DSP on Palestine - Oh God, here we go again

snnoonan snnoonan at SPAMmsn.com
Tue Nov 21 13:47:37 MST 2000

Jose writes:
"First, they refused to smash the Zionist entity and establish a democratic
secular Palestine, even though they have known for more than 30 years this
is what they must do because we told them so."

The claim that the call for a single state is the product of armchair
revolutionaries in the core falls a little flat.  George Habash and Ghassan
Kanafani of the PFLP both argued for a single secular state starting in 1969
or so.  During the 82 war in Lebanon it has been estimated that the PFLP
fielded several thousand soldiers who remained in Lebanon and fought the IDF
long after Arafat retreated with the help of the U.S. The PFLP isn't a north
american M-L groupuscle.  The secular left in Palestine is fractured to be
sure, but it's combined support amongst the Palestinian people is not to be
sneeered at. Roughly 75% of Palestinians have opposed the "normalization" of
Oslo since at least around 1997.  I've seen estimates that combined the left
parties garner support from around 25% of the population, slightly higher
than HAMAS and Islamic Jihad togehter. The secular left is in all likelyhood
more popular than the islamicists in Palestine. This isn't surprising if
Palestines relatively westernized culture, its level of education and 15% of
the population that is Christian is kept in mind.

The biggest problem facing the single-staters in the occupied territories is
the lack of logistical support since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Subsequently the PFLP, DFLP etc. have been unable to fashion a strategy to
move the struggle forward. As I understand it the DFLP initiated talks with
Arafat and was expelled from the left coalition for doing so. The PFLP seems
to be in a holding pattern, unwilling to join Arafat but lacking the
resources (and quite possibly the will on the part of the leadership) to
carry the struggle forward. Inside Israel, support for a single secular
state is the long-term position of the BALAD party which holds seats in the
Knesset and is the position expressed by party leader Azmi Bishara on ABC's
Nightline a few weeks ago.

See: http://www.balad.org/English.html

A single state solution is the baseline position that socialists,
progressives and democrats  can rally around. The two states proposal is
really one Israeli state and a Palestinian refugee-prison camp. Why would
any socialist support apartheid when it is contrary to the goals of
socialism in principle and when there are real people on the ground working
for a far more just and equitable solution? Even some Israeli's associated
with Alternative Information Center and Hebron Solidarity Committee are for
a single, secular, democratic state.

Jose again:
"Third, they have chosen leaders we don't like, and especially Yasir Arafat,
who even smiles when he gets his picture taken at diplomatic functions.
Without even consulting with us. For shame!"

The Palestinian people didn't choose Arafat. He was able to garner the
support of Arab regimes in the region and with that support buy, bribe and
kill his way to leadership. For example, it is extremely unlikely that the
recent IDF helicopter gunship attack which killed Fatah leader Hussein
Abayad was carried out without the participation of PA intelligence in
cooperation with the IDF.
Graham Usher has documented Abayad's unwillingness to follow Arafat's orders
in the most recent clashes.  Arafat has a long history of killing those who
threaten his leadership both inside Fatah and among the other liberation
movements. The one and only PA elections were a joke, Arafat had to coax
(some say pay) someone (Hana Ashawri, I think) to run against him. The dogs
on the streets of Gaza knew the elections were a farce.

Jose on last time:
"Down with reformism! Down with Nationalism! Down with the Palestinian
Authority! Down with Yasir Arafat! Down with negotiations with the Zionists
or the Americans! Long Live the Fourth International, all 27 of them!"

In the absence of an argument or evidence, you resort to caricature.

To return to the initial question, Hebron has had UN observers in place for
at least 4 years and they have accomplished nothing. Hebron is under a 50
day lock-down, 400 Israeli colonists run rampant through the streets
attacking Palestinian homes and cars, and over 100 homes have been destroyed
by IDF shelling while the UN observers have done nothing. Why support
something that is ineffectual and irrelevent?

Sean Noonan
snnoonan at email.msn.com

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