[Marxism] Answer attacks UFPJ

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Jul 22 08:43:35 MDT 2006

I don't think this discussion goes anywhere unless we can recognize that
UFPJ has taken an important step forward, and one that could foster more
unity in action.
On Tuesday, UFPJ sponsored a demonstration at the Israeli mission to the
UN of 500 (Mike Friedman says 1,000) people protesting US-Israeli
aggression against the Palestinians and Lebanon. The pro-Palestinian,
anti-Israel spirit of this action would have repelled and alienated UFPJ
just a year or so ago.  The demonstration was overwhelmingly Muslim and
Jewish in terms of national origin -- which I think has some
significance for possibilities for united action.
The UFPJ also scheduled a protest for the US mission to the UN on
Thursday, which I planned to attend but retreated in the face of the
downpour yesterday. The platform for that action, which ANSWER attacked,
was modified to make it more defensive of Hezbollah and hostile to
US-Israeli policy.  (See Steffie Brooks contribution to this thread.) In
other words, UFPJ is continuing to move forward on this issue, not
pulling back as they usually do after finding themselves in an action
which has a strong component of militant pro-Palestinian sentiment.
I think that UFPJ's  base and leadership, including even some of the
pro-Zionists who have exerted strong pressure against involvement in
opposition to THIS US war in the past, are genuinely outraged by what
Israel has done and this has shifted their position for the better.
Those of us who have argued in the past for UFPJ to take up Palestine as
an integral part of the US wars in the region never imagined that UFPJ
would simply come into the action with a finished "correct position"
against Israel and for Palestine.  We wanted  them to join the fight as
who they are.  And that is what they have done.
It is pretty useless to talk about regroupment and united antiwar action
and convergence, unless we can clearly recognize a step forward when it
stares us in the face.
ANSWER seems to be attacking UFPJ for stepping onto what it regards as
its "turf" -- the Palestine issue, relations with Arab and Muslim groups
and so on. 
The worst thing about the ANSWER attack is that it creates a possibly
impassable obstacle to getting unity with UFPJ for the August 12 action
in Washington, DC.  ANSWER has clearly put factional considerations
Frankly, talk about regroupment and united fronts and convergence can't
count for much unless we recognize steps forward when they stare us in
the face, and that is what UFPJ has taken in this important issue.
Fred Feldman

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