Jerusalem and Gaza

48 posts / 0 new
Last post
ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
May 26 2021 13:06

Cheers for the clarification and those links, R Totale

From reading all those statements over the past few days, I'm struck by the overall agreement of them on what attitude to hold, despite sometimes the occasional choice of particular words.

At least on some issues, I perceive that the Thin Red Line can be seen as a unified current, very separate and in opposition to the usual left-wing.

We can in no way nor wish to direct the actions of the Palestinians other than offering our perspective which I doubt will receive little audience but for some who do read what we say, especially if it coalesces together as a general viewpoint, it may well resonate.

I only have the media and it wasn't particularly detailed on the general strike, but we are well aware that there is a whole collection of vested interests waiting in the wings to assume leadership and will manipulate events to their advantage.

So I agree with AW we need to get access to information on the ground and in all quarters.

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Offline
Joined: 15-02-18
May 26 2021 14:30

A lot of people with Palestine flags in their usernames getting really pissed off at that AW piece on twitter right now, btw. As you say, a bit of a shame it wasn't more rigourously waterproof - Hamas is hardly any less a part of imperalism for now being aligned with Turkey/Qatar more than Iran/Syria.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
May 26 2021 23:22

The truth hurts. People resent being told they have been deluded.

We should remember that saying, "it's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled"

The ‘choices’ offered to working-class Palestinian people has between Islamist gangsters (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) or nationalist gangsters (Fatah,)

I doubt many of those leftists are aware that Mossad purposefully turned a blind eye to the rise of Hamas because they believed an Islamist movement would undermine those secular "Marxist" popular liberation fronts which were once prevalent and when plane hi-jacker Leila Khaled was the leftist's favourite pin-up girl. Now they are being told that Hamas wages come to them courtesy of Israel's acquiescence.

Many activists are very willing to accept that Abbas and the PA act against the interests of the Palestinians but a group that actually invites destruction gets a free pass from them. We've been here previously when we explained how Ho Chi Minh collaborated with the British to put down the Trotskyist Saigon Commune.

Despite all the evidence that the National Liberation Front model changed nothing but the master, I still find its proponents on the internet.

The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, still operates in Gaza probably because the NGOs insist upon it.

Back in the Arab Spring days - "fuck the lot of them" on Facebook

https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2011/01/gaza-youths-manife...

I took the story on trust but it could easily have been a black psy-ops plant.

I wish I had recent data on the class divide. We are presented with the London Blitz narrative.

From 2010
Sarah Leppert, FAO’s communications adviser for the West Bank and Gaza Strip explained “There is a diverse range of foods available in Gaza; the problem is people do not have the means to purchase the food..." The wealthy and Hamas officials suffer little deprivation as they will have the necessary wherewithal.

I'll make my next project to trawl the internet for more evidence of Hamas privileges.

And it is useful to remind the pro-Israeli lobby of Zionism's sordid history pre-Holocaust days

Rabbi Wise, the principal spokesperson for Zionism in the USA, opposed any rescue plan. He refused to support changes to the American immigration laws, preferring to pressure the British to change Palestine’s immigration restrictions.

Quote:
For the Zionists, the settlement of Palestine was above and beyond everything. It superseded any other purpose, even the rescue of lives of the German Jews, which had value only to the extent of fulfilling the Zionist goal… Yitzak Gruenbaum, the chairperson of the Zionist committee, between “the rescue of the masses of Jews in Europe” and “the redemption of the land – I vote, without the second thought, for the redemption of the land.”

No revisionist historian but the Times of Israel
~https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/german-zionism-and-the-german-jews/

David Ben Gurion, “if I knew it was possible to save all [Jewish] children in Germany by their transfer to England and only half of them by transferring them to Eretz-Yisrael [Palestine], I would choose the latter.”

Dyjbas
Offline
Joined: 15-05-15
May 28 2021 22:06
R Totale wrote:
A lot of people with Palestine flags in their usernames getting really pissed off at that AW piece on twitter right now, btw.

Same happened to the ICT statement (over 200 quote tweets). Seems it's mostly annoyed the right people (Stalinists accusing internationalists of "fascism" etc. has a long history!).

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
May 28 2021 22:48

Being well-accustomed to holding unpopular political positions with the 'progressives', liberals and leftists, I think you should look upon such criticism as a badge of honour. The more vitriol against you the better as it is also evidence that your message is circulating. We suffer from the opposite. Silence.

A useful tactic is to make a record of such disagreements and when events prove the worth of your analysis, as they surely will, the come-back is 'we told you so', rub their proverbial noses in it.

I'm not depreciating the many sincere individuals appalled by the atrocities but those organised groups who contribute to the misinformation and the disinformation that creates misleading beliefs which contribute to the continuance of civilian cannon-fodder.

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Offline
Joined: 15-02-18
May 29 2021 07:47

Has anyone had any experiences of trying to give out internationalist statements, or carrying banners etc, in real life in the most recent round of demos, or has it all been online?

Dyjbas
Offline
Joined: 15-05-15
May 29 2021 08:45

Agreed ajjohnstone, although I think most people are not very receptive to being told "we told you so" either!

R Totale, the ICT distributed leaflets at demos in a couple countries. No problems that I heard of so far.

sherbu-kteer's picture
sherbu-kteer
Offline
Joined: 19-08-17
May 29 2021 09:08

I don't know if you'd consider our statement internationalist in the same vein as the ICT's or AWW's, but we handed out our anarchists in Oceania statement with no issues. We have much fewer Twitter followers though

Spikymike
Offline
Joined: 6-01-07
Jun 6 2021 15:43

A useful short addition I thought from the USA to the 'one state, two states, no states' arguments and the non exception of Israel's 'ethnic cleansing' to that of other nation states historically and today:
https://brooklynrail.org/2021/06/field-notes/Both-Sides-Now

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Jun 8 2021 12:37

Patrick Cockburn

Quote:
‘...Pursuit of a chimerical Palestinian state that, in any foreseeable political situation, is not going to be more than a collection of beleaguered Bantustans, has become a culpable diversion from seeking equal civil rights and personal security for Palestinians... Prolonged peaceful mobilisation of millions of Palestinians on the streets, wherever those streets may be, is their most powerful card and one which Israel would find it difficult to counter...As for the Palestinians, there are opportunities in the current turmoil, hobbled though they are by their useless leadership. This is not going to be displaced or relax its grip on formal power any time soon, but it could be bypassed. The best way forward for the Palestinians would be to establish a broad-based civil rights movement to mobilise their communities everywhere, using their great numbers to challenge systemic oppression and prevent further erosion of their rights’

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/06/08/forget-the-peace-process-the-foc...

Alf's picture
Alf
Offline
Joined: 6-07-05
Jul 2 2021 09:59

ICC article which takes this thread as its point of departure

https://en.internationalism.org/content/17033/internationalism-means-rej...

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Jul 2 2021 11:17

I wrote an article in this month's issue of the Socialist Standard, hopefully dispelling any illusions some people might hold about Hamas.

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2020s/2021/no-140...

As regards the Palestinian problem as a whole, the SPGB holds to a 'peace policy' that any compromise or concession that ends or substantially reduces the deaths of our fellow workers is to be welcomed, even if that means accepting the two-state or one-state option rather than waiting for the no-state answer, and if it means leaving the window open for any nationalist to climb through, so be it.

As an aside, I have always held that Hezbollah claim to be a national liberation organisation because of the occupied Shebaa Farms, an area of only several square miles, is fraudulent. No little patch of dirt is worth any war. Hezbollah exists as a political party militia more interested in threatening the Lebanese army and challenging the coalition Lebanese government.

sherbu-kteer's picture
sherbu-kteer
Offline
Joined: 19-08-17
Jul 3 2021 01:01
ajjohnstone wrote:
Hezbollah exists as a political party militia more interested in threatening the Lebanese army and challenging the coalition Lebanese government.

To be clear, Hezbollah is part of the coalition Lebanese government and has on a number of instances worked alongside the Lebanese army.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Jul 3 2021 01:50

Lebanese politics is a complicated affair and Hezbollah is as you say a minority "partner" in government.

Yet it remains an independent military organisation that refuses to integrate itself into Lebanon's government army, denying that it is a militia but rather a "resistance" force, which is the point I was making.

It probably out-guns the official Lebanese army.

This recent Al-Jazeera article describes the dire precarious position of the government army despite substantial US/UK/EU aid (with the caveat that Al-Jazeera is Qatari controlled and no friend of Hezbollah)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/2/what-would-the-collapse-of-leban...

Hezbollah is involved in foreign intervention in Syria's civil war and not merely against encroachments of Islamists into Lebanese territory but as Iranian proxies.

sherbu-kteer's picture
sherbu-kteer
Offline
Joined: 19-08-17
Jul 3 2021 04:48

Correct. But Hezbollah doesn't posture this way for no reason, it's because the Ta'if peace accords that put the civil war on ice declared that all militias were to be disarmed, except those fighting the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon. As Hezb was doing this, they were officially allowed to keep their guns (most of the other political factions still have armed militias, only semi-openly or secretly). Even though Israel effectively withdrew in the main, Hezb still claim their guns are legal on the grounds that there's still remaining land occupied, and that Hezb are the most credible defence if Israel invades again, as in 2006.

This is relevant for because it reveals the odd dynamic Hezb have towards the Lebanese state, where they posture to outwardly respect its legitimacy whilst simultaneously ensuring they have considerable power independent of it. Their intention is not to take over the whole country and run it as an Islamic theocracy, but to essentially have that role over the Shia community.

The situation in Lebanon would not be improved one bit if Hezbollah disarmed and dissolved into the national army. This is the fantasyland solution promoted by the anti-Hezb political factions in Lebanon, and you see it in the AJ article: the Lebanese army is this independent force, respected by everyone regardless of sect, the symbol of national unity. All total horseshit, naturally. It's an attempt to position Lebanese nationalism as a cure to Lebanese sectarianism, without acknowledging that Lebanese nationalism was born out of sectarianism and can't be imagined to be independent from it.

Hezb does Iran's bidding, but this is sort of a moot point in Lebanon where every political faction is the servant of one or another regional power (it's telling that in the AJE article, when the army chief needed funds, he went to France). Some of the secular liberal types want Lebanon to become like Switzerland, neutral and aloof from regional power blocs, but I don't think they even understand what it is they're saying.

My point is that we can't conceive of a way forward for the working class in Lebanon without having to confront the question of Lebanon itself as a primary issue, much more acutely than is the case in, say, the UK. Hezb is an enemy of the workers for sure, but so is the Lebanese state itself - and it will always be that way. The only way forward is via practically overcoming the national boundaries by linking the struggles of workers in Lebanon with the other regional workers' struggles, like in Syria, Egypt, Palestine, etc, and figuring out how to oppose both the regional states and non-state forces like Hezb.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Jul 3 2021 06:52
Quote:
all militias were to be disarmed, except those fighting the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon... Hezb still claim their guns are legal on the grounds that there's still remaining land occupied

Again that was my original point. The only remaining occupied territory is Shebaa Farms, 7 x 2 sq. miles, not worth the spilling of any blood by any reasonable standard. And it is technically not Lebanon but Syria, so even that justification is erroneous.

I think we actually agree even if it appears we aren't.

I was really trying to equate Hezbollah with Hamas being exactly as you say anti-working class and they are claiming a legitimacy it is not entitled to ( I was after all drawing attention to my Socialist Standard article.)

Like religion, nationalism is an ideology that has so far effectively thwarted the case for socialism and I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments:
'The only way forward is via practically overcoming the national boundaries by linking the struggles of workers in Lebanon with the other regional workers' struggles, like in Syria, Egypt, Palestine, etc, and figuring out how to oppose both the regional states and non-state forces like Hezb'.

But I will be honest, I don't know exactly how we can do that. But as a stop-gap, as I said I will sympathise with any treaty that reduces the price in human lives and cost in their quality of life.

Then perhaps people will view one another as fellow-workers and not enemy combatants. Noticeable was Hezbollah's inaction during the Gaza bombing.

Lebanon's present economic woes surely is a place to start a process of reconciliation where I think trust in all political parties is diminishing, and that it has to be multi-national as well Lebanon being home now to not only large numbers of Palestinian refugees but also Syrians.

sherbu-kteer's picture
sherbu-kteer
Offline
Joined: 19-08-17
Jul 3 2021 09:45

That's fair, I wasn't trying to disagree strongly but maybe I didn't get the tone right with my original comment.

Whilst I sympathise with the desire for a peace deal, there's been over thirty years since the Ta'if accords and sectarianism hasn't broken down to a great extent. I can't see any peace deal happening that isn't some kind of a sham that just kicks the can down the road. That is, unless there is some kind of popular movement from below that shuffles the deck. I thought the recent wave of protests might be that, but they've been sluggish in moving past nationalism and middle-class liberalism. We'll see...