Tagged: Israel

Israel and Imperialism

The following letter is in reply to a question about the nature of Israel from a comrade who is a serious Marxist.


Regarding your question about whether Israel is an imperialist country (or not), there is nothing synthetic available about this that I know of. But the logic is inescapable when you look at the alternative to Israel being an imperialist power.

I will deal with the theoretical aspect of this, and then bring together evidence to back it up, from a number of sources.

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Today’s Left and its Blindspots

The following exchange of views, on Twitter, between myself and the comrade who uses the name Southpawpunch, is worth reproducing as it illustrates how even some of the most revolutionary-minded elements on the existing left have crucial political blindspots and preconceptions about political events, that prevent them from seeing the obvious when it is before them.

Southpawpunch objects violently to my headline describing the removal from office of Lutfur Rahman, the elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, as a “Neocon/Zionist coup” and argues that to make such a characterisation is a sign of ‘leaving the left’ on behalf of the person who made it (i.e. myself).

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Weekly Worker still refuses to condemn Galloway assault: bans criticism

The following letter was sent to the Weekly Worker on 29th March, in reply to a rather stunted and pathetic letter from CPGB member Phil Kent, published on 19 March. Weekly Worker editor Peter Manson initially promised to publish it, despite his attempt to ridicule its contents, but supposedly having ‘slept on it’ changed his mind and announced that it contained ‘nonsense’ that could not be published. See the whole exchange that follows the letter, which casts light on their motivation in refusing to print the letter, which is published below the letter itself in the interests of the ‘openness’ that the CPGB/WW falsely lay claim to. Continue reading

Two Commentaries on the Middle East and the Jewish Question

Introduction

Reproduced below are two letters from myself that were recently published in the Weekly Worker. These are published, in this particular case, without any intention of either praising or blaming the editors of that publication, but simply because there is material in those two letters that readers here might have missed. This material is worthwhile in addressing contentious questions relating to the Middle East and the Jewish Question, and making some observations about the progress of discussions on these questions.

The first item was published in the 5th March issue. It is worth noting, since the letter is a reply to a previous invective-filled letter from Tony Greenstein, that it is published alongside a further letter from the same author, mainly addressing in a moderately interesting and thoughtful manner some aspects of analysis concerning ISIS. However, at the conclusion of his letter, Greenstein makes the following remarks about previous exchanges between us:

“On another topic – the recent exchanges with Ian Donovan – I have informed the editor of the Weekly Worker that I have no intention of responding to any further letters which indulge in ad hominem attacks, as I don’t wish to feed what is clearly a personal obsession.”

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Zionist Thugs attack Musical and Political Expression – Where Do the Left Stand?

The following article appeared in the Manchester Evening News of 5th March. The outrageous attack on freedom of political and artistic expression it reports only underlines the similarity between today’s increasingly overtly anti-democratic and thuggish Zionist movement, and fascism. These thugs engage in these attacks on the democratic liberties of those who wish to hear Gilad Atzmon’s music and listen to what he has to say politically,  because they want the right for their state to massacre Arabs without being exposed to serious criticism.

It is perfectly obvious what they object to in both Atzmon’s music and his views, and it is not the fatuous accusations of ‘racism’ (against his own family and people of origin!) but rather eloquent support for the Palestinian struggle and his works that aim to deconstruct chauvinist manifestations of Jewish identity politics, most notably in the thought provoking work The Wandering Who.

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Palestine, Western Culture and the ‘Tropes’ of anti-Semitism

In a recent discussion on the left blog Socialist Unity, about the events surrounding George Galloway’s February appearance on BBC Question Time, its initiator Andy Newman made an important political point. Galloway’s  appearance was the occasion for a blatant attempt by Zionists to attack the right of an elected Member of Parliament to propagate his views and those of the Respect Party in a national, televised forum.

During the Socialist Unity discussion, the question of Galloway’s interview and political engagement with Gilad Atzmon, the ex-Israeli Jazz Musician and outspoken critic of Israeli racism and ‘Jewish ideology’ was also discussed. It should be noted that, unlike many others on the left, Socialist Unity do not go along with the Zionist demonisation of Galloway and its mainstream trend are virtually uncritical supporters for some of his weaker sides politically, i.e. his left reformist politics. However, the positive side of this is that the poisonous Zionist-influenced hysteria against Galloway and Respect is absent.

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Centrist Politics and Dishonesty in Debate: The Self-Defeating Paradigm

The following exchange illustrates the pointless and self-defeating effect of political dishonesty in communist politics. In bourgeois, i.e. capitalist politics, the point of political activity is to bolster and defend the position of a small, exploiting minority, the owners of capitalist property, against the great mass of the population who have no such wealth. It is obvious that this kind of politics would necessarily be replete with corruption and mendacity, since the maintenance of injustice and social and economic inequality requires fooling the mass of the population to acquiesce in their own victimisation and exploitation. The only way to do this is by systematic lying, in order to create and promote myths, and also to create and maintain divisions among the working-class majority.

Communist politics, on the other hand, has truth as its only weapon. In order to understand the real situation, the mass of the population need to have a accurate picture of political, social and economic relations, which can only be developed over a long period by a political leadership that uses truth as its main weapon. Such a politics is fundamentally different from bourgeois politics. Whereas bourgeois politics promotes mystification and lies in the interest of a minority, communist politics must ruthlessly tear away mystification and expose all social lies. If a would-be communist organisation begins to engage in lying itself, it digs its own political grave, since the only basis on which it can garner and keep support on a healthy basis is through this process of exposing difficult truths.

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Centrist Evasions on the Jewish Question and Palestine

A shortened version of the letter below was published in the Weekly Worker of 22nd Jan. Given the evasive response of Peter Manson, and the furious but even more evasive (and apolitical) response from Tony Greenstein in this week’s paper, I reproduce the original here. As people will see, it was radically cut, despite being solicited in this form by the editor of the paper himself. Which is of course the editor’s prerogative, in a way. Though one slightly unsavoury aspect of the way the paper is put together is that material is sometimes trimmed in a way as to blunt or distort their political content, and a ‘reply’ is then put together that exploits the problems caused by the editing.

Be that as it may, a reply will be sent to Manson’s evasiveness on the main point: the contradiction between claiming to stand for the Palestinian ‘right of return’, and the demand for the ‘right of self-determination’ of Israeli Jews, i.e. their right to maintain a state created by the exclusion of the Palestinian majority from their own country. It is not possible for even the most evasive centrist confusionists to do both in the real world.

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Germany’s PEGIDA and Zionism: The New European Far Right

Here we see a remarkable indication of the shift in the focus and orientation of far right politics in the West, regarding the Jewish question, Muslims and the Middle East, and the strategic effect of this conflict in the imperialist world. Open encouragement from an overt and proud Israeli-Jewish reactionary for German nationalism and anti-Muslim extremism, at a PEGIDA rally in Frankfurt. It is inconceivable that this person just represents himself: he reflects the ideology of the Israeli government and the dominant political trends in Israel.

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Beyond Satire: Tory racists, French neo-connard bigots fake ‘anti-racism’ to crush free speech

Note: Hat-tip to The Electronic Intifada for some of the factual material included here

The British government’s blatant attempts to exploit the murder in France of the Charlie Hebdo staff and the other killings associated with it are both sinister in their implications, staggeringly hypocritical, and virulently racist in their own right. While Theresa May talks about the need to ‘wipe out anti-semitism’, David Cameron condemns the liberal Pope Francis as being too soft on Muslims who are outraged by pornographic depictions of Mohammad in Charlie Hebdo, and issues his own Downing Street encyclical on the ‘right to be offensive’ to Muslims (but not to Jews, obviously).

This reflects official practice: Muslim-baiting in this country has state-sanction, but not just bigotry against people of Jewish origin per se  (which is reprehensible, but very marginal today), but also meaningful criticism of Jewish/Israeli racism against Arabs and Muslim people, or expressing appropriate, even though non-violent, anger against Israel and those who support it’s crimes against Arabs,  is to be stigmatised and persecuted.

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