The incident in which soldiers fired at demonstrators got immense media coverage. One detail however - marginal but symbolic - did not get the proper attention: the identity of the group of demonstrators, called "Anarchists Against the Fence." Apparently the demonstration was not aimed only against the fence, which makes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians a misery, but was also an ideological defiance of those who belong to the anarchist stream towards the very concept of the Israeli state and the sanctity of its laws. There is no need to overestimate the importance of this group, which represents a marginal left-wing stream, with almost no influence. But one should also not underestimate the ideological and intellectual challenge that anarchists set before a society that attributes to the "Jewish state" an absolute, sacred value, and worships "laws" as though they embody, by their very legislation, supreme moral and social values. There is no democratic state in the world in which statism and submission to the law are the main principles of faith, as they are in Israel.
Anarchism is not a rude word for law breakers but an ancient and glorious social philosophy, advocating that justice and equality will be achieved by canceling the state and replacing it with voluntary arrangements among people. It also says social harmony will not be achieved by surrendering and obeying the orders of the state, for it is a bullying instrument of control in the hands of minority ethnic and class groups.
Anarchism, or "constructive socialism," was a term in the foundation of the cooperative, as opposed to the Marxist stream of the kibbutz, and therefore has a place in the history of the Zionist enterprise. The ideology of the kibbutz, as a voluntary social cell that will aspire to replace the alienated, coercive state, was frontally attacked by David Ben-Gurion, who raised the "statism" banner, and since then "the state" has become Israel's secular religion.
Anyone who dares to imply that there is nothing sacred in a bunch of bureaucrats who assumed power and wrapped it in a mystical mantle of power, and that there is no meaning to the definition "Jewish state," as there is no meaning to the concept "a Jewish airplane," any heretic who denies this will be placed before a virtual shooting squad (and possibly a tangible one as well) as a traitor or "terrorism supporter."
The test of loyalty is unconditional obedience to any decision taken by those "authorized by law," and democracy means the dictatorship of the majority. Whoever wishes to claim the right to refuse - because democracy also means defending the rights and beliefs of the minority - is branded as a law breaker. Anyway, everyone is an expert in defining "a patently illegal order," and everyone is preoccupied with whether the law may be violated for conscientious reasons "if one pays the price." As if obedience to the law is the supreme social test rather than the moral and social values inherent in the law.
"The rule of law" is placed as an ideal that binds all, without distinguishing between "the rule of law" as a concept encompassing universal social values, just and moral, and "the rule by law," which is nothing but a system reflecting changing and sometimes corrupt interests, that are legislated in the Knesset.
Everyone bows their head before the parliament and its members, who are pompous with self-importance and unashamed to make cynical use of this awe. The finance minister readily condemns the Histadrut chairman as one who "undermines the foundations of democracy," because he dared object to a Knesset law, as though it were the 10 Commandments instead of a non-democratic law that passed with a meager majority.
The awe of power, the cynicism and the confusion between the "rule of law" and "rule by law," all culminate in the occupied territories. There, because of a judiciary fiction that is convenient to the occupying power, every general is defined as a "sovereign" and issues "ordinances" determining the way of life of millions of people, without being subject to any effective control system. On the face of it, the High Court of Justice has judiciary control of what goes on in the territories. However, its influence is marginal, and anyway the Israeli High Court's status in the occupied territories is questionable, and the issue does not arise only because nobody raises the question. The "military ordinances" accumulated over two generations to thousands have created a fiction that the settlements, outposts and entire judiciary system conducting the lives of hundreds of thousands of settlers is legal. One can therefore argue about the "legality of outposts," about the "validity of zoning plans" and other legal affairs that camouflage, with a screen of paper, documents and maps, the overpowering fact that this system is patently illegal.
After two generations of occupation, the precarious basis of the legality of the occupation power has been forgotten, and everyone takes the "legality" or illegality of the outposts seriously. So it won't hurt to have a little bit of anarchy, that shouts out: "The emperor is naked."
* Ed. Note: The article appeared in the serious capitalist daily "Haaretz", the mouth peace of the fraction of the capitalist class which prefer the globalization and exploiting Palestinians and neighboring arab countries wage slaves over the old nazionist settler colonialist expansionism,.
Miron Benbenisty - who was long ago the vice mayor of Jerusalem have gone a long way, and even support the one state claiming the two state solution - supported by Zionist left and Communist party, is no more a viable option.