Jerusalem and Gaza

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ajjohnstone
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May 14 2021 00:52
Jerusalem and Gaza

Surprised that no mention of the current Palestinian flare-up has been made.

Is it because we have been here many times before?

My view from our blog

https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2021/05/comments-on-curren...

I don't claim it as definitive, just as snap-shot

ajjohnstone
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May 14 2021 10:53

Since no-one as yet seems to wish to place their own views, i'll add another of mine

https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2021/05/war-without-end.ht...

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Alf
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May 15 2021 19:35

From the ICC

https://en.internationalism.org/content/17016/wars-and-pogroms-future-ca...

ajjohnstone
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May 16 2021 03:39

A worthy analysis by ICC.

Again, i see others noting the significant development of Palestinian-Israelis now participating more fully in the resistance. After all, it is the apartheid-like laws being applied in Sheikh Jarrah and attacks on the main mosque that triggered the present unrest.

Hamas certainly has to be held accountable for its futile armed struggle strategy which invites only pain and injury being inflicted upon the people of Gaza.

It at times like this i once again feel the bitter frustration of being a part of a miniscule ineffectual socialist movement with no influence on world events.

ajjohnstone
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May 16 2021 09:09

Jonathan Cook has in some ways taken over from Robert Fisk as the go-to foreign correspondent for the region

https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/05/palestinians-in-israel-now-face-far-r...

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May 17 2021 08:18

What do you mean by "the significant development of Palestinian-Israelis now participating more fully in the resistance"?

Our article talks about the growing pogrom atmosphere in Israel, not resistance. The street actions in Israel/Palestine, setting Jews against Arabs, are the polar opposite of any internationalist opposition to imperialist war in the Middle East. Like the big "Free Palestine" demo in London yesterday, these are mobilisations in favour of war, whichever camp they support.

ajjohnstone
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May 16 2021 22:35

The pogrom by Jewish-Israeli extremists wasn't sparked by the Hamas rockets but by the protests in Sheikh Jarrah and to protect the Al-Aqsa mosque.

The Zionists now realise what they perceive as a "fifth column" inside Israel, not a subdued submissive citizenry. They now have to behave like the KKK to maintain their version of Jim Crow laws.

If such Palestinian-Israeli anti-discrimination movement grows and begin to exert the political power outside of the Knesset, i can only view it as a positive turn of events to undermine the influence of the Zionist ruling ideology.

On the other hand economic security may mean more to Palestinian-Israelis and the militancy may fizzle-out and the Palestinian people will eventually become a "non-people" in the sense that the Roma are. That is my personal worse-case scenario.

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sherbu-kteer
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May 17 2021 02:37

Anarchists in Oceania put out this statement:

https://www.redblacknotes.com/2021/05/14/freedom-for-palestine-statement...

ajjohnstone
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May 17 2021 03:37

Just bring statements together, from elsewhere on Libcom

https://libcom.org/forums/north-america/wsa-solidarity-committee-stop-is...

https://libcom.org/news/awsm-statement-solidarity-people-palestine-16052...

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May 17 2021 08:59

Apparently there's now a general strike call for tomorrow: https://samidoun.net/2021/05/day-of-action-in-solidarity-with-the-palest...

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May 17 2021 19:25

This appeal for a "general strike" remains on the same terrain as the Palestine demo in London, the terrain of the drive towards war, given a justification from the left, via the ideology of national liberation.

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Serge Forward
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May 17 2021 19:47

ACG Article: On the crisis in Israel-Palestine.

ajjohnstone
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May 20 2021 02:42

“For the very first time there is only one Palestinian people. From the North to the South, from Gaza to the West Bank, in Jerusalem and the rest of our land we are one.”

https://www.france24.com/en/middle-east/20210519-for-first-time-there-is...

I think i have come to accept the analysis offered on Libcom that the purpose of the militarisation of the resistance is to ensure for Hamas that it doesn't lose its raison d'etre and have to yield political leadership and influence to others, not the PA and not necessary the Joint List in the Knesset but but perhaps those Israeli-Palestinians in the streets at the moment.

But it is a work in progress and we'll wait the outcome.

Dyjbas
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May 20 2021 14:14

Statement from the ICT...

Neither Israel, Nor Palestine: No War but the Class War

ajjohnstone
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May 23 2021 02:41

Any eye-witness reports from yesterday's 'Free Palestine" demonstration.

My latest comment on our own forum.

Quote:
I’m finding it frustrating that many are endorsing armed struggle by Hamas as justified. A common refrain online is it is not for us to determine the methods of resistance but the Palestinians themselves and they have chosen Hamas as their representatives.

Has it ended the siege? Has it provoked Israel to send in the army to suffer high casualties? Has it undermined Israel’s security with several hundred rockets fizzling out before even reaching Israeli territory and those that do, 90% shot down by Iron Dome? Has “self-defence” been a financial cost with the USA paying the bills?

It distracted from East Jerusalem and the Palestinian-Israeli protests and propped up Hamas efforts to control events.

It was a power-play by Hamas, not solidarity. They want to portray themselves as the leadership of the Israeli-Palestinians and not just over Gazans.

Hamas could so easily have revived the March of Return to the fences and if the Israeli snipers shot, it would expose once more who is the aggressor. They wanted a media event of Israeli bombing and Israel gave it to them, knowing in a few months it will all be old news and the stand-off status quo returned to with Gazans held as hostages.

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May 23 2021 13:37

A question for comrade ajj; is your view that there is a "resistance" movement currently on the streets in Israel/Palestine, the view of the SPGB as a whole?

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May 23 2021 15:12
ajjohnstone wrote:
Hamas could so easily have revived the March of Return to the fences and if the Israeli snipers shot, it would expose once more who is the aggressor. They wanted a media event of Israeli bombing and Israel gave it to them, knowing in a few months it will all be old news and the stand-off status quo returned to with Gazans held as hostages.

First off I think it's very clear who the aggressor is to pretty much anyone who isn't irredeemably anti-Palestinian (or pro-Israel). Secondly, this then appears to be a call for Hamas to organise a suicidal protest in order for Palestinians to get themselves killed. Or am I misinterpreting it?
Finally, I don't mean this as an attack, but isn't the general policy of the SPGB to oppose direct action and reforms within capitalist society? Isn't the view of the SPGB that workers wherever should just vote for the SPGB, who will then bring in socialism when they have a majority?
Again if this is a misinterpretation or if something has changed then I'm happy to be corrected.

ajjohnstone
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May 23 2021 18:19
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Or am I misinterpreting it?

I was offering it as a non-violent alternative to the very clear suicidal strategy of armed struggle. Simply reminding that even that tactic is not without a likely cost in lives from past experience

And, Steven, you are sharing a common misconception of the SPGB.

We do not advocate passive docility and have always supported resisting in the class war. We simply always add the caveat that it does not lead to permanent answers and any beneficial reform can be later repealed, (as we often see) and that despite the slogan, workers united cannot be defeated, victory is not guaranteed, especially in the workers' choice of "friends". And we understand fully our own present insignificance that there is no question of our party substituting itself for our class.

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is your view that there is a "resistance" movement currently on the streets in Israel/Palestine, the view of the SPGB as a whole?

Alf, I have previously drawn attention to the Bedouin evictions in Israel a few years back in the Standard so we have not been uninterested in developments there.

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2019/no-137...

On today's problems, our discussion forum and those participating are supportive particularly of the Palestinian-Israeli potential for a campaign based more upon class

There was a positive exchange regards this recommended podcast talk on that topic
https://cosmonautmag.com/2021/03/class-and-race-in-israel-palestine-with...

Our position is still no two-state, no one-state but no-states but acknowledge the impracticality of that actually happening with the present lack of consciousness. In fact, all those options are perhaps unrealisable. This tragedy appears not to have any end.

My latest blog centres on Hamas and the free ride it gets from the left.

https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2021/05/thoughts-on-hamas....

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May 24 2021 02:20
ajjohnstone wrote:
Quote:
Or am I misinterpreting it?

I was offering it as a non-violent alternative to the very clear suicidal strategy of armed struggle. Simply reminding that even that tactic is not without a likely cost in lives from past experience

And, Steven, you are sharing a common misconception of the SPGB.

We do not advocate passive docility and have always supported resisting in the class war. We simply always add the caveat that it does not lead to permanent answers and any beneficial reform can be later repealed, (as we often see) and that despite the slogan, workers united cannot be defeated, victory is not guaranteed, especially in the workers' choice of "friends". And we understand fully our own present insignificance that there is no question of our party substituting itself for our class.

Fair enough. I do remember though where I got my perception from, it was from multiple lengthy discussions I had, albeit with a single member of the SPGB probably about 18 years ago. And specifically argued against any type of direct action, because he said that any improvements won by the working class under capitalism would essentially mean that it would convince workers of the need for socialism.
But appreciate that this is not representative of the views of your group today (or possibly even then).
Anyway don't wish to derail the discussion any further. Thanks.

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May 24 2021 15:14

Thanks for sending the links Ajj. But my question wasn't really whether the SPGB has shown interest in developments in Israel/Palestine, but whether or not it sees the current street mobilisations in Israel/Palestine as a form of "resistance in the class war". For us, these actions are entirely integrated into the imperialist war fronts. Neither is the issue whether or not they as based on "direct action" as opposed to electoralism, or whether they are organised on a "grass roots" level, or whether they are non-violent or resort to "armed struggle". Their essential reality is that exacerbate the divisions within the proletariat and the oppressed, pushing them to take sides in a capitalist war.

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May 24 2021 15:56
Alf wrote:
Thanks for sending the links Ajj. But my question wasn't really whether the SPGB has shown interest in developments in Israel/Palestine, but whether or not it sees the current street mobilisations in Israel/Palestine as a form of "resistance in the class war". For us, these actions are entirely integrated into the imperialist war fronts. Neither is the issue whether or not they as based on "direct action" as opposed to electoralism, or whether they are organised on a "grass roots" level, or whether they are non-violent or resort to "armed struggle". Their essential reality is that exacerbate the divisions within the proletariat and the oppressed, pushing them to take sides in a capitalist war.

Alf, so do you see resistance to "evictions" (really: ethnic cleansing) by Palestinians from their homes as "taking sides in a capitalist war" or "exacerbating divisions within the proletariat"?

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May 24 2021 17:29

And all forms of "resistance" as being exactly the same, so there's no difference worth commenting on or analysing between, say, firing rockets and taking part in a general strike? (Which is, ironically, not that from the position of those trots and other leftists who uncritically support all such "resistance".)

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May 24 2021 19:35

The situation is so stacked against the proletariat in Israel/Palestine, above all in times of open war, that even the opposition to the evictions, which may have been spontaneous for a moment, was indeed immediately recuperated by nationalism and Islamism, ie incorporated into the war fronts

ajjohnstone
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May 24 2021 23:43

Alf, I think and i can only speak as an individual member right now over the question raised by the two others of the legitimacy of specific resistance. But we can determine our attitude from past experiences.

National aspirations are something not only we do never endorse but other groups of the Thin Red Line have also critiqued with their statements. And we have also argued against, as others, of making religious differences the issue, even if we acknowledge the bigotry and sectarianism that exist (on both sides.)

I and others are sympathetic to what seems to be a new expression of the conflict. That the problem is being more and more identified as one of the apartheid nature of Israel's society and of the Palestinian-Israelis growing more demanding of equality with a small radical Jewish-Israeli element being supportive. This is perhaps not fully developed as yet, but remains the most important possibility of working-class power being exercised, by the general strike and civil disobedience rather than the militarisation of the resistance. (I have argued on our blog that it was the turning point of the Syrian Arab Spring was the Syria Free Army arising that led to the intervention of foreign powers and the ensuing civil war)

Too often we all also hear that BDS is the peaceful alternative and the analogy with the end of apartheid in South Africa.

Was it the consumer and cultural boycotts or the disinvestment of global capitalism which was the more significant? If the latter, is there any likelihood of the capitalist class causing economic damage to Israel's economy to force reforms with trading sanctions? I don't believe so. In fact, Israel's relationships with foreign nations have grown stronger, not weaker.

The only factor with that power is the Palestinians-Israelis who are deeply integrated in the economy than say the orthodox Jewish Haredi who are religious parasites on the rest of Israelis.

However, I have only a shallow superficial knowledge of the Palestinian-Israeli political parties such as the Joint List and from what I have noted that too is riven with conservative-minded politicians. A whole new class-based resistance movement has to be built. There is an opportunity for that to happen but equally religio-ethnic nationalists such as Hamas might assume leadership which you suggest could occur or the equivalent of the collaborative Abbas (wasn't there the case of such a breakaway led by yet another Abbas)

I have blethered too long. I expressed my pessimistic personal view in a title of a blog - 'the war without end' - and it will need to be the accomplishments of the worldwide socialists that will bring influence to bear and not the political evolution of consciousness in the region which is what we all hope for.

We can only enjoy the brief moment of respite and hope for better times.

ajjohnstone
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May 25 2021 01:32

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/24/a-war-declaration-palestinians-...

I think real fear has resulted in a back-lash. It may prove to be a serious error of judgement to exacerbate the anger and rage of Israeli-Palestinians as internment did to the Catholic community in Northern Ireland

Israeli police announced they will arrest hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel over the coming days for their participation in recent sit-ins in support of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli police said some 1,550 people have already been arrested since May 9 and the campaign is a “continuation” that aims to “prosecute” demonstrators who have over the past two weeks taken to the streets in towns and cities across Israel.

Hassan Jabareen, the general director of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, declared is a “militarised war against Palestinian citizens of Israel,”

Once more a "truce" is being selectively practiced.

ajjohnstone
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May 25 2021 06:26

Sorry for dominating the discussion but I forgot an article I wrote a while back about the Bundist anti-Zionist movement.

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2018/no-136...

There is no doubt that The Holocaust and the creation of Israel were the reasons for its demise but on a positive note, it demonstrates Jewishness doe not always equate with Judaism or national identity. (I know the Bundist ideology was more complex than I presented it and much more can be said for and against it)

As the horrors of the extermination camps fade from memory and becomes history for future generations and as Israel increasingly loses its emotional connection to the diaspora, perhaps we can be hopeful for a resurgent radical movement that will be receptive to our ideas.

Black Badger
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May 25 2021 13:45

uh, i'm pretty sure that Lenin's turn against the Bund had something to do with its demise decades prior to the Shoah...

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May 25 2021 14:18
Alf wrote:
The situation is so stacked against the proletariat in Israel/Palestine, above all in times of open war, that even the opposition to the evictions, which may have been spontaneous for a moment, was indeed immediately recuperated by nationalism and Islamism, ie incorporated into the war fronts

I really don't understand this logic. On a very real level, struggles against eviction are in workers' immediate economic interest. There are always bigger forces at play in any country which will normally dwarf any small economic struggles, but your group size and weight typically supports these kinds of struggles.
Does this mean that you would also see a strike by, say, Israeli transport workers as taking sides in a capitalist war? Or would that be something which could be supported?

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May 25 2021 18:38

Angry Workers statement here: https://www.angryworkers.org/2021/05/25/editorial-3-palestine-israel/

Fwiw, they're also very sharply critical of the general strike.

ajjohnstone
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May 25 2021 23:33

It doesn't help one's credibility to get some basic facts wrong because it diminishes very important points the article does raise. The Angry Workers maintains Hamas is sustained by Iran and Syria. Maybe in the past but not for many years

Qatar is the main prop for Hamas.

Assad of Syria has called Hamas traitors for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood against him.

https://www.juancole.com/2015/04/assad-relation-hamas.html

The inactivity and silence of Hezbollah during the recent war was noted by some commentators.

I have read that the more recent effective rockets used were Iranian. Supplied officially or unofficially, I have no idea.

So far neither I nor others have made reference to the Abrahamic Accords.

Morocco already had friendly relations with Israel.

Back in 2018, our blog mentions that 50,000 Israelis Morocco, (whose origins were from that country) every year. 110 synagogues have been refurbished there. Morocco also issues hundreds of passports each year to Israeli Jews of Moroccan descent, of whom there are almost half a million live in Israel —“the better to travel in the Arab world,” says a recent recipient. It takes a month, no security questions asked. The reward of formally recognising Israel is that Morocco's claim to Western Sahara is now officially recognised by the USA. A blow to those other national liberationists such as Polisario and Algeria

The Gulf States new friendship with Israel is very much centred around being anti-Iranian.

Quote:
The main bridge between us and these struggles will be the collaboration with local groups and comrades who know the score, are rooted in the class, and act with communist attitude

Is it for security reasons that we are not told who these local groups and comrades are?

Perhaps they should be cited.

All I got is after the briefest of googling
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_in_Israel#Contemporary_anarchist...

Unless Meretz is included

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May 26 2021 12:23
ajjohnstone wrote:
Quote:
The main bridge between us and these struggles will be the collaboration with local groups and comrades who know the score, are rooted in the class, and act with communist attitude

Is it for security reasons that we are not told who these local groups and comrades are?

Perhaps they should be cited.

All I got is after the briefest of googling
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_in_Israel#Contemporary_anarchist...

Unless Meretz is included

I mean, as with most AW stuff, I read that more as a suggestion/invitation for readers to get involved and help make such links, rather than them claiming that those connections already exist. I think there's stuff to debate around their characterisation of the general strike as well - perhaps it's a useful counter-balance against those comrades, myself included, who might tend to get a bit giddily excited at the words "general strike", but I think it's fair to ask, for instance, how far the strike being spread across three different territories affected the ability of any one actor to control it, or the difference between a strike call initiated by political parties vs one that's endorsed by political parties once it's already gone out.

Fwiw, here's the IWA-AIT statement: https://iwa-ait.org/content/stop-war-palestine

And this from KRAS: https://aitrus.info/node/5701