Protesting for "two states"

Submitted by martin on 12 May, 2019 - 9:46 Author: Martin Thomas
11 May 2019

Activists from Workers' Liberty, the Worker-communist Party of Kurdistan, and others, held a protest for "Two nations, two states" in Israel-Palestine alongside the Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration in London on 11 May.

We displayed banners and placards, distributed leaflets, sold papers and pamphlets, and sought discussions.

Quite a few PSC demonstrators stopped to photograph our banner and placards as the only ones around clearly demanding "two states", and expressed agreement with us. Their response to the official slogans of the official PSC demonstration was generally a shrug - they saw the demonstration as a generic effort to draw attention to the plight of the Palestinians.

Others didn't agree with us, but stopped to discuss. Those who were hostile generally just refused to take leaflets or engage in discussion.

The official PSC demonstration was maybe 5000 strong, drawn largely from the old constituency of the "Stop The War" campaign.

"Right of Return" was the main official slogan. The PSC itself had only "Free Palestine" placards (presumably from stock), and the official slogan was left to placards from the Muslim Association of Britain (offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood).

"Return" is the demand to respond to the suffering of Palestinians who were driven out or fled from what is now Israel in the 1947-9 wars by having a different group of people - largely, the grandchildren of those refugees - repossess territory which is geographically the same but economically, politically, and in human terms different.

The meaning was made clear enough by the chief chants on the march - "From the river to the sea" - meaning a demand to repossess all of pre-1948 Palestine as "Arab land". It was in effect (even though many marchers didn't want that) a march of support for Hamas.

The "river to sea" program is impossible in any near term because of Israel's military strength and will to resist conquest, and thus offers no near-term hope to the Palestinians.

And if the military balance of forces should change sufficiently to allow Arab or Islamic states to conquer Israel, that would not be a step forward. It would be disastrous for the Israeli Jewish nation, and, judging by the experience of Palestinians living in Arab states since 1948, no advantage for the Palestinians.

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