By Adam Smith & Boris Hammerschlag, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 13.8.2017, http://the-isleague.com/
Last week, it has been announced by Israel’s Minister of Communications, Ayoub Kara, that a legal process has begun to shut down the Qatari-based media outlet’s offices in Jerusalem, following similar measures taken by other reactionary regimes in the region, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Kara, a known puppet minister of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, could not have carried out this crackdown on his own. Netanyahu began his latest term forming an unprecedented ultra-right wing government with him concentrating direct control over 5 ministries, including Foreign Affairs, and of course, Communications. He also forced all of the coalition parties to sign a ‘non-intervention’ clause regarding any decision he might make in the future concerning communications and media.
An appeal, by Zionist opposition parties, against this unprecedented concentration of power has been handed to the Israeli Supreme Court, which in turn forced Netanyahu to relinquish control over the Ministry of Communications in favor of a minister of his own choosing.
This brings to mind the shortcomings of bourgeois perverse judicial system where the letter of the law takes precedence over justice in practice. A good example of this could be demonstrated by Putin who placed his lap-dog, Dmitry Medvedev, as Russian president when Russian law, designed to prevent over-concentration of power, would not have allowed Putin to run for presidency once again.
Such practices are exactly the direction the Israeli government, under Netanyahu’s leadership, is pushing towards - one-man Bonapartism, similar to Putin’s Russia, Erdogan's Turkey, a-Sisi’s Egypt, etc. Whatever has remained of the formal democratic facade of the Israeli Apartheid regime, is being gradually but rapidly gnawed at for the past decade - the attempts to shut down alJazeera being yet another step.
AlJazeera had been accused of incitement against Israel, recently during the alAqsa clashes, as well as support for terrorism. However, Israel already has laws against both incitement and support for terrorism. What could have prevented simply sending the police in to arrest and prosecute any alJazeera lawbreakers? The answer is easy - the Israeli court system, that’s what - the only authority left to keep Israel in the ultra-hypocritical club of the so called western “free world”.
Knowing it would be nearly impossible to prove any incitement or open support for terrorism on alJazeera platforms has ever taken place, Kara has instead begun to pressure the Israeli Satellite and Cable companies (YES and HOT respectively) to remove alJazeera from their available channel list. It should be noted that Kara has the power to introduce or prevent the introduction of new competitor companies into an extremely monopolistic market of TV content of a relatively small nation.
Kara also approached Lieberman, the Minister of Security, who has formal authority over the 67 occupied territories, to crackdown alJazeera activity under his jurisdiction. However, Israel has been placing Palestinian journalists under administrative arrests (without trial) long before this specific targeting of alJazeera.
Bypassing the Israeli justice system has become the modus operandi of Zionist Bonapartism and right-wing populism. Such was case of the shutting down of the Islamic Movement - Northern Branch. Knowing that incitement and support for terrorism would be impossible to prove in court, Erdan, the Minister of Internal Affairs chose to invoke the “Emergency Statutes” - leftovers from the British Mandate rule over Palestine.
It should be noted at this point, that by no means would we wish to absolve the racist Zionist courts from their role as a central element of the Apartheid and occupation apparatus as a whole. However, understanding this trend of treating it as excess baggage, is crucial in shaping any future anti-Zionist uprising.
The Zionist left, ideologically bankrupt with its dead-end “two state solution”, demoralized by its inability to defeat Netanyahu, now places its hopes in him being thrown in jail or at least deposed over one or more of his several corruption scandals, being investigated by the police.
However, the shrewd politician that is Netanyahu, he has a keen understanding of the mechanisms of Israeli media and is consistently able to divert its attention by throwing yet another right-wing populist jab at the expense of the Palestinians and their supporters, whenever it manages to pick up on any accusations over his corruption. With the lack of any charismatic alternative, such allegations only serve to further rally support behind him (both willful and through intimidation), demonize the media and centralize even more power.
So far, Netanyahu has shown extreme skill, treading carefully, pushing the boundaries just enough to create the desired public effect, but not too much as to accidentally start a 3rd Intifada. Such things, however, are of an extremely volatile and unpredictable nature - all the while, the policy of slowly-creeping settler-colonialism and careful preparations for a full annexation - i.e. open apartheid, continues - relying on Islamophobia to keep the rest of the world paralyzed.
Another accusation made against alJazeera revolves around its alleged hypocrisy - being a relatively progressive media outlet with favorable coverage of environmental, LGBT and women’s liberation issues, the Palestinian liberation struggle, the Arab Spring, the Syrian Revolution etc. (I personally witnessed an alJazeera reporter being physically attacked by several supporters of the Stalinist Communist Party of Israel during a Nakbah Day rally a few years back for their favorable coverage of the uprising against Assad in Syria - B.H.) all the while having its headquarters in Qatar, that has a reactionary Islamist monarchy for a regime - which it is careful to never criticize.
To that we say that it is indeed a sad reality that regimes like the one in Qatar still exist. What we fail to understand is how banning somewhat progressive outlets would hasten the regime demise? The way we see it, any reactionary regime toppled over by the masses, whether it butchers and oppresses its own people like Assad’s regime in Syria or a-Sisi’s regime in Egypt, or is does so to other nations like the Zionist, US and EU regimes, is a positive development. It doesn’t really matter if being exposed by alJazeera led to this or something else.
Any victory by the masses emboldens and gives hope to all of the oppressed and exploited people around the world, that ultimately - all oppressors and exploiters, no matter how strong, could be defeated, including their own. If by backing alJazeera, the Qatari regime thinks it could escape such fate - then history has taught it nothing.
If alJazeera is acting hypocritically by not biting the hand that feeds it, then a much greater hypocrisy lies with those who had zero concern over the rights of Qatari women, LGBT or the fate of those who struggle for democracy anywhere in the Arab world, until it was the repressive regime they support which was next in line to be exposed by alJazeera.
Those who support genuine freedom and social justice for our region, would join us in our call:
For the Victory of the Arab Revolution and a Socialist Federation of the Middle East
We believe this is the only solution!
For our analysis of the latest mass protests in Palestine, we refer readers to various documents:
Yossi Schwartz: Occupied Palestine: In the Aftermath of the alAqsa Clashes, 29.07.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/aftermath-of-alaqsa-clashes/
Yossi Schwartz and Boris Hammerschlag: Palestine: Lessons of the alQuds Clashes, 26.07.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/report-al-aqsa-26-7-2017/
RCIT: Al-Aqsa Uprising: Solidarity with the Palestinian Resistance! For an International Solidarity Campaign with the Palestinian People! For an Immediate End to the Blockade against Gaza! For a Free Red Palestine! 25.7.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/statement-al-aqsa/
ISL: Al-Aqsa Uprising: Zionists Provoke Global Clash with Muslim World, 25.07.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/report-al-aqsa-25-7-2017/
Boris Hammerschlag: Israel - Hands Off Al-Aqsa! Revolutionaries - Defend the Rights of Muslims! 22.07.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defend-al-aqsa/
For the RCIT analysis of the liberation in Palestine, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents accessed from the Africa and Middle East section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. In particular we refer readers to the following documents:
ISL: Support the Demands of the Palestinian Freedom Fighters in Israeli Prisons! Free All Palestinian Political Prisoners! 21.4.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/palestinian-hunger-strike/
RCIT: World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 18 December 2016, Chapter IV. The Middle East and the State of the Arab Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/part-4/
RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/
RCIT: Israel Starts Ground Offensive: Defend Gaza! Defeat Israel’s War! Support the Palestinian Resistance! For a Workers’ and Popular International Campaign to Boycott Israel! Down with the Regimes which Collaborate with Israel! For a Free, Red Palestine! 22.7.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-defend-gaza/
Yossi Schwartz: Israel, Hands Off Al-Aqsa! Down with the Israeli Apartheid State! 5.11.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/hands-off-al-aqsa/
Israel / Occupied Palestine: Summary of the Program of the Internationalist Socialist League, February 2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/summary-of-isl-program/
Yossi Schwartz: Israel's War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, May 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/israel-s-war-of-1948/
Michael Pröbsting: On some Questions of the Zionist Oppression and the Permanent Revolution in Palestine. Thoughts on some exceptionalities of the Israeli state, the national oppression of the Palestinian people and its consequences for the program of the Bolshevik-Communists in Palestine, May 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/permanent-revolution-in-palestine/
For our analysis of the aggression against Qatar, we refer readers to the following documents:
Michael Pröbsting: Qatar-Gulf Crisis: Another Offensive of the Arab Counter-Revolution, 10 June 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/qatar-gulf-crisis/
Michael Pröbsting: [VIDEO] The Qatar-Crisis: What is the Stand of the RCIT? 23 June 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/multimedia-1/qatar-crisis/