Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Zionist settlers on the West Bank, still trying to push Palestinians off their land

by Tony Greenstein

Moshé Machover, who I count as a friend and comrade, is a legend in his own lifetime. One of the founders of Matzpen, the Socialist Organisation in Israel, Machover more than any other single person has helped educate a generation of socialists in a Marxist approach to the question of Zionism and Israel.

When I grew up, there was a myth, common amongst the left, that Israel was an example of socialism. The kibbutzim were held out as the socialist ideal – a communal way of living and producing. Little did we know that the kibbutzim were the pioneers of stockade and watchtower colonisation, that they owned industries which exploited the labour of Arab and Misrahi Jewish workers, that they were Jewish-only organisations and that they provided the officer corps for the paramilitary Haganah and Palmach, which spearheaded the massacres and ethnic cleansing of 1948. But, then again, we grew up with the fable that the Arabs in 1948 fled Palestine on instructions from the Arab leaders in order that they could conquer the country and commit another holocaust.

As a teenager groping my way towards a socialist analysis of Zionism, the first thing I read that made sense on the subject was an article in the New Left Review by Moshé, Akiva Orr and Haim Hanegbi, which was reprinted as a pamphlet by the International Socialists (now the Socialist Workers Party).1 It is therefore with some hesitation that I disagree with my teacher.

A separate Hebrew nation?

Moshé argues cogently and forcefully in his article, ‘Palestine and Hebrew self-determination’,2 that without an acceptance by the Palestinians that the Jewish or Hebrew inhabitants of Israel constitute a separate Hebrew nation there can be no resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Only by making this concession and accepting the reality of two nations is it possible to find a solution to the existing conflict.

Firstly let me explain that I agree with Moshé and Matzpen that it is impossible for the Palestinians, by themselves, to overthrow Zionism. A solution to Zionist colonisation will not be found within the confines of what was the British mandate territory of Palestine. The balance of forces is such that it would be (more…)

Below is a statement released by the Prison Branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on April 16, Palestine Prisoners’ Day; this was also the day before the mass hunger strike began: 

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is a day of challenge and confrontation, emphasizing the issue of prisoners

On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, we salute every prisoner, the heroes and heroines of the battles of will and steadfastness, to every flower and cub, to the sick prisoners, administrative detainees and imprisoned leaders, led by the imprisoned General Secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi, Hassan Salameh, Wajdi Jawdat, Anas Jaradat, Bassam Kandaji and the long line of leaders who represent the national struggle and the prisoners’ cause.

On this occasion, we make a particular salute to the martyrs of the prisoners movement and to all of those engaged in confrontation and the struggle for victory. We are firmly committed to see each battle of confrontation with the Prison Service and its instruments of repression and intelligence agencies as a collective battle. Every action initiated by any faction is all of our battle.
We also congratulate the longest-serving woman prisoner, Lena Jarbouni, on this occasion of her freedom after 15 years in Israeli jails.

In this context, we affirm that we stand hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder in any struggle waged by the prisoners, and we consider the decision to engage in the battle of dignity and honor against the jailer, beginning on Monday, April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2017, to be one which we support and which we are part of. This comes in two ways, both through the decisions and guidelines for the comrades to engage in the battle, and through approving a program of support for the strike in all prisons and among our comrades outside.

In this context of high appreciation and support for this battle and all the heroic prisoners who will engage in it, we affirm our continued struggle for (more…)

Protest in Nablus April 16 marking Palestinian Prisoner Day

Over 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners have announced they will launch a collective hunger strike today, Monday, 17 April, on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2017. The strike, which will come under the slogan “Freedom and Dignity,” highlights a number of key demands of the Palestinian prisoners, including family visits, appropriate medical care, ending abusive conditions and stopping the use of solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. As the strike begins, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of justice around the world to take action to support the Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line for freedom and dignity.

Palestinian prisoners from across political lines announced they would participate in and support the strike, especially in Hadarim, Gilboa, and Nafha prisons. Prisoners in Beersheva, Ashkelon and Ramon prisons will also launch their participation in the strike today, with more to come in the future, Ma’an News reported. The strike’s demands were announced by Fateh prisoners with imprisoned Fateh Central Committee member and prominent political leader Marwan Barghouthi serving as the spokesperson for the strike. A statement by Barghouthi highlighting the strike’s causes was published in the New York Times on 16 April.

“Israel’s prisons have become the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination. This new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom,” wrote Barghouthi.

Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, known for his denunciation of hunger strikers as “terrorists,” has threatened to move all Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to the Negev desert prison and establish a “field hospital” to deny the prisoners access to medical care in civilian hospitals – and potentially threaten them with (more…)

Thomas Suárez, State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel, Olive Branch Press (2017); reviewed by Rob Such

Israel’s propaganda playbook attempts to reframe the Palestinian liberation struggle as a question of terror, not territory. Thanks to a dutiful media, this effort to portray Palestinians as terrorists has had significant traction among some demographics.

But how did terrorism originate in Palestine and what was its outcome, both historically and today?

Thomas Suárez sheds much new light on those questions in State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel. He does this largely by mining previously neglected declassified documents from the British National Archives, covering the period of the British Mandate for Palestine (1920-1948).

Role of Zionist terrorism

Suárez’s principal thesis is that (more…)

The piece below is taken from the site of Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, here, March 20.  Please support their work. 

Two Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike to demand their release from indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention. Mohammed Alaqimah of Jenin has been on hunger strike for 24 days, even after his health has deteriorated. He was joined by Raafat Shalash, 34, of al-Khalil, currently on his fifth day of hunger strike against administrative detention without charge or trial.

Alaqimah, 27, from the vilage of Barta’a, has been imprisoned without charge or trial since 16 August 2016. He launched a hunger strike for eight days in late December after his four-month administrative detention order was renewed. He launched his current hunger strike against the renewal once again of his imprisonment without charge or trial. Alaqimah is married and a father of two.

Shalash, from Beit Awwa village, held in the Negev desert prison, announced that he launched his hunger strike against the renewal of his administrative detention. He was seized by occupation forces on 17 January 2016 and has been subject to three consecutive administrative detention orders; his current order expires on 14 April 2017 and he is demanding that it not be renewed. He is married with three children and has spent seven years in Israeli prisons.

Alaqimah and Shalash are among over 530 Palestinians held without charge or trial under (more…)

The following is based on a presentation at the International Communist Forum in London last month (February 2017).  ICF is organised by the British Marxist workers’ group Workers Fight, which is aligned with the French revolutionary movement Lutte Ouvriere.  This is part of our efforts to make available to readers several different viewpoints on the conflict in Syria.

Introduction

It is almost exactly 6 years since the wave of protests of the Arab Spring spread to Syria, in February 2011. Within only a few months of these protests, the confrontation between the protesters and the Syrian dictatorship turned into a bloody civil war, which remains as rife and brutal as ever today.

These six years of bloodshed have already claimed nearly half a million casualties and forced an estimated 4.5 million Syrians to seek shelter outside the country around 20% of the population. As to the state of the country, most of us have seen TV footage of Aleppo when it was recently retaken by government forces: it is a ghost town, covered in rubble. Some buildings still appear to be standing upright, but, on a closer look, most have been hollowed out by the blasts of many explosions. In fact many of Syria’s small and bigger towns have suffered the same treatment. As to the country’s infrastructure it has either been destroyed or else, it is falling apart for lack of maintenance.

In other words, the same tragedy which took place in Iraq as a result of the country’s invasion by the imperialist powers is being played out again in Syria, but this time, without (more…)

The article below is taken from Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.  Please support their work.  You can donate to them here.  

14 March 2017 marks the 11th anniversary of the attack on Jericho prisonby Israeli occupation forces and the abduction of six Palestinian political prisoners. Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, his comrades Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Majdi Rimawi, Hamdi Qur’an and Basil al-Asmar, along with Fateh veteran leader Fouad Shobaki, were seized from the PA prison after US and British guards suddenly left their posts in a violent attack by Israeli occupation forces. Today, all six of the kidnapped Palestinians remain imprisoned. Two Palestinians were killed and 23 injured by occupation forces as they waged a military assault on the prison.

The attack on Jericho prison not only reflected yet another Israeli crime against the Palestinian people and the targeting of one of Palestine’s most prominent political leaders, Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Palestinian leftist party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It also clearly indicated the joint role of imperialist powers like the United States and the United Kingdom and the devastating impact of Palestinian Authority “security coordination” with Israel.

This anniversary is particularly poignant today, following the Israeli assassination of (more…)