Monday, 12 July 2010

Israel: the economics of oppression

Here's a very illuminating interview with economist Shir Hever, from the Alternative Information Centre, on Israel's political economy and the ways in which concentrations of wealth amongst its major capitalist class continue to serve the Zionist agenda.

Israel is not just an occupying force inflicting daily misery and death on the Palestinians. It's also one of the most unequal societies on earth, reserving disproportionate sums for military expenditure and excusing its wealthiest few from serious taxation while curtailing social safety nets for the rest.

As Hever reports, just 18 families control 60% of Israel's wealth.

All this is of relative significance, of course, to the much greater spectre of Palestinian deprivation.

But it's a measure of the blanket indoctrination pervading Israeli society that such social injustice goes largely unchallenged, as radical alternatives to the dominant economic order are almost completely supplanted by the 'higher imperatives' of Zionism.

As Hever asserts, Zionism is not just cultural and ideological, it's also economic, with much of Israel's capitalist structure built around the occupation, 'homeland security' and other R&D-driven forms of high-tech militarism.

Besides land-grab capitalist appropriation, Zionism also serves another vital class purpose in keeping even the poorest Israelis antagonistic towards occupied and poverty-stricken Palestinians.

It's the political economy of civil fear and illegal expansion, in effect, all helping to maintain hegemonic control and that vital popular consent for continued oppression.


No comments: