In ten days, an important book about the conflict will be published, Max Blumenthal’s Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. The book is important because it will change the paradigm of Israel inside liberal American opinion, by demonstrating how occupation and ethnocracy have transformed the Israel of so many Americans’ dreams into an intolerant, tough, and often racist society. Blumenthal performs this shift by marshaling facts about a highly distressing reality inside the occupation and in Israel itself. And because we see that change as so vital to American awareness and policy-making, I’m going to be getting Blumenthal’s ideas out in weeks to come.
Last week I interviewed him inside the Ramallah fruit and vegetable market. It’s 5 minutes, above. Blumenthal explains that almost all of the fruits and vegetables in the market are from Israeli farms, especially in the Jordan Valley, on expropriated land.
He describes the ways that the Palestinian agricultural sector has been almost completely destroyed, by occupation and by the Oslo process, which kept Palestinians from developing an independent economic base.
And he says that one of the best ways to resist occupation is by generating your own economy and boycotting. Palestinians have been unable to do this. Gaza and the West Bank are treated as captive markets.