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The part of Israel so often blocked from American eyesight..... Deep unease as Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary By Jean Shaoul 8 May 2008  Today, free calming chews cats Israel marks the 60th anniversary, free calming chews cats according to the Hebrew calendar, free calming chews cats of its founding. Free calming chews cats World leaders will endorse the event with a major international conference in Jerusalem on May 14-16, free calming chews cats the actual date of its founding. Free calming chews cats It will be attended by United States President George W. Free calming chews cats Bush, free calming chews cats former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, free calming chews cats Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, free calming chews cats 12 heads of state, free calming chews cats media and business tycoon Rupert Murdoch and Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin. The official celebrations—aeronautical displays, free calming chews cats a naval review along the Mediterranean coast, free calming chews cats and mass parachute drops—illustrate the character of Israel as a garrison state that polices the region on behalf of US imperialism. Despite the celebrations, free calming chews cats not one of the commentators outside or within Israel has been able to disguise the deep sense of unease and disillusionment that pervades Israel. Free calming chews cats Many Israelis had opposed a flamboyant celebration: an online petition calling for a scaling back of expenditure achieved 90, free calming chews cats000 signatures by the end of March against the original target of 10, free calming chews cats000. Free calming chews cats As a result, free calming chews cats the government was forced to announce that 35 percent of the $28 million budget—far less than the $70 million spent on the 50th anniversary in 1998—would be spent on educational, free calming chews cats infrastructure and remembrance projects. Neither could commentators fail to contrast this with how the Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, free calming chews cats the squalid refugee camps of Lebanon, free calming chews cats Syria and Jordan, free calming chews cats and in the Diaspora, free calming chews cats regard the event. For them, free calming chews cats the creation of Israel, free calming chews cats which they call the Naqba, free calming chews cats or catastrophe, free calming chews cats is synonymous with the forcible expulsion and flight of more than 700, free calming chews cats000 Palestinians from their homes, free calming chews cats and the start of a life of exile and poverty. Free calming chews cats Their property was expropriated and they were not allowed to return. Free calming chews cats Today, free calming chews cats the original refugees and their descendants as well as those who became refugees after the 1967 war now number around 4.5 million. On the occasion of Israel’s anniversary, free calming chews cats Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza face a three-day lockdown. Free calming chews cats Public sector workers and students will stop work at 11 a.m. Free calming chews cats to join rallies in the West Bank and Gaza. Free calming chews cats Sirens will start a two-minute silence at noon. (snip) Behind the smokescreen of the US-sponsored “peace process, free calming chews cats” and with the complicity of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, free calming chews cats Israel has further consolidated its land-grab in the West Bank. Free calming chews cats The government has encircled Jerusalem with settlements that will make it impossible for Palestinians to live in and travel to and from Jerusalem, free calming chews cats much less make any part of its capital in any putative state. Free calming chews cats At the same time, free calming chews cats Israel has waged war against the Gaza Strip, free calming chews cats assassinated its opponents, free calming chews cats killed hundreds of Palestinians and inflicted illegal and cruel collective punishment on the entire population. Free calming chews cats It has laid siege to Gaza in order to starve the Palestinians into submission. Free calming chews cats Once again, free calming chews cats however, free calming chews cats Israel’s inhuman and illegal actions against the Palestinians have served to increase support for Hamas and political Islam and have sickened the majority of Israelis who want a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians.   Social schisms The last, free calming chews cats and in may ways most important, free calming chews cats factor in generating the public unease surrounding the anniversary is the phenomenal growth of social differences in Israel as a result of the free-market policies pursued by successive governments. Free calming chews cats Privatisation, free calming chews cats pension, free calming chews cats and welfare reform, free calming chews cats budget and tax cuts, free calming chews cats and deregulation have turned the dream of the egalitarianism and collectivism, free calming chews cats once proclaimed as the raison d’etre of a national home for the Jews, free calming chews cats into a nightmare. Israel’s economy is entirely dependent upon financial support from the US and preferential trade agreements. Free calming chews cats Its high-tech industries, free calming chews cats biotech, free calming chews cats nanotech, free calming chews cats smart materials, free calming chews cats alternative energy and arms are geared towards the US and Europe. Free calming chews cats But while economic growth has been more than 3 percent a year for the last four years, free calming chews cats Israel’s new wealth is highly concentrated. Free calming chews cats The Gini coefficient, free calming chews cats measuring income inequality, free calming chews cats has risen continually, free calming chews cats ranking Israel as one of the most unequal states in the developed world. Because Israel is so heavily dependent on Washington’s subventions, free calming chews cats this situation is set to worsen dramatically as the economic crisis takes its toll on the US budget. In addition to the growing social polarisation, free calming chews cats Israel is split along ethnic, free calming chews cats religious, free calming chews cats and ideological lines. Free calming chews cats Fully 20 percent of the Israeli population are Arabs, free calming chews cats who are treated as second-class citizens. Free calming chews cats Their refugee relatives cannot return to Israel, free calming chews cats whereas Jews abroad automatically qualify for citizenship. Free calming chews cats (snip) Those Jews whose families came from the Middle East and North Africa are also treated as second-class citizens, free calming chews cats when compared to those from Europe. Free calming chews cats (snip) These social and political developments have undermined the central pillar of Zionism, free calming chews cats its demand for national political unity against those deemed to be the external “enemies” of the Jewish people. Free calming chews cats As such, free calming chews cats they threaten the country’s political and social stability. (snip) All this is a far cry from the secure economic future that the Zionist dream seemed to offer the Jewish people 60 years ago. Free calming chews cats It is this that underpins the increasing disillusionment with Israel today. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/may2008/isra-m08.shtml