by Norman Finkelstein, published on his website, October 7, 2023
The crocodile tears have begun over Israeli hostages taken by Gaza militants. But Israel has held the 2.1 million people of Gaza, including one million children, hostage in one of the most densely populated areas on the planet for nearly 20 years. In fact, Israel was the only country in the world to have legalized hostage taking. Revered President of the Israeli High Court Aharon Barak held in 1997 that “a detention is legal if it is designed to promote State security, even if the danger to State Security does not emanate from the detainees themselves,” and that “detention … for the purpose of release of … captured and missing soldiers is a vital interest to the State.” (The decision wasn’t reversed until 2000.) If the past is any guide, Gaza’s leadership will swap the Israelis for some of the 4,500 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons on alleged “security grounds.” Gaza is only playing by the book written by Israel.
“All the chorus of calumny, which the Party of Order never fail, in their orgies of blood, to raise against their victims, only proves that the bourgeois of our days considers himself the legitimate successor to the baron of old, who thought every weapon in his own hand fair against the plebeian, while in the hands of the plebeian a weapon of any kind constituted in itself a crime.” Karl Marx, The Civil War in France
*Featured Image: Palestinians protest in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners inside Israel on a hunger strike, 2012 CNN