Debating Gaza

Submitted by martin on 21 February, 2009 - 3:28

About 60 people, mostly young, crammed into a Green Park social centre on 15 January for a forum on the war in Gaza held jointly by Workers' Liberty and the Worker-communist Party of Iraq.

We held the meeting to provide a space for activists from the Palestine solidarity movement to discuss the issues involved in opposing the war, and in order to put forward our own shared view — an internationalist position which looks to mutual working-class recognition and solidarity across the borders on the basis of a two-state settlement, opposed to political Islam as well as Israeli imperialism and aggression.

Our support for a two-state settlement and sharp opposition to Hamas was controversial with some more long-standing socialist activists who attended. One independent socialist comrade who I believe is a bus driver and a Unite/T&G activist, and one who is in the NUT and a member of Permanent Revolution, accused us of being soft on Israel and pro-imperialist.

The former contribution in particular was quite useful in a negative sense. In rightly comparing our opposition to Hamas with our refusal to support the mini-colonialism of the Argentinian dictatorship in the 1982 Falklands war (the speaker supported both "against imperialism"), it opened the way for a good discussion of what is wrong with the standard “left” view of “imperialism” and “anti-imperialism”.

There are probably differences between our view and that of the Iraqi comrades; we hope we will be able to discuss these further. Meanwhile, we will be holding further joint meetings in cities across the country.

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