The war on Palestine is a racist war—one that stretches from the Middle East to Britain and the West. The language of the conflict is already drenched in filth, with Israeli ministers referring to Palestinians as “animals”, something less than human.
The British news talks of Palestinian “terrorists”, “fighters”, and “militants” but never uses the word “soldiers”. That term is reserved for the Israeli side. While white Israelis with manicured accents are toured around TV studios to tell the world they represent civilisation, the news presents the Palestinian civilian population as something “other”.
They are from an “unsophisticated” culture that is incompatible with Western values, the media says. And their supposed simplicity, therefore, means they are easily manipulated by Hamas, commentators insist.
These racist endeavours link to a climate of Islamophobia that already dominates the West. Here Islam is presented as a threat to British culture, and Muslims are routinely accused of failing to integrate. Muslim women and girls are held up to particular scrutiny.
On the one hand, the state professes that it worries that they are dominated by Muslim men and religious culture—that they are victims. On the other, the state says they are potential terrorists that must face extra policing— that they are aggressors.
The Prevent laws are designed to single out and punish those who stray from the elite’s approved narratives.
Even pre-school children are screened for possible “terrorist sympathies” in their scribbles. There is nothing new about this kind of stereotyping.
Imperialism has always used racism as a way of dehumanising those it seeks to dominate. Colonial racism helped cheapen the lives of its opponents, making it easier to present mass slaughter as something less than the crime against humanity that it is.
In this, the British taught today’s racist dictators all there is to know. Sir Winston Churchill, the great thug of Empire, told the world he hated people with “slit eyes and pig tails.” To him, people from India were “the beastliest people in the world next to the Germans.”
And, he admitted that he “did not really think that black people were as capable or as efficient as white people.”
When the Bengal Famine ripped through British-controlled India, Churchill blamed Indians for “breeding like rabbits” and asked how, if the shortages were so bad, Mahatma Gandhi was still alive.
This kind of racism is a prerequisite for imperialist domination. The violence of that system can only be justified if those subjected to it are thought of as fundamentally “different to us”.
Racism also encouraged a sense of superiority among white people in the hope that they would not make common cause with the black and brown people of the boot of Empire.
But this type of racism also has another purpose— to limit the ways in which oppressed people can express themselves and their opposition to imperialism.
For all the Tories’ talk of “free speech” and opposition to “cancel culture”, it is them who want to limit what Muslims can say, the tactics they support for their own liberation, and even what they can think.
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