From London Class War, July 26:
HezBollocks and IsRabies:
A Class War Federation statement on the War in Lebanon
Class War is appalled at the carnage that is occurring in the Middle East. We are also disappointed but not surprised at what is being said about it, especially by some “progressive” organisations.
Lebanon is being turned into a grotesque war-games board as the real protagonists – the USA and Iran – use their proxies to slug it out.
Neither the Israeli army nor Hezbollah give a flying fuck about ‘their’ civilians, except as bloody totems to hang in front of the cameras of the world’s press in order to justify their own next atrocity.
The left have adopted two approaches.
Firstly, wholesale adoption of the Islamist agenda, cheerleading Hamas or Hezbollah without qualification or criticism. This ‘Idiot anti-imperialism’, the trademark of today’s SWP, says my enemy’s enemy is my friend and any criticism of them, no matter how mild, is ‘racism, islamophobia, and Zionist pro American warmongering.’
The second approach is slightly more subtle – Hezbollah is fighting back, therefore we must support Hezbollah and the slogan ‘we are all Hezbollah’ is an act of basic solidarity with those who are fighting back against imperialism – the slogan is compared with the Parisian students who, when Danny Cohn-Bendit was attacked in the bourgeois press as a German Jew, marched through Paris chanting ‘nous sommes tout les jiufs allemands!’ (we are all German Jews).
This argument is crap – Hezbollah isn’t a nationality or a racial epithet, it is a political party/militia, if the slogan really wanted to fit then the SWP should have handed out placards proclaiming ‘WE ARE ALL SHI’ITE’.
Lebanon has a radical history, albeit one distorted by the chains of Leninist communism, but this has been written out of the Brit left’s history books in their rush to embrace Islamo-trottery.
A real working class alternative is desperately needed – one that recognises that there can be no peace whilst borders are drawn by reference to the Torah, and international policy is determined in Washington by consulting the Book of Revelations.
“Israelis living in Tiberuius fund the war, and contribute bodies to the war. It’s not true to say they are wholly ‘innocent’… ”
– that quote is from an otherwise relatively sane leftist, and is a justification for every atrocity against civilians ever. It gives an idea just how much the left loses it when the question of Israel is raised.
The Israeli state oppresses the Palestinians, driving them into the hands of the fanatics of Hamas out of despair at the failure of the secular Palestinian left. In turn the suicide bombers provide for the Israeli state ‘proof’ of the murderous nature of the Palestinians and drives the Israeli public to support harsher and harsher measures against the ‘terrorists’.
This is a self destructive spiral and must be broken.
The Israeli state is not shaken by katyushas or by suicide bombers – it is strengthened by them.
The last real challenge to the Israeli state was the Intifada, mass popular resistance on the streets of the west bank and Gaza, and amongst the ‘Israeli Arab’ population, this rose up from below from the streets and spread all across the middle east and north Africa as the Arab working class drew inspiration from the bravery of the Palestinian youth, and employed the same tactics to confront their own ruling classes. Inside Israel proper the intifada created real tensions within the army, as soldiers refused to be used to gun down children and sparked a massive peace movement amongst the general population.
The Oslo peace process was designed to derail the intifada and create from the PLO a police force to keep the unruly Palestinians in line.
All the arguments of the left revolve around one state/two state. All happily accept the artificial divisions created in the twentieth century by the very imperialists that they claim to oppose, and all ignore the actual people – Palestinian, Israeli, Lebanese, Druse, Syrian, Egyptian, Jordanian, Bedouin – who live there. Re-jigging the lines on a map will create new oppressions, new grievances and new horrors, and we as revolutionaries should have no part in assisting that.
We should stand shoulder to shoulder with those struggling against the oppressors of the Israeli state and the Palestinian bantustan. We fight against our ‘own’ rulers who attempt to use this slaughter to their own ends and use measly words ‘condemning the violence’ whilst writing out the receipts for the latest arms contract.
Any state solution is a continuation of the same bullshit.
No War but the Class War
Note that the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) refered to here is the British party of that name, not the American. In both its politics and its leadership role in the “anti-war” movement, the British SWP has much more in common with the American Workers World Party.