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(DV) Miller: Israel as the Ultimate Gated Community







The Apotheosis of Enclosure: 
Israel as the Ultimate Gated Community 

by J.A. Miller
September 13, 2006

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“Safe rooms are the single most important means for reliably separating the home owner or employees from intruders while providing a safe place to await the arrival of police or on-site security.”

-- www.saferoom.com 

“Where a command and a faith are present, in certain historical situations conquest need not be robbery.” 

--Martin Buber 

“I think that everyone who lives with the contradictions of Zionism condemns himself to protracted madness.” 

--Haim Hanegbi 

What is that, a prison?

It has been reported that American troops hilariously refer to Fallujah as the world’s largest gated community as they slouch at the checkpoints strangling the destroyed city once home to 350,000 souls. But flattened Fallujah has a rival in the neighborhood for the title. Barely 500 miles from its ruins we find that Israel has advanced the American concept of gated community to a new level and is in the process of rolling out the ultimate end product of the centuries-long enclosure movement: The enclosed state. 
The prizewinning entry in this competition is of course the Israeli apartheid wall. But Israel has been a leader in developing other expropriation technologies -- going back to their long military-industrial collaboration with the South African apartheid regime -- and it has been so successful that Elbit Systems, developer of LORROS (Long-Range Reconnaissance and Observation System) no doubt well-tested in that laboratory of oppression on the West Bank and Gaza, will participate in a two billion smackers Homeland Security tender to erect a border security fence to keep out them dark-skinned Spanish-speaking Amalekites. An image of the wall glowers from my desktop and when my apolitical and clueless cube-mate first saw it he inquired, “What is that, a prison?”  Oh yeah my friend, it’s a prison: A safe room that reliably separates the “owners” from “intruders.” 
But hark! Here come Hezbollah rockets, soaring easily above apartheid wall height and falling on sacred real estate. On the heels of such Amalekite impertinence the incomparable Gilad Atzmon gleefully penned a satirical piece in which he revealed that the Zionist state is now considering the “filter on the roof” option and has therefore opened bids for the construction of a cement roof over the entire state of Israel to provide overhead protection from the latest in three thousand years of never-ending existential threat. [1] 
Life quickly imitates art. On August 21st Jonathan Cook reported from Palestine that Israeli scientists claimed to have developed missile-trapping steel netting to be draped over strategic Israeli infrastructure as a shield against said rocketry. It was further announced that netting will be made available for individual purchase thus allowing Israeli householders to securely net their own expropriated property. [2] A delightful image therefore suggests itself: A state walled from three sides with the sea providing security on the fourth (unless of course one gets oneself thrown into it) and steel-netted both from high and low, ready on all sides to fend off “intruders” who might wish to harm or -- worse yet --- co-mingle with those within. Israel is well on its way to becoming the world’s largest safe room; an encapsulated and increasingly genetically “pure” state.  Hanegbi’s protracted madness is rife and ready. 
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition
Genetics with its innate tendency towards racism has long permeated the Zionist project. In his 1884 Zionist tract Auto Emancipation Leo Pinsker authoritatively declared: “Judeophobia is a psychic aberration. As a psychic aberration it is hereditary; as a disease transmitted for two thousand years it is incurable.”  Western monotheists have long had an affinity with determinism and particularly fancy genetics since it permits the believer to shrug, demonize and dismiss, “It’s in the genes.”  In the Pinskerite view anti-Semitism is a hereditary malaise encoded in the very DNA of non-Jews -- always existing in the past, always lurking in the present and never, never, ever to be eradicated in the future. Therefore, the all-Jewish state becomes scientific necessity. Rabbi Joachim Prinz expanded the concept in 1934: “Only a state based on the principle of the purity of the nation and the race can possibly endow dignity and honour on ... those Jews who themselves subscribe to this principle.” The protracted madness that leads to the walling off of an entire state from all sides and now apparently from above as well might seem comic were it not so lethal for those with unacceptable DNA who unhappily find themselves either within the confines or in the immediate vicinity of such a well-armed entity. 
You may think that this sort of thinking is restricted to a crazed few but you would be wrong.  The racial purity motif has long laced Zionist sentiment and action. Lenni Brenner in his excellent Zionism in the Age of Dictators credits university-educated German Jews who took over Zionism after Herzl’s death with refining the movement’s racism: “They agreed with the anti-Semites on several key points: the Jews were not part of the German Volk and, of course, Jews and Germans should not mix sexually, not for the traditional religious reasons, but for the sake of their own unique Blut. Not being of Teutonic Blut, they perforce had to have their own Boden: Palestine”. [3]  

Zionist genetic obsession turned particularly ugly in the late 1990s with reports that Israeli scientists were developing an “ethnically targeted” biological weapon that “would kill or harm Arabs but not Jews”. [4] Imagine the dismay of these scientists’ when, a few years later, Columbia University’s Journal of Immunology published the research of Spanish geneticist Arnaiz-Villena who found that there was “no data to support the idea that the Jewish people were genetically distinct” from other peoples in the Middle East. Suddenly there loomed the prospect of a spectacular own goal if such ethnic weaponry were deployed. 
Never fear. Unregistered lobbyists hastened to stifle heresy. Complaints flooded the journal about phrases the author used such as describing Jewish settlers in Gaza as “colonists” and Gaza as a “concentration camp.” Pretty tame stuff considering Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has called Gaza just that. Nevertheless, the journal’s editors obediently saluted and went to work, not only sacking the author from the editorial board of the journal but also writing to the entire subscription list requesting that subscribers ignore the article or -- preferably -- “physically remove the offending pages.”  One scientist lamented these shabby antics as a “sad business” saying: “If Arnaiz-Villena had found evidence that Jewish people were genetically very special, instead of ordinary, you can be sure no one would have objected to the phrases he used in his article.” [5] One can almost hear Michael Palin fetchingly costumed in red bishops’ robes smirking, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.” 
They are paving the path to your tomb. Night after night … in the Arab woman’s womb 

Particularly galling to Zionists is the continuing presence within state confines of an increasingly large minority of those whose DNA does not meet spec.  To ensure internal racial superiority the Israeli state apparatus gates internally by parsing categories of citizenship vs. nationality in a manner that gives new meaning to that burning question “Who’s your momma?” These classifications are built into a diabolically concealed legal web based on state ownership of 93% of all land in perpetuity on behalf of the “Jewish people” worldwide. 
As Uri Davis points out in Apartheid Israel (Zed Books, 2003) except for the 1950 Law of Return there is “no explicit reference to ‘Jews’ versus ‘non-Jews’ or ‘Jews only’ ” within the body of Israel’s legislation. The subtle maneuver by which the Israeli brand of apartheid is institutionalized is the granting of legal status to the voluntary organizations of the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency for the Land of Israel and the Jewish National Fund, all of which do indeed carry “Jews only” specifications in their charters and which thereby control the critical areas of national land sand settlement. Thus apartheid is smuggled into the legal system while maintaining an surface equality that allows Israel to flog itself as the only “democracy” in the Middle East all the while covertly encoding a racism and expropriating denationalization that is, according to Davis, “far more radical and far-reaching than its apartheid South African equivalent.” 
We receive further scientific instruction from math major and fundamentalist Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh: “If every simple cell in a Jewish body entails divinity, is a part of God, then every strand of DNA is part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA” and "there is something infinitely more holy and unique about Jewish life than non-Jewish life." [6] 

Belief in such rubbish is guaranteed to lead to madness or at the very least keep the believer up at night with thoughts drifting into a rather more paranoid and kinky vein. And there is nothing kinkier than the admixture of religion and sex. A poem recently published in a Russian-language Israeli publication entitled “The Lieberman Paradigm” opens a window on Zionist midnight madness. Let us listen to its pseudonymous author who appears to have reached a right state of racist and sexual fulmination: 

Their progeny are a nightmare. How many Arabs in Israel? 
Already more than a million there, and still growing, right off the scale. 
Just look at them -- they blacken your sight! I say this without reproaching 
the Jew; 
The Arab is ploughing his furrow by night that his race might outnumber you. 
A lunar eclipse? Does that explain it? Is it the mark of misfortune? Is it 
death’s kiss? 
Even the cat, the locust and the rabbit are unfamiliar with lust like this! 
There is no happy end in sight. They are paving the path to your tomb. 
Night after night, night after night, in the Arab woman’s womb [7] 

Leaving aside the poem’s racist vitriol we are nevertheless provided with a valuable glimpse of the mentality that powered the recent bloodletting frenzy loosed by Israel on the heads of the Lebanese and the continuing and utterly bestial strangulation of Gaza. Are these cold and calculating violent displays of the sort recommended by the late and unlamented Moshe Dayan designed to make Israel’s subjects and neighbors think that it is a mad dog? I would suggest that it is rather more likely that Israelis no longer make any such calculations but have, nearly en masse, simply become mad dogs. Hanegbi knows whereof he speaks. [8] 
Lectures on Police

The historic process of capitalist enclosure is described as “a long, slow, violent operation” by Peter Linebaugh in The London Hanged, essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the historic relationship between capitalism and criminal law.  But the enclosure movement which began in late feudal times and reached its height in the 18th century was no quaint and finite historical period in which forelock-tugging peasants were gradually pushed out of their agricultural, hunting and artisanal commons into the factory, workhouse and the colonies. Our earthly commons have been enclosed at a fairly steady clip since those early days, lately picking up steam with the rise of globalization and preeminence of the American neoconservative empire. The privatization so beloved by the World Bank, the gutting of social legislation and services, soaring prison construction and incarceration rates are simply the latest manifestations of the centuries-long assault on the commons. 
As Linebaugh documents in detail, the enclosure movement developed historically in lockstep with increasing state police powers; after all enclosure and the prison are merely mirror images each of the other. When you steal from folks repeatedly they are bound to come after you at some point and a police apparatus therefore becomes essential, as American police cars so coyly advertise, “To protect and serve.”  It is likewise no accident that that capitalist bible The Wealth of Nations was first published under the title Lectures on Police. Would that Adam Smith had retained the original title! 
The iconic American form of enclosure is the gated community comprising clusters of trophy homes with gated entry/exit checkpoints electronically controlled; the people within “chosen” by race and class and those without damned and subject to the righteous violence of policing.  Enclosure within enclosure: Safe rooms inside trophy homes reduce enclosure to a personal level conjuring an image of nobs cowering within while without peasants brandishing pitchforks and scythes hammer menacingly on the door. The “many-headed Hydra” was the rallying cry of classically-educated expropriating classes in the 18th century as they battled peasant, pirate, artisan and slave resistance. See how little fear-mongering has changed down the years: The Hydra was replaced by the Yellow Peril; then fast forward the color-coding to the Red Menace which was preemptively replaced by Terrorism even before the Soviet Union crumbled; then on to a brief but unsatisfactory use of al-Qaeda and finally settling for the nonce on GWOT with its brisk militarized acronymity. 
Genetic enclosure: “To thee I will give it and to thy seed for ever” Israel has perfected the enclosure process: It has violently expropriated and enclosed within a walled, militarized state the land, houses and resources of the Other.  A hidden legal web based on spurious genetic considerations has been constructed to further enclose those residing within the state’s shifting boundaries. Within the “occupied territories” armed, gated communities known as settlements are enclosed by a separate system of roads, use of which is dependent upon -- you guessed it -- the traveler’s DNA. Assembled in defense of the whole genetic expropriation project is the fourth most powerful army in the world funded by an annual dole of billions of dollars courtesy of American taxpayers. 
The historically intimate relationship of criminal law to the expropriation process has been revolutionized by the Israeli military which has gathered the entire legal process into its own hands as it polices Palestinians both in and outside the state. Israel has single-handedly forced acceptance of the twin concepts of targeted assassination and collective punishment into international legal parlance.  By trashing the presumption of innocence and habeas corpus, by buffing up Talmudic notions of preemption, the Israeli military acts as judge, jury, jailer and executioner all at once. Thereby has the Zionist enclosure project reached heights never dreamt of by those ancient despoilers of the commons who at least allowed the condemned convicted of petty property theft to say a few words to the assembled crowd before being hanged at Tyburn. The Zionists and their legion of Judeo-Christian enablers in the west have thus fashioned the ultimate enclosure project; lavishly funded, heavily armed, preemptive and fueled by a mad notion of racial purity. 
None of this could have taken place without a shared religious ideology firmly based on the divine genetic exclusiveness of the settlers and the perceived sacredness of land.  From gloomy Calvinists, demented rapturists and dour Talmudic scribes to faux hippie Martin Buber; from deranged insomniac poets to spineless western progressives. All are conditioned on varying levels by religious belief that sanctions -- nay “commands” -- the expropriation of a land contracted to the entirety of Judeo-Protestandom. After all, God laid out the enclosure plan way back in Genesis when he ordered Abraham to look around him in all directions, north, south, east and west and then bellowed:  “For all the land which thou seest, to thee I will give it and to thy seed for ever”. Wrapt thus in a seedy genetics, enclosure becomes biblical imperative. 

J.A. Miller is a grandmother activist from the Middle West who spent many years traveling and studying in the Middle East. She has published essays on Counterpunch and StateofNature and her Burma Shave-style poetry may be found at PoeticInjustice. She maintains an occasional blog at www.secularavatar.blogspot.com and can be reached at: jsec_miller@hotmail.com.


[1] Gilad Atzmon, "Operation Security Roof: A Developing Story," Dissident Voice, August 8, 2006.

[2] Jonathan Cook, "After Lebanon, Israel is Looking for More Wars," Dissident Voice, August 21, 2006.

[3] Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal Lawrence Hill and Co., 1983). Available on-line here.

[4] Uzi Mahnaimi and Marie Colvin, "Israel Planning 'Ethnic' Bomb as Saddam Caves In," London Sunday Times, November 15, 1998. 

[5] http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,605798,00.html 

[6] http://www.geocities.com/alabasters_archive/nrp_and_settlers.html 

[7] Yoav Stern and Lily Galili, "AG orders probe of Vesty paper on suspicion of incitement to racism," Haaretz, February 8, 2006; and "One Not Unimportant Fact," Lawrence of Cyberia, April 11, 2006.

[8]  Ari Shavit, "Cry, the beloved two-state solution," Haaretz, August 10, 2003.