Global Launch at the G8 – “Do-it-Yourself Apartheid in Palestine
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Global Launch at the G8 – “Do-it-Yourself Apartheid in Palestine

The Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, as part of the European “The Wall Must Fall” project joined the protests and the G8Alternatives movement at Edinburgh to protest against the G8 summit and call for an end to international complicity and support for Israeli Apartheid.

The G8 was held just a few days before the one year anniversary of the ICJ decision which ruled that the Wall must be torn down as well as warning the international community of their legal obligation “not to render any aid or assistance” to the construction of the Wall or the situation created by it. However, the growing support by the G8 countries – channelled through their agencies such as the World Bank – has sharpened the focus of the Campaign of the role global capital, trade and “aid” plays in the Occupation of Palestine.

On Monday 4th of July, The Wall Must Fall, together with Scottish PSC, PSC UK and War on Want organized the launch of the latest publication of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign hosting a wide range of activists from across the UK.

The panel – composed of a Campaign representative, Samir Amin and Walden Bello – explored “Do-it-yourself Apartheid in Palestine”, a thorough analysis that exposes the World Bank’s strategy and action plans to maintain and develop the Israeli apartheid infrastructure. Meanwhile, elites at the summit were putting together the final touches to their action and financial plan regarding Palestine. It comes as little surprise that the document issued at the G8 reaffirms the world leaders’ support for the World Bank plans and offers up to $3 billion per year “for Palestine” to implement the ghettoization of the Palestinian people and the sustainability of the Apartheid system.

The meeting denounced the project of the World Bank to facilitate and coordinate support for Israel’s apartheid project – dressed up as some kind of “development” – and the alarming eagerness of international governments and “aid” organizations to adopt the Bank’s proposals, further develop them and ultimately implement them.

Samir Amin, renowned Egyptian economist, put the struggle of the Palestinian people in the context of global policies as he called upon Palestinian as well as international movements “to understand the targets of imperialism for the whole world in order to have the correct frame in which to develop efficient strategies”. His analysis of the collective imperialism of the G8, headed by the US plans for exclusive global military control in the new century, left little hope for Palestine other than that a project based on cynicism and racism would always fail in the long term. Until then, it is the Palestinians to be the victims of a scheme of oppression that “has never been a plan for recognition and peace but instead for tension and ethnic cleansing”. This led Samir Amin to consider whether the Bantustanization and economic apartheid envisioned by Israel and the World Bank form a long-term or a transitional project. “The difference between Palestine and South Africa is that Israel does not depend on Palestinian manpower and does not want it for a long time.” Amin considered expulsion is to be the ultimate aim.

Walden Bello provided a detailed discourse analysis, looking more in depth at the Bank’s policies. He argued that in understanding the struggle against the Apartheid Wall, it becomes crucial to see the role of neo-liberal economics added to the Zionist military occupation and expulsion policies.

He highlighted how the “Bank’s document accepts the reality of the Apartheid Wall, not its illegality” as the Industrial zones will exploit cheap, Palestinian labour imprisoned within walled ghettoes. He underlined how the mere fact that the World Bank has no plans for Palestinian agriculture provides a further indication of its complicity in suffocating Palestinian national aspirations, leaving not more than 12% of historic Palestine under Palestinian ‘control’.

Bello’s analysis concluded with remarks on the recently appointed new head of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz. He noted Wolfowitz’s “commitment to Zionism is unwavering and his links to the Likud, the US neo-cons and Sharon is well known. One cannot but expect the focus of the World Bank to shift even more to the Middle East and Palestine, with – if possible – an even worse outcome for the Palestinian people.”

The Israeli Apartheid project needs to be exposed, discussed and opposed on a global level. Steps towards the isolation of Apartheid Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions should not be undermined by the billions of dollars pumped into the Wall project. Against any normalization of the ghetto structures, popular boycotts and sanctions initiatives are providing effective support for Palestinian resistance to Israeli crimes and a genuine means by which to isolate colonialism and Occupation.