by Michael Roberts
Think of a prison. It’s overcrowded; it lacks modern facilities and it is a daily struggle for the prisoners to survive. The prison wardens are well equipped for security. Their governors come and go. Some are ‘liberal’ and try to reach a harmonious relationship with the prisoners and even improve conditions, although they do not release them. They would prefer that they did not exist.
The problem is that the prisoners to a man and a woman feel that they are unjustly imprisoned with the judge and jury in the pockets of the corrupt and racist governors. So occasionally, they rebel and even kill some of the wardens in prison riots or assassinations. Then tyrannical and sadistic governors take over and, with the backing of enraged wardens, carry out punitive attacks on the prisoners, killing and injuring many of them. The wardens also destroy the prison facilities every so often, reducing the conditions of the prisoners to the level of barbarism.
Eventually, the wardens, with the help of foreign money, agree to allow the prison to be rebuilt with the labour of the prisoners themselves. But the prisoners do not end their burning hatred of the wardens, the governors and the system behind them. That system is composed of militarists backed by religious fanatics and foreign money looking to support the governors and to make money out of their prison. So nothing is resolved. Prisons don’t work to restore social harmony but releasing the prisoners, in the eyes of the governors and their backers, would open the door to fatal attacks on them.
This is Gaza and Israel in a simplistic way. The terrible cost of human life and injury or ‘collateral damage’ – as the Israeli wardens prefer to call it – on the prisoners of Gaza is compounded with the collapse of Gaza’s fragile economy. The Israelis say their attacks are aimed at destroying the tunnels used by Hamas (the prisoners representatives) to attack Israel. Actually most of the tunnels are in the opposite direction and designed to smuggle into this prison that is Gaza the raw materials for construction and the economy. Everything from diapers to Read the rest of this entry »