Israel’s occupies a paradoxical place in the global schema: it’s both a leading laboratory of capitalist experimentation and an anachronism, with its direct (internal) colony and openly racist, two-tier democracy. The “crisis” that led to the severely militarized response charmingly named Summer Rain, and now Operation Just Desserts, is a crisis of the former position, not the latter.
In the late 80s, as the Soviet Union and its satellites were falling, Israel became exemplary of, almost a vanguard for, capital’s postcommunist desire, to simultaneously create open borders for capital and goods flows while fully dictating the movement of people and labor. During the first intifada, and even more so after Oslo, Israel was a neoliberal fantasyland: a state that could literally open and close its borders at will, without repercussions or domestic or international protest. Today, Israel’s task is to devise a solution to the problem facing the U.S. in Iraq: How to both repress and co-opt “the terrorists,” to ensure the unquestioned defeat of outliers while enclosing them within the circuits of capital.
In other words, only stategies have changed from what Deleuze described in 1978 (thanks to Keith for posting this):
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a model that will determine how problems of terrorism will be dealt with with elsewhere, even in Europe. The worldwide cooperation of States, and the worldwide organization of police and criminal proceedings, will necessarily lead to a classification extending to more and more people who will be considered virtual “terrorists.” This situation is analogous to the Spanish Civil War, when Spain served as an experimental laboratory for a far more terrible future.
Today Israel is conducting an experiment. It has invented a model of repression that, once adapted, will profit other countries. There is great continuity in Israeli politics. Israel believes that the U.N. resolutions verbally condemning Israel in fact put it in the right. Israel has transformed the invitation to leave the occupied territories into the right to establish colonies there. It thinks sending an international peace-keeping force into Southern Lebanon is an excellent idea… provided that this force, in the place of Israeli forces, transforms the region into a police zone, a desert of security. This conflict is a curious kind of blackmail, from which the whole world will never escape unless we lobby for the Palestinians to be recognized for what they are: “genuine partners” in peace talks. They are indeed at war, in a war they did not choose.