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Submitted by AWL on Mon, 27/07/2015 - 13:37

In reply to by John D

You're collapsing two distinct things into each other. You complain that we didn't carry coverage of Histadrut's most recent abortive general strike in Israel; fair enough. We should have covered the dispute (and normally have covered national disputes of that type in Israel in the past, including previous disputes on the same issue).

But you bundle into that the issue of the treatment of the Zionists at Tolpuddle, implying that our failure to defend them and our failure to cover the Histadrut strike are both evidence of the deficiency of our "workers' solidarity".

To be clear, I am against violence in the labour movement - physical or verbal. If the Bournemouth Zionists were treated badly, or with violence, I am against that. I am for debate, even with views I think are wrong. And I think much left "common sense" on Israel/Palestine is dreadful. I also agree that the level of vituperation and semi-violence that exists on the left around the issue can create an intimidatory atmosphere which many people find alienating and off-putting.

But, as I said, the Bournemouth group didn't go to Tolpuddle to promote the cause of "workers' solidarity", but just to cheerlead for Israel. Beyond defending their basic rights as attendees at the event not to be physically or verbally assaulted I don't understand what issue of "workers' solidarity" is involved here.

I don't feel any "animus" for "things Israeli", and I support the right of the Israeli Jews to self-determination. I simply oppose the Israeli state's colonial project in the Palestinian territories. I am sorry if you find that "frightening".

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DR

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