[Marxism] No right of return, Bush tells Palestinian refugees

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Wed Apr 14 17:29:58 MDT 2004

This is the heart of what it is to be a Zionist-- to deny that other people
have the same equal rights as Jews in Israel. In so far as Zionism even
more than what Lou rightly pointed to in Africa was racial supremacy, it is
something that can no longer be tolerated by people in our movement, if we
are serious about being anti-racist.

When we tolerate Zionism and babble on about how there are so many
different types of Zionism, blah blah blah, we are stating-- implicitly if
not outright explicitly-- that racism being directed against Arabs doesn't
really concern us, that creeping genocide and ethnic cleansing are only of
concern when dealt against non-Arab populations, and that we are not really
opposed to settler colonialism.

Usually, the same people who are willing to tolerate Zionists are the ones
who state that "Indians shouldn't have been nearly exterminated here, but
what are you gonna do?" as a way to avoid dealing with the realities of
North American settler colonies. This is particularly the case in Canada,
where "Canadian leftists" use the same basic language as George W: That so
long as the facts on the ground contradict any real case for sovereignty,
then we can safely ignore, or simply pat on the head "our" Indian
populations. By what right do Canadian settlers set the terms by which they
will make integral a real understanding of sovereignty, self-determination
and basic international law?

By what right do any on "the left" anywhere in the First World have the
right to tolerate Zionists as "allies", fearing not to "alienate" them
further, by again refusing to take the implicit racism of the Zionists as
seriously as they would if white American Southerners who used to say "I'm
for change, but no quickly, it's hard on me and my family?"

If we are to make any impact, it will not be by continuing to trivialize
the racism that it is to allow a voice for Zionists within a Marxist or
other would-be revolutionary space. Anti-Semites are shown the door from
that space that is supposedly "ours". The same *must* happen with Zionists
and any sympathy with Zionism.

Let us be as clear as day: Zionism is as racist to the core as any movement
that existed in the 20th Century on the basis of ethnicity. It is now, for
the aims of "Israel" putting the very safety of world Jewish peoples by
making the term anti-Semitism carry next to no meaning in popular usage.

Israel violates far more rights that the Afrikaners. At no point during
Afrikaner rule did the racist South African regime ever threaten the
population of blacks with collective punishment of entire families by
destroying houses as a matter of policy approved by the supreme court.

If we, in the name of movement building or anything else, tolerate Zionism
we are as guilty of the same systemic racism that is Israel. We need
instead to take a page out of the book of the struggle against apartheid
and understand one thing: South African racism was organized against by
forcing the world stage to isolate South Africa, and that meant in every
sphere. This means that no musicians, public acts, etc etc should be able
to tour the modern apartheid state without being shunned by a grassroots
effort to humiliate them.

People on this list in New York: There is an Al Awda Right to Return 
conference this weekend:

April 16th-18th, 2004 Brookdale Campus 325 East 25th Street (1st Avenue)
New York City Registration Begins at 5pm (Friday, April 15th)

With a launch-off ceremony in Widdi Catering in Brooklyn on Thursday,
April 15th, 2004 @ 7 pm. with live Arabic Music, Debka, Food, and lots
more... Widdi Catering 6th Avenue in 56th Street, Brooklyn

Unfortunately I am across the continent for at least a few more months.

As for this conference, it will likely be forced into responding to Sharon 
and Bushies latest attempt to wipe off the face of the map any semblance of 
the international law human rights (even endorsed by such anti-Palestinian 
groupings as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International) of each and 
every *individual* Palestinian to personally negotiate either a settlement 
and compensation from "Israel" for their stolen lands or a right of return 
for every single Palestinian.

The fact that this basic point: that refugees are allowed to be 
"negotiated" and are argued against for their rights-- basic and 
indivisible-- shows just how racist the whole dynamic of "negotiations" 
with Israel is. Who negotiates which rights they are to give up? Who can 
claim sovereignty and yet submit to diktat?

What "anti-racists" can we be if continue to help along the "facts on the 
ground" by saying, in effect, the same thing as all racists do about 
Palestine: Zionism exists and we can't isolate them for that would simply 
be to drive them further into the camp of racism? WE must "negotiate" and 
communicate with political movements and tendencies that embrace open 
denial of the equality of all human beings?

This sends the exact same message as it does when Bush states the 
Settlements must be allowed to remain, because the settlements are "facts". 
It sends the message that indigenous rights need to be violated first, that 
racism should become "acceptable" first, and afterwards it becomes il fait 

Enough is enough. We must no longer tolerate the false notion that a 
settler colonial movement can have a "left democratic" wing. It is a racist 
ideology, it props up a racist state and it must no longer be accpetable in 
the ethos of our resistance.

This also means, again on the model of the South African solidairty 
movement, that we refuse to engage even the "progressive" wing of the 
Zionist Universities: no professor from South Africa that was willing to 
work and gain tenure in any part of the Afrikaner state was welcome to 
enter into any kind of working solidarity with the population working to 
bring down that same state.

Finally, it has no place in the anti-war movement.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: No right of return, Bush tells Palestinian refugees

Globe and Mail	   April 14, 2004

No right of return, Bush tells Palestinian refugees

U.S. President George W. Bush told Palestinian refugees Wednesday that they
can forget about ever returning to their ancestral homes.

Leaving Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon beaming at a joint press
conference in Washington, Mr. Bush appeared to negate any right of return
for Palestinian uprooted from what is now Israel.

Their future lies only in "the establishment of a Palestinian state and the
settling of Palestinian refugees there rather than in Israel," he said.

The U.S. President twice referred to Israel as a Jewish state, alluding to
arguments that allowing millions of Palestinian refugees to return there
would alter the fundamental character of the country.

Mr. Bush said that it would be "unrealistic" for Israelis and Palestinians
to negotiate based on the assumption of returning to 1949 armistice lines.

"The realities on the ground and in the region have changed greatly in the
last several decades," Mr. Bush said. "And any [political] settlement must
take into account these realities."

Mr. Bush did not explicitly say that the United States supported Israel's
keeping some of its large settlements on the West Bank – home to about a
quarter million Israelis – but he endorsed Mr. Sharon's unilateral plan to
withdraw the few thousand settlers from the Gaza Strip. He noted that some
small Israeli settlements on the West Bank had been cleared.


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Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope

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