Anarchist Resistance In Israel

The following is a brief article I just wrote for the upcoming edition of the monthly Magnetic Fridge Diary, an activist and community events diary in Wellington. The MFD is expanding a bit from this coming issue, and will now also contain more writing on a specific theme each month. Wicked! If you’re in Wellington, you can pick one up from Oblong/The Freedom Shop in Left Bank, or the Central Library or a number of cafes and other spots around the city.

Anarchist Resistance In Israel

The small anarchist movement in Israel is very active in the wider movement of radical anti-occupation activists. There are a number of collectives that organise in many forms, including protests and street theatre, education and direct action. Many have served jail time for refusing their compulsory service in the Israeli army. Additionally, many Israeli anarchists are also involved in the small Israeli animal rights and environmental movements.

The largest group is Anarchists Against The Wall. AATW works with Palestinian communities and organisations to oppose the barrier Israel is building around (and within) the West Bank. It has been involved in a peace camp in the village of Mas’ha in 2003, direct actions tearing down sections of the barrier and more recently weekly demonstrations in the town of Bil’in. It has faced repression from the Israeli army, including one of it’s members being shot in the leg with live ammunition during a demonstration.

Many members of AATW are also involved in a group called Black Laundry, a radical queer anti-occupation group that has been involved in both direct actions in the occupied territories and street theatre within Israel. Black Laundry is currently organising the global Queeruption festival from August 3rd – 13th in Tel Aviv.

Another group with anarchist involvement is the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. ICAHD focuses on preventing the demolition of Palestinian houses by the Israeli army both via legal methods and direct action, and members also help Palestinian communities to rebuild houses that have been destroyed. The group also maintains an infocentre in Jerusalem.

Lastly, Salon Mazal is an anarchist infoshop in Tel Aviv, with a bookshop, library, vegetarian cafe and space for meetings, lectures and film screenings. It is currently in desperate need of funds in order to be able to stay open!

20 Responses to Anarchist Resistance In Israel

  1. Inquisitor says:

    Interesting site. First Anarchist view i’ve come across via Technorati. What, by the way, is your opinion with regards to the State of Israel in itself. Should it be dismantled, should it be part of a greater Arabian union, etc.

    Best Regards,

    Inquisitor

  2. Asher says:

    Inquisitor – As an anarchist, I firmly believe that a no-state solution is optimal. Having said that, it isn’t the sort of solution that can happen overnight. Next best would be a binational state, and after that a two state solution. The reality is that any two state solution would result in Palestine being completely and utterly dependant on Israel economically in order to survive – essentially keeping the situation the same for Palestinians while removing Israel’s responsibility.

    It’s highly depressing really…

  3. Jude says:

    Is Bil’in the village on the boundary we went to on the tiyul to givat haviva?

  4. Asher says:

    Nope, although I can’t remember the name of that place.

  5. Anti-Flag says:

    Asher,

    Not to forget, a two-state solution is impossible when you look at the geographical location of what would constitute “Palestine”.

    Also, what are your thoughts on the following: Students for Justice in Palestine is campaigning to end the exchange program between University of Auckland and Technion- the Israeli Institute of Technology. In support of the 170 Palestinian political groups and unions calling for a global boycott campaign. Some people have been sceptical. Be good to know your take on it.

  6. Asher says:

    My thoughts on the divestment/boycott campaign is a difficult one, it’s not something I really have a strong position on either way to be honest. I definately think there are better things to target though – fundraising for aid groups and other groups doing good shit over there, education work or targetting Rakon all come to mind.

  7. Anti-Flag says:

    We’ve given Israeli universities the task to educate their society. But to no avail. Many prominent Israeli professors have pointed out these frustrations. Time for the international community to isolate Israel. Put things into perspective for them. Should be part of an international cultural, economic, and political boycott campaign. The political relations seem to be unwavering though- the others we can take more direct action on. Worked with apartheid. Why not this? Mind you, it shouldn’t be the only means of dealing with the issue. Just one of the many.

    I personally find it despicable my university has such close associations with state-terrorism.

  8. Asher says:

    “the political relations seem to be unwavering though”

    I agree, and that is what would make a real difference (in the context of a boycott campaign). Uni boycotts, while they send a powerful message, are limited to just that: sending a message. It won’t actually have any effect in terms of ending the occupation, making Palestinian lives better etc etc.

  9. Anti-Flag says:

    Hmm may be. We go out and protest against events on the other side of the world knowing we have little impact ,yet we still do it. Why? We want to articulate a stance. A message. It’s because it’s incumbent upon all individuals of consience to take action. Whatever forms it takes place in. The message will suffice. Perhaps encourage others to do the same.

  10. Asher says:

    Oh, for sure, a boycott is no less effective at soliciting change than a pointless march half the world away, but I wasn’t comparing those two forms of protest – I was comparing an academic boycott to other forms of action which I think would have an effect – fundraising is undoubtably needed by the Lebanese and Palestinian people who are struggling to build/rebuild their lives, and this is an area that coming from a relatively affluent minority world country, we could really be of concrete assistance in. Same goes for Rakon, if we really had the numbers and interest for a long term concerted campaign of economic damage, although I’m definately not saying those numbers/interest exist. Just throwing ideas out there.

    One last thing: You said “The message will suffice.”

    On that note, I couldnt disagree more. Words are great, and much needed, but without action, they might as well not exist.

  11. Anti-Flag says:

    Asher, i was actually meaning in the circumstances where action seems pointless, it is an option that is better than doing nothing. Of course, as a part of a broader collective action. Each building on the next. Like the fundraising that has taken place-and still is- in addition to the boycott campaign, and the demos in the past week.

    As for Rakon, unfortunately, it’ll most likely fizzle out like Oscmar.

  12. Asher says:

    Sweet, sounds like we’re in agreeance (a great word, should be used more) then :)

    And yeah, I tend to agree on Rakon being likely to fizzle soon. It’s a pity…

  13. [...] Anarchist Resistance In Israel « Anarchia (tags: anarchism middle_east) [...]

  14. An Israeli says:

    Umm, just one problem, none of these groups/organizations are actually Anarchist. They may have some Anarchist influences but no more than that. AATW is in fact quite pro-states.

  15. Leron says:

    The Fair Trade Movement in the United States has rallied for equal rights for workers, fair pay, and just and equitable negotiations with farmers of the Third World, such as Ethiopia and Venezuela, were much of the coffee of the world is grown. USFT and other Fair Trade organizations have had much success in persuading consumers to only buy Fair Trade Coffee and other products. A decade ago Fair Trade was unheard of in the States, now 63 million Americans base their purchasing decisions upon its effects on the world (source: Transfair U.S.A.)…Let’s do the same here in Israel!
    With the help of USFT (www.usft.org) in Washington D.C. we will be forming a chapter of United Students for Fair Trade here in Israel.
    If you are interested in being part of the formation of this group from the ground level email Leron at: fairtrade_israel@yahoo.com

  16. david says:

    I just left my apartment here in eilat,what a sight,dig this,it realy did happen all within one hour.manicupality police,imegration police,irs tax police bituach luumi or national insurance police
    Military police traffic police agrat telavizia or rishot hashidor
    The tv license police with there car that’s always,these guys walking around measuring sound if you are over the legal dsb you get a penalty,security guards soldiersbody guards shmurat hateva the nature reserve,national police.l think I will get a song together about this experiance

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