An Israeli civil war?

The genie is out of the bottle, and the fanatics won’t stop until their apocalyptical, messianic redemption is complete, come what may.

23 Jul 2023
Israel’s decades-long colonial and religious war against the Palestinians has culminated in what appears to be Jewish civil strife bordering on civil war.

As hundreds of thousands continue to march in the street against the government, the president has warned of standing at the edge of an abyss, while leading commentators warn that a civil war has already started.

This heating conflict is mainly between two types of Zionism, the pre and post-1967 Zionism; in other words, between the more liberal and secular Zionism and more fanatic and fascistic Zionism.

While these types of Zionism had managed to reconcile their differences throughout the past five decades, Israel’s deepening occupation-cum-apartheid system of Jewish supremacy has provided huge momentum to the extreme elements within the Israeli society.

It has also culminated in the establishment of a new governing coalition of six parties, five of which are “religious” – either ultra-Orthodox, ultra-Zionist or both.

The government is one of the most extreme and racist elements of Israeli society; one that is determined to transform the Jewish communitarian democracy into a fanatical Jewish autocracy, by subjugating Israel’s judiciary to its parliamentary majority, which in turn paves the way to changing its system of government.

A bit of history may help clarify.

Since its inception in 1948 as a settler colonial state, Israel’s leaders have followed in the footsteps of other settler states like the United States, Canada and Australia, by managing the tensions among its different immigrant communities through legal democratic processes.

It was the only way to reconcile the differences between, say Iraqi and Polish, or Moroccan and Russian immigrant communities.

Needless to say, that has not applied to the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who suffered under direct military control through 1966.

Throughout that period, the secular Ashkenazi elites – concentrated in the Labour movement that created and led the earlier settlement of Palestine – had an advantage over the more conservative Sephardic immigrants and religious groups, and became the masters of the land.

But the 1967 war changed that.

The occupation and settlement of East Jerusalem, and the rest of the newly occupied territories, have given vigour and momentum to messianic, fanatical, and hyper-nationalist Israelis ever since.