#92: The Bitter Harvest of Colonialism in Israel


Analysis of Israeli protests; democracy, apartheid, neoliberalism, colonialism

Listen to the Episode — 37 min


In this episode, the Ex-Worker presents an audio version of A Coup D’Etat In Israel? The Bitter Harvest Of Colonialism, originally published on March 27th. The article assesses the recent attempts by Israeli President Benjamin Netanhayu to strip power away from the judiciary, a power grab that has precipitated the largest protest movement in modern Israeli history. As our correspondent from the region argues, however, the crisis has emerged out of a conflict between competing elites and their respective colonial models. The article provides in-depth context behind the social rifts and political developments that led to the current showdown, and highlights the structural exclusions that make Jewish democracy in Palestine—i.e., ethnocracy—possible. While different sectors within the state of Israel clash over its future and a “reactionary international” supports the most extreme right-wing Zionist currents, determined Palestinian resistance to escalating genocidal violence on the other side of the wall shows that the struggle has many sides. Tune in for an in-depth anarchist analysis of a complex and critical struggle for the future of the Middle East and beyond.

Notes and Links

  • Table of Contents:
    • Ex-Worker Introduction {0:01}
    • Episode Introduction {0:36}
    • A Coup D’Etat In Israel? The Bitter Harvest Of Colonialism {2:17}
    • The Context Behind The “Coup” {4:56}
    • A Field Guide to Ethnic Cleansing {20:39}
    • Meanwhile, on the Other Side of the Wall {31:37}
    • Conclusion {36:21}
  • This episode offers an audio version of the article A Coup D’Etat In Israel? The Bitter Harvest Of Colonialism, originally published on March 27th.

  • Since this article was published, some important developments have taken place. In an extreme provocation denounced by Muslim leaders across the world, Israeli police invaded Al-Aqsa mosque on the first day of Passover and during the middle of Ramadan, beating up worshippers and arresting 450; in response, attacks on Israelis took place through rockets launched from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria into Israeli cities, followed by Israeli attacks on Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Despite the threat that Netanyahu might attempt to use this escalation to silence the protests and unite Israelis around fear of a common enemy - a common tactic around elections and at times of social unrest - the protest movement remains strong, with some 100,000 demonstrators surging into the streets of Tel Aviv on the past two Saturdays. Also, the Israeli Minister of Defense who Netanyahu fired has been restored to his post.

  • You can see documentation of the violence at the Al-Aqsa mosque here and here, as well as some context for the events. This interview with Mohammed El-Kurd at Democracy Now offers a useful summary of the situation.

  • For more of our coverage from the region, see the May 2021 article The Revolt in Haifa: An Eyewitness Report. Further background on anarchist interventions in the region can be found in our 2013 article Contemporary Israeli Anarchism: A History.

  • Our critical dialogues about democracy provide useful background to the discussion of Israeli democracy in this episode. For more audio content, check out the Ex-Worker’s episode introducing the anarchist critique of democracy and our audio zine of From Democracy to Freedom. There’s also a quote on democracy from To Our Friends by the Invisible Committee, which is also available as an audiobook.

  • The episode makes references to several historical events you might want to read more about, including the Wadi Salib revolts, the Black Panthers in Israel,

  • There are also references to Alfredo Bonanno’s text Palestine, Mon Amour and Emma Goldman’s views on Zionism.

  • The Ex-Worker is a proud member of the Channel Zero Network, an English-language anarchist radio and podcast network run by radical media makers. You can find episodes from other anarchist podcasts exploring the situation in Israel from a radical perspectives, including the Dresden Anarchist Network, the Final Straw, and more.