Working Class Political Theory - Israel, Palestine and The Lebanon

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Lazy Riser
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Aug 18 2006 21:30
Working Class Political Theory - Israel, Palestine and The Lebanon

Hi

If you’re going to get involved with “calling an end to the occupation” then, in order to remain consistent, you’re going to have take a view of material history. You’re going to have to take a position on the 1936 Arab Uprising and the 1939 British White Paper, else you’ve got no credibility to suggest this-or-that border for Israel and no substance to calling an end to the occupation other than sentimentally sucking up to the people in the region who you consider to be the most oppressed and victimised.

Quote:
history can't show anything other than what happened in the past

Perhaps a fair comment in general. I’d suggest, specifically in this case, if you "input" the 1947 partition you “output” the current consequences, there’s nothing you’ve suggested that’s going to modify the process this time around to stop it from panning out in the same way.

Unless by ending the occupation you mean something completely different, like wiping Israel off the map.

Love

LR

john
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Aug 18 2006 21:38

I don't want to end the occupation, I want to end the extension of centralized power within the hands of Israeli-US-state/mnCapital.

I don't want a redrawing of the map in Middle East.

I don't want to wipe Israel (specifically) off the map, but I do want to highlight how the actions of the Israeli state are commensurate with the logic of state/capital, whereby it works best when it's accumulating power to itself, and extending that power - and to argue that for this reason (and others) attempts to go beyond state and capital (in all parts of the world) should be encouraged.

john
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Aug 18 2006 21:40
Lazy Riser wrote:
Please explain your line of argument to a working class Jew who thinks Israeli occupation of a “security zone” around Israel is a legitimate defensive measure.

1) the security zone acts to alienate the people on the other side of it, and so is actually counter-productive as it's more likely to perpetuate insecurity

2) the security zone is being created by the same people who dominate over you (the Isreali Jew), and so by supporting that form of state action you're also supporting the state action that acts to keep you down at the lower end of the social hierarchy

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Aug 18 2006 21:44

Hi

I see. That's true I suppose, so what's the difference between the shape of Israel now and the one we'd need to stop all these attacks.

Love

LR

john
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Aug 18 2006 22:25

it would be a space within a decentralized a-national mutually-cooperative global unsystem of fluid social relations

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Aug 18 2006 22:30

Hi

Have you been drinking the water? It's just that you seem to be really high.

Anyway, we tried that with the kibbutzim, it didn't help. I think I'll stick with our security zones, unless you can come up with something better.

Love

LR

john
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Aug 18 2006 22:34

:biggrin:

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Aug 18 2006 22:35
Lazy Riser wrote:
Have you been drinking the water? It's just that you seem to be really high.

It's your fault, you put E in the water.

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Aug 18 2006 23:38

Hi

The point is that, there as here, are first "call" should be to get working class people collaborating with each other about their political problems independent of bourgeois influence. That's the point at which the working class start to develop their unique political policy. How this impacts “the occupation” is a future that has yet to be written, but it must emerge from authentic autonomous working class deliberation, regardless of current attitudes to border controls or religious doctrine.

If this-or-that individual in Israel or Palestine places territorial disputes above forging links throughout the working class, then they should be challenged; not patronised with this “oh they can’t be expected to develop anything other than a national liberation consciousness at this stage” attitude. They’re sophisticated living breathing human beings, not a bunch of backward savages.

Love

LR

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Aug 19 2006 00:39

I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this thread is. There have already been several on the exact same topic, each sharing the others inadequacies.

We can of course reassert the need for an international position again, although I doubt it will take us any closer to any meaningful action in this regard.

john
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Aug 19 2006 08:33

Lr - I basically agree with what you write - BUT

1) I think it's actually very difficult to draw such a sharp line between working class and bourgois politics

2) what is "authentic" working class deliberation? How do you know when you see unauthentic working class deliberation?

3) I don't support the territorial disputes of those who want a Palestinian state or a larger Lebanon - I oppose the murdering of people by a group of relatively rich people in the possession of a lot of military equipment and with the support of some of the most powerful people in the world - I don't think this is resorting to territorial/bourgeois politics, but rather that it is part of a wider concern for solidarity/cooperation and a general opposition to domination by the powerful over the powerless; in that way I think opposition to Isreali murder can also be part of a process of international collaboration between members of the disenfranchised masses

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Aug 19 2006 11:33

Hi

Quote:
I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this thread is. There have already been several on the exact same topic, each sharing the others inadequacies.

Well thanks for that contribution. The origins of this thread are documented well enough on…

http://www.libcom.org/node/8849?page=9

Quote:
We can of course reassert the need for an international position again, although I doubt it will take us any closer to any meaningful action in this regard.

Like I say, collaborating in solidarity, developing working class politics that transcend the territorial disputes fuelled by a bourgeois agenda is “meaningful action”.

Quote:
it's actually very difficult to draw such a sharp line between working class and bourgois politics

I agree to a certain extent. Allow me to suggest, we should concentrate on developing the politics rather than ensuring the sharpness of the line, which in itself is not a very useful issue. If the proletariat happen to “agree” with a bourgeois line, then it carries no more relevance than the fact we occasionally breathe the same air, or occupy the same land.

Quote:
what is "authentic" working class deliberation? How do you know when you see unauthentic working class deliberation?

That’s a fair enough question, and will depend on circumstances. For the purpose of this thread, let’s take it to mean collaborating together to develop our perspectives in a spirit of solidarity and discussion centred around our shared material interests. We can safely assume that personal abuse, nationalism and imperialism, invoking sacred rites or calls for retribution for past conflicts constitute an attack on the working class as a whole.

Quote:
I don't support the territorial disputes of those who want a Palestinian state or a larger Lebanon - I oppose the murdering of people by a group of relatively rich people in the possession of a lot of military equipment and with the support of some of the most powerful people in the world - I don't think this is resorting to territorial/bourgeois politics, but rather that it is part of a wider concern for solidarity/cooperation and a general opposition to domination by the powerful over the powerless; in that way I think opposition to Isreali murder can also be part of a process of international collaboration between members of the disenfranchised masses

Noble sentiments. Please explain what you consider Israel’s “proportional response” should have been to the missile attacks.

Love

LR

WeTheYouth
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Aug 19 2006 11:38
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Noble sentiments. Please explain what you consider Israel’s “proportional response” should have been to the missile attacks

Well not to level village after village in the south of lebanon killing hundreds of inncoent people and destroying thousands of peoples lives for years to come. Not to mention the attack on civil building like water works.

Poxy little rockets vs a fully mechanised army...hmmm seems fair doesn't it?

There should be dialogue not warfare, and the creation of class solidarity.

ticking_fool
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Aug 19 2006 11:52
Lazy Riser wrote:
For the purpose of this thread, let’s take it to mean collaborating together to develop our perspectives in a spirit of solidarity and discussion centred around our shared material interests.

I don't have time to respond at length (I'm still behind after yesterday), but you've (not just you, but others taking a similar position) still got to deal with the fact that the occupation is one of the Israeli/Palestinian working class's 'shared material interests'. So far all I've seen is people ducking the issue by trying to make the PA the main focus of struggle within Palestine, which just doesn't work.

Quote:
Allow me to suggest, we should concentrate on developing the politics rather than ensuring the sharpness of the line, which in itself is not a very useful issue.

But what if you're in a situation where there effectively is no line and the shared material interests of the working class are located on terrain totally dominated by ruling class interests and agendas? That's the question that's being ducked (Alf's comment on the other thread just taking things back to the beginning for example), and it seems to be the key question for internationalism in this situation.

Not suggesting I've got an answer to it any less vague than revol's possibilities (or indeed your 'spirit of solidarity and discussion'), but I think acknowledging that there is a problem here is pretty important.

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Aug 19 2006 11:58

Hi

Nice try comrade. But we aren’t asking for a description of what would not have been a proportionate response.

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Poxy little rockets vs a fully mechanised army...hmmm seems fair doesn't it?

This argument implies that a Jewish militia firing poxy little rockets back would be OK because it was fair. I’m not sure whether or not the conflict is fair is an argument for us to have, it is an example of bourgeois values which it against our best interests to maintain.

For instance, when the working class dismantle the bourgeois world, that will not be fair, at least not to them.

Quote:
There should be dialogue not warfare, and the creation of class solidarity.

Please confirm if you are proposing that, rather than launch a military attack, the Isrealis should have entered into a diplomatic discourse with Hezbollah.

Love

LR

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Aug 19 2006 12:23

Hi

Quote:
But what if you're in a situation where there effectively is no line and the shared material interests of the working class are located on terrain totally dominated by ruling class interests and agendas?

Change the agenda, by developing ideas and spreading them around the working class.

Quote:
That's the question that's being ducked (Alf's comment on the other thread just taking things back to the beginning for example), and it seems to be the key question for internationalism in this situation.

Agreed. The trouble for Internationsts (capital “I” for Alf, Dev, Baboon et al) is that their ideology has been analysed by a working class who are already more politically sophisticated than the entire left milieu, and rejected.

Love

LR

ticking_fool
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Aug 19 2006 12:28
Lazy Riser wrote:
Change the agenda, by developing ideas and spreading them around the working class.

I don't see how that can be done without directly confronting the occupation and working towards ending it. That's going to mean negotiating the swamp of nationalism and imperialism and is going to run serious risks of getting sucked into setting borders and all that crap, but I don't see how it's avoidable.

Quote:
The trouble for Internationsts (capital “I” for Alf, Dev, Baboon et al) is that their ideology has been analysed by a working class who are already more politically sophisticated than the entire left milieu, and rejected.

In favour of what? (Not being snippy, I want to know what you think.)

Sorry.
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Aug 19 2006 12:31
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

Quote:
I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this thread is. There have already been several on the exact same topic, each sharing the others inadequacies.

Well thanks for that contribution. The origins of this thread are documented well enough on…

http://www.libcom.org/node/8849?page=9

Doesn't make this thread are more or less identical to all the others on the same topic.

Another thread where the following (or some derivation thereof) is articulated:

Quote:
Like I say, collaborating in solidarity, developing working class politics that transcend the territorial disputes fuelled by a bourgeois agenda is “meaningful action”.

With me left wondering - but what does that involve?

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Aug 19 2006 12:49

Hi

Quote:
I don't see how that can be done without directly confronting the occupation and working towards ending it. That's going to mean negotiating the swamp of nationalism and imperialism and is going to run serious risks of getting sucked into setting borders and all that crap, but I don't see how it's avoidable.

Fair play then. To directly confront the occupation without unwittingly propping it up, one needs to specify Israel’s borders and propose arrangements to stabilise the situation should you achieve Israel’s shrinkage. Please confirm if you’re suggesting international military intervention to enforce UN agreed borders.

Quote:
The trouble for Internationsts (capital “I” for Alf, Dev, Baboon et al) is that their ideology has been analysed by a working class who are already more politically sophisticated than the entire left milieu, and rejected

Quote:
In favour of what?

Everyday life.

Quote:
this thread are more or less identical to all the others on the same topic.

I think you’ll find it is already unique comrade. Your comments are duly noted.

Quote:
Like I say, collaborating in solidarity, developing working class politics that transcend the territorial disputes fuelled by a bourgeois agenda is “meaningful action”.

Quote:
With me left wondering - but what does that involve?

Excellent. I for one look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Love

LR

Sorry.
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Aug 19 2006 12:51
Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
Like I say, collaborating in solidarity, developing working class politics that transcend the territorial disputes fuelled by a bourgeois agenda is “meaningful action”.

Quote:
With me left wondering - but what does that involve?

Excellent. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Love

LR

What do you think it involves?

ticking_fool
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Aug 19 2006 13:10
Quote:
Fair play then. To directly confront the occupation without unwittingly propping it up, one needs to specify Israel’s borders and propose arrangements to stabilise the situation should you achieve Israel’s shrinkage. Please confirm if you’re suggesting international military intervention to enforce UN agreed borders.

Which takes us right back to where we started. If you don't believe that it's possible to organise on class lines against the occupation without getting sucked into the question of setting borders or choosing between ruling class factions then please just say so.

If that is where you're coming from then as far as I can see you're declaring class politics irrelevant to Israel/Palestine, as the central political fact of the situation which cannot be gone round or ignored is the occupation. That being the case why shouldn't working class people get involved with Hamas? If There Is No Alternative, you pick from amongst the best of a bad bunch and I'd personally take confrontation over hiding in a cellar and hoping it'll all go away.

lem
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Aug 19 2006 13:24

It seems to me (I haven't read much of these threads embarrassed) that no-one is saying that any position that can be taken would be more revolutionary. So, maybe it is an ethical question. In which case, IMHO, it might be importnat what position would be taken in a free rational discourse between w/c Israelis/occupied groups. I mean, is this happening, anywhere?

Btw, post text disappears when you go back to them after following a link, iyswim.

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Aug 19 2006 13:36

Hi

Quote:
If you don't believe that it's possible to organise on class lines against the occupation without getting sucked into the question of setting borders or choosing between ruling class factions then please just say so.

I’m not sure it’s possible to organise on class lines “against the occupation” at all. Whatever relevant problem is bound up with borders can only be resolved by class conflict not joining in with a territorial dispute between bourgeois factions.

Quote:
the central political fact of the situation which cannot be gone round or ignored is the occupation.

The central political fact of the situation is the working class are conditioned to place the interests of the bourgeoisie above their own interests as individuals, and by implication, those of their class.

Quote:
That being the case why shouldn't working class people get involved with Hamas?

Because unless they want to spend their time fighting a religious war, it won’t give them what they want. Worse, Hamas’s policy of religious authoritarian conditioning weighs down upon the potential of working class people to even find out what that may be.

Quote:
If There Is No Alternative, you pick from amongst the best of a bad bunch and I'd personally take confrontation over hiding in a cellar and hoping it'll all go away.

Which is good an argument for being in the Israeli army as it is for joining the Islamists. If There Is No Alternative then you forge your own, by spreading new ideas throughout the working class.

Quote:
What do you think it involves?

Doing stunts. Please see if you can improve upon my suggestion.

Love

LR

Sorry.
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Aug 19 2006 14:13
Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
What do you think it involves?

Doing stunts. Please see if you can improve upon my suggestion.

Love

LR

grin

I don't think we can develop working class politics that "transcend the territorial disputes fuelled by a bourgeois agenda" on behalf of the region's working class. In fact I don't believe there is any significant intervention we can undertake in this regard.

I think it's a choice between inactivity or a liberal humanist lobbying.

john
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Aug 19 2006 14:20

LR asked - proportionate response to Hezblah missiles?

I think - the point for me is that the missiles were an attempt to resist Isreali/US aggression in the region. I don't really need to concern myself with what the correct response of Isreal/US should have been, as for me pretty much any response would have been an attempt to further securitize the region for interests that I perceive to be contrary to my own (it's like asking me what I think a good electoral strategy would be for the BNP). Personally, I think the Hezblah response was nationalist, Islamist, and overly-aggressive, so I don't support either Isreal or Hezblah positions - which is the point where I agree with you Lazey - we need to spread beyond-state/beyond-capital ideas amongst the global population, so that they don't resort to killing each other when their states/capital seem to require it.

Ilan
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Aug 19 2006 15:37

End of occupation for antiauthoritarians is like a strike in a workplace for wage rise - it is not the end of capitalist system, but improve the condition of the masses and rise rebelion.

Most of the Israeli working class are immigrants or second generation of immigrants of third world countries.
For them the idea of end of Israeli hegemony in the region is taken as becoming down ward equal....

The impracticality of occupaying teritories of Palestinians and Syria or Lebanon can make sense to them when the cost of continuation of it is harsh (intifada, Katyushas, suicide bombers' etc.. Even equality with the 20% of the Israeli Palestinian citizens make sence when they see that they served as a kind of reserve force to push wages down.

(By the way, most of the Israeli Palestinian citizens - working class and capitalists too, prefer to remain Israeli citizens - even as second rate ones, over iridenting to the would be Palestinian state. It came to the front when the Israeli extreme right proposed as an alternative to transfer of them.)

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Aug 19 2006 16:20

Hi

Quote:
End of occupation for antiauthoritarians is like a strike in a workplace for wage rise

Identical. Apart from the fact that a strike wouldn't need to resolve ancient religious territorial conflicts and require UN military rule to maintain. And other things.

I agree though, it's a lot easier to see the logic of ending the occupation from the Israeli perspective than it is from Hamas's who, and correct me if I’m wrong, want Israel off the map entirely, and the establishment of a Islamic state over all the territory.

Love

LR

Ilan
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Aug 19 2006 19:37

It is not only the Hamas who wish Israel to disapear.
Nearly all the Palestinians and Arabs and muslims want Israel to disapear... May be the Palestinian citizens of Israel and some other Palestinian working class people who will be happy to work in Israel if it was alowing them are the only exception. The people who are not for the Hamas will prefer that a non fundamentalist Palestinian state will be the replacement.

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Alf
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Aug 20 2006 00:14
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

The point is that, there as here, are first "call" should be to get working class people collaborating with each other about their political problems independent of bourgeois influence. That's the point at which the working class start to develop their unique political policy. How this impacts “the occupation” is a future that has yet to be written, but it must emerge from authentic autonomous working class deliberation, regardless of current attitudes to border controls or religious doctrine.

If this-or-that individual in Israel or Palestine places territorial disputes above forging links throughout the working class, then they should be challenged; not patronised with this “oh they can’t be expected to develop anything other than a national liberation consciousness at this stage” attitude. They’re sophisticated living breathing human beings, not a bunch of backward savages.

Love

LR

I basically agree with this. I agree that the regroupment and common struggle of workers on the basis of material, class interests is the starting point for "drawing the class line" and confronting nationalist divisions.

In response to those who have said that the line between the proletarian and bourgeois sides in the Middle East is unclear, I disagree. It's certainly not an easy job to stand on the proletarian side when the majority are standing on the other side when it comes to most political issues in the Middle East, but that's a different question.

I am accused, by Lazy included, of making repetitious posts (on the previous thread)that just take the argument back to the beginning. This is because I didn't think that Revol, who was most voiciferous in arguing for this abstact demand to 'end the occupation', had responded to my original posts. He simply went on confusing real class demands that come out of the struggle with the campaign slogans of leftism (although in my last post on the previous thread I did say that he seeme to have advanced somewhat in that he now seemed to be envisaging concrete demands relating to concrete struggles).

I don't think that this question of what is a class demand, or even what is a working class struggle, has been resolved. On the contrary, it comes up in virtually every thread on these boards. It's the central question on this thread, so we may have to keep going back to basics before we can move forward.

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Aug 20 2006 04:03

Hi

Ilan wrote:
It is not only the Hamas who wish Israel to disapear.
Nearly all the Palestinians and Arabs and muslims want Israel to disapear... May be the Palestinian citizens of Israel and some other Palestinian working class people who will be happy to work in Israel if it was alowing them are the only exception. The people who are not for the Hamas will prefer that a non fundamentalist Palestinian state will be the replacement.

I suspect this is true. Please post a link to some solid documentation for it.

revol68 wrote:
Lazy you should really be abit more critical when faced with rhetoric. As I said ole Martin and Gerry weren't for giving up the fight until the unification of a 32 County Socialist Republic. And as even the most cretinous of people know, Hamas weren't far off recongnising Israel in all but name.

Drawing a direct correlation is highly speculative, as far as I know Sinn Fein never argued for the annexation of the mainland into a greater Ireland, so the political basis is quite different. The last time I checked they’d given up terrorism, not the Republican cause. Nevertheless, your comments were duly noted the first time they were made. Please post a link to some documentation to support your claims regarding Hamas.

Alf wrote:
I am accused, by Lazy included, of making repetitious posts (on the previous thread)that just take the argument back to the beginning.

For the love of Moses, Alf, you don’t half bear a grudge. Chill out, there may be snog in it for you, especially the state I’m in at the moment. It can’t be right posting when I’m this high.

Love

LR

john
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Aug 20 2006 09:36
Alf wrote:
In response to those who have said that the line between the proletarian and bourgeois sides in the Middle East is unclear, I disagree.

I think this is a central problem with most movements that explicitly call themselves Communist