IRSP post on Slaughter of Palestinians

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Sun Oct 15 23:12:16 MDT 2000

Danielle Ni Dhighe posted:

>IRSP Decry Slaughter of the Palestinians

Actually, as a former Sinn Feiner, and one totally opposed to the current
course of the republican leadership, I'd be quite interested in hearing
what the IRSP is up to these days.  Maybe Danielle or any other IRSPers
lurking on the list would like to post some info on what the IRSP is these
days, how it has moved beyond the fairly monstrous internal feuds of the
80s, and how it sees the way forward in Ireland.

On their statement on the slaughter of Palestinians, I agree with most of
it.  But there is a problematic bit at the end:

>"The only way forward and out of this renewed cycle of spiraling violence
>is for the immediate end of Israeli military assault on the Palestinians,
>recognition of a sovereign nation of Palestine, and immediate withdrawal
>from the West Bank and Gaza of all Zionist settlers and Israeli military

The problem is not lack of recognition of a 'sovereign nation of
Palestine'.  The problem is the existence of the state of Israel.

I remember a decade or so ago reading something in 'An Phoblact' (the Sinn
Fein paper) where Tom 'People may not have liked Stalin, but he got things
done' Hartley, the national chairperson or somesuch of SF, welcomed the
formation of a 'Palestinian state' on the West Bank and Gaza.

I was quite shocked by this as the SF position, as far as I was aware, was
one of support for a democratic, secular Palestine (ie the formation of a
non-exclusivist state comprising Jewish and Palestinians in what is now
Israel), not a couple of bantustans masquerading as a 'Palestinian state'.
Indeed, this kind of Palestinian state was a settlement like the 1921/22
settlement in Ireland, where British imperialism got a large section of its
former republican opponents to police 26 counties of Ireland and make them
safe for Britain with 'an economy of British lives' (as Winston Churchill
put it at the time).

Hartley's statement on 'Palestine' was a clear indication of where he was
going politically in Ireland.  So it was no surprise that he was the major
theoretical architect of the rightward shift of the SF leadership.

What the past decade has shown in Israel/Palestine is that there actually
is no just solution as long as the Zionist state remains.  Arafat's
strategy has been a disaster, although in fairness to him and the PLO it
was a strategy largely forced on them rather than enthusiastically adopted.

But it seems to me that as well as demanding a halt to the Israeli attacks
- which is obviously the most pressing thing right now - we need to
re-establish the position that it is not Israeli truculence or militarism
that is the problem.  These are only necessary symptoms of the basic
problem - which is the existence of the Zionist state.

Philip Ferguson

More information about the Marxism mailing list