Working Class Political Theory - Israel, Palestine and The Lebanon

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Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
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Aug 22 2006 14:01
Lazy wrote:
Ouch that's a bit harsh. I suppose you're right though.

I was only responding to your generous offer;

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Now correct me if I’m wrong

neutral

baboon
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Aug 22 2006 14:10

On the question of barriers then ideological has always been stronger than physical. I sense the same frustration on this thread as lots of others. There's a tendency to want to support Hezbollah, but not. This is shown in revol's (words to the effect) "I didn't support the IRA but I did". And this is a man that talks about "moralism" in political positions.
What the war between Israel and Hezbollah shows over and above all else (the situation in Palestine shows it too), is the general tendency of decomposing capitalism. This is not going to go on for ever (contradicting our moralists)because it is a finite process of decline taking on a large dose of irrationality. The situation in the Middle East shows the growing instability and deteriorating international relations, a period opened up by the collapse of the Russian bloc (the most important event in our lifetimes)and the relative, though declining, stability that the 2 bloc system afforded for that period.
We are now in a different and more unstable situation of inter-imperialist rivalries and this makes a response from the working class all the more pressing. It's not impossible for an authentic working class voice to emerge from Lebanon, Israel or any other war zone, and these should be identified and supported. One can feel (and see0 the pain and suffering of the Lebanese, Israelis and Palestinians and we can see the murder of workers taking place. But this chaos and war is deepening and spreading all over the world - it is not a process that is standing still. As Rosa Luxemburg said - "it's not to laugh or cry, but understand". The working class of the metropoles, the centres from which radiate the destructive forces of imperialism, is already responding in episodes of great importance. It is facing up to this challenge by fighting on its own terrain and there's nothing at all myterious about it going from the economic to the political (and back again). The history of the workers' movement shows this, not just in revolutions but upheavals and strikes everywhere.

Lazy Riser's picture
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Aug 22 2006 14:14

Hi

Ret Marut wrote:
Lazy wrote:
Ouch that's a bit harsh. I suppose you're right though.

I was only responding to your generous offer;

Quote:
Now correct me if I’m wrong

Ho ho. Be assured I take your correction seriously. What do you want from me?

Love

LR

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Aug 22 2006 14:22

A pint at the bookfair will do.
(Hmm, though it may be more useful to keep you eternally in my debt.)

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Aug 22 2006 14:39
Lazy Riser wrote:
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Lets get this straight, the checkpoints and wall are at present the central barrier to unified action between israeli and palestinian workers.

Maybe so. But ending the occupation in any practical sense replaces Israeli checkpoints and border controls with UN ones.

So here for some bizarre reason you still see this particular occupation as something abstract, or something total. According to you either its there in its entirety, or its not. Much like your comrades in the ICC can't see the difference between liberal capitalism and fascism.
As it happens i'd be against the occupation entirely, but then i thought ou weren't. So why can't people even be against part of the pyhsical effect of it, just in case they might get tainted by nationalism. Its like some sort of agorapobic knee jerk where you won't leave the house because you know, its terrifying out there.

And no a campaign against the checkpoint system is a campaign against the checkpoint system, don't try and twist it into a call for the UN to intervene.
And to be honest if you honestly think the UN are going to man hundreds of checkpoints across israel then you're even more of an idiot than i thought you were. You honestly think the UN has the manpower or political will to do that?

While it might conceivably actually be better for palestinians if the UN controlled the area i hardly see that as a likely or desireable scenario. If israel were to pull out of palestine it would only be to social pressure from within, they aren't going to pull out otherwise so the UN arguement is only a strawman realistically. A rather useless justifcation for inaction, or alternatively an attempt to accuse people of supporting the UN by proxy in which case you can accuse them of being ''middle class'' or some such sociological cobblers, all very pathetic in the end really.

People opposing the checkpoints don't neccesarily do it for an abstract end goal of them being abolished, its something that affects their day to day lives and they can make a difference on a daily basis.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0607/p13s02-wome.html
So in your opinion are people doing this wrong because the UN might step in and replace the IDF? Or are they wrong because in fact they should be immediately taking up arms against the israeli state, or at least handing out leaflets urging peple to do so? Or are they wrong because all 400 of them are middle class because according to your sociology style definition? Or are they making that oh so terrible historical error of trying to get the bourgeoisie to give them a decent standard of living and stop killing them? Please i really would be fascinated to find out.

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Aug 22 2006 14:46
revol68 wrote:
baboon wrote:
This is shown in revol's (words to the effect) "I didn't support the IRA but I did". And this is a man that talks about "moralism" in political positions.

Do you want to explain this point you lying, twisting, intellectual pygmy?

grin

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Aug 22 2006 15:13

Hi

cantdo wrote:
So here for some bizarre reason…

Your interpretation is inaccurate, but as it just personal rhetoric I will merely refer the comrade to his/her prior outbursts.

cantdo wrote:
a campaign against the checkpoint system is a campaign against the checkpoint system, don't try and twist it into a call for the UN to intervene.

I agree with this statement. I haven’t tried to make it look as though it’s a call for third party intervention. I continue to assert that that’s what it actually implies, unless you can explain how you’ll be getting rid of Israeli border controls otherwise. Maybe, like Laz, you don’t think that’s your job, which is fair enough, so we’ll have to wait and see how your campaign plays out.

cantdo wrote:
if you honestly think the UN are going to man hundreds of checkpoints across israel then you're even more of an idiot than i thought you were.

More uncalled for personal invective. I am as sceptical as you are that the UN can enforce the 1967 border today any better than it could in 1967, which is certainly a hurdle for anyone suggesting that the “occupation should end” without following through the consequences without a raft of measures to secure Israeli borders and properly placate Palestine.

cantdo wrote:
While it might conceivably actually be better for Palestinians…

More uncalled for personal invective, indicative of the mentality underlying your politics. There might be a point in there somewhere, if you wish me to address it, make it using a civil tongue please.

cantdo wrote:
People opposing the checkpoints don't neccesarily do it for an abstract end goal of them being abolished, its something that affects their day to day lives and they can make a difference on a daily basis.

As I agreed earlier.

cantdo wrote:
So in your opinion are people doing this wrong because the UN might step in and replace the IDF?…

No to the first three questions. And a “don’t know” to the last.

Love

LR

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Aug 22 2006 15:24
buffoon wrote:
There's a tendency to want to support Hezbollah, but not. This is shown in revol's (words to the effect) "I didn't support the IRA but I did".

The 1969 Bogside defence was not an act of the IRA, they had a quite minimal presence - in fact the IRA had limited credibility then and graffiti of the time stated "IRA = I Ran Away". Get your facts straight, before pretending to know what you're talking about. So your simplistic equation of the Catholic working class' activity with the IRA is - well, the kind of thing a nationalist would do.
And thanks for that religious statement that reads like it was auto-generated - change a few names and it could apply to almost any warzone in the past 150+ years. Yet again unthinkingly gumming together stock phrases... really historical and materialist...roll eyes

magnifico
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Aug 22 2006 15:30

I think the most important question for communists on this issue is who will they be supporting in the football tonight?

Will it be Liverpool, thus striking a mortal blow to Israeli national prestige and thereby indirectly to US imperialism in the middle east, whilst simultaneously gladdening the hearts of any proud Son of Erin as 'Fields of Athenry' echoes around the bars and clubs of Kiev, Merseyside and Dublin?

Or will it be Maccabi Haifa, thus bringing solace to a civilian population under the constant threat of Islamist rocket attacks and uniting Jewish football fans in rapture with their comrades among the club's substantial Israeli Arab following? (And annoying the SWP?)

magnifico
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Aug 22 2006 15:47

.....is the correct answer cool

they've got a pretty good record against irritating English teams that play in red haven't they revol?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 22 2006 15:59

Haifa is actually the team that most Isreli arabs and lefties support. It's the only town that's still got anything like a real mix of arab and jewish and hence a real tragedy that it's been suffering due to racists and nationalists sad

magnifico
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Aug 22 2006 16:00

Can't argue with that wink

edut:- i meant revol but it applies to both of the last two posts sad

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Aug 22 2006 16:53

This reminds me of the Sth American Soccer War of 1969;
http://libcom.org/soccer-war-1969-el-salvador-honduras-kapuscinski

jack white
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Aug 22 2006 18:41

I've been reading libcom with increasing disgust the last few days.

I suppose at least the ultra leftists have shown themselves to be dogmatic, near robotic tired old cliches. Its a bit like watching a parody of 'divorced from reality' intellectual socialism and would be funny if it wasn't slightly disturbing.

Well done Revol, Can't and Ret - if this was a board where you could give out reputation I'd rep you all night long.

circle A

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Aug 22 2006 18:46

Hi

Yeah Jack whatever. Attacking the "ultraleft" is the political equivalent of picking on the annoying speccy autistic kid in the corner of the playground. You must be very proud.

Love

LR

john
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Aug 22 2006 20:41
jack white wrote:
I've been reading libcom with increasing disgust the last few days.

I suppose at least the ultra leftists have shown themselves to be dogmatic, near robotic tired old cliches. Its a bit like watching a parody of 'divorced from reality' intellectual socialism and would be funny if it wasn't slightly disturbing.

Well done Revol, Can't and Ret - if this was a board where you could give out reputation I'd rep you all night long.

circle A

I think this is the lamest contribution to this thread so far - what's your point?

magnifico
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Aug 22 2006 21:02

1-1, Liverpool through on aggregate sad

john
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Aug 22 2006 22:04
revol68 wrote:
maybe he should have offered his temporal solidarity to hezbullah?

To be honest I just kept wishing you'd shut up instead of playing Wurzel Gummidge for the ICC.

who's Wurzel Gummidge?

john
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Aug 22 2006 23:01

got it

cool

Lazy Riser's picture
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Aug 22 2006 23:22

Hi

It's a comedy duo. revol68 is john's Aunt Sally...

Love

LR

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Aug 22 2006 23:24

Hi

I'm The Crow Man...


Without me, you'd have no life.

Love

LR

Lazy Riser's picture
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Aug 22 2006 23:26

Hi

I wish you would. Ho ho.

Love

LR

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Aug 22 2006 23:33

Hi

Quote:
maybe he should have offered his temporal solidarity to hezbullah?

Ho ho. He could go back to 1917 and tell the Zionists to go for Argentina instead. And I thought JK's moon-based rays were stuntist. You card.

Love

LR

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Aug 23 2006 08:55

I hope these quips don't signify the end of this discussion. The debate on how to develop an internationalist perspective in the Middle East is hardly exhausted.

In the main this thread was a confrontation between incompatible viewpoints, but there were moments of convergence: for example, when Revol shifted the emphasis from calling for an end to the occupation, with all its political ambiguities, to focusing more on the possibility of concrete struggles. I accepted the point that proletarian struggles could emerge around issues like the roadblocks.

The question remains: what is the balance of forces between the classes in the Middle East at present? The ICC, and Devrim on the EKS thread, have said that it is clearly unfavourable to the working class. If this is the case, then there is a huge danger of expressions of proletarian discontent being immediately dragged onto a nationalist terrain. Once again, it doesn't mean that there are no such expressions, that there's nothing to work with. Cantdo has tried to give us some examples of positive tendencies. Unfortunately they seem to be the kind of things organised by NGOs and similar agencies.

My problem with the arguments of Revol and others is that by underestimating this danger, they are themselves falling into the trap of mixing up proletarian struggles with outbursts that are fundamentally on the nationalist terrain. This in our view has been the fate of the “intifada”, irrespective of the degree to which its origins may lie in the spontaneous expression of social discontent. I would say exactly the same for what happened with the ‘troubles’ in Ireland. In situations where the balance of forces is against us, the uncompromising defence of internationalist principles, of the class line, is perhaps more important than ever (as it was during the second world war, for example…).

There have been some really crass responses to the argument that the key to the transformation of this negative balance of class forces in Israel/Palestine lies elsewhere, in areas where the working class has been less pulverised by national divisions. Such responses reveal an incredibly narrow and short-term vision. Jack White's mock 'dialogue' featuring Palestinian workers chatting about the Belfast postal workers' strike is totally lacking in any sense of what it means for the working class to be an international class. Of course this one strike doesn't provide an immediate way out for the Palestinian workers, but it indicates a potential for greater movements that will more clearly offer a different future than endless fratricide and barbarism.

magnifico
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Aug 23 2006 11:13
revol68 wrote:
You still haven't told me the difference between supporting struggles against the manifestations of the occupation and suporting struggles against the occupation? Is there some sort of spiritual plane to the occupation I'm not aware of.

Not a spiritual plane, but when I hear someone calling for an end to the occupation I assume they are calling for a paletinian state - that Israel should withdraw to the '67 boundaries etc., whereas we as internationalists I woulld have thought should be arguing that it is the checkpoints, curfews, arrests etc that are the problem, not the fact that they are being administered by jewish rather than palestinian soldiers. So I'd say it is how the palestinian working class is being treated that is the problem, not the territorial configuration of the area. I'm sure you'd agree with this too, but I understand Alf when he says that calling for an end to the occupation is ambiguous.

redfored
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Aug 23 2006 11:25

Yes your right. Hisotry has a big part in what has been happening in the middle east oer the last few months. It is a history that is thousands of years old. The English and the Franch sold their war time allies the arabs out so they can give the land that the arbs wanted to the Franch. In 1948 the arabs were once more sold out by the world so the Jews could get what they wanted. In 1967 while the Israely army was illegaly takeing over the arab lands so the jews could get their hands on the oil to make the profits the world set by and did nothing.

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Aug 23 2006 11:47

Magnifico - You put that very well!

Redforred: who are "the Jews"? If we are communists, we see that all "peoples" and "nations" are divided into classes with conflicting interests.

Jason Cortez
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Aug 23 2006 11:51

What oil has Israel got?

redfored
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Aug 23 2006 12:40

what i mean by the jews is the Capitalists that are makeing them fight so the capitalists can get bigger profits.

redfored
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Aug 23 2006 12:43

Israel has got the oil in the lands that they have occupied so the capitalists and their companies can pump it and sale it and get rich off the mass killing of thousands of people just so they can. Why don't you read the New Communist Manifesto.