Palestine situation; hamas/fatah fighting

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 14 2007 12:10
Palestine situation; hamas/fatah fighting
Quote:
Hamas militants have seized the headquarters of their rival Fatah's Preventive Security force, tightening their control over the Gaza Strip.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6751079.stm

Looks pretty messy, although no reports of large civilian casualties. i mean it's hardly a coup given as hamas were actually elected (fwiw) and then forced to concede power, but looks a pretty intractable situation from the outside that's likely to cause problems for the general population either way. any middle-eastern posters got a take on this?

(incidentally, there's silence on imc uk which would be going nuts if israel was doing what hamas is)

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Jun 14 2007 12:25

Can't we just cut to the chase on this one, and start accusing each other of being nationalists?

baboon
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Jun 14 2007 13:00

Right on the button, button.
Palestinian nationalism, one of the great mobilising lies of leftism in the UK, second only to its anti-fascism mobilisation of workers onto the imperialist terrain, is being fully exposed as an appendage of imperialism by the Palestinian gangs tearing each other, and anyone in their way, apart.
In the name of Palestinian nationalism, this is a new, thoroughly predictable, twist in the descent into utter barbarism for the Palestinian populations, further creating new levels of instability in the whole Middle East region.
All the major imperialist powers, Britain, USA, France, Russia, Israel and so on, have contributed to this particular expression of capitalist decay but events are clearly showing that the organisations and expressions of Palestinian nationalism are not elements of struggle against the oppression of the Palestinian peoples (nor were they ever), but part of their oppression - a full, concrete, material part of the their oppression. These gangsters are openly demonstrating their role as another set of capitalist guards, murderers and terrorisors of the Palestinian masses, in the concentration camps of Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.
The decisions taken even on their own terms (Hamas and Fatah) are totally irrational but entirely in line with the overall imperialist produced chaos deepening throughout the Middle East.
Not many dead eh Joseph, and Hamas were democratically elected weren't they? Which particular brown man with an AK47 takes your fancy here out of these capitalist gangs?
The ov erall framework for these events has to be the disintegration of the western bloc and the further descent of imperialism into irrational chaos.

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the button
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Jun 14 2007 13:03

That's the kind of thing.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 14 2007 13:10
baboon wrote:
Which particular brown man with an AK47 takes your fancy here out of these capitalist gangs?

jeesus christ please try to understand sarcasm. please.

for the benefit of others, baboon is referring to this exchange:

baboon wrote:
Who do you support in all this imperialist decomposition Joseph?
Joseph K. wrote:
i support whichever bunch of poor brown guys have the ak47s to keep me aroused
baboon wrote:
So you're an armchair supporter of imperialist gangs?
Joseph K. wrote:
grin

go back and read page 1, where you will find both my condemnation of leftists who feel the urge to take sides in intra-bourgeois spats and an explanation of sarcasm

that said i think i'm siding with Hamas here, they have cool balaclavas and green flags, though i am rather fond of fatah's uniforms grin

alibadani
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Jun 14 2007 16:03

I kinda liked the Nazis in their heyday. The salute was the shiznit. And they were so much better at slaughtering than those stupid Stalinists.

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Jun 14 2007 16:55

This shit is all down to Mohammed Dahlan of Fatah, gangster no. 1 and Israel's proxy. This stuff was bound to come when the Tunisians (what has also been called the Oslo class) and their private armies got outed in the elections, combined with the fact that the Israel planned for this to happen by withdrawing from Gaza. Still Hamas are again showing political stupidity (a trademark of theirs since they won the elections) and are playing right into the hands of Fatah and Israel. A civil war in Gaza has been an Israeli wet dream for ages.

For pretty good updates on what's happening in Gaza I would recommend Tabula Gaza and Conflict Blotter.

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Jun 14 2007 17:00

Perhaps what has pissed off Baboon is precisely the fact that this whole situation is being treated as a joke. But I don't think there's any point in continuing with this exchange. There are enough people on libcom (not to mention the world outside it) who really do support the nationalists, and all those who share the basics of internationalism (and I would include Joseph and Revol in that) should be together on this, arguing against them.

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Jun 14 2007 17:09

I've never met a left communist who is against using jokes to make a serious point. But perhaps you could laboriously explain to a humourless robot like myself what serious point was being made here? On second thoughts, let's just discuss the situation in Gaza and the West Bank, as Khawaga has done.

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Jun 15 2007 09:08

I think I'm going to support Fatah, they seem nicer.

baboon
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Jun 15 2007 12:38

This is a major incident and should be a major discussion. It's important not only for the Palestinian masses but for the position of the working class in the main industrial centres. It also demands to be situated in the overall framework of the implosion of the eastern bloc, the subsequent collapse of the western and the growing centrifugal tendencies of each for themselves.
Joseph, I've looked for your position on leftism and Palestine and can't find it. Possibly I'm looking in the wrong place...
I know what sarcasm is - it's biting wit. It is not toothless drivel.
I've nothing against jokes Revol - let me know when you make one (Terry Wogan impressions don't count).

knightrose
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Jun 15 2007 12:52

It's a major defeat for the working class in Palestine. It further removes the chance of any independent organisation and strengthens the hand of Hamas and in consequence Islamism as the dominant national liberation ideology in the region. As a defeat of secularism it can only lead to further deterioration of the position of women. (Which does not mean I support Fatah, critically or otherwise). It means that future struggles will be military and further undermines those who seek a mass, popular struggle against the wall that can include activists from both Palestine and Israel.

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Jun 15 2007 12:56

Baboon, this is an important issue, but it seems to me that you started all this by misinterprting a sarcastic remark, or two:

Revol 68 wrote:
Why aren't they formed up into the Wayne Price battalion?
Joseph K wrote:
in the absence of an anarchist militia i am a little unsure who to support, but it sure ain't the cowards fleeing the fighting

If you had read through the discusions on here that they refer to, you would understand them. If not, you should just accept that it was sarcasm.

Personally the first one made me smile.

Devrim

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Jun 15 2007 13:10
baboon wrote:
Joseph, I've looked for your position on leftism and Palestine and can't find it. Possibly I'm looking in the wrong place...
Joesph K. on the other thread wrote:
baboon, the my sarcasm was aimed at those who say we must take sides in every intra-bourgeois spat - leftists who support hizbullah or hamas for example. however it's a bit of a cross-thread joke which is bad etiquette because it easily leads to misunderstandings like this

not exactly a position, but should be clear i'm not fond of leftist cheerleading for nationalist gangs

Terry
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Jun 15 2007 13:13

I thought baboon's post was a brilliant parody of recent discussions on libcom.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 15 2007 13:16

it is possible he's just being sarcier than me and it's gone way over my head grin

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the button
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Jun 15 2007 13:23

Test your sarcastic posting skills on this thread: -

http://libcom.org/forums/libcommunity/sarcastic-post-smackdown

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Jun 15 2007 13:25

Is it true that Mohammed is the UK's most popular name for baby boys? A friend of mine said so, I don't know whether to believe him.

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Jun 15 2007 13:27

It is if you add up all the variant spellings. It was in the papers early this week.

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Jun 15 2007 13:39

Knightrose: I think it's more accurate to say that this conflict is a result of the weakness of the working class in the region. We have to make it clear that a victory for Fatah (which is backed by Israel at the moment) would have been equally disastrous. The 'defeat' is the mobilisation on the nationalist terrain, on all sides of this conflict.
I am also doubtful whether the way out of this nightmare is a "mass popular struggle against the wall". I would agree that the struggle against daily repression and the restriction of access to work can be part of the class struggle, but "struggles against the wall" in themselves are more likely to be interclassist or nationalist and don't serve to bring out distinctive working class interests. The best hope seems to be the development of some of the strike movements we have seen in the region recently, in Israel, Palestine and in particular Egypt, and the growing realisation that they are part of an international class movement.

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Jun 15 2007 13:41
the button wrote:
It is if you add up all the variant spellings. It was in the papers early this week.

It's number 2:

Quote:
Although the official names register places the spelling Mohammed at No 23, an analysis of the top 3,000 names provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) puts Muhammad at No 2 once the 14 spellings are taken into account. If its popularity continues – it rose by 12 per cent last year – the name will take the top spot by the end of this year. It first entered the Top 30 in 2000.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1890354.ece
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Jun 15 2007 13:52

Ah right. I did read that story in The Times, but clearly anything that features the phrase "Jack was the most popular" deserves to be taken with a pinch of salt.

sphinx
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Jun 16 2007 04:41

This is from debka.com, an intelligence site run by ex-Mossad:

Quote:
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Hamas – and its Syrian and Iranian sponsors - capture priceless Palestinian Authority intelligence archives in Gaza putsch

The Fatah-led general intelligence and security services caved in too fast to shred, wipe or burn documents, computer disks and archives. The entire collection fell into Hamas’ hands when they seized Palestinian Preventive Intelligence HQ at Tel Awa (henceforth Tel al-Islam) and the Palestinian General Intelligence center near Gaza port.

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources say: Never before has a bonanza of Western intelligence secrets on this scale ever reached an implacably hostile Islamist terrorist gang. The US, British and Israeli intelligence services may have suffered their greatest debacle in the war on Islamist terror. It will take them many years to recover.

Hamas has taken possession of hundreds of thousands of documents cataloguing the clandestine operations of Western intelligence services in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates. It is now the owner of complete archives of Palestinian undercover links with foreign intelligence services going back decades, with names of spies, political collaborators and double agents. The documentation covers the secret ties Palestinian intelligence maintained from the 1970s, when Yasser Arafat was based in Lebanon, with the Americans, the British, the French, the Israelis and many others.

Most intelligence experts say Israel should have bombed the two buildings and destroyed their contents rather than letting them fall into the hands of an organization and country dedicated to its eclipse.

For Hamas, this booty is priceless – and not only as the repository of bombs for planting under Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts. The Palestinian group’s Syrian and Iranian sponsors will pay a king’s ransom for this unique collection of explosive secrets hidden by many a Western intelligence agency and government. Damascus and Tehran will be hugely empowered with the means to stay a jump ahead of American moves in the region and tools to sabotage US policies at any time. They will have a store of national secrets and compromising information to hold over the heads of Western leaders and officials, lists of undercover agents, and records of covert operations carried out by the Israeli Mossad, Shin Bet and Military Intelligence, CIA, British MI6 and other Western agencies. Iran, Syria and Hamas will know the names of politicians, including Israelis, who worked secretly with Palestinians and their shady deals.

One intelligence expert said that the Gaza hoard left in enemy hands by Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan are the crown jewels compared with the Saddam Hussein’s intelligence archives.

In the Palestinian security service building, Hamas found computer hard disks covering years of undercover activity and a complete set of sophisticated wiretapping and surveillance equipment and sensors which the CIA and MI6 gave Mahmoud Abbas and his forces. It was all in perfect condition ready to switch on.

I think it's also worth noting that during all this chaos, Islamic Jihad tried to send two female suicide bombers through the Gaza/Israel crossing to attack Tel Aviv. One of these women was pregnant...is this not a new level of barbarism? Really imagine being splattered with fetus during a suicide attack.

Alf do you really think there is no difference between a victory by Hamas or by Fatah in the territories?? Doesn't the different track record, manifestos, martyr culture etc. indicate an immediate difference in goals, means and attitude to Israelis? I am frustrated by ultra-left positions that are not taking into account the massive impact that modern anti-semitism is having on these movements.

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Jun 16 2007 04:57

I find this conversation interesting, and find it funny that it has started with a general attack on any kind of liberation movement as being "nationalist" in character. This term has almost lost its meaning on libcom -- it has become a hollow term used to associate what we dislike about nationalist and patriotism in first world countries, with any movement that identifies with a cultural, religious, or geographical boundary as being sovereign from another.

The real thing happening here is the US is dividing its opposition to its massive, aparteid state military base [Israel]. It's very clear divide and conquer - they have clearly orchestrated this shift in the power balance -- Fatah caved because they were starved for arms in the Gaza strip, and denied all semblance of logistical aid, and their leadership was inexplicably absent immediately prior to the main onslaught.

sphinx wrote:
I think it's also worth noting that during all this chaos, Islamic Jihad tried to send two female suicide bombers through the Gaza/Israel crossing to attack Tel Aviv. One of these women was pregnant...is this not a new level of barbarism?

I find these emotional appeals as one-sided and attempting to spin the issue. Of course we all oppose suicide bombing on here -- but something that has to enter the conversation is "what conditions would possibly compel a pregnant mother to attempt to do this?!"

When we ask that question, we can't merely rely upon the sordid excuse of "religious fanaticism". Islam, as a religion, even in its fanatical elements, generally forbids these kinds of acts. And fundamentalist religion can't be seen as a prime or motivating factor - at best it can be seen as a method to organize and aggrivate existing contradictions.

When we start examining the nightmarish conditions in the refugee camps, we start to understand why people this downtrodden and humiliated resort to tactics we individually and collectively abhor.

Quote:
Alf do you really think there is no difference between a victory by Hamas or by Fatah in the territories??

Of course there is a very real difference, and they represent two different competing political and ideological lines.

The real ideological line that presented a threat to US domination of the region was the PFLP - because their vision of pan-arab nationalism and solidarity with the anti-imperialist movements of southeast-asia and Europe was a genuine threat. They were accordingly made the number one target of the european and israeli intelligence services, and were wiped out despite their numerically and strategically inferior position to other palestinian liberation groups.

I don't think the line of the PFLP was by any means perfect, or ideal, but it was the only thing that was a real threat. Both Fatah and Hamas have lines that, when managed properly, can serve US interests in the region.

Quote:
I am frustrated by ultra-left positions that are not taking into account the massive impact that modern anti-semitism is having on these movements.

You have to understand that "anti-semitism" in the middle east is a lot different than it is anywhere else in the world. In the middle east, most of the people there are semites -- and the vast majority of Israeli's are not seen as "Jews", primarily, but as European colonists. Most the Israeli population are not semitic - they are German, Eastern European, and Russian.

anti-Judaic movements and sentiments are vile and should be opposed wherever they crop up, and I certainly don't support any of the nuts that preach holocaust denial and so on in the Palestinian camp [and they are few and isolated], or even the extreme reactions of anti-Judaism that manifest themselves.

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Jun 16 2007 05:55
Quote:
I find this conversation interesting, and find it funny that it has started with a general attack on any kind of liberation movement as being "nationalist" in character. This term has almost lost its meaning on libcom -- it has become a hollow term used to associate what we dislike about nationalist and patriotism in first world countries, with any movement that identifies with a cultural, religious, or geographical boundary as being sovereign from another.

Which regions do you think should maintain 'cultural sovereignty' from others?

Quote:
The real thing happening here is the US is dividing its opposition to its massive, aparteid state military base [Israel]. It's very clear divide and conquer - they have clearly orchestrated this shift in the power balance -- Fatah caved because they were starved for arms in the Gaza strip, and denied all semblance of logistical aid, and their leadership was inexplicably absent immediately prior to the main onslaught.

Good thing you put Israel in brackets there because I thought you might have been talking about Saudi Arabia where of course women are not allowed to line up next to men and there are entirely different highways for non-muslims. I find your logic really interesting too. It's not simply that Fatah was not allowed the arms it demanded (in which case the anti-imperialists would have said the west was stoking civil war), it was that Hamas ATTACKED (i.e. stoked the civil war). Let's not get the agency wrong here. I do agree with you that it's pretty interesting how Dahlan, etc. GTFO of town before everything went down.

Quote:
I find these emotional appeals as one-sided and attempting to spin the issue. Of course we all oppose suicide bombing on here -- but something that has to enter the conversation is "what conditions would possibly compel a pregnant mother to attempt to do this?!"

When we ask that question, we can't merely rely upon the sordid excuse of "religious fanaticism". Islam, as a religion, even in its fanatical elements, generally forbids these kinds of acts. And fundamentalist religion can't be seen as a prime or motivating factor - at best it can be seen as a method to organize and aggrivate existing contradictions.

I didn't say anything about religion motivating them. More likely they were motivated by the organization itself which exists of course to perpetuate conflict with Israel and when possible sacrifice Palestinian lives in order to end Israeli lives.

Quote:
When we start examining the nightmarish conditions in the refugee camps, we start to understand why people this downtrodden and humiliated resort to tactics we individually and collectively abhor.

Right...and none of this is funded by counter-revolutionary nationalist militias who are in turn funded by foreign powers interested in turning Palestine into a proxy war. Flipped out gunmen in the states, like the guy who attacked the Amish community, are capable of the same acts and didn't need to live in a camp their whole lives. This is incidentally the same logic the Japanese state used to coax young men into human missiles during WWII. 'We are surrounded, they are all powerful, but in our resistance itself we find strength'

Quote:
The real ideological line that presented a threat to US domination of the region was the PFLP - because their vision of pan-arab nationalism and solidarity with the anti-imperialist movements of southeast-asia and Europe was a genuine threat. They were accordingly made the number one target of the european and israeli intelligence services, and were wiped out despite their numerically and strategically inferior position to other palestinian liberation groups.

I'd first like to hear what you think the main ideological differences are between Fatah and Hamas. You may be right about the PFLP but why are we suddenly talking about US domination in the region. There are at least three major imperialist powers in the region alone willing to offer quick alternatives to US ovations to bourgeois democracy: Iran, Syria and Turkey.

Quote:
You have to understand that "anti-semitism" in the middle east is a lot different than it is anywhere else in the world. In the middle east, most of the people there are semites -- and the vast majority of Israeli's are not seen as "Jews", primarily, but as European colonists. Most the Israeli population are not semitic - they are German, Eastern European, and Russian.

LOL, this will be news to the Israeli population. 'Guess what? The tests are back, you guys aren't semites.'

I think you miss the point by rather a large margin and of course intentionally abuse the definition of anti-semitism, which has a historical specificity that withstands your reduction of 'who is a semite'. To negate Israelis as 'colonists' is of course to deny the implications of the holocaust, that all of our talk and action for emancipation was only able to offer the most meager defense as the Germans and their collaborators executed millions across Europe, and that some Jews took it upon themselves to ensure that Jews could never be targeted for genocide again. Since Israel's history is a mixture of colonialism, use by the west as a forward imperialist base, and of course ethnic cleansing, it is understandable that this original necessity is downplayed, but I think the denial of that original necessity is at the root of so many of the problematic politics of nationalist organizations in the region.

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Jun 16 2007 07:05
sphinx wrote:
Which regions do you think should maintain 'cultural sovereignty' from others?

It's not so much which regions I think should maintain that kind of autonomy, rather it's what groups of people are actively seeking claim to do so, and what the very real implications of doing that are. For example, I think the various regions of the Caucus mountains - Abkhazia, Dagestan, Chechnya, Ossetia, etc., should all be independent from Georgia and Russia respectively. Fully indepedent.

I could give some more examples but that would belabour the issue -- the drive to have autonomy based on geographical borders is a reality that we have to live with and understand, especially considering that there are no places on earth right now where anarchism holds any kind of spacial or temporal power. Maybe the discussion would be different if the balance of power was shifted, but right now it's not in the cards.

Quote:
Good thing you put Israel in brackets there because I thought you might have been talking about Saudi Arabia where of course women are not allowed to line up next to men and there are entirely different highways for non-muslims.

I was of course talking about Israel, as Saudi Arabia doesn't serve nearly the same purposes. The US has a substantial air force presence and about 30,000 troops in SA at any one time -- they are mostly there to keep a lid on the country itself, and to prop up the unpopular autocratic rule of the House of Saud. The US is scared that if a populist regime came to power, it would further the advance of pan-arab nationalism.

You have to remember, all these reactionary regimes were set up to combat the threat of secular, quasi-nationalist regimes that would have charted their own course in the region -- so the argument that Israel is a bastion of civilization in a land of savage barbarism is a false one. The Iranian regime prior to the CIA-orchestrated coup by the Shah was more progressive than any regime Israel has ever experienced.

Quote:
I find your logic really interesting too. It's not simply that Fatah was not allowed the arms it demanded (in which case the anti-imperialists would have said the west was stoking civil war), it was that Hamas ATTACKED (i.e. stoked the civil war).

Well, how is my logic "interesting" ?

Fatah was screaming for arms -- and almost everyone can purchase arms, except for some reason Fatah. They were clearly being fucked over and set up for what happened there. Hamas attacked because Fatah had become so weak, and so isolated, that they saw their opportunity was now or never. Fatah saw they were being isolated and if Hamas hadn't attacked, Fatah would have been forced to play their hand and assassinate the Hamas leadership.

Quote:
I do agree with you that it's pretty interesting how Dahlan, etc. GTFO of town before everything went down.

Yeah, funny that. Funny how it all works out nicely like that.

Quote:
I didn't say anything about religion motivating them. More likely they were motivated by the organization itself which exists of course to perpetuate conflict with Israel and when possible sacrifice Palestinian lives in order to end Israeli lives.

Organizations like that can't really motivate people to do those things - they can only provide the organizational framework to give them the outlet to act on their acutated motivations. Clearly, what is motivating them is the aparteid conditions they live in. They are oppressed and desperate, and are routinely subjecte to the worst humiliations and depravations by the european colonists occupying their land.

Quote:
Right...and none of this is funded by counter-revolutionary nationalist militias who are in turn funded by foreign powers interested in turning Palestine into a proxy war.

Sure, they fund a resistance. In fact those powers are expected by their own populations to fund that resistance - if they didn't those regimes would be turfed and replaced with ones that did.

Quote:
I'd first like to hear what you think the main ideological differences are between Fatah and Hamas.

Hamas was primarily beefed up in the 70's as a wedge between the Palestinian population and the ideological line being put forward by the PFLP, and to a lesser extent by the PLO. They were essentially developed by the US intelligence services at the same time as the Afghani Mujahideen and the other religious muslim groups were being armed, funded, and trained by the US to destabilze the USSR's borders. Hamas in the occupied territories were part of that plan, as the USSR was nominally backing the PFLP.

Fatah are a heavily split organization - between the old guard of Arafat's camp, a younger guard of intefadah vets who are starting to side with the old guard but are generally more progressive, and a third group who currently control the organization - led by Abu Mazen, and including a group of right-wing warlords who are being used to keep the population in line.

Quote:
You may be right about the PFLP but why are we suddenly talking about US domination in the region. There are at least three major imperialist powers in the region alone willing to offer quick alternatives to US ovations to bourgeois democracy: Iran, Syria and Turkey.

Iran, Syria, and Turkey are NOT "major imperialist powers". And please, if you think they are, point out what imperial possessions they have, or what countries they are exploiting to take their capital from. Turkey can barely hold on to its Kurdish areas -- Iran only recently became a regional power after rebuilding from the devastation of the Iran-Iraq war [a deliberate US move to achieve just that aim of crushing Iran's economy], and Syria -- fuck I'm not even going to go off on Syria, it's a three ring circus.

None of them can offer "alternatives" to US control, and none of them can even challenge US control in the region -- Iran may bein the position to make a challenbge in the long term if they align themselves with the up and coming superpowers correctly.

Quote:
this will be news to the Israeli population. 'Guess what? The tests are back, you guys aren't semites.'

If we accept "semite" as a religious or cultural term, they are definately semites. But by ancestry they are overwhelmingly European. That's pretty obvious. Up until recently even Sephardic jews were second class citizens.

Quote:
To negate Israelis as 'colonists' is of course to deny the implications of the holocaust,

bullshit. To identify them as colonists is to call them for what they are. I'm not even making value judgments on that - colonizations is a natural process taht has happened and will continue to happen for the forseeable future. But lets be honest about what's happening here.

Quote:
that all of our talk and action for emancipation was only able to offer the most meager defense as the Germans and their collaborators executed millions across Europe, and that some Jews took it upon themselves to ensure that Jews could never be targeted for genocide again.

The working class of Europe was sacrified to fascism out of fear of the alternative [social revolution]. Israel was not established to protect Jews from further atrocities - if anything it puts them in a riskier situation - surrounded on all sides by hostile forces, and depednent on the US imperial might for survival. And don't forget, it was the Israeli intelligence services hunting down RAF militants, while those same RAF militants were busy executing nazi war criminals like Schleyer.

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Jun 16 2007 08:52

negate /= identify

Many, myabe most Israelis might be colonists but that doesn't mean that we fall into the nationalist trap "When we drive them off our land we'll be fine" The aremd groups and warlords are unlikely to treate palestinians any better than Israel is, so while we may condemn israeli violence I don't see, logically, how supportiing Hamas or anyone else is going to help.

I'm not sure about the records thing either, I doubt large amounts of sensitive information would have been given to an organisation that the US has never (as you have said) offered any real support to. There will be some records but nothing important and I doiubt anything of any real strategic value.

Fatah may have conveniently got its leadership out but to say it was starved of guns when Hamas was able to obtain weapons is a bit odd, as it did seem as if the Israelis were tacitly supporting fatah against Hamas.

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Jun 16 2007 08:55
rise wrote:
The real thing happening here is the US is dividing its opposition to its massive, aparteid state military base [Israel]. It's very clear divide and conquer - they have clearly orchestrated this shift in the power balance -- Fatah caved because they were starved for arms in the Gaza strip, and denied all semblance of logistical aid, and their leadership was inexplicably absent immediately prior to the main onslaught.

I think that it is quite interesting how the American 'anti-imperialists' see everything in relation to the US. Rise suggests that the US is the active agent behind all of this. There is no evidence for this assertion whatsoever. It is stated that this was 'clearly orchestrated' by the US because FATAH were 'starved for arms in the Gaza Strip', and that 'their leadership was inexplicably absent immediately prior to the main onslaught'. To me this doesn't come across as 'clear' proof that the US orchestrated the affair. At best it comes across as circumstantial evidence.

In my opinion, the reason that Rise would like the US to be behind it is that it would then conform to his view of the world situation as a struggles against global US domination, and that anything that struggles against that as progressive.

I think that this is shown clearly by his statement that:

rise wrote:
The real ideological line that presented a threat to US domination of the region was the PFLP - because their vision of pan-arab nationalism and solidarity with the anti-imperialist movements of southeast-asia and Europe was a genuine threat.

The world is automatically divide into two camps, not a class division, but for, or anti US domination. The PLFP are supported not on the basis of any class positions whatsoever, but on the basis of the fact that their 'ideological line that presented a threat to US domination of the region'.

This working class is completely absent from this analysis. Anything that is against US domination is looked upon as progressive.

While not denying that the US could be behind this, I feel that it is a huge mistake to start our analysis from this point. Israel is quite capable of acting autonomously, and both of the main Palestinian factions also have their own interests.

So, to return to the actual events in Palestine for me it is very unclear what rise is saying. He states that the whole affair is 'clearly orchestrated' by the US. Are we to understand from this that HAMAS is acting in the US interests? Alternatively we could listen to what HAMAS themselves say. For them it is very clear that FATAH is the tool of the US:

Ahmed Bahr wrote:
It is Abbas who gave the Dahlan gang carte blanch to terrorise Gazans, undermine the government and carry out the American-Israeli agenda in the service of the enemies of our people,...
Al-Ahram wrote:
Hamas insists the current confrontation is not between Fatah and Hamas but between the Palestinian people and an American-armed and financed group within Fatah that is seeking to promote a Zionist agenda, an allusion to Dahlan who has vowed on several occasions to destabilise the Hamas government.

Which side are you backing here, rise? Who is fighting against US domination? You seem to bottle out of the issue by supporting the PLFP, but they are not really a part of this conflict. Which side is forwarding the struggle against US world domination?

A rejection of a class line always leads to supporting nationalists.

Devrim

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Devrim
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Jun 16 2007 09:12
rise wrote:
sphinx wrote:
Which regions do you think should maintain 'cultural sovereignty' from others?

It's not so much which regions I think should maintain that kind of autonomy, rather it's what groups of people are actively seeking claim to do so, and what the very real implications of doing that are. For example, I think the various regions of the Caucus mountains - Abkhazia, Dagestan, Chechnya, Ossetia, etc., should all be independent from Georgia and Russia respectively. Fully indepedent.

This is an interesting statement from rise. The idea that the regions of the Caucus can become 'fully independent' is absurd. If we take the case of Abkhazia, it seems quite clear to me that it will be dominated either by Georgia, or Russia. States can not be 'fully independent' today. It is also interesting that yet again their is absolutely no mention of the working class. Rise supports some amorphous 'groups of people'.

Lets just look at what these 'groups' of people mean for the working class:

Wiki on the Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus wrote:
Sukhumi Massacre

On September 27, 1993 the Abkhaz side violated the UN-mediated cease-fire agreement (Georgian side has agreed to pull out all heavy artillery and tanks from Sukhumi in return for cease-fire) by storming defenceless Sukhumi. The Confederates moved in Sukhumi and started to sweep through streets of the city. As the city was engulfed by heavy fighting, civilians took refuge in abandoned houses and apartment buildings. Some of the civilians of Georgian ethnicity were massacred after the discovery by the Confederates.[citation needed] By late afternoon the remainder of Georgian troops surrendered to the Abkhaz side. Majority of Georgian POWs were executed on the same day by Abkhaz formations and Confederates.[citation needed] Few civilians and military personnel managed to survive the massacre. The massacre continued for two weeks after the fall of Sukhumi.

It seems clear to me 'what the very real implications of doing that are' It means supporting nationalist massacres.

Devrim

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Jun 16 2007 09:32
rise wrote:
Sphix wrote:
You may be right about the PFLP but why are we suddenly talking about US domination in the region. There are at least three major imperialist powers in the region alone willing to offer quick alternatives to US ovations to bourgeois democracy: Iran, Syria and Turkey.

Iran, Syria, and Turkey are NOT "major imperialist powers". And please, if you think they are, point out what imperial possessions they have, or what countries they are exploiting to take their capital from. Turkey can barely hold on to its Kurdish areas -- Iran only recently became a regional power after rebuilding from the devastation of the Iran-Iraq war [a deliberate US move to achieve just that aim of crushing Iran's economy], and Syria -- fuck I'm not even going to go off on Syria, it's a three ring circus.

None of them can offer "alternatives" to US control, and none of them can even challenge US control in the region -- Iran may bein the position to make a challenbge in the long term if they align themselves with the up and coming superpowers correctly.

No, Iran, Syria, and Turkey are not major imperialist powers. They are important regional powers though, which do have their own interests. You are right when you say that 'none of them can even challenge US control in the region'. However, they do all have separate interests. Turkey, for example, has its interests in Northern Iraq, and could possibly be drawn into conflict with the US there (though I think this is unlikely). The Turkish nationalists are fantasising about a war with the US. Iran is playing its games in Southern Iraq, and Lebanon, and Syria is doing the same in Lebanon, and Palestine.

Your suggestion that 'Turkey can barely hold on to its Kurdish areas' seems to fly in the face of reality. The Turkish state has control over the Kurdish regions, and the PKK's war is not a threat to the territorial integrity of the state. In fact since 1998, the Turkish army seems to have solidified its control on the region. What happened in 1998 one may ask? Syria stopped supporting the PKK, and it temporarily collapsed. National liberation movement have a tendency to end up as tools for rival powers.

Again though the working class is completely lacking from rise's analysis. It seems that rise thinks that the problem with these states is that they are incapable of 'challeng[ing] US control in the region'. Should we support the Iranian bomb then in order to make them more capable?

To me this position doesn't seem far from the SWP's one in the Iran-Iraq war when they said that socialists could not support strikes in this situation. Everything, including workers' lives, and living standards, must be satisfied to defeating the dominant imperialism.

Devrim

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Jun 16 2007 09:35
rise wrote:
This term [nationalism]has almost lost its meaning on libcom -- it has become a hollow term used to associate what we dislike about nationalist and patriotism in first world countries, with any movement that identifies with a cultural, religious, or geographical boundary as being sovereign from another.

You look at it from a 'first world country'. Our organisation looks at it from the Middle East. We reject nationalism as it is dragging the working class deeper , and deeper into a spiral of violence, massacre, and war across the entire region.

Devrim