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Submitted by Jason on Tue, 22/07/2008 - 15:44

On Lister I think the arguments of Duncan as supplememented by Chris are correct. Even I've had an article (just once admittedly) published by the Morning Sat- but I'd write for it much more regularly if I could only on the proviso that I do not change my politics to facilitate such an aim.

Zionism/ anti-Zionism.

On the definition of Zionism provided the AWL are Zionist sure. But there are other definitions of Zionism namely defence of the modern Israeli state. Here the AWL is still Zionist but the term does tend to imply defence of all actions of the state and here the AWL clearly do have differences- advocating the withdrawl from occupied territories, support for Palestinian rights etc. So to some extent as the term is unclear and tends to operate as a kind of undifferentiated insult I'm for avoiding it excpet for those who advocate agressive Israeli expansion such as support for the settlers. But where the AWL's politics is problematic is in terms of arguing against the boycott, arguing continually for clauses supporting the right of the Israeli state to exist and for two state solutions. I think this is a big mistake- we should argue for (and perhasp this is antiZionist) equality between Arabs and Jews, for the rights of Palestinians to live in all parts of Palestine/Israel for democratic rights for all peoples including autonomy/seperation if asked for as part of a struggle for socialism and liberation throughout the Middle East and for all practical steps along the way towards achieving it.

In general, though it is beginning to seem to me that the AWL comrades on here don't actually respond to points when made like this but search for any excuse to label political opponents as unreasonable or 'confused' or 'delusional' all words seeming to shore up the true belief of the AWL adherents. But actually politics should be about open debate and wide ranging discussion not point-scoring.

But that's all by the by- what are the real issues on how to unite the left?

They are I'd suggest coming up with actions and movements to draw in new activists, to defend jobs, services, to fight to exend democratic control over them, to link these fights with struggles for justice aborad both in terms of opposing imperialist war and international solidarity. Socialists should begin to co-operate on these matters.

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