February 2, 2009
Below we publish the text of a talk given by Mike Walker at a recent Workers Party public forum in Christchurch.
If we are to believe the hype true liberation and self determination for the Palestinian people will be forthcoming with what is commonly referred to as the “two state solution”. This supposed “solution” would leave the racist structures of the Israeli state in place and therefore the fundamental cause of the ‘conflict’ also in place. This proposal would confine Palestinians to less than twenty per cent of the land mandated by the British in 1947 and would leave the situation of Palestinians driven from their homes in what is now Israel unresolved. It would render invisible the alienated enclaves divided by checkpoints, barriers, the annexation wall and a brutal military occupation in the West Bank; combined with the Gaza strip, which has been called the largest concentration camp in the world. This represents the Palestinian Bantustan.
It is crucial as we look at the current situation in Palestine to keep in mind the “two state solution” and to contextualise the history with an emphasis on the history of Zionism and the conduct of Zionist leaders since the creation of the state of Israel.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 20, 2009
John Moore from the Workers Party spoke at a Gaza protest in Dunedin last Saturday.
About 100 protesters were present, with representatives from the Alliance, International Socialists, Workers Party and the local Muslim community. The following speech was given by John at the rally:
This protest and many others that are being held throughout the world serve two purposes. We are here to express our condemnation of the Israeli state’s attacks on Gaza and to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people.
This protest should not just be about calling for peace. There is a side to choose in this conflict. We should welcome the defeat of Israeli forces that are currently at war with Hamas and the Palestinian people.
Overall we need to start thinking about what tactics we use to oppose Israeli state aggression. Who is the enemy in this conflict, who should we be campaigning against, and what forms of solidarity should we give? Seeing this conflict through the prism of the Palestinian/Jewish divide offers no hope for a resolution. Painting all Jews as the enemy and all Arabs as the victims is both counterproductive and pointless.
A small but growing number of Jewish Israelis and larger numbers of Arabs in Israel have recently taken to the streets to show their opposition to the attacks on Gaza. This small but significant example offers hope for joint Jewish/Palestinian action. Seeing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in ethnic terms leads to misguided tactics.
Campaigns against Israeli Jews, whether in Kebab shops or at Western universities, will only be counterproductive and distracts us from who is the real enemy. The enemy is the Israeli state, not Israeli Jews. All working class people in the Middle East are oppressed by despotic regimes, from Saudi Arabia, through to Iran and including the Zionist Israeli state. All Middle East workers have an interest in a fight for the destruction of these states.
January 18, 2009
Yesterday around 500 people marched in central Christchurch protesting the Israeli invasion of Gaza which in the past few weeks has claimed the lives of over 1 200 Palestinians (but only 13 Israelis).
Chanting “Occupation is a Crime - Free Free Palestine” the protesters through the main tourist precinct Worcester Boulevard and past the yuppie sports bars on Oxford Terrrace to Cathedral Square in a colourful and energetic display of solidarity with the people of Gaza.
Workers Party members marched behind a banner with the slogan “Resistance is not Terrorism” and also carried placards calling for victory to the Palestinian intfidada, an end to Israeli apartheid and the creation in its place of a single secular state in Palestine.
The protest was organised by the group “Justice for Palestine”, which brings together a diverse coalition of groups and individuals including Muslims, Quakers, anarchists and revolutionary socialists.
A meeting to discuss plans for future action is being held on Tuesday, January 20 at 6.30pm in the WEA building (59 Gloucester St).
January 16, 2009
- Tim Bowron
Israel and most of the Western media would have us believe that the recent bloody assault on Gaza is a regrettable but unfortunate necessity forced upon the Israelis by the breaking of the June 2008 ceasefire by Hamas. This is a lie.
Between June 16 and November 4 when the Israeli army broke the ceasefire by carrying out an armed raid killing 6 Palestinians in Gaza, no Hamas rockets were fired into Israel. However, during this time Israel maintained a complete sea and air blockade of Gaza, restricting the movement of people as well as of goods and vital humanitarian supplies.
Israel has maintained this blockade since January 2006, when Hamas won power in the Palestinian Legislative Elections. Israel regards Hamas as a “terrorist organisation” because unlike the PLO it has not accepted the apartheid solution of partitoning Palestine into a homogenous Jewish state (Israel) and a small collection of impoverished Palestinian Bantustans in the West Bank and Gaza. The PLO’s acceptance of Israeli apartheid and the Oslo “Peace Process” is the main reason why it lost power in the 2006 elections.
In 1948 when the United Nations in concert with the Western imperialist powers created the state of Israel they gave it 55% of the land in Palestine, despite the fact that Jewish people only comprised one third of the total population. Today the Palestinians are left with only 22% of the land (and much of this is also taken up with illegal Israeli settlements). Over half the Palestinian population (4.2 million) are refugees.
Israel must keep fighting to ensure that it maintains its character as a homogenous Jewish state (the dream of the Zionists) - it knows that if the millions of Palestinian refugees were to exercise their right of return to the homes from which they were forced in 1948 and 1967 then the Jews would be a minority within their own country, so it must do all it can to “disappear” them from history.
The Zionists insist that Jews and Arabs cannot coexist within the same state. Yet this ignores the fact that until the arrival of the Zionist movement in the early 20th century Jews and Arabs had lived together peacefully in Palestine for centuries.
The only solution to the current conflict is the creation of a single democratic, secular and unified state in Palestine with equal rights for all peoples and religions. Until this is realised there will be no peace and no justice.