Editorial

It is an increasingly sad truth that much of what is understood to be nefarious racist, discriminatory, unjust and / or violent policy in various nation states follows policy and precedent set by successive Israeli administrations and its security forces.  This dubious accolade is neither one that Israeli commentators and politicians shy away from and both they and oftentimes those countries and institutions that emulate them exalt.

This issue of Palestine Internationalist looks at the US, UK and Indian adoption of such practices within Iraq, the UK and South Asia respectively.  Sourced externally, thought provoking Indian journalist Praful Bidwai discusses the Indian government’s use of an Israeli model in its attempts to deal with security issues ranging from the Mumbai train bombings to cross border issues with Pakistan and by implication the struggle for Kashmiri independence from New Delhi.  Written last summer, its moral case against adopting the perilous route of Israeli anti-terrorist policy is a commanding polemic and practical argument against the efficacy and normativity of such an approach.  As Bidwai has alluded to elsewhere[1] New Delhi’s lobbying in Washington has involved “working closely with the American Jewish Congress, despite its deplorable Zionist credentials.”

Ivan Eland’s prescient warnings about the use of Israeli military tactics and indeed direct training in the occupation of Iraq by US forces again highlights how the perpetration of egregious violence by state forces is increasingly exhorted as being a direct emulation of Israeli tactics – even when they are otherwise understood to be tactical failures except in the level of violence unleashed.

Les Levidow’s powerful analysis of the implications for Palestinian Solidarity by the ‘war on terror’ focuses not only on the ‘war’s’ Zionist origins, but highlights the dangers surrounding essentialist or uninformed responses.  Levidow also brings to bear not only his theoretical insight to the issue but a long time activist’s response and advice to those concerned with the demonisation of Palestinian Solidarity and struggles for justice worldwide.

Finally two contributions from the Palestine Internationalist team conclude this issue.  On the main theme, Fahad Ansari articulates in detail the adoption of Israeli shoot-to-kill practices by British police.  Whilst meticulously charting the connection, Ansari highlights what should be an institutionally acknowledged disparity between the practices of a civilian police force and a military force that has been internationally castigated as one of the worst perpetrators of human rights abuses.  Not only is the British police policy indicted by this piece but the very nature of what type of state the UK is or is becoming is called into question.

Examining regional responses to the Palestinian struggle, Mohamad Nasrin Nasir reviews Al-Quds:al-Qadhiyyah Kulli Muslim [al-Quds: An Issue for All Muslims] by Dr Yusuf Qardhawi.  The review of this Arabic text highlights to non-Arabic readers some surprising commentaries perhaps not expected from a scholar demonised as radical in a pejorative sense.  It also highlights how re-evaluating expectations and not falling into stereotypical analyses is a way forward regionally as well as for all of us who show solidarity with the Palestinian and global struggles for justice.

Arzu Merali

Fahad Ansari

Mohamad Nasrin Nasir

December 2006

[1] Bidwai, Praful ‘A case for refocusing India ‘s foreign policy’ Khaleej Times, 7 October 2006 http://www.tni.org/archives/bidwai/refocusing.htm