The ongoing genocide in Palestine
snnoonan at msn.com
Tue Apr 2 17:13:25 MST 2002
"Apart from making my blood boil, this is the sort of crap which turns most
serious fighters against Marxism and self-professed Marxists. That
ultra-leftist 'commentators', can with the touch of a keyboard be so
dismissive of Yassir Arafat and the whole of Fatah/PLA is shameful. I
suppose that grok, that fearless fighter and calculated, experienced leader,
would have bravely urged his people to taking on impossible odds should be
no surprise to us silly militants. He would bravely wade through their (and
our) blood to avoid the 'sell-out' (read strategic compromise) of Oslo!"
You simply do not know what you are talking about. You are tailing someone with
very little support among the Palestinian people. Arafat is merely a symbol and
a figure head now, even the New York Times reporters in the refugee camps a few
kilometers from Arafat's Ramallah HQ say as much in their articles, "distant"
and "figurehead" were the exact terms used. Arafat's popularity among
Palestinians is down around 25%, Fatah (independent of Arafat) claims about 35%
support, the Islamicists get about 25% and the left parties combined get about
15%. The rest is a nebulous mix of people who change their support based on who
has carried out the most actions against Israel in recent days. Over 80% of the
Palestinians support the continuation of the Intifada until occupation is ended
and over 70% support suicide attacks inside Israel. Arafat in constrast has
called ten ceasefires and has called for an end to all attacks inside Israel on
an almost daily basis. Over 180 militants and leaders of the PFLP have been
arrested by Arafat, including the party's general secretary Ahmed Saadat.
These are real marxists and revolutionaries that Arafat is incarcerating in the
service of the fascist Israeli state. The crime these revolutionaries have
committed is their proficiency in carrying out the most effective action of this
Intifada, the assasination of Israeli cabinet minister, and head of the racist
Moledet party, Zyevi. The Zyevi action got the Intifada rolling again in October
of 2001, when it seemed that after 9/11/01 the struggle was winding down and
being suppressed by the actions of Arafat. These are the people Marxists should
be supporting. Support for Arafat and the PA is support for a corrupt regime
that works actively with the CIA and Shin Beit.
Oslo is dead and the vast majority of Palestinians categorically do not wish to
see it ressurected. This Intifada is against the apartheid sell out of Oslo and
is for the full, complete and substantive ending of Israeli occupation of all of
the West Bank and Gaza. Matter of fact anyone who wishes to see Oslo return is
objectively pro-apartheid. The people on the streets in the territories are far
ahead of your tailing Arafat. Arafat only wants a pseudo state bantustan, a
place to print some stamps, fly a flag and hand out passports before he dies.
In contrast a "unified" leadership is emerging, composed of grass roots
activists from the first Intifada who are now assuming leadership roles entirely
independent of the corrupt and bankrupt PNA, and furthermore where Fatah is an
important member but not the overwhelmingly dominant member.
"Everyone can make mistakes, but to offer criticism of the PLA at this time,
when what is needed is to get out and organise wherever you are, is totally
By all means work to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for
national liberation. I do. But under no circumstances should Marxists be saying
nice things about Arafat. Even the liberal Edward Said doesn't carry water for
Arafat. The only people who support Arafat are the client regimes in Egypt,
Jordan etc. and the "left-wing" of the Zionists who support Arafat in order to
save Israeli from it's own fascist logic. These "left" Zionists are hoping to
transition Israel away from a fascist state into a neoliberal regional economic
power. Arafat has protracted the national liberation struggle of the
Palestinian people by at least ten years, if not 20 years going back to the
PLO's withdrawal from Lebanon in the early 80's. The PFLP, the DFLP, The
People's Party (former Moscow oriented CP), Islamic Jihad (who are closer to
Lou's view of a "national-populist" grouping than the strictly Islamicist,
Sharia practicing, Saudi-Gulf State supported Hamas), and crucially the now de
facto dissidents in Fatah can be all supported without telling lies about what a
nice guy Arafat is.
"I'm sure list members are aware of the content of this 'deal' - basically full
Israeli withdrawal from the 1967 occupied territories in return for dual
recognition of Israel and the PA across the board."
This is complete nonsense and only demonstrates your ignorance of the issues
involved. The Saudi plan is Madrid/Oslo part 2. Other's have called it a return
to the Reagan plan of the early 80s. The Arab summit endorsed this plan because
they are effectictively client regimes of the U.S. The intifada activists and
leadership has rejected the Saudi plan as another sell out. Word is, if Arafat
did go to Beirut and endorse the Suadi plan he could not return to Palestine
because of the threat to to life from the Intifada activists. Arafat said as
much to Clinton at Camp David in the summer of 2000. He said: "If I sign this,
the next time you will see me is at my funeral."
The minimal national liberation demand is that Israel withdraw from the
territories, including all the settlements, and then the Palestinians and
Israelis can negotiate on the issues of water allocation, East Jerusalem,
Refugees, prisoners etc. Even here, it is necessary to point out that by
minimal bourgeois standards the right of return of refugees is inalienable.
Refugees must have the right to either return or recieve compensation as they
themselves see fit. Anything short of this is a sell out. And BTW this is
officially the position of all the Palestinian parties, even as it is not
practiced by Arafat, his PA, and his PLO.
Israel must withdraw completely first - then talk about outstanding issues, is
the strategy of the emerging unified leadership. Talking first was tried for 10
tens and even though the Israelis were handed a huge (but not complete) victory,
they stalled and reneged on the paltry concessions to the Palestinians under
Oslo. A return to Oslo, even under a different name, would constitute a massive
defeat for the Palestinian people. Similary, Arafat's call for an international
peacekeeping force is rejected by the Intifada activists because they recognize
that such a policy would serve to wind down the intifada and lead to a return to
an Oslo style sell out. The Intifada activists recognize that their only hope is
to win a political victory via armed struggle in which Israel withdraws from the
occupied territories first, then negotiations can begin between the two states
on the outstanding issues. At this time ending occupation is simply
non-negotiable. On the streets of Palestine this is called the lesson of South
Lebanon - the Israelis only respect, and they only respond to, the use of force.
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