The SWP and the ‘clerical-fascists’
In Britain the SWP usually claims that it is a “slander” to say that their allies, Muslim Association of Britain, are an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest Islamic fundamentalist party in the Arab world.
But the latest number of the SWP’s magazine IS Journal carries an article saying that the left in Egypt should work with the Muslim Brotherhood itself, which SWP founder Tony Cliff, when he was still active in the region, called “clerical-fascist”.
I'm puzzled as to why anyone in Iran would feel threatened by zionism. I know there are Israelis who want to expand beyond the official borders of Israel into the occupied territories, but surely they don't intend to go as far as Iran?
umm why would Iran fear Israel- oh gosh i have no idea why this state would fear the most heavily funded USA client state in the world- I mean the USA poses no threat to Iran at all. Mr Bush has not threatend Iran - no course not. This is the logic of the AWL- perverse pro Israel imperialist apologists.
This response simply runs "Israel" into "USA" with very little logical explanation. As I understand it, your argument goes "The USA is threatening Iran, and the USA funds Israel, ergo Iran has got very good reason to fear Israel".
Maybe, but then it would also have very good reason to fear many other states that receive funding and support from the USA, wouldn't it? So why single out Israel?
oh no there is no connection between Israel and the rest of the middle east????? why single out Israel - well Janine if you hadn't noticed Israel happens to be in the middle east and is the 4th largest military power with the population of wales- why is that??? Perhaps the funding of America has something to do with it. Perhaps Israel uses its military might to defend amercian imperialist interests. But then Janine perhaps this is to marxist an explanation for you.
What is your reply to the above post that says Iran should not be worried?
I think that if I lived in Iran, then I would (as I do) oppose Israel's repression of the Palestinains. I would also fear the prospect of a US war against Iran in which I might be killed.
I would also fear and oppose the Iranian state. And, given that I am a socialist, a trade unionist, a secularist and a feminist, I would have very good reason to.
I probably wouldn't put 'Zionism' at the top of the list of things that I fear.
I think the main points of contention here are:
(a) the conflating of "Israel's military strength / repressive actions" with "Zionism", which is (at best) unhelpful; and
(b) the elevation of "ant-Zionism" on to a pedestal way bigger than opposition to other nationalisms, and of opposition to Israel to a level way higher than opposition to other repressive states. After all, the last country that Iran was at war with was Iraq, not Israel.
PS. Marxism is about understanding things in class terms, not about seeing everything in terms of US imperialism. So no, not "too Marxist" - not Marxist enough.
Perhaps you could explain how Israel uses its military might to defend American imperialist interests. Israel does use its military might aggressively to serve its own national interests in a way that brutally oppresses the Palestinians. In that respect, it should be opposed - although it does have the right to defend itself. It is hardly unique in middle east on the count of brutally oppressing people.
Israel has roughly the same population of Wales and also not much more land area than Wales. It's territory (even including the occupied territories from which it should withdraw) is dwarfed by neighbouring Arab states such as Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Israel has no oil resources and it doesn't use its military might to try to seize territory rich in oil resources from its Arab neighbours. When the USA launched the invasion of Iraq they used military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey (for example) but not Israel (the fact that Israel is a Jewish state makes it a less useful ally for such imperialist actions than Arab and mainly Muslim states).
The USA does heavily fund Israel. It also heavily funds Egypt. Israel is highly militarised but perhaps Israelis also have their fears. After all, for decades the Arab states refused to recognise Israel's existence - in other words, if they had been militarily strong enough (and if Israel was weak enough), they would have invaded Israel and held its people under brutal oppression.
What an excellent piece. The rise of "mumbo-jumbo", as Frances Wheen puts it, particularly among elements of the left, is an extremely worrying development.
And, similarly worrying, is the naive view that all of the woes that imperialism can inflict upon a country will disappear when the last of the occupation troops leaves.