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Submitted by AWL on Thu, 23/07/2015 - 02:09

In reply to by John D

The comparison of "working-class supporters of Israel" with black people in the US during segregation would be funny if it wasn't so obscene. I haven't noticed any "working-class supporters of Israel-only" schools, buses, or toilet facilities anywhere recently. (By the way, the quote is actually from a Big Bill Broonzy song from the 1950s.)

Cheerleaders for a racist, authoritarian, colonialist government are hardly an oppressed minority - in the British labour movement or anywhere else. By their own account, "Bournemouth Action for Israel" aimed to "promote Israel's side of the narrative" - i.e., not promote the cause of Jewish-Arab workers' solidarity, but simply to laud Israel. They laughably claim "we became 21st century martyrs at Tolpuddle Martyrs festival". What a joke.

Maybe people were rude or aggressive to them rather than trying to engage them in civil debate, and undoubtedly the political content of some of the attacks on them reflected the generally crap politics of the left on the Middle East. But "Bournemouth Action for Israel" (in their own words, a "grassroots Israel advocacy organisation, run by a group of Jews and Christian supporters of Israel") and the vicarious Islamist and Arab-nationalist revanchists of the Stalinoid UK left deserve each other. They are each other's mirror image, seeing the situation in Israel/Palestine as a simple face-off between goodies and baddies, with the only solution being for the goodies to wipe out the baddies.

We know things are more complex than that, but we also know that at the root of the current conflict is the massive power imbalance between a highly militarised state (Israel) and its colonial subject (the Palestinian people). We challenge the deficient politics of most of the left on this question by promoting responses based on internationalism, working-class solidarity, and consistent democracy, not by cheerleading for Israel.

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Daniel Randall

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