[Marxism] Re: UFPJ backs antiwar protest at Israeli mission

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Jul 19 04:08:42 MDT 2006

This modest demonstration, notable for its militant spirit and sizable
Arab composition, represents a big forward step for UFPJ, and I think a
firm decision to integrate the Palestine and Palestine-related conflicts
into the heart of their antiwar activity.  If they could not have done
so, UFPJ would have been finished as an antiwar organization of any
kind, including as an effective opponent (as opposed to liberal
conditional critic) of the war in Iraq.
I am sure that there will be repercussions from this in UFPJ as there
always are when they reach out to their left and the Arab/South Asian
communities for support. But I suspect that (1) UFPJ's core base is
probably ready to stand up to this now, and (2) some of their more
pro-Zionist supporters are probably shaken by the sheer brutality and
adventurism of Israel's course, which is again fully supported across
partisan lines in Washington. For imperialist warmakers in both parties,
Israel has become the model for the US of how to handle the lower
orders.  Hilary Clinton's speech at the pro-war, pro-Zionist rally
Monday set the keynote for this. This -- not just defense of Israel --
has been the heart of the neocon, Bush administration approach since
9/11.  The key to their politics is not primarily the central
importance of defending Israel, but much more that the United States has
to become more like "tough"  Israel that pays no heed to public opinion,
international law, human rights, or any other concerns when their
interests run counter to them.  And where military power is the decisive
answer to every challenge.
If the UFPJ can stay the course against US/Israeli warmaking, it will
reaffirm its potential viability as a key component of a broad antiwar
coalition to come.
Another challenge is also pressing forward.  Afghanistan. Defending
Israel and defeating the Taliban have become key props of support for
the occupation in Iraq.  Every advocate of withdrawal has to be prepared
to accept the consequences  of US retreat for the Israeli regime and the
pro-US regime that faces a growing challenge from the Taliban and other
opponents -- none of them very progressive as far as I can tell.  But if
you will not defend the Palestinians against Israel and the right of
Afghanistan to determine its own fate without imperialist occupation, it
is going to get harder and harder to seriously fight for immediate
withdrawal from Iraq.  And these realities are part of what has led to a
softening or quieting of the antiwar movement on some of these issues.
The UFPJ decision to become an organizer of pro-Palestinian activity --
without be diverted by debates over chants of "Israel is a Nazi regime"
(well, if the shoe fits...) and "Down with Israel" -- is a step toward
meeting this challenge.
Fred Feldman

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