Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Wed Nov 22 19:22:04 MST 2000

Jose writes:

(Snip most of which is irrelevant to actual discussion as raised by Gary
McL, Louis Pr, Sean N, Abu Nasir and myself.)

>I am AGAINST all this denunciation of the "Arafat cabal" and of
>Arafat's policy. I am OPPOSED to left groups in Europe, the United States
>or >Israel for the matter trying to take sides and influence such internal
>as may be taken place among the Palestinian people and their leaders. I am
>also against denouncing Arafat or Gerry Adams as "sell-outs" for accepting
>some limited concessions that fall short of the ultimate demands and aims
>of the struggle.

Depends who is doing the criticising, Jose.

As I've said before, I have more time for Adams than those on the Trot left
who denounce him as a sell-out when they themselves weren't even able to
muster up the revolutionary will to throw so much as a stone at the British

But this does not mean that Adams has not sold out.  Far from accepting
'some limited concessions', virtually no concessions have been won by Irish
nationalists.  All that has happened is that a couple of SF leaders have
been given posts in the new Northern Ireland assembly.  In exchange, the
republicans have recognised (for the first time ever) the legitimacy of the
northern state, gone along with the removal of article 3 from the
Constitution in the South (whch they previously supported) and are in the
process of disarming the IRA.

Many republicans have denounced this as a sell out.

This then confronts supporters of Irish freedom in other countries with the
question of making choices.

Jose's position is absurd.  If we apply it to 1921, then some republicans,
in Jose's terms, 'accepted some limited concessions' while, in the terms of
Irish revolutionaries, these were a sell-out.  The anti-Treaty forces
argued that in order to fight the Brits effectively they had to *prevent*
the establishment of the 'Free State' - ie prevent the establishment of
what Jose would term 'limited concessions' because these 'linited
concessions' actually amounted to a counter-revolution.

What a fix Jose would have been in in 1921/22.

If he couldn't support the anti-Treaty forces, coz that would mean
denouncing Griffith and Collins as 'sell outs', he would have effectively
been on the side of the Treatyites - ie the counter-revolutionaries.

Secondly, it is also quite strange to say that even the left in Israel
should not take sides and try to influence internal discussions among
Palestinians.  In fact, if you are a Marxist Israeli or Marxist Palestinian
you should be trying to promote a common political perspective which would,
of necessity, involve taking sides in disputes in both Israeli and
Palestinian politics.


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