The left must debate its “big” differences

Submitted by Matthew on 8 May, 2013 - 5:21

Many of the people who left the SWP recently, and some others who quit SWP longer ago, have formed an “International Socialist Network”.

ISN said it was interested in left unity and broad discussion on the left, and many local ISNers are genuinely open-minded, so AWL wrote to ISN proposing discussions.

ISN secretary Tim Nelson wrote back on 30 April:

The SWP and Israel

Submitted by Matthew on 3 March, 2013 - 2:48

Cliff first appeared in the international Trotskyist press in 1938-9 as “L Rock”: the rock would grow into a cliff. He contributed to a discussion on Palestine in the American Trotskyist publication New International. He was obviously a young man trying to think things through. It was an inconclusive discussion, but in 1938-9 he was in favour of the right of Jewish migration. He would criticise himself on that much later, in an interview in the SWP magazine in 1987.

“I don’t debate with Israelis” Matthew Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:57

When I first entered politics, I used to respect George Galloway, he was one of few prominent politicians with a viewpoint that seemed to resonate with my own.

I liked the way he could run rings around ignorant TV presenters; his eloquent and devastating oratory gave comfort to me that my anti-Iraq-war feelings weren’t either as isolated, or as naive as every analyst made them out to be.

Public sector strikes in Palestine

Submitted by AWL on 29 January, 2013 - 1:01

Public sector workers in Palestine, including teachers and transport workers, have struck to demand the regular payment of wages. Teachers struck on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 January.

Recent workers’ struggle in the public sector in the Palestinian West Bank dates back to September, when mass demonstrations against the Palestinian Authority’s economic policies mobilised workers from across the sector.

Reading the history of Israel-Palestine

Submitted by Matthew on 16 January, 2013 - 1:35

Discussion of Israel-Palestine is often hampered by historical illiteracy. A few trite phrases denouncing “Zionism” is the best many on the left can do.

A further problem is finding coherent interpretations of history. For both these reasons, Avi Shlaim’s Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, and Refutations deserves special attention.

Right wing gains strength in Israel

Submitted by Matthew on 16 January, 2013 - 12:52

At the end of December, two separate opinion polls found that two-thirds of Israelis would support a peace deal with the Palestinians involving a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

That includes 57 percent of those supporting incumbent right-wing party Likud, and 47 percent of those backing the even more right-wing opposition party Jewish Home.

After the UN vote, fight for an independent Palestine!

Submitted by Matthew on 5 December, 2012 - 1:38

On Thursday 29 November, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to endorse Palestine’s bid to gain “non-member observer state” status — a recognition of Palestine’s de facto statehood which entitles it to participate in UN debates and join international bodies such as the International Criminal Court.

138 countries supported the bid, with nine opposing it, including America and Israel. 41 nations, including Britain and Germany, abstained.

Ceasefire in Gaza, protests in Egypt

Submitted by Matthew on 28 November, 2012 - 8:52

The Israeli government and Hamas, the Islamist party that rules in Gaza, are continuing talks over the implementation of the ceasefire deal that ended Israel’s recent assault on Gaza.

Over 150 Palestinians, including dozens of children, were killed by Israeli bombing. Six Israelis were killed by rocket fire from paramilitary Islamist groups within Gaza. 29 Israelis were also injured in a bus bombing in Tel Aviv.