Israel-Palestine: Two Nations, Two States

Third edition 2016

Israel out of the Occupied Territories!

For a Palestinian state with the same rights as Israel!

For Arab-Jewish workers' unity on a basis of consistent democracy! For a socialist Israel and a socialist Palestine in a socialist federation of the Middle East!

Third edition 2016. (1st edition was 2001, 2nd edition 2002). Cover price £3.50. With UK postage, £4.70; with international postage, £8.55. See button below to buy online or get cheap bulk rates.

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Two Nations, Two States. Socialists and Israel-Palestine

Why and how the left has shifted on Israel


Susie Linfield

Susie Linfield, author of The Lions’ Den: Zionism and the Left, talked with Martin Thomas from Solidarity.

Many of the eight writers you analyse had their thinking on Israel shaped by Stalinism. But you don’t mention Stalinism.

That was most true of Maxime Rodinson. He was a Stalinist, and even after he left the Communist Party, he remained a Stalinist. Then in some ways he substituted what he called the Arab Revolution for the Soviet Union.

“Labour should work with Standing Together”


Steve Lapsley

Israel is in a very dark place. We have a very right-wing coalition government, there are more elections in October, the formal opposition is not left wing.

Netanyahu has aligned himself with Donald Trump, Modi in India and Orban in Hungary and right wing leaders internationally. Israel is doing huge damage to its reputation and standing internationally, and is the only country whose right to exist is continually questioned.


Difference and impairment

I can still remember my PE teacher at school yelling at me: “What’s the matter with you? Are you disabled?”

He was angry because I was clumsy and awkward. The tiny experience perhaps helps me understand why autistic and other neurodivergent people resent being called “disabled” or even “impaired”.

Pitfalls of knee-jerk “blame Israel”

Morad Shirin (Solidarity 511) has casually speculated that Israel (or, perhaps, another regional power allied to the USA, but no other state is thought worthy of mention) is probably responsible for the attacks on the Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers.

No evidence is offered, but rather a Galloway-style deduction based on which state would benefit from the most obvious suspect being punished. It isn’t often, thankfully, that this type of argument is promoted in the pages of Solidarity.

Robert Fine and the critique of antisemitism


Dan Davison

Robert Fine, who died on 9 June 2018, was a socialist writer unafraid to stand up to much of the left’s received wisdom on the questions of Israel, Palestine, and antisemitism.

He opposed the “absolute anti-Zionist” standpoint that one should unreservedly object to (a) Israel’s very existence, rather than the oppressive practices of the Israeli state, and (b) any feelings of Jewish communal or national identification with Israel, even when such feelings are accompanied with harsh condemnation of the Israeli government or genuine horror at the Palestinians’ suffering.

Israelophobia is Stalinist regression


Barry Finger

Barry Finger reviews Paul Kelemen’s book The British Left and Zionism: History of a Divorce (Manchester University Press, 2012)

This volume, which joins the herd of independent minds in churning the same old depleted groupthink, purports to challenge the claim that changes over the decades in the left’s appraisal of Zionism and the Palestinian cause stem from antisemitism.

Binationalism then and now


Rhodri Evans

I liked Barry Finger's review of Susie Linfield's excellent book The Lion's Den, but I want to open debate on two issues.

Barry calls for "binationalism" in Israel. I understand that is different from those who call for Israel to be extinguished and all 1948 Palestine to become a single "binational" state - so neither Israeli Jews nor Palestinian Arabs have self-determination - but still it leaves questions unanswered.

Arabs, Jews, and Socialism: Note (2019), Introduction (2019), Preface (1989)


Martin Thomas, Sean Matgamna


This is an expanded version of a pamphlet, “Arabs, Jews, and Socialism”, produced by Workers’ Liberty in 1989. The main addition is the debate between Jim Higgins (former National Secretary of what is now the SWP) and Sean Matgamna in 1996-7, which was the major sustained public exchange of polemics in that period. Some errors and omissions in the 1989 edition have been corrected.

Arabs, Jews and Socialism: Debate: Jim Higgins and Sean Matgamna


Jim Higgins, Sean Matgamna

This debate between Sean Matgamna and the late Jim Higgins (former National Secretary of the SWP), was sparked by a column by the late Paul Foot in Socialist Worker and Sean Matgamna's comment on it. The debate ran in Workers’ Liberty nos.32-34 and 38, in 1996-7.

"Mr Foot, do you hate the Jews?"

By Paul Foot

I got this letter recently from a woman in Surrey.

Dear Mr Foot

I was so disappointed in you when I heard your hysterical outburst against Israel on Any Questions.

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