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July 01, 2010

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Duncan

You don't reckon they were just disgusted with England's failure to qualify then?

Rasta

Shocking breaking news - the SWP are authoritarian wankers!!! NOOOOO, say it ain't so. Oh, and Andy Newman/Socialist Unity is a fucking idiot (being kind) and Diane Abbott is an inarticulate posturing sell-out (again, being kind)...
Paul, I don't mean to keep pestering you on here like some kind of buzzing mosquito, but I have to say... you're great at pointing out the obvious and demolishing straw men (although it obviously ain't obvious to everyone, so fair play - no probs)... not so great at clarifying YOUR positions on certain things that seem, as it stands, to be quite questionable.
Anyway, you plainly have no intention of clarifying or explaining exactly what your stance is on the vicious apartheid (and quasi-theocratic, I might add) state called "Israel" - so I'll leave you alone now. I'm just saying.
And more to the point of this thread - go Ghana!

David

'I'm just saying'

The cliched rhetoric of a bully and gob shite. Passive aggression.

I'm 'just saying' like.

PS You might find that they have the 'hockey' on instead Paul, or maybe Martin Smith will be displaying his boxing skills like he did on a Birmingham demo against the EDL last year. Can't find the link right now, but it's on youtube somewhere...

Ah, shit, I hate Martin Smith. What a bellend.

Dr Paul Stott

Rasta - You posted three absolutely enormous posts on Israel/Palestine. Far longer in fact than the posts they were critiquing.

There is some there I agree with, some I'm not so sure about, and much I thought nonsense.

I have made my views perfectly clear on the Middle East issue in the past. I do not care much for either side in the conflict, but think a few so called radicals need to recognise that as indications stand, any Palestine state that emerges will look like much of the rest of the Muslim world. And I doubt very much you want to live there.............

Rasta

David - fuckin hell, questioning people now makes you a "bully". Well I'm not a fan of passive aggression myself, so here's some active aggression - fuck you.
Paul - "there is some there I agree with, some I'm not so sure about, and much I thought nonsense" - would be a fair summary of my feelings on your posts that I've read. Although I would actually say "some" I thought nonsense (of what you say) rather than "much" since (a) I probably agree with more of your points than you think [did you think I was gonna take offense at your little Diane Abbot/Malcolm X poster for instance?]; and (b) I haven't read enough of your posts to decide whether "some" or "much" of them are "nonsense".
One thing I think is "nonsense" is your statement of not caring much "for either side in the conflict", re Israel/Palestine, as if it were a conflict of two equally-equipped rivals, like a boxing match or something. It's not. It's a "conflict" between a military superpower and U.S. proxy state that was created by mass murder and ethnic cleansing in 1948, and the dispossessed victims of that mass murder and ethnic cleansing. Honest Israeli historians will confirm this - when they're not watching their back for the next zionist fanatic who wants to spit on them as a "traitor" or blow up their house.
History would also show you that the Palestinian liberation movement was largely secular, leftist (at least in rhetoric - coming from Guyana, it's no fucking surprise to me that self proclaimed leftist revolutionaries can be corrupt and self-serving, so don't try to "educate" me on Yasser Arafat's corruption like you tried to "educate" me about the NOI) and willing to deal with unfortunate reality and accomodate the state of Israel (which had no "right to exist" in the first place, just like the U.S. had no "right to exist" on Native American land)... and that at every opportunity Israel refused to negotiate in good faith, murdered little kids standing up to tanks with rocks (you remember the first intifada, right, long before anyone in Palestine took the idea of suicide bombing from the Hindu/secular nationalist Tamil Tigers), and encouraged and financed the growth of movements like Hamas that have now come back to bite them in the ass (much like al qaeda to the americans).
The above is F-A-C-T and I dare you to dispute it.
I doubt very much you want to live in Guyana, buddy (a non-Muslim, nominally "communist" country where the police splash flammable liquid on 14-year old kids' genitals and set them on fire as part of their interrogation techniques).
Well I gone now so y'all can be free of passive aggressive gobshites and continue to talk about sports.

darren redstar

world cup 1990; failure to attend SWP branch meetings on match evenings was declared an expellable offence; this may have been a joke, but was printed in the swp internal p0arty notes and was taken seriously by the comrades in southampton branch. The only exception was when the post branch drinks were taking place in a pub where the England /Cameroon game was on the Telly, and all comrades were expected to start cheering wildly for Cameroon. The resultant fracas with the landlady led to the forthright denouncation of the entire pub as 'Racist' and the SWP banned enmass from a pub that had been the welcoming venue for lefties for decades.
At Marxism, if one turned up early enough one could watch the sport (whether ashes cricket, football, or wimbledon tennis) on the big screen for hours, until the beginning of the first meeting. then all were switched off.

Dr Paul Stott

Rasta - That may all be true, but is that what Hamas are struggling for today?

It looks very much to me like a struggle for Sharia.

If this blog serves any purpose, it is to remind a few Anarchists who want to be leftists to consider not just who people are fighting against, but what they are fighting for.

Ray

Paul- Do you support the idea of a secular Jewish homeland (lets call it the State of Israel for convenience) as a home for survivors of the Holocaust and a bolt hole for Jews should such horrors be unleashed on the world again? If yes why don't you just say so and fight your corner? Those of us who might disagree can then argue about it. Hopefully without all the usual personal abuse and accusing you of being a Mossad agent etc.
I know that you have gone to great effort in the past to make clear your position on the Middle East but - one more try I think.

Dr Paul Stott

Ray - I would not have supported the creation of Israel in 1948, because states that are based on racial exclusion and or partition are doomed to conflict. (India and Ireland are two examples of the problem of partition) Two peoples were already living there - the Palestinians, and a Jewish minority.
Without Palestinian consent, or some form of international agreement, the whole thing was doomed to be a problem from day 1.
Finally if you regard religion as nonsense - as I do - the religious justifications given of biblical prophecy etc were and are embarrassing.

Divisions have got worse, due to Israeli military actions, reactive and offensive attacks from the Palestinians, blanket US support for Israel and the failure of the UN etc to uphold potential remedies (eg making Jersuslam an international city)

The Islamic resurgence and the global rise of an Islamic identity guarantees Israeli defensiveness is fixed, permanent and will continue. As the Prophet said "let there be no two religions in Arabia" a message that the 5 million Jews living in Israel understand far more than the likes of Rasta and the British left.

As it stands the only chance of a permanent solution appears to be a collapse in religious and national identity on both sides. Sadly, such Anarchist ideals have minimal support on the Israeli side, and zero support on the Palestinian side.

The only short term solution appears to be for Israel to retreat to its 1967 borders, for Jersualem to be run as an international city by the UN and to work for a reduction in the attitudes I list above.

romanticanarchist

I'm not a fan of the name-calling/tantrums or childish threats that seem to have become popular on anarchist sites recently. For example, one bloke got so upset about one of my posts recently, you'd have thought I'd just been round to his house and pissed on his kids...I enjoy reading both Paul and Rasta's posts and find them to be educational and amusing - so it would be a shame if Rasta's decided to fuck off as a result of some lets say 'hasty' or 'defensive' comments.

I think that the current discussion around Palestine originated after Paul's comments regarding the flotilla attack by the IDF a few weeks ago. I'm sure Paul's experienced enough to know that they were never going to be well received, particularly in view of the anger that most people were feeling about the attack. Controversy's always a winner over consensus on internet blogs - which sometimes tend to simply maintain an endless stream of words about a 'subject' rather than inspire people to work together to achieve common goals.

The debate around Palestine now seems to have crystallised for me - and the confluence of interests between the Israeli state and global capitalist interests (weapons manufacturers, the oil industry, post conflict construction etc) means that this is cannot be constructed as just another squabble over land between religious extremists. The USA gives Israel billions of dollars every year, mostly to buy weapons from the USA. Israel is now a world leader in counter terrorist weaponry, surveillance technology and research and the occupied territories can be seen to be a laboratory for the USA. The link between this type of oppression and the rise of religious extremism is well understood - especially amongst American intelligence officers and strategic planners. Similarly, xenophobia, islamophobia and the consequent culture of fear that permeates the media and western society serves to justify and perpetuate its various wars and occupations.

The Hamas government, just like all other government governments, needs to be resisted and overthrown. I think this is primarily a job for the Palestinian people themselves. However, there is definitely a role for political and human rights activists to support them in their resistance. For instance, the 'one law for all' campaign - amongst others.
Anyway fellas, back to the World Cup! Ghana was robbed innit?

Rasta

I'm not going to keep going over and over this, so this'll be my last response on the issue. (Palestine/Israel).
As with a lot of things I've read from you (Paul) it's not so much what you say that I have a problem with, it's the way you say it, what you choose to emphasize and what you don't, and what you fail to mention.
It's all very well to say "divisions have got worse because of a, b and c" but what you don't make clear is the SCALE, CONSISTENCY AND SHEER BRUTALITY of "Israeli military actions", the AMOUNT AND COMPLETE UNCONDITIONALITY of the "blanket U.S. support for Israel", and the fact that the "reactive and offensive actions by the Palestinians" pale in comparison to the "Israeli military actions".
"Islamic resurgence... global rise of an Islamic identity guarantees that Israeli defensiveness is fixed, permanent and will continue": in my opinion this statement does not hold water. It has been clear for a long time that Israeli defensiveness [or pretend 'defensiveness' or manipulation of the collective trauma of the shoah to deliberately make the population feel 'defensive' while the politicians go on the 'offensive'] was always fixed, permanent and would continue. That was the case before the first intifada, after the first intifada, before the second intifada when "Islamic identity" and terrorism became more prominent in the struggle, after the second intifada, up til today. It would be more accurate to say that the fixed, permanent and continuing "defensiveness" of Israel, combined with the state terrorism of their sponsor/role model the U.S.A., has been a major factor in the present day "Islamic resurgence" than the other way round. There has always been an "Islamic identity", Muslims have always been encouraged to identify with fellow Muslims. The increase in fanatacism and (non-governmental) terrorism of late is, in my opinion, largely due to the increased level at which Muslims have been getting bombed and massacred around the world by western powers and their allies (which include Islamic/Muslim-majority states such as Pakistan, Egypt, etc.)
The quote from prophet Muhammad is not persuasive to me as some evidence of Muslims' unwillingness to allow anyone else to exist. First, unless I'm mistaken it referred to Islam vs. the pre-Islamic, polytheistic religions in Arabia that Muhammad was trying to replace. Palesine is not Arabia, and Judaism is not a so-called "pagan" or polytheistic faith. Muslims are allowed to mingle with and even marry Jews and Christians according to the Koran as they are considered fellow "people of the book." Muhammad's statement about "no two religions" has been on the record since AD 700-and-whatever; it has not generally inspired anti-Jewish pogroms in the Muslim world. There was no campaign of extermination against the Jewish minority in pre-Zionist Palestine. Anti-Jewish sentiments in the reason are largely the result of the very establishment of the state of Israel. After all, the Palestinians understand the various messages in the Torah about going into other people's land, killing everyone in it and taking it over in the name of that not-to-be-pronounced G-d HaShem or ShaZaam or whatever His name is, perhaps better than the likes of Paul Stott and those sections of the british anarchist movement who agree with him.
The last two paragraphs are fair enough I suppose; however I wonder how you know that anarchist ideals have "zero support" on the Palestinian side. Anarchists, Israeli and otherwise, have been and are working with Palestinian people and according to some of these anarchists they have certainly encountered like-minded people. The fact that there is no organised group of people calling themselves anarchists in Palestine like there are those calling themsevlves Marxist-Leninists or Islamists, does not mean that anarchist ideals have zero support among the Palestinians. I think anarchist ideals would have a lot of support among a lot of the peoples of the world if people took the time and trouble to explain them properly - because they are the most common sense, reasonable ideas of any established political tradition.
Maybe I'm just a naive optimist, but I believe things can change faster than some people might think. Really all it takes to have a sea change in peoples' ideas is to stop teaching the next generation the same old bullshit. I admit the problems are huge but I don't think they are insurmountable - and I maintain that the main barrier standing in the way of progress is Israeli intransigence (due to the fact that they can count on unwavering support from their gangster godfather the U.S.A.)
Religious zealots and poltical opportunists play on fear, whether they are jewish, muslim, christian or whatever. When Palestinians are no longer living in fear of getting blown the fuck up for the crime of walking down the street, or sleeping in their houses, the zealots will have a lot less willing ears listening to em.

Ray

That seems to be a pretty reasonable position to me Paul. For myself I have said before that if asked for directions out of the Middle East conflict I could only respond that, "I wouldn't start from here". Rasta's comments about the right to exist of both USA and Israel are well made. The establishment of both European colonial projects (and yes that's what Israel is) have much in common. An oppressed minority set up home in what appears to them to be an underused land. They get on well enough with the natives to start with but increasing numbers, pressures on land and failure to understand each others cultural imperatives leads to inevitable conflict. Eventually the original inhabitants end up as an oppressed minority themselves. And it could all have been so different.
Look, we can no more "undo" Israel than we can the USA. We would not start from here but unfortunately there is no place else TO start. All of us here, me, Paul, Rasta and the rest are so inconsequential that it seems absurd for us to talk of who we should or should not support. Like pissing in the wind. But for what little it's worth - I think that we should try always to expose the class nature of the conflict. We should as best we can offer support and succour to the poor and oppressed in their struggle against the rich and powerful. Finally we should offer not one iota of support to authoritarian religious loony-tunes of ANY persuasion.

Internationalist

>>> Look, we can no more "undo" Israel than we can the USA.

We can support the Palestinians' right to travel freely and live where they want within the region.

We can demand the demolition of the apartheid wall.

We can work to end the blockade of Gaza.

Such measures would be in 100% alignment with libertarian principles, yet whenever anybody asks if Paul Stott supports them, he brings up the Hamas red herring, a trick he learned from his zionist comrades at Harrys Place.

Rasta

Music is a universal language and H.I.P.H.O.P. is an international identity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIo6lyP9tTE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5bzSrQjBNw
(something tells me the sistren above is one militant Palestinian who is NOT a Hamas supporter)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHYwCZEKpwk
FREE FREE PALESTINE! and I'm out.

Ray

Must tip me titfa to Rasta. Best post on this thread so far. Take the time to click on his three links - Outstanding!

Rasta

Cheers Ray - glad you enjoyed.
There's a documentary called "Slingshot Hip Hop" about Palestinian hip hop, if you can find it.
Her Infinite Power Helps Oppressed People
(KRS-ONE's definition of H.I.P.H.O.P.)

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