be supported on the grounds that it's wrong to occupy and oppress a nation because you don't want to live with them. It was frustrating because the viewpoint wasn't so much suggested as it was thrown out to deflate the conversation by conflating anarchist theoreticals with pragmatic analysis of someone else's plight. The excuse used was Chiapas, that that should be a shining of example of the direction the Palestinian resistance should take as opposed to seeking political organization as a nation-state.
While the idea of focusing on community organization and self-determination by means of using your resources to live as a nation regardless of international recognition while still resisting the occupation is commendable, there are a number of problems with it. Completely giving up political self-determination in favor of pragmatic self-determination Chiapas style requires that the entire Palestinian entity has to splinter off into localized communities that still remain within the territories they've been allotted because Israel, regardless of its enemy's newfound anarchism, still want to retain a Jewish majority. Perhaps it's a misconception on my part but it sounds entirely self-defeating. Sure, land is land and no one owns it, therefore the idea that one group would want to put up borders, erect a government and decide it's going to hierarchically orchestrate its own future along ethnic lines (either side) is absurd, but so is foregoing the notion of a nation-state to merely live as a diasporic nation. And it would be diasporic because Palestinians are split up into various refugee camps, and these would be the areas in which they would make like a Zapatista and call home, which does Israel a HUGE favor! Sure, the Zapatistas are a thorny undercurrent in Mexican society, but their entire existence is piecemeal as Mexican society is still overwhelmingly not liberated.
I've asked the person who made this comment to come forth and explain themselves and possibly rectify my misconception, so hopefully this entry writes itself into something more elaborate.