[Marxism] Antiwar movement debate: Unity on what basis?
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Aug 3 11:10:13 MDT 2005
>full article at:
>"...But opinion polls show consistent support among Americans for
>Palestinian rights, which makes it very likely that military families,
>veterans and rank-and-file members of the labor movement either already
>support Palestinian rights in some form, or could be convinced to do so if
>the antiwar movement gave a lead on the question.
>What UFPJ doesn't say is that the people it is more worried about
>alienating are Zionists in their ranks and Democratic Party politicians,
>whose support for Israel is a given. UFPJ's leaders would rather sideline
>thousands of Arabs and Muslims who have been the targets of state
>repression than a handful of Democrats and their liberal supporters. For a
>movement that chides itself about the need to attract more people of color
>into its ranks, this is a curious position to hold.
>A "unity" that leaves Arabs and Muslims on the sidelines is no unity at
Isn't it remarkable that this complaint has not been heard in England where
the Stop the War Coalition, led by the ISO's former mother-ship--the SWP,
has never made "the right of return" a litmus test for the movement.
Isn't it also remarkable that this sort of blatant
segregationism--obviously related to the British colonial mindset--has not
dissuaded such individuals from joining the steering committee:
# Saleh Mamoud CAMPACC
# Ibrahim Dogus FEDBIR
# Riad Al Tahrir Friendship Across Frontiers
# Ismael Patel Friends of al- Aqsa
# Ghada Razuki
# Sabah Jawad Iraqi Democrats
# Dr Ghaysuddin Siddiqui Muslim Parliament
Nor has it inhibited leading Arab and Muslim groups and individuals from
working with the SWP in the Respect Coalition that elected George Galloway
on a solid anti-occupation and anti-racist platform. I don't remember a hue
and cry going up about the SWP sweeping Palestinian issues under the rug
during this campaign.
Nor does this "segregationism" seem to do much to mollify Islamophobes like
Harry's Place, Norman Geras, Johaan Hari, Daniel Aronowitch, Nick Cohen et
al who all howl at the SWP for anti-Semitism, wanting to drive Israel into
the sea, etc.
In fact, this campaign to turn the current American anti-war movement into
a kind of anti-imperialist hodge-podge is nothing less than a misbegotten
effort to repudiate the lessons of the anti-war movement of the 1960s,
which had the same kind of focus on Vietnam that is needed on Iraq today.
The Workers World Party was aligned with efforts back then to make the
antiwar demonstrations "anti-imperialist". They were pretty much ignored.
The ISO, whose leaders were largely uninvolved with the anti-war movement
and whose ranks were too young to have participated in it, are seduced by
these calls to be "more radical". How can one not opt to be more radical.
In reality, the most radical thing that can be done today is to get the
maximum number of people mobilized around the demand of immediate
withdrawal from Iraq. Everything that gets in the way of that effort hurts
the radical movement, no matter the bombastic ultraleft verbiage it is
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