Fusion of anti-war/palestine
M. Junaid Alam
redjaguar at attbi.com
Sun Nov 10 10:05:24 MST 2002
>More importantly, I'm dealing with a lot of people who (presumably for
>tactical reasons) want to organize against the Iraq War as it were in
>isolation, without touching the question of Palestine. When US attacks
>Iraq, it looks pretty certain that Israel will move to expel the remaining
>Palestinians from the West Bank. At that point I'm thinking it will become
>dishonest as well as self-defeating to evade the issue, and we'll need to
>confront it head-on even if it splits the coalition. WHat is your take
>given the importance you place on building the broadest possible movment?
Actually I think it might make sense to do Palestine work separately. If
some liberal Jews are willing to work against war with Iraq right now but
not make an issue of Palestine, it is better to be a little patient and
bring them along slowly in discussions over coffee.
I believe that the logic of the war will make fusion inevitable. At the
student anti-war conference after the march, some groups had already linked
anti-apartheid with anti-war, but this is probably not the majority of
groups. When a member of one such group got up to the mic. and denounced the
"Racist apartheid Israeli state" he received some nervous applause.
At any rate on my campus this kind of thing has been interesting because my
father was one of the first professors targeted by Campus-Watch.org and
teaches here. He spoke at one of our teach-ins on Iraq, and I just recently
drew up a resolution in the form of an editorial piece to the school
newspaper in defense of him which the anti-war group backed unanimously,
give or take a couple words which were too "polemical". At the same time I
had to remove the entire paragraph that directly related to the Palestinian
question because our group has not taken up the Palestinian question. If I
can manage to resurrect the Students for Justice in Palestine that surfaced
on campus last year this may change, but unfortunately the Arab/Islamic
political activism at this school is very weak, unlike some other Boston
Ultimately Iraq is the current focus of everything anti-war. It is a bit
like the rectangle-square game; pro-Palestinian activists need to do their
thing on their own regardless of what the broader anti-war gorup does, but
also must be active in the anti-war group, make their position clear, and
push it at the right moment.
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