THE Jewish anarchist Emma Goldman (June 27, 1869 – May 14, 1940) who grew up in a Russian ghetto, defined her belief system, thus: “I have no wish to rule over others!” Anarchism, according to Goldman (1), is defined as ” the theory that all forms of government rest on violence” and whether violence is the result of occupation, or the claim to resistance on behalf of the nation-state — the travesty of state-worship cannot be reconciled with belief in self-rule, or “the philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made laws.”
The tragedy of Palestine has shown us the nation-state is no longer valid. In today’s interconnected world the deaths of nameless children under the rubble of Israeli-bombs is as traumatic as if these same bombs were falling in our own backyards — whether Mitchell’s Plein or Athlone, Woodstock or Grassy Park, war can only be seen as the death-knell of state authority, state-worship — the end of the so-called United Nations.
There is nothing that can stop the resulting pain, fear and self-hatred — the madness of extreme fundamentalist positions on either side — suffice to say the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been rendered by war into an absurdity, as meaningless as any border, as futile as any map .
If only we could condemn the Jewish-state along with Israel, or put a stop to the travesty of Palestine in which countless martyrs, willing to die for a cause, and manipulated by religion, are being murdered in their hundreds by the world’s fourth largest army.
To speak up as an anarchist, to condemn all wars, and all conflicts, one finds oneself invariably speaking up for Judaism and even Islam in its purest form — how is it possible to embrace Judaism or Islam without condemning the trappings of worship — the Wailing Wall in East Jerusalem for instance — which has held a fascination for centuries of Jewry despite express sanctions against idolatry — surely one must reject everything — even if the idol being worshipped is a Wall — or ones G-d has turned into a rock?
Israel is the only place in the world where the Hallacha is practiced. Those who follow the supposed divine scriptures of Moses reject the “man-made” Israeli state in which human-laws are practiced. However, if one follows such sophistry, one invariably reaches the conclusion “by any means necessary”, the Hallacha like Sharia must be defended, come what may and in contradistinction to those who would set up a nation-state, whether Arab or Israeli in place of Zion — the madness of labels in which Jews become occupiers and Arabs become Jews.
I am appalled at the suffering being wrought on children everywhere, and by the lack of debate around the issues. Surely 5 million Israelis’ cannot hold 409,680 Gazans to ransom, and neither should the world’s 13 million Jews be held to ransom by 300 million Muslims and 2.1 billion Christians?
No — we are all Gazans, Palestinians, Israeli’s, Arabs and Jews. I urge you you all to take an anarchist perspective, an anti-authoritarian and peace-centred view, one that renounces violence as a solution or government as a way out — to embrace a post-modern, latter-day teleology — a philosophy in which a free Jerusalem/Al Aksa – a true Zion — self-determination without the coercion of the nation-state — will come about not in our dreams but in our future — perhaps a thousand years hence, along with the whithering away of the state and the creation of a legitimate equality — a true internationale — a just order based upon brotherly love, friendship and peace. Only then may we proclaim an exceptionalism — an authentic peace that confounds the norm.