Israel/Palestine

Two States, or "Secular Democratic State"? There is no "democratic" way to wipe out Israel!

A Letter to an Advocate of "Secular Democratic State"

By Sean Matgamna

Dear Andrew

It seems to me that the terms of the only just solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are clear and unmistakeable.

Unless you think the interests of one side should be entirely sacrificed to the other - that is, unless you are either an Arab or an Israeli chauvinist - there is only one acceptable solution.

Each nation should have self-determination in the territory where it is the majority. I understand that to mean, essentially, the 1967 border.

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Israel-Palestine: two nations, two states - End the Occupation!

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

40 years ago this week, Israel fought the Six Day War against an alliance of Arab states seeking to destroy it, and won a crushing victory. The armed forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, with troops and arms from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Algeria, were comprehensively defeated, and Israeli forces occupied Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The demand for two independent states, Palestine alongside Israel, is the core of effective solidarity with the Palestinians, and with the left and peace movement in Israel.

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Solidarity with the Palestinians, not boycott of Israel

Resolution 54 to Unison’s national delegate conference (June 19-22) calls for the union to support a campaign to boycott (undefined) Israeli institutions. Workers’ Liberty supporters are working with others in Unison to oppose this resolution on the basis of positive solidarity with the Palestinians.

If you would like to support this statement, please email links.not.boycott@gmail.com with your name, branch and position (all signatories will be listed in a personal capacity unless specifically requested).

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Support Palestinian workers' struggles! An interview with Rasem Al Bayari

“The attacks are strengthening my determination to defend workers”

Being a trade unionist is a very dangerous business in Palestine. Rasem Al Bayari, Deputy General Secretary of the PGFTU (Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions) knows that well: following the destruction of a PGFTU building in October 2006 and the firing of two rockets at his home in January, on 6 April Rasem Al Bayari was injured by masked men who attacked him while he was in a car with his family. He describes these events and the enormous problems faced by workers in Palestine.

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"Mr Foot, do you hate the Jews?"

Author: 

Paul Foot

I got this letter recently from a woman in Surrey.


Click here for comment on this from Workers' Liberty 32
Dear Mr Foot

I was so disappointed in you when I heard your hysterical outburst against Israel on Any Questions.

I have admired your column in the Guardian and your cogent socialist views for a long time. However, you did yourself no good in the programme in revealing your up-till-now well-hidden anti-Jewish bias.

Foot's Socialist Worker column of 16 May 1996.

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Learn how to do it properly,Tammy!

By John O'Mahony

A small outcry greeted Tam Dalyell MP's assertion that there are too many Jews in Tony Blair's and George Bush's entourages, and that those Jews make Britain's and the USA's policy on the Middle East.

I found the responses to Dalyell encouraging, but also seriously off the point. The important and effective antisemites now are not those who talk like Hitlerites about Jewish influence and Jewish "cabals,'. Such people can usually expect the response Dalyell got.

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Not enough pressure for peace

by paddy dollard

The Arab League has offered to make peace with Israel on certain conditions, and Israel has responded with the proposal of a conference of Israel and the Arab states to discuss the Arab League proposal.

Does this give grounds for hope for progress towards peace and the setting-up of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel? Probably not.

The well-known cynical definition of diplomacy is that a diplomat is one who “lies abroad for his country”. Therefore you can’t judge anything by what the diplomats say.

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What is left anti-semitism?

What is “left-wing anti-semitism”? Where is it manifested? What is to be done about it?

There are three difficulties, three confusions and obfuscations, that stand in the way of rational discussion of what we mean by “left-wing anti-semitism”.

The first is that left-wing anti-semitism knows itself by another and more self-righteous name, “anti-Zionism”. Often, your left-wing anti-semite sincerely believes that he or she is only an anti-Zionist, only a just if severe critic of Israel.

The fact that their proponents are surely not racists does not answer the questions raised by root-and-branch "smash Israel" agitational themes.

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General Strike in Israel

The Histradut union has called a general strike over the government’s failure to pay almost 3,500 workers over the past months. Meanwhile, government is blaming local authorities for not following efficiency programmes initiated after the last such disputes. About 400,000 workers went on strike from 9am this morning.

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General strike in Israel

Israel is paralysed by a general strike by public sector workers over unpaid wages.
Latest reports are that the government is giving way, and the strike will end soon.
So much, however, for the idea that Israel is a monolithic "Zionist", "racist", "imperialist" bloc, with no class struggle within it worth mentioning...

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Civil War in Gaza - 'Non Historic Peoples'

The developing Civil War in Gaza comes on top of incipient Civil War in Iraq, and a potential Civil War in Lebanon, as well as increasing militarization by the US threatening an attack on Iran. The fighting between Israel and Lebanon last year was accepted by most observers as a proxy war, already, between the US and Iran, with the US backing Israel, and Iran and Syria backing, supplying and arming Hezbollah. According to BBC reports, the US is now backing Fatah in Gaza, as are its Sunni client states, who are promising arms and finance to Fatah, to be supplied with the consent of Israel. As with the promises made to Sunnis in Iraq by the Gulf States large amounts of finance are being offered to Fatah. Similarly, Iran, and probably Syria, are reported to be backing Hamas with similar supplies of arms if not finance.

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A secular-democratic state

By Jim Higgins

It is always a pleasure to see Sean Matgamna in full spate and my enjoyment of his piece, “Paul Foot, philo-semite” (WL 32), was abated only by the fear that the might do himself a serious mischief, carrying that immense weight of heavy irony.

What a spiffing wheeze, Sean must have though, to belabour Footie with Hilaire Belloc, because one thing is sure, whatever Foot’s prejudices may happen to be, Belloc was a brass-bound and copper-bottomed anti-semite, the author of the lines: “How odd of God, to choose the Jews.”

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The Olmert-Abbas Meeting: New Moves in the Middle East?

Editorial in current "Solidarity"
In 2003 George Bush talked of a worldwide drive by the USA to erect bourgeois democracy and American-style capitalism across the globe, wherever "dictatorial" and heavily state-regulated economies existed. He saw no limits to US power, no insuperable obstacles to an American-engineered transformation of the globe into more or less developed replicas of itself.

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Middle East politics after the Lebanon war

By John O’Mahony

A. For socialists in Britain, what are the most important political issues in relation to the situation in the Middle East after the Israeli-Hizbullah war?

B. • To oppose any American-British attack on Iran.

• To give solidarity to the beleagured Iraqi workers’ movement, and those fighting for secularism and women’s rights in Iraq.

• To reject and oppose both Jewish and Arab chauvinist approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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An open letter to a demonstrator against the war on Lebanon

Stop the slaughter!
Israel out of Lebanon!
Stop rocket attacks on Israeli civilians!

This is a demonstration against Israel and the USA. We are together here because we oppose the policy and "strategy" of Bush and Blair... most of the ideas and more or less all of the policies advocated by the leaders of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ make no sense... You hold to some or all of the following ideas.

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Engagement - Not Bans and Boycotts

Engage was set up to campaign for links rather than boycotts as a way of supporting justice in Israel/Palestine. It initially concentrated its efforts on opposing the call for an academic boycott of Israel, but is now campaigning against the Israeli government's outrageous imposition of a ban on Paletinians studying at Israeli universities.

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An exchange with the local Palestine Solidarity Campaign

An attempt by AWL and Committee for 2 states to explore possibilities for joint work between the PSC and the Comm for 2 States are rebuffed. Why? Well read on.

This is the letter of reply by myself to the local PSC answering their reasons for not wishing to explore joint work. The PSC's letter is attached. PSC's comments are italicised.

Hello again Steve

I am not sure whether you wanted the debate I proposed to Pauline. As you don’t mention it I suspect that the answer is ‘no’. So I will respond to this email fully.

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Tamimi's new book on Palestinian liberation

Apparently Azzam Tamimi is about to release a book on the Palestine liberation movement and he had a launch meeting on September 21st in Glasgow I think. I don’t know who was in the audience. A video of his talk is viewable at: http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=6997561560673766578 (corrected as a result of change of URL)
Below is an edited transcript of parts of it. Can't wait for the book
Tamimi speaks

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Stop the slaughter! Israel out of Lebanon! Stop rocket attacks on Israeli civilians!

The hundreds of civilian casualties and the vast destruction of the infrastructure of Lebanon's economic and social life by the Israeli armed forces is provoking world-wide indignation and anger. And so it should!

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Israel should get out of Gaza and West Bank!

By Mark Osborn

The Israeli government plans to withdraw 9,000 settlers and the troops that protect them from the Gaza Strip in mid-August.

Israel will maintain control of Gaza’s borders, coastline and airspace.

As the pull-out nears Ariel Sharon’s Israeli government is facing mobilisations from right-wing settlers who oppose the withdrawal.

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The Israel-Hizbollah war and left-wing anti-semitism now

Anti-semitism in Britain is at its worst for decades: attacks on Jews, on the streets and on college campuses, have become endemic. Ninety-two such attacks were reported in July.....The role of the kitsch-left is creating the culture in which anti-semitism is now beginning to thrive, has been recorded over many years in “Solidarity”

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What we said: the Oslo Accords, 1993

Breakthrough for the PLO: Socialist Organiser editorial, issue no. 572, 9 September 1993

In our opinion, the Israel-PLO deal is, despite everything, a breakthrough for the Palestinians.

Let us consider the objections to it. On the Arab side, there are two sorts of objections.

The first is an objection on principle to any deal that leaves Israel in existence. The second is an objection is on the grounds of the scope and details of the deal.

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