[Marxism] Attack Saudi Arabia!!

Y. K. ykleftis at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 25 12:28:49 MDT 2006


>>The rise of
Political Islam, movements with a mass social base, was in direct response 
to  the
collapse of secular and leftist politics in the region.
Jscotlive at aol.com

Definitely.

Yoshie, I haven’t followed all the recent posts though it’s clear you have a 
sense of honor, want to advance the good cause, and seek out a world 
perspective on the left.  I sensed that you would get in trouble about a 
week ago, although I can’t point to anything specific. The problem isn’t 
just male/female dynamics, though it may be a factor; strident talk about 
Islam and Arabs make people nervous, and, unfortunately, even leftist Jews 
often have ambivalent feelings about Islamist politics at best. I’m not 
indicating anyone on the list in particular, but I’ve seen it time and 
again. So, the issue is not just secularism or gender, it’s also Israel.

Israel is deeply polarizing and this is compounded by the fact that Israel 
is conflated with entire Jewish community worldwide. I don’t live in the US 
and I don’t know where you live, but this becomes clearer if you spend time 
on the east or west coast, especially in California and New York. Moreover, 
too many “Western” (whatever that means) leftists fear Islam as a religion. 
Even less do they understand Islamist politics; for instance, no Muslim, 
including the most radically militant Islamist, thinks of himself as a 
member of a “Muslim race”. So much for Islamofascism! The same cannot be 
said, however, for many practitioners of Judaism, especially in the US. Such 
is the world after the racialization of Judaism. We need to keep Islam (as 
religion) separate from Islamism (as politics and state), Judaism (as 
religion) separate from Zionism (as politics and state).

The recent weeks of violence has further clarified for me that anti-Zionism 
is most emphatically not anti-Judaism; more precisely, anti-Zionism is 
simply anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, and often anti-fascism. There is 
no possibility for the radical left to support Zionism. There should be no 
serious discussion of a so-called “right to exist”. The right of Jews to 
exist is without question among leftists, but the right of the current 
racist state of Israel to exist can and should be highly contested.

Israel is simply a racist colonial-settler state worse than South Africa, 
while Judaism is first and foremost a religion... there is nothing 
“biological” or “racial” about it.  Like the more successful US 
colonial-settler state, the end logic is extermination of the native peoples 
and cultures. Indeed, it’s often remarked by my friends that the US has 
never stopped fighting its “Indian Wars”; small, persistent industrial wars 
of extermination for primary materials define the US military over the long 
term. Israel persists as a state in its current form because the Europeans 
felt guilty after WWII; indeed, I sometimes think it is they who should have 
granted European land instead of supporting colonization in Palestine. They 
also saw it as a means to repress the Arabs. Israel also persists because 
the US wants regional domination for the sake of raw materials and markets 
and because of the tacit support for Israel in any form by many who are 
nominally on the left. It is certainly an “artificial” state, but not much 
more than most of the states in the region draw up by colonial powers. The 
crucial difference is that Israel is the only strong state allowed.

While I’m not sure of the position of various members on this list, I’ve 
also concluded that the so-called “two state” solution is only an acceptance 
of colonization and apartheid and can be considered an interim and 
progressive call at best. Only a single state, which perhaps should compose 
a larger entity in the spirit of pan Arabism and socialism, will bring 
justice and create lasting peace. But that also means no more “racial” 
privilege! Israel’s privilege, however, will remain at least as long as the 
US remains dominant in the region, but Israel will never, I repeat, never, 
have the opportunity for democracy or equality until the US/UK is decisively 
weakened. This may not happen definitively in our lifetimes.

I tend to believe that much of Islamist politics have been shaped directly 
from the confrontation with Israel, which makes religious claims to bolster 
its racial domination, as well as from the active use of religion to 
undermine communism; it is well-acknowledged that Saudi Arabia is the 
biggest exporter of a repressive Islamist ideology and would never be seen 
with Fidel and Chavez. Far and away, the most repressive Islamic state 
worldwide for communism has been Saudi Arabia. It may be a better strategy 
for US leftists to *attack Saudi Arabia* than simply defend Iran; more US 
“soft left” liberals will get behind such a call, it will take the heat off 
Iran, criticize Arab states' collaboration with Israel, and is an implicit 
criticism of the oil-mad US administration.  Attacking Saudi Arabia puts the 
US government on defense.

Religion can also provide a metaphysical and moral framework to resist 
oppression, in contrast with Marx’s Enlightenment-inspired understanding of 
it as “opiate” and the wishes of US managers. Without Hezbollah, the 
Israelis would be in Beirut; instead, they are losing expensive troops and 
equipment to take a hilltop village. Thank God for Hezbollah. Without 
Islamic Iran, a servile “Aryan” king would bolster the position of US 
capitalism worldwide. Maybe Islamic revolution isn’t so bad. I don’t want a 
“Jewish” state any more than a “Christian”, “Hindu”, or “Islamic” one, but 
the fact remains that there is also a tolerance in the US and Europe for 
verbal and physical violence against Muslims in a way that they would never 
tolerate for Jews. The “Western” left must learn to stand with some 
Islamists without hesitation in the same manner as the Lebanese Communist 
Party does; they have reportedly lost some of their fighters in the 
resistance to the Israeli invasion. (See their recent statements at: 
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/lcp220706.html and 
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/lcp210706.html)

These are complicated matters but I recommend Abukhalil’s Angry Arab as an 
excellent guide to sort some of it out: http://angryarab.blogspot.com/

-YK

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