[Marxism] The End of Palestine? An interview with Norman Finkelstein

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sat Jan 11 15:38:42 MST 2014

> http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/the_end_of_palestine_an_interview_with_norman_g._finkelstein

Norman's sharp analytical capacity is always impressive, but the tone is 
worrisome. Sure there are a variety of problems in the struggle at this 
stage - yet mostly they seem familiar.

Personally, I was inspired the last few days, in Ramallah mainly at 
Birzeit University, by the continuing will of so many of historical 
Palestine's oppressed people, and of Abbas' declining credibility 
(especially after dissing BDS), much much more than Norman's interview 

For example, have we seen anything like this week's defense of villages 
carried out by brave Palestinian youth against fascist settlers before? 

Have we seen the extraordinary new stage of Boycott Divestment Sanctions 
(begun in 2005), which in Holland now stretches to a $200 bn pension 
fund's delinking from Israeli banks because of the illegal West Bank 
Occupation? (It was after 25 years of campaigning, in 1985, that the 
anti-apartheid banking campaign hit critical mass and decisively wrecked 
the SA economy - with BDS founder Omar Barghouti recently recalling the 

Have we seen such Israeli leadership panic as this last week? 

And have we seen African refugees in Israel repeatedly mass for protests 
in their tens of thousands, ever? 

So instead of cynicism about the future, I think we would want to take 
Norman's warning about Kerry's re-bantustanization strategy very 
seriously along with the point that the Palestinian Authority is 
cash-crunched (having recently lost a majority of its international 
'donor' subsidies and other revenues) and liable to sell out even more.

No surprise; just a renewed mandate to campaign harder and generate new 
waves of solidarity.

Indeed, can one ever imagine that the Palestinians' struggle for justice 
will fizzle out, if the right of return continues to be denied to 
millions of descendants of those who were dispossessed in 1948, and if 
the Jordan Valley continues to be occupied by the Israeli 
agri-military-settler complex while groups like Save the Jordan Valley 
continue to exist, hence to resist? 

Isn't this an excellent opportunity, with so many inklings of dawn for 
activists, to revive optimism of the will and light more BDS fires and 
other solidaristic actions?

Thinking back, the settler-colonial regime led by PW Botha appeared 
invincible in mid-1985, after wiping out activists and imposing a state 
of emergency; but suddenly with very little warning, the rapidly 
declining legitimacy of the apartheid state, the durable internal 
protests and the financial sanctions squeeze came together in a 
formidable way, and in eight quick years after that August 1985 crisis, 
Mandela's negotiating team achieved their core demand - one-person, 
one-vote in a unitary state - and in April 1994 won the first election 
under a political democracy. No one thought that possible a decade 
earlier, no one. Take heart!

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