Israel/Palestine

Israel-Palestine: Two Nations, Two States

Submitted by martin on 22 August, 2010 - 12:17


Third edition 2016

Israel out of the Occupied Territories!

For a Palestinian state with the same rights as Israel!

For Arab-Jewish workers' unity on a basis of consistent democracy! For a socialist Israel and a socialist Palestine in a socialist federation of the Middle East!

Third edition 2016. (1st edition was 2001, 2nd edition 2002). Cover price £3.50. With UK postage, £4.70; with international postage, £8.55. See button below to buy online or get cheap bulk rates.

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Two Nations, Two States. Socialists and Israel-Palestine

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LETTER: No real unity without national rights

Submitted by SJW on 21 June, 2018 - 12:34 Author: Ira Berkovic

Any internationalist will undoubtedly share Andrew Northall’s desire (Solidarity 468, 2 May 2018) for federation and unity between the Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs, the two national peoples currently inhabiting historic Palestine.

But the only immediate answer to the day-to-day source of national oppression in the region, Israel’s colonial subjugation of the Palestinians, is an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

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Preserve the right to criticise Israel

Submitted by SJW on 6 June, 2018 - 12:38 Author: Sean Matgamna
Jews in USA protest at Gaza killings

Former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has recently said that “anti-Zionism” is the new antisemitism. “In the 19th and 20th centuries [Jews] were hated because of their race. Today they are hated because of their nation state, Israel”.

That is true, I think. But it needs explication if we are distinguish well between that anti- Zionism and reasonable criticism of Israel. And it’s been true for a very long time, for decades in fact. It is now the specifically “left” strand of antisemitism.

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Submitted by Jason Schulman on Fri, 08/06/2018 - 03:28

Increasingly the dominant trend on the U.S. left is what I'd call immediate binationalism -- the idea that "the two-state solution is dead" and that the only possible way forward for Palestinian liberation to to push for a binational state of all historic Palestine (NOT the old PLO idea of Jews having religious but no national rights). And when US socialists chant "from the river to the sea..." that's what they mean. I've asked.

You may argue that this is utopian -- at this point I'm not sure if the two-state program as promoted by, say, Gush Shalom is any less utopian -- but I wouldn't call it "political antisemitism." Your thoughts, comrades?

Submitted by Jim Denham (not verified) on Fri, 08/06/2018 - 10:38

In reply to by Jason Schulman

The problem with people who proclaim "the two state solution is dead" is that ther words can be interpreted in at least two ways – one benign if naive (Israel must voluntarily give up its statehood and turn itself into some kind of bi-national state in which Jews and Palestinians will live together in happy harmony), the other definitely *not* benign (Israel must be destroyed). The fact that a lot of leftists, "anti-zionists" and avowed pro-Palestian campaigners appear not to recognise the need to be very precise and clear about what they are, and are not, saying, and the fact that many of them seem quite happy to share platforms with people whose “anti- zionism” has definitely crossed the line into antisemitism, makes me very doubtful about the honesty of some of these people. Unfortunately, they're only too typical of the kind of “well-meaning” liberals in and around the PSC (in Britain) who claim they’re not antisemites, but seem quite willing to associate with people who are.

Finally, even if we accept the claim that these people simply means Israel reforming itself out of existance , or the widely-touted argument that socialists are in favour of the “withering away” of all states…how come these arguments are virtually never used about other nation-states, including those (like the USA, Australia and Argentina) that – unlike Israel – were created by means of genocide?

Submitted by Jams O'Donnell on Sun, 10/06/2018 - 18:25

This is just an apology for fascism. They only acceptable solution to the problem of zionism and Palestinian rights is a one state solution with equal rights for all, and with no religious basis, either Judaism, Islam, Christianity or anything else. This toadying to the Israeli government's orchestrated campaign to equate anti-zionism with anti-semitism is an enabler for continued state-sponsored murder and ethnic cleansing. People publishing this sort of state-sponsored propaganda should be ashamed to call yourselves 'leftists'.

Try taking your lead from Jewish anti-zionists such as Phillip Weiss - "Mondoweiss" instead of the Israeli government.

PS I'll be surprised if this entry is still here in a couple of hours.

Submitted by Barry Finger on Wed, 13/06/2018 - 15:17

“You may argue that this is utopian -- at this point I'm not sure if the two-state program as promoted by, say, Gush Shalom is any less utopian -- but I wouldn't call it "political antisemitism." Your thoughts, comrades?”

I don’t think that I’m one of the comrades Jason was addressing. But I’ll put my two cents in anyway in the hope that others might feel obliged to respond.

The short answer is this: what is the context in which this slogan is raised? For instance, there is nothing objectionable or racist in the abstract with the slogan “all lives matter.” In many situations this is a democratic and fully humanistic outcry.

But when used as a response to “#Black Lives Matter” something else is introduced: the suggestion that blacks have no special grievances, that the insistence of pervasive racism in policing is an excuse to avoid the “real issue” of rampant criminality in the black community.

So too with the one-state solution. In the abstract, it is fully compatible with our democratic aspirations. In the concrete, it denies the reality of how Israel came to being as an ingathering of the most traumatized and victimized remnants of the worldwide Jewish community.

And I’m not speaking here solely or even mainly of the offspring of concentration camp survivors and holocaust escapees. This story is well told. I’m also talking about the descendants of Mizrahi Jews, communities and civilizations who predated the Arab and Muslim conquests by centuries and were ethnically cleansed far more thoroughly than the Palestinians were by the Israeli rulers. Those with money or credentials fled to the West; the poor – those who lost everything -- became Israel’s “rightwing” working class.

The demand for a one-state solution in all of Palestine (Jordan too?) is one of many rightful and just remedies for Palestinian grievances. But it is also betrays an abject blindness to the equally valid trauma of ethnically cleansed Israelis, who scour the Arab world for evidence of the very toleration and trust – the social and political equality -- they never experienced as constituents of that world. For them it is a return to the vulnerability of the status quo ante.

It also suggests that that anything less than a one-state solution is a concession to a fundamentally criminal and illegitimate state, just as "BLM is said by racists to be a means of deflecting from the issue of black lawlessness. In this sense, while not anti-semitism, this slogan may be a not-too distant relative.

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Positive links not boycotts

Submitted by SJW on 6 June, 2018 - 12:20 Author: Matt Cooper
Boycott Israel placard

It is surprising that the Eurovision Song Contest, a festival of high-camp commercialism, should have become a focus of political interest. For some of the participating countries the contest has pushed the boundaries of gender politics.

The contest was won in 1998 by the transgender Israeli singer Dana International and in 2014 by the genderqueer Austrian Conchita Wurst, perhaps best described as a drag queen with a beard.

Comments

Submitted by Jason Schulman on Fri, 08/06/2018 - 03:36

When, for example, Elvis Costello says that he won't be touring Israel until Israel starts treating Palestinians as human beings (he said something like this), that's a cultural boycott, right?

Does the AWL oppose that sort of thing? If so, why?

(I do wish more socialists would raise a fuss about Russia hosting the World Cup but I'm not seeing any such thing -- not from the official IS Tendency groups either, even though they've been pretty good about acknowledging the authoritarianism and imperialism of the Russian regime.)

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New Gaza violence likely on 5 June

Submitted by SJW on 30 May, 2018 - 11:03 Author: Colin Foster

On Tuesday 29 May the Israeli military launched new air strikes on Gaza, after mortar rounds were fired from Gaza into Israel.

The Israeli military said they had targeted Islamic Jihad and Hamas bases, but one bomb fell in a kindergarten playground, not killing anyone. None of the mortar rounds reached Israeli targets.

Hamas, the Islamic clerical-fascist group which rules Gaza, has given some signals that it currently wants to get a temporary deal for economic relief, rather than military escalation. Islamic Jihad, rather than Hamas, may have fired the mortar rounds.

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Lull but no peace

Submitted by SJW on 22 May, 2018 - 7:48 Author: Colin Foster
Gaza wall

A lull in conflict in the Middle East looks likely. But it may be short-lived, or not happen at all. None of the underlying drivers of tension have eased.

On the Gaza-Israel border, Israeli snipers killed 64 people on 14 May. That brings the total killed by snipers over weeks of protests, from which groups mostly of young men sally forth to throw stones and improvised firebombs, to over 110. Thousands have been injured.

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LETTERS: Two states? & What next for the left in Hungary

Submitted by SJW on 1 May, 2018 - 9:22 Author: Andrew Northall, Martin Thomas and John Cunningham

For a single democratic Palestinian state

I would like to express some thoughts relating to the article ‘Gaza mobilising for an internationalist response’ by Martin Thomas and your editorial ‘For an independent Palestine alongside Israel’ (Solidarity 466)

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Protest for two states!

Submitted by SJW on 1 May, 2018 - 9:12 Author: Chris Reynolds
Gaza border graphic

This graphic, compiled from UN figures, is taken from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The deaths have been fewer in recent weeks — one, four, four on Fridays 13, 20, 27 April, as against 44 total for the first five Fridays.

That must be partly due to the protests against the killings organised within Israel, and also by left-wing Jewish groups in the USA.

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