Israel and the Palestinian authorities have agreed to renew peace-talks. Criticism towards Israel is abound, because it has recently granted permission for several hundred new homes in existing settlements in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have managed to force the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners, who were cheered on as heroes as the first of them arrived in Ramallah. Even in western media, they have been termed "political prisoners".
That's hardly the case. I will not rant on much and just post a list of the released prisoners and the crimes they had been convicted for and leave the judgement to you.
- Agbariya Hassan Mohammed, Agbariya Mustafa Mohammed Yehieh, Jabarin Mohammed Tawfik Suliman Yosef, Agbariya HassanMahmoud Ibrahim - Infiltrated an army base and murdered three soldiers and seriously injured an additional soldier. In addition, planned to carry out the murders of soldiers and theft of their weapons.
- Halaf Juma'aMustafa Ahmed - Whilst a minor, stabbeda citizen in his back andalso in a number ofcases set fire to vehiclesand buildings.
- Younis Abdel Latif Abdel Kader Maher, Younis Younis Fadel Fadel Karim - Together kidnapped a soldier, shot him, stole his gun and left him at the side of the road. (Note – the victim died a few days later)
- Al-Khatib Abdallah Kaid Bashir - Carried out a murder in order to allow Fatah to make use of the murdered man's body for the purpose of a prisoner exchange deal.
- Abu Moch Ibrahim, Biadsa Abdel Razak Ahmed Ibrahim, Abu Moch Hamdoun Mohammed Rushdi - Together planned to kidnap a soldier for use as a bargaining chip. In practice, kidnapped a soldier and took part in his murder.
- Dakah Nimer Assad Walid - Commander of operation to kidnap a soldier for use as a bargaining chip. Ordered the soldier's murder should the transfer process not go as planned. Was not present at the time of the kidnapping and murder.
- Abu Jaber Ali Hussein Ahmed - Took part in the murder of a soldier. In addition, together with accomplices, shot at the house of another victim, with the aim of dissuading him from taking part in the trial of the prisoner's brother.
- Shakir Al Afu Musbach Nofel - Took part in the murder of a soldier.
- Jabarin Otman Ibrahim Mahmoud - Murdered a man suspected of being a collaborator with the security forces.
- Sarsawi Tsalah Taha Samir - Ordered the throwing ofa grenade at a crowd of civilians which caused injuries to many people. In addition, set fire to parked buses and threw petrol bombs at travelling buses.
- Abu Hadir Mohammed Yassin - Together with accomplices, stabbed two civilians. In addition, purchased a weapon which was used to murder another civilian and instructed members of the (terror) cell in its use. Also tried to murder another civilian and was in possession of four hand grenades.
- Abu Hasin Ahmed Yusef Bilal - Whilst serving a sentence for blocking roads and arson of a vehicle, murdered (together with his three cell-mates) a prisoner whom they suspected of collaborating with the authorities.
- Da'agna Nofel Mohammed Mahmoud - Initiated, planned and encouraged his accomplices to murder a civilian
- Baroud Ahmed Mohamed Fares - Murdered a civilian by stabbing. Attempted to murder two more civilians, causing grievous bodily harm, and kidnapped an additional civilian. Whilst in detention, also – together with accomplices – caused grievous bodily harm to another prisoner.
- Jaradat Mohammed Anis Ayman -With the help of his cell, murdered two civilians in order to steal their weapons. Also, kidnapped, interrogated and murdered two additional civilians whom he suspected of collaborating with the authorities. Also murdered a man he suspected of being a collaborator, attempted to murder another person and also killed a man he had kidnapped with the aim of interrogating him. Tried to kidnap - and caused grievous bodily harm to a person suspected of collaboration. Kidnapped, interrogated and assaulted 13 people whom he suspected of collaboration. On a number of occasions fired shots and threw stones at security forces. Also fired shots at civilians.
- Amer Massoud Issa Rajib - With the help of his cell, murdered a civilian with an axe. Also, kidnapped, interrogated and murdered three civilians suspected of being collaborators. Assaulted three people who, according to him, carried out 'moral crimes'. Also, attacked IDF forces and aided the general activities of the terror organisation with which he identifies
- Riad Issa Sayid Abed Aziz - Supplied a vehicle to his accomplices which in practice was used in the murder of a civilian. Was not aware that he was aiding the murder.
- Abdel-Aal Sayid Ouda Yusef - Together with his cell, threw 2 grenades – which did not explode – at Border Police forces. On a different occasion, placed a bomb next to a Border Police facility but the explosion did not cause damage. Also, knew about the intention to harm a civilian and aided the process of his murder by passing information to the perpetrators regarding the absence of soldiers in the area. Also, together with his cell, tortured a local resident suspected of collaboration. After he left the scene, the victim was murdered by his two accomplices. On a separate occasion, intended to murder a local resident suspected of collaboration.
- Faluji Zcharia Shacher Dia'a - Whilst a minor, beat a civilian to death with a hoe. Has not expressed regret for his actions.
- Sualha Bad Almajed Mahmed Mahmed, Sualha Fazah Ahmed Husseini - Whilst minors, together stabbed to death a youth who sat near them on the bus, and also tried to murder three additional (female) youths
- Sabbag Ahmed Mahmud Mahmed - Whilst a minor, tortured and brutally murdered three local residents suspected of collaborating
- Turkeman Yusef Suleiman Mahmed - Shot and killed a citizen who got out of his car near a convenience store and also shot and injured the deceased’s wife who got out of her vehicle to help her husband
- Abu Hanana Zakariya Udia Usama - Served as a guard and accomplice in a murder and in the injury of the deceased’s wife after throwing a grenade at her
- Abdel-Aziz Said Kassam Ahmed - Planned, initiated and carried out the attack that that led to the victim's murder and his wife's injury
- Silawi Khaled Kamal Usama - Took part in the violent interrogation of local residents suspected of collaborating with the authorities and responsible for the death of three of them. Also took part in the murder of the deceased and the injury of his wife. In addition, fired at security forces at a number of times.
- Flana Fauzi Salamah Mahmed - With an accomplice, laid an explosive device on the road leading to the settlement and caused the death of a civilian and the injury of six additional civilians
- Nasser Salah Abdel Samad Mazlum, Abed Geni Abdallah Hashem Hamida - Criminals: In the course of a robbery, killed the victim by strangling
- Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa, Damara Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal - Took part in the murder of a Jewish hiker, after having stolen the deceased’s knife
- Baroud Mustafa Ahmed Ibrahim - Together with his accomplice, placed three bombs in separate incidents: At the Holon Interchange, laid a bomb that lightly injured five civilians, in Tel Aviv a bomb exploded but did not cause injuries and at the Erez Crossing a bomb was discovered and detonated in a controlled explosion
- Damouni Saad Mahmed Ahmed, Nashabat Jaabar Yusef Mahmed - Took part in a lynch of an IDF soldier. After they threw rocks at the soldier, they poured gas on his vehicle and ignited it, when the soldier was inside. It was noted that they did not express regret for their acts.
- Gandiya Yusef Radoun Nahad, Hamdiya Mahmoud Awed Muhammed - Whilst minors, stabbed to death a Jewish building contractor with whom they were previously acquainted. At the time of their sentencing, they attempted to escape from jail, but were caught before able to.
- Muhammed Ahmed Abdallah Halbi, Mahmud Ahmed Abdallah Halbi - Brothers; murdered seven people, for unclear motives. One of the female victims was likely killed following a financial dispute between her and the perpetrator. In addition, they were convicted of two murder attempts.
- Ahmed Mahmed Jameel Shahada - Lured a 13-year-old boy, brutally sodomized him and invited his friend to take part. When the boy tried to flee, the perpetrator beat his body and cranium with an iron bar, causing his death. He then hid the body.
- Hussein Husseini Said Atallah - Criminal: Together with three accomplices, robbed an acquaintance who had in his possession a weapon as part of his work as a guard for a bank. As a result of the victim’s resistance during the course of the robbery, the perpetrator’s friend shot the victim, killing him. In the course of his imprisonment, he escaped from jail, until he was returned six years later (2000-2006)
- Abed Alhag Yusef Abed A’Rahman - Stabbed to death a female civilian walking on the street, and attempted to kill three additional civilians
- Alafandi Mahmed Yusef Adnan - Stabbed two civilians with a kitchen knife with the intention to kill them because they were Jewish. He moderately wounded them.
- Kour Matwah Hamad Faiz - Established a Fatah cell numbering 20 people which acquired weaponry. In addition, suspected of the murder of a Jewish civilian and the attempted murder of a collaborator.
- Arsheed A’Hameed Yusef Yusef - Murdered five residents suspected of collaborating with authorities, after he brutally stabbed them. Also indicted for several counts of attempted murder of suspected collaborators.
- Usama Suliman Fayad Abu Gidan - Criminal: With three relatives, murdered in order to steal a car. Wrapped a cable around the victim's neck in order to strangle him
- Asor Masbach Khalil Mahmad - Together with two friends, murdered their Jewish taxi driver out of a nationalistic motive. The prisoner shot the victim. While in prison he was involved in the assault and injury of another prisoner.
- Ahmad Mahmad Ahmad Ulad Mahmed - Criminal: Together with his uncle, murdered the victim who apparently owed the uncle money
- Said Ahmad Mahmad Ulad D Muhamad - Together with his nephew, murdered a man who apparently owed him money. While in prison, he stabbed to death another prisoner. His appeal to the Supreme Court was accepted and he was convicted of murder of the prisoner.
- Sha'at Azat Shaban Atat - Took part in the murder of a Jewish female resident of Gush Katif. Drove his accomplices to and from the scene of the crime.
- Samarin MustafaKalib Asrar - Commanded a Fatah unit that was being trained to kill soldiers. Failed in his first attempt to murder a soldier, but was succesful in his second attempt. In addition, on repeated occasions abducted and interrogated [Arab] residents, set fire to cars and manufactured molotov cocktails.
- Kra'an Azat Musa Musa - Drove an accomplice who intended on carrying out a terror act. After stealing a car by threatening the driver with a gun, he drove his friend who tried to murder a man and in his secondattempt murdered a soldier
- Yacoub Muhammed Uda Ramdan, Afana MustafaAhmad Muhammed - As part of a group, they murdered a prostitute using an axe. They lured her to a neglected part of the city of Holon. After she died, one of them placed a letter in one of the cuts in the victim's body in which they claimed responsibility for the murder in the name of their organization
- Kamil Awad Ali Ahmad - Was part of a unit that carried out a shooting attack and a murder of a soldier. Also, he was part of a group that abducted, interrogated, tortured and murdered 15 local residents that were suspected to be collaborating with the authorities
- Abu-Alroub MustafaMahmoud Faisel - Shot and murdered a soldier. Also, beat to death a Palestinian civilian who was suspected of collaborating with authorities. Also killed four other Palestinians who he suspected to be collaborators.
- Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mugdad - Broke into a hotel in Netanya, hit the guard on his head with a steel rod and killed him. Also stole a television from the hotel.
- Mahmud Ahmed Abu-Mamer - Criminal: Together with an accomplice, robbed the victim and strangled him to death. While in prison he was convicted of possessing heroine.
- Salah Ali Hader Razak - Placed two explosives next to a patrol, killing a soldier and injuring two. In addition, he also repeatedly hurled firebombs at Israeli cars
- Gnimat Amar Mahmad Mustafa, Gnimat Mahmud Mahmad Ziad - Together murdered two Israeli citizens who were sitting in their car in Masua forest
- Tus Ahmad Abdel Hamid Mahmad - Commanded a terrorist group that carried out five attacks on civilian buses, injuring 16 passengers. In addition, under his command, the group murdered three civilians in two separate incidents. Also, he took part in the murder of two other citizens.
- Isa Musa Isa Mahmud - Took part in the abduction and killing of a soldier who was on the way from his home to his base. Took part in the running over of two soldiers with the intention of killing them. The attack injured one of the soldiers severely. In another incident he also shot at a police car and killed two policemen that were in the car. In another incident, he took part in the shooting at a police car and seriously injured one of the policemen in the car. While in prison, he was part of Hamas and organized a terrorist cell which aimed to abduct soldiers and carry out terror attacks.
- Abu-Dahila Hasan Atik Sharif - Stabbed to death his employer of 18 years then stole his weapon. He also carried weapons and shot at a military vehicle.
- Ramahi Salah Abdallah Fraj - Killed a senior citizen from the Sharon region with a hoe. Also, whilst in Israel without a permit, he broke into a car and stole a gun. While in prison, he tried to obtain a weapon for another prisoner in order to kidnap a soldier
- Nasser Ibrahim Mahmed Mahmed - Was apparently involved in two murder cases - no legal documents
- Maklad Mahmud Zaid Salah - Stabbed to death his Jewish employer, shot at an army post, tried to murder a local resident.
- Muamar Atta Mahmud Mahmud - With an accomplice, stabbed to death a Jewish citizen in the Emek Hamatzleva area in Jerusalem. Caused the death of a local resident who threatened his accomplice with informing the military authorities of his whereabouts. He also attempted to kill two Jewish civilians while they were sleeping in their home.
- Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim - With an accomplice, stabbed to death an elderly Jew in the Emek Hamatzleva area in Jerusalem. Broke into the home of a Jewish civilian, stabbed and strangled him to death. With his accomplice, stabbed to death a local resident whom he suspected to be a collaborator. In two separate cases, he tried to murder Jewish civilians in their homes but backed out fearing discovery.
- Al-Shalvi Yusef Ahmad Nuaman - Planned, initiated, organized, and carried out three murders on his own.
- Haga Salim Mahmud Mo'id - As part of a group/unit/team, swam from Jordan to the shores of Eilat armed with numerous weapons in order to harm as many civilians as possible. Upon arriving on the shores of Eilat a civilian guard noticed him and the accused shot him to death.
- Tzou'afta Sudki Abdal Razak Muhles - As a minor, murdered together with his friend a Jewish civilian whom he knew. The accused and his friend arrived at the victim's apartment where they murdered him by stabbing. They then stole his personal belongings in order to prove their crime. Furthermore, they left a note claiming responsibility for the crime because of nationalistic motives.
- Gasan Muhamed Barkat Zariki, Nadal Yosef Abed Al-Fatah Zbara - Criminals: together they beat to death their neighbour -an elderly woman with whom they had a dispute. After the murder, they stole items from the elderly woman's home.
- Abun-Muhsan Halad Ibrahim Jamal - Together with his friend, murdered an elderly man from Kadima by stabbing.
- Sh'hada Farid Sh'hada Ahmad - Probably took part in a murder. Not enough information for indexing
- Abdal-Nabi A-Wahab Gamal Jamil - Assisted his friend in a shooting at IDF soldiers in the Tomb of the Patriarchs (was the escape driver). As a result of the shooting one soldier was killed and a second was wounded.
- Asarka Mahmad Ahmad Haled - Stabbed to death a French tourist who ate at a restaurant he worked in.
- Kraja Farhud Muhamed Rafa - Murdered a soldier.
- Abu-Harbish Salam Saliman Mahmud, Adam Abrahim Guma Juma'a - Threw a Molotov cocktail on a passenger bus which resulted in the death of a mother, her three children and a soldier who tried to save them.
- Abu-Na'ame Abrahim Mahmus Samir - Together with his friend prepared two explosive devices, put them in a bag together with a packet of nails on Bus No. 18 in Jerusalem. As a result of the explosion 6 civilians were killed and 50 were injured. Furthermore, planned an additional attack.
- Abu-Srur Gamil Hasan Mahmud, Abu Srur Hasan Abed Hamid Naser - Were accomplices in the planning and executing of the murder of a Shin Bet officer who was the handler of one of their partners.
- Na'anish Na'if Abdal Jafer Samir, Taktuk Lutfi Halma Ibrahim - Took part on the murder of a soldier in Nablus. Part of the group goaded a soldier in order to lure him into an alley, where the rest of the group waited with a stockpile of stones which they threw at the victim, resulting in his death.
- Yosef Mahmad Haza Haza, Beni-Hasan Abdalla Mahmud Otman - Together murdered two Israeli hikers in a JNF forest in the Gilboa Mountain.
- Haled A-krim Ismail Shani - Criminal: murdered his Jewish neighbor in Ramallah because she aroused suspicion that he's a collaborator. During incarceration, ran away while on parole until caught after three and a half years (1997-2000). Additionally, stabbed another prisoner while incarcerated, which seriously injured him.
- Mukbal Mahmad Bedwi Najah - Together with his friend, murdered his employer.
- Ziwad Muhamed Taher Taher - Together with two of his friends, decided to grab a weapon from a soldier or policeman and if need be, kill him for this (the accused carried a gun). While threatening, they took over a vehicle and looked for a potential victim. When meeting the victim, his friend shot the victim and injured him in all parts of his body. When seeing that he had no weapon, they left him and ran.
- Daoud Adal Hasan Mahmad - Murdered two civilians (pregnant mother and son)
- Al-Azrak Daoud Ahmad Khaled - Took part in the planting of a bomb in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem which led to the death of one civilian and injured nine. Additionally, took part in an additional attempted bomb attack in the Mahane Yehuda market, and planned the planting of a bomb in the Carmel market.
- Ahmad Ragah Mahmud Musa - Criminal: strangled his wife to death, because he suspected she was having sexual relations with other men. Additionally, he used to beat her and even tried to drown her a few hours prior to the murder.
- Sa'adi Muhamad Sharif Ra'ad - Initiated, organized, took part in and was the dominant figure in the murder of a Jewish civilian.
- Abed al Raba Nimr Jabril Issa (= Issa Abed Rabbo) - Stole from his workplace an envelope of cash, a knife and a rifle which he used to murder two hikers.
- Shabir Kassam Taher Hazam, Abu-Musa Salam Ali Atia - As an initiation rite into a terror organisation, together murdered a work colleague with an axe.
- Mansour Omar Abdel Hafiz Asmat - Whilst a minor, found out during his work about the intention of his friends/colleagues to murder a civilian. During the murder helped the murderers to overpower the victim and after his death, placed the body in the boot of his car.
- Tamimi Rushdi Mohammed Sayid - Together with his accomplice, murdered a civilian by stabbing whilst exploiting the familiarity and trust of the victim. Afterwards, put the body of the victim into his car and set fire to the vehicle.
- Barbach Faiz Rajab Madhat - Together with accomplices, stabbed his employer to death.
- Alkraki Fahmi Fahd Alaa Aldin - Together with accomplices, stabbed to death a civilian who was on his way to the Machpelah Cave (Hebron).
- Abu-Sitta Taleb Mohammed Ayman - Together with accomplices, broke into an apartment in Ramle and murdered two people. Afterwards, mutilated the bodies and cut off their ears as proof of the action.
- Abu-Sitta Ahmed Sayid Aladin - Together with accomplices, broke into an apartment in Ramle and murdered two people. Afterwards, mutilated the bodies and cut off their ears as proof of the action.
- Ra'aei Ibrahim Salam Ali - Murdered a pensioner with an axe and afterwards stole the victim's gun.
- Mortja Hasin Ghanam Samir - Took part in the abduction, interrogation, torture and murder of four local residents suspected of collaboration with the authorities. (His actions were limited to abduction and guarding, but not the murders). Also, abducted local residents suspected of 'moral crimes' for interrogation.
- Mazeh Hasin Abed Kahlot - Criminal: murdered his friend after 'catching' him trying to kiss his wife.
- Mutslah Abdallah Salameh (also spelt Muslah) - Together with an accomplice, caused the death of a civilian – the owner of a mini-market in Petah Tikva – after robbing him, beating him up and pressing a towel against his face, left him in the shop.
- Amawi Hamed Alabad Halmi - Together with an accomplice, lured the victim with a request for help and stabbed him to death.
- Massalha Awad Mohammed Yusuf - Together with an accomplice, caused the death of a civilian – the owner of a mini-market in Petah Tikva – after robbing him, beating him up and pressing a towel against his face, left him in the shop. In a later incident, together with an accomplice, lured the victim with a request for help and stabbed him to death. During his imprisonment, together with another, caused grevious bodily harm to a prisoner suspected of collaboration with the authorites.
- Braham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser - Stabbed his employer to death.
- Shamasna Yusuf Jawad - Together with accomplices, stabbed to death two Israeli youths who hitch-hiked a lift in his car. Also, together with an accomplice, shot to death a taxi driver who was driving them to Abu Gosh. Also, shot to death a soldier who hitched a ride in his car.
- Shamasna Yusuf Jawad Mohammed - Together with accomplices, stabbed to death two Israeli youths who hitch-hiked a lift in his car. Also, together with an accomplice, shot to death a taxi driver who was driving them to Abu Gosh
Within months the crisis of market economy has managed to do to Greece what in past eras required brutal wars or devastating natural desasters. First hit by the sudden (but hardly unexpected) end of the speculative growth, especially on the real estate market, Greece was then amongst the countries hit hardest by the public debt crisis. By the droves investors lost faith in the Greek governments ability to repay loans given generously in the past and the refinancing with additional loans that had worked so well in the past and which had helped to keep global economy growing suddenly became unsustainable, as the decreasing faith of investors directly translated into increasing interest rates, making the tried and tested modus operandi of the last decades too costly to keep up. Greece was hardly special in any way, at least concerning their economic hardships, and that it could have hit any country within the Eurozone was patently clear wherever perception wasn't clouded by racist rhetorics about the "lazy southerners". Worse, should the Greek economy collapse, it could cause a domino effect that would send the entire Eurozone - and with it the world - into a downward spiral and deeper into global recession. After all, large parts of the public debt of Greece were loans given by other European states or their biggest banks and this debt - and especially the interest paid for it - was capital with which both operated and paid bills of their own.
It therefore wasn't out of kindness of heart that other nations of the Eurozone repeatedly handed out loans with interest rates unavailable to Greece on the free market or that they promised to service some of Greeces debt should the small mediterranean country default after all. In order to save their own money, Germany and co. had to rebuy public faith in the Greek state and its ability to pay. It is doubtful that, in case of a Greek failure to pay, the remaining Eurozone could stay true to their promises in regards to Greek debt even if they wanted to, but they don't have to prove it. The only important part is, that the market public believes in this guarantuee and starts to invest into loans to the Greek government again. At the core of this there is a "back to normality" policy that seeks to enable the Greek government to continue deficit spending like other governments. That this is deeply paradox, considering the crisis has clearly shown the limits of this attempt to import purely fictive future growth and turn it into real present economic growth, is clear, but illustrates only an inability to do politics beyond this point within the framework of capitalist economy.
However, if we can't move forward, maybe we can move backwards? The other answer to the problems of capitalist economics that doesn't touch capitalism itself, instead of a "borrow and spend" politics loosely based on Keynesian economics, is the neoclassical approach that seeks to take the state out of the equation by cutting its debts. At the core of neoclassical thinking is a deeply religious faith in a "natural order of the market" and the belief that, once interferences by state and organized labor are removed, the market will strike an equilibrium of growth on a high level. Ironically, Europe has attempted to do both: save Greece through a semi-Keynesian public investment of its memberstates into the Greek state, but at the same time force Greece - especially due to demands from Germany - to enact a historically unprecedented austerity program. This two-faced chimaire leaves its marks throughout European politics in the age of crisis. Europe's central bank pursues a policy of flooding the markets with money to promote economic growth, Europe's economists flood society with cheap metaphors about states being housewives who now need to tighten one's belt.
But states aren't housewives and their expenditures is a very important part of the economy. What austerity measures do in times of crisis can be witnessed in Greece, where saying the economy collapsed is a bit of an understatement. Starving schoolchildren, a ballooning number of homeless people, widespread poverty and unemployment. What we witness in Greece isn't just a temporary mistake, an error of capitalist history caused by faulty politics - it is the ugly face of the market baring its teeth. There is enough food to feed everyone in Greece - lavishly. All the houses where the now homeless used to live are still as good as they used to be when people still lived in them and they could easily offer shelter to them again. And isn't it ironic that, while more than one quarter of the workforce is registered as unemployed, those who still got employment are forced to work longer, both in terms of workhours and in terms of age before retirement? The market is a mad end of itself which considers a growing number of people dispensable - and proceeds to dispense them - but never dares to question its own maxims.
And don't dare to question it! As much as Greece as a image of things to come for the rest of the capitalist center in terms of economic hardships, Greece is also a textbook example of how bourgeoise society and government will deal with the social unrest in its wake. If the impoverished masses grow unruly and won't allow for themselves to be removed from the equation peacefully (i.e. starve), capitalist accumulation will be maintained with all means available. However, considering that economic crisis doesn't just decrease affordable income of the vast majority of people, but also that of the state, Greece is facing a dilemma that the capitalist world faced before after the great crisis of 1929 : how to combat a growing number of restless and poor with decreasing funds?
The answer can be summarized as "find an enemy" and "enlist deputies". Both aren't necessarily centrally orchestrated, but the state will gladly seek to take advantage of any such phenomenas where they blossom in the public. Enemies the Greek citizens have identified many, some classic (immigrants, jews), some seemingly not (bankers, the rich, Germans). However, they all share one common characteristic: to find someone to blame for the hardships, someone who willingly caused the sudden poverty sweeping the nation. Stereotypes of lazy immigrants taking advantage of the modern welfare state land themselves as a handy explanation to a growing public deficit; the idea of a jewish world conspiracy has always blossomed in times of economic crisis because of its simplicity in face of a complex situation; even the idea that the banks are responsible for the crisis due to their speculation or the rich due to their massive tax fraud or the Germans due to their government demanding strict adherence to austerity policies are all obscuring the issue at hand, despite the fact that speculation, tax fraud and German politics are very real whereas welfare-queens and jewish conspiracy are not.
When Greece is persecuting and publically shaming rich tax offenders it will endanger the survival of capitalism as little as it will, when it raids camps of illegalized immigrants and begins mass deportations. However, if it watched idly as the hungry masses take their food from the supermarkets without paying, that would be quite another story. The success of Golden Dawn can be explained as much with it servicing all the ressentiment and all the easy explanations in search of someone guilty for a problem that is in fact created by an apersonal and blind "machine" of public markets, as it can be explained with the fact that they are willing to do all the jobs the police can't. Half of the Greek police voted for the Neo-fascists of Golden Dawn, according to some estimates, and there is more than one Greek citizen saying that, when he or she asked the police for help, they were referred to Golden Dawn. When I say that the government enlists the help of the fascists to sweep the streets, do not misunderstand this as orders from the top brass, the politicians whose faces we see in the newspapers or on TV. It's those who actually have to deal with the everyday problems, the police officers and the beuraucrats, who are amongst the first to enlist the help of professional political thugs.
The anticapitalist left is facing troublesome problems in such times. Many of its positions, many of its rhetorics and many beliefs of their public speakers lend themselves handily to the neofascist rhetorics. They may not share the racism of Golden Dawn, but often times, they are as much in search of some actual group of persons to blame that they fail to criticise capitalism itself. But if they don't criticise the idea that "just the banks" are responsible for the crisis, or just Germany's self-righteous demands, they will seem like the weaker, the less radical and the less consequential answer to the issues of the people. It may only be a small step from the idea that a bunch of scrupelous bankers brought the crisis upon us to the idea that a bunch of scrupelous jews did it, but it will seem that the left does not dare to speak it out due to the shackles of political correctness. And if Greece is assaulted by German imperialism, die-hard Nationalists will seem better suited to defend it than the Anarchists, who want the Greek nation abolished. On top of this all, the idea that bankers, or German politicans, or immigrants or jews caused all the trouble has at its core the idea that capitalism was working just well for the Greek people, unless some outside force disturbed the natural order of things.
But the crisis is a consequence of capitalism itself, of its inability to grow beyond this point. Material wealth may reach historically unknown dimensions, but when less and less work is needed to produce it, a society that has put money and trade at the center of human interaction will face a dilemma: who is to buy all these goods? It's not like this simple question could cause capitalism to rethink itself. Its elites will instead administrate the poverty, the loss and the shortage - with all means available. If you ever asked yourself why the Greek state is raiding squatted houses in Athens, arresting hundreds in the process, or engaging in massive deportation campaigns against illegalized immigrants, but at the same time not only seems oblivious to Golden Dawn, but actively supports its attempts to root itself in Greek society: this is the core of it. Golden Dawn does not threaten capitalism, but it provides much needed raw force to deal with those who do.
Society desires a certain kind of evil: the stranger, the outsider, coming in the dark from somewhere far beyond our cozy, clean and suburban neighbourhoods. The fact that said society itself is tainted to the core by all the things it perceives as moral vice - greed is necessary to survive against competition on the market; violence is an everyday occurence to enforce the compliance of the poor, the women, the socially deviant or those who happen to live on top of the ressources we consume - it doesn't mean that bourgeoise society may accept the sinner as children of their own. To the contrary, it creates a pressing psychological need to perform an excorcism on those who have drawn public attention for their crimes, to find something that excludes these people from the sacred church of suburbia and makes them different from us.
The gunman of Newton, who killed his mother, then drove to the school where she was a teacher and proceeded to kill another 26 people, including 20 elementary school children before finally committing suicide - he's a perfect example. His murders will probably maintain a shred of mystery for us. All puzzle pieces taken together may paint the picture of a man who felt the need to take revenge on his parents and the community he grew up in, but it remains a distant crime, even more so than other school shootings, because many of the victims were so young. I don't believe myself able to explain these events. However, the list of explanations given by others, by journalists and politicians, philosophers and priests, is potentially endless. They all have in common that they tell us more about the people trying to explain the massacres, than those committing them.
An almost automatized explanation of the past, however, has seemingly vanished: "The video games did it." There is a subtle, psychological fear in that explanation, stemming from the technological revolution the introduction of modern computing brought to the economy. Many workplaces became obsolete as computers could do the same job faster and more efficient than humans. It may sound like a long shot from the fear of being "rationalized" to blaming video games for massacres, but there is a subconscious connection: the fear that computers take over our life, that, even where they don't replace us, they at least take control of our lifes. Movies like Terminator or later Matrix where symptomatic for that era. And if computers can take our jobs, surely they can as well command our children to kill?
That era is over and with it vanished the popularity of that explanation. Computers are part of our lives now, part of our daily lifes. The basement dwelling nerds of the 90s have grown up to become parents of their own and they wouldn't dare to blame something they grew up with and which caused seemingly no harm to themselves. Moreso, the rationalization of our own lifes has proceeded to a point where we have begun to accept and internalize all the new hardships which mobile phones and home computers have made possible. We are available to our bosses 24 hours a day, we share all our steps through social networking, we optimize our bodies and minds for capital accumulation - and we download the apps that structure our life for capitalism voluntarily.
The occasional, irrational killing spree remained and so did the need to explain it - somehow. If the shooter is black or brown or yellow - or in some other way a foreigner, the explanation is easy. We won't speak it out openly, western society believes itself above racism, after all. But the ethnicity of the shooter will be hinted on, with a varying degree of subtlety. And society will be content with the assurance: he was different, he wasn't one of us. The Virginia Tech massacre was one such case. Cho Seung-hui didn't just sound foreign, he wasn't even an US-citizen. However, the recent Newton shooter, Adam Lanza, he was white, he was one of us, the child of one of the teachers and a child from the community he committed the massacre in. This has caused some truly spectacular explanations to emerge, of which the insistence that he had Aspergers syndrome is the most glaringly unjustified.
It doesn't matter of that was true or not: Aspergers does not make you any more likely to take your mothers gun and shoot her and her pupils. Children with Aspergers syndrome aren't ticking time bombs with a tendency to violence. They are different, however, and that is the key to understanding this explanation: it makes Adam Lanza "not one of us". We don't have to face our society's very own demons, we don't have to deal with the fact that it was his mother who taught him how to shoot and whose guns Adam Lanza used. We don't have to deal with the question whether or not, perhaps, something caused his anger which we could understand or that maybe we find that he had issues the people around him consistently ignored, just the same way we ignore the wrongs that occur around us still. No, "Aspergers did it" sounds so much easier, even though people with Aspergers tend to follow the law more strictly than others because they tend to view issues in simpler schematics, more "black and white". We don't have Aspergers, that's what counts.
The victims of this public scare, of course, are the children who actually do have Aspergers syndrome and who are now stigmatized wrongfully as "potential massmurderers".
If, however, you don't want to blame Aspergers for the shooting, the world offers you a vide array of scapegoats to choose from instead. How about the German journalist Walter Hollstein, who blames feminism for school shootings? According to him, schools drown young men in "feminine morals" without allowing room for their masculinity and this "broken masculinity", Hollstein claims, provokes those excessive killings. I don't feel the need to dig any deeper into this pile of anti-feminine gibberish. It should be glaring obvious that this neither makes any sense, nor is applicable to any of the school massacres the world had to witness. What makes this explanation more perfidious -and worth noting at this point - is that this goes beyond the need to exorcise the culprit from our communities. He is taken back in, instead, only to redefine the boundries and limits of what's "normal and accepted" in favour of a traditional (you may say: reactionary) image of masculinity and femininity.
There is little room below that in terms of depravity, but someones got to fill that remaining gap: Iranian journalist Ali Haj Mohammadi gets straight to the point on the state-run website qodsna.com and blames the jews. In fact, he claims, Adam Lanza was a jew, suffering from a mental disease common amongst western jews. Aspergers Syndrom drives jews to not only kill children of an elementary school, but also to oppress the people of Palestine. This is worse than Hollstein, because "normal and acceptable" is no longer associated with behaviour and morals, but with ethnicity.