Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Zionism and its Consequences

Zionism originated as a project to create a Jewish State in Palestine in the late nineteenth century. The Jews, who had been dispersed from Palestine thousands of years ago and who were persecuted throughout Europe where they mostly resided, sought a nation for themselves and wanted to build it in Palestine where they had originated. Despite the continuous persecution over centuries, a number of Jews had become financially powerful in Europe and America and so were in a position to fund the migration of the poorer Jews to Palestine to set up settlements there and build up an armed force that could protect these settlements. The crucial political development was the Mandate given to the British Empire in 1921, by the League of Nations after World War I to rule over Palestine, Syria, Jordan etc which had been part of the Ottoman Empire which was dismembered after the war. The British through the Balfour Declaration of 1926 acceded to the demand of the Zionists to let them migrate in large numbers to Palestine to establish a nation there. This brought them in direct conflict with the Arabs who were residing in Palestine and who vehemently opposed Jewish migration as this would affect their hold over the area and they were supported in this opposition by other Arab States of the region. And so bloodshed began which has continued now for almost a century. After the Holocaust  on the Jews perpetrated by Hitler during World War II, the Christian Europeans and the Americans began to look sympathetically at the Zionist demand for settling Jews in Palestine and mostly European Jews, who were survivors of the Nazi oppression, were sent in large numbers to Palestine. Given that the middle east was rich in oil which was to be the main driver of economic and military might in the twentieth century, there is every possibility that the American and European imperialists may have pushed the Zionist agenda to retain control over the region. Anyway this solid support from Europe and America has enabled the creation of the state of Israel and its continued existence. They have also pressurised many of the Arab States in the region to support Israel or at the very least not to oppose it. Zionism continues to flourish and encourages the migration of Jews to Israel as overall more Jews reside outside Israel than inside it. Consequently, since 1948, when the State of Israel was created through a resolution of the UN General Assembly and a substantial portion of the land was given to Israel as shown in the graphic below, the population of Jews in the erstwhile Palestine has gone up continuously while that of the Arabs has gone down and many of the latter are now dispersed across the world.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was formed in 1964 as a counterpoint to Zionism and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State free of the Zionists. This led to an escalation in the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews in Israel and there was a full fledged war in 1967 between Israel on the one hand and Egypt, Syria and Jordan on the other. The Israelis won a comprehensive victory within six days and annexed the Sinai peninsula and the Gaza strip from Egypt, the Golan Heights from the Syrians and the West Bank including East Jerusalem from Jordan and completely occupying Palestine. Subsequently through peace accords the Israelis have given back the occupied territories and the Palestinian State has been established in the Gaza strip and the West Bank with the PLO having given up violence and accepted the existence of Israel and vice versa.
However, a section of the Palestinian Arabs continue to fight against the Israelis, especially the militant organisation Hamas which has vowed to drive the Jews out of Israel. Basically they are against the continuous building of settlements by Israel in the West Bank where the Palestinian State is theoretically sovereign. Overall Israel continues to violate the human and civil rights of Arabs within its territory and in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas has held sway over the Gaza strip since 2006 or so and continually engages in hostilities with Israel. There have been many skirmishes and battles leading to regular loss of life in the Gaza strip which escalates when there are conflicts like the one that is one going on now. Both the Egyptian and the Israeli Governments are not happy with Hamas and so they have imposed a complete blockade of Gaza not allowing any thing whatsoever, including food to be supplied to the area. Thus, we have two rigid opposing positions - that of Hamas, that they will not stop short of destroying the Israeli State and that of the Israelis, that Hamas has to be finished. Therefore, the war continues and there seems to be no end in sight and neither is there justice for the Palestinian Arabs as a whole as they are globally considerably less powerful than the Zionists.

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