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Palestine

Palestine: The Histadrut -- its history and role in occupation, colonisation and apartheid

Histadrut poster marking the "Twenty Fifth Anniversary of the National Workers Federation" (1959).

By the Trade Union Friends of Palestine (Ireland)

October 11, 2012 -- BDS Movement -- Israel's trade union federation, the Histadrut, was founded in December 1920 in British Mandate Palestine. From its inception its aims were neither to build workers' solidarity nor represent or campaign for workers' rights.

Instead it was founded as an exclusively Jewish organisation to facilitate the colonisation of Palestine. As such it worked in tandem with the Jewish Agency to promote the exclusion of Palestinian labour and produce, and was at the forefront of the movement to turn Palestine from an Arab country into a Zionist one.

Today it continues to work hand in hand with th government of Israel and promotes and defends policies that violate the basic civil, political and human rights of Palestinians.

Video: Ilan Pappe on 'The forgotten Palestinians'

September 16, 2012 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Celebrated Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, whose landmark publication The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine documented the removal of 700,000 Palestinians from their lands in 1948, has written a new book, The Forgotten Palestinians.

In the book and at his September 16, 2012, community meeting at Sydney University above, Pappe reveals the situation for Palestinians who still live within Israel's borders.

The meeting was the first event of Pappe's 2012 Australian lecture tour. It was hosted by the Sydney Peace Foundation with the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Leichhardt Friends of Hebron. Pappe was in Australia to deliver the annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture at the University of Adelaide.

Film by Green Left TV.

Palestinian People's Party's Shamikh Badra: 'Palestinians must unite to tackle occupation'

Shamikh Badra, youth leader of the Palestine People's Party, speaking at a forum in Perth during his Australian tour. Badra is touring Australia thanks to socialist youth group Resistance. Filmed by Zeb Parkes for Green Left TV.

Shamikh Badra interviewed by Patrick Harrison

August 12, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Shamikh Badra is the youth and students coordinator for the Palestinian People Party (PPP) in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The PPP is a left-wing, secular party that is part of the Palestinian liberation movement. Badra is on a tour of Australia sponsored by the socialist youth organisation Resistance and the Socialist Alliance.

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Since the Egyptian revolution that overthrew Mubarak, there has been a lot of hope for changes in Egypt's policy towards Israel — in particular the possibility that the Egyptian government might open its borders with Gaza and alleviate Israel's near-total siege on the territory. How has the relationship between Gaza and Egypt changed?

Now the borders between Gaza and Egypt are closed completely. The situation, which was so bad before, is even more difficult and complex.

Israel’s environmental colonialism and eco-apartheid

The construction of Israel’s mammoth apartheid wall has separated Palestinian farmers from their fields and destroyed Palestinians' legally owned fertile agricultural land.

By Ben Lorber

July 12, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Since the idea of Zionism first gripped the minds of a few intellectuals and the limbs of many agrarian pioneers in the early 20th century, the state of Israel has presented its settlement of the land of Palestine, and its uprooting of the Palestinian people, as a rejuvenation of the earth. By “greenwashing” the occupation, Israel hides its apartheid behind an environmentalist mirage, and distracts public attention not only from its brutal oppression of the Palestinian people, but from its large-scale degradation of the earth upon which these tragedies unfold.

Determined to “make the desert bloom”, an international organisation -- the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemet LeYisrael (JNF-KKL, or JNF) planted forests, recreational parks and nature reserves to cover over the ruins of Palestinian villages, as refugees were scattered far from, or worse, a few hilltops away from, the land upon which they and their ancestors had based their lives and livelihoods.

‘Closing the doors of learning’ to the Israeli state opens the doors of freedom

By Patrick Bond and Muhammed Desai

May 24, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One of South Africa’s largest tertiary institutions, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban, is a site of multiple controversy but a near-disaster on May 21 deserves more reflection because it points us in a positive direction: away from allying with the Israeli state and its apartheid policies during a time of heightened racism. A representative of Israel had been invited to speak but was then disinvited, after the university was called on by staff and students to respect the “academic boycott” of Israel.

From South Africa, the African continent and everywhere else, it is a critical time to step up pressure against the rogue regime in Tel Aviv. Israel’s hard-right leader, Benyamin Netanyahu, is in a dangerous career phase, preparing to bomb Iran; illegitimately holding thousands of Palestinian prisoners in worsening conditions; expanding settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank; terrorising Gaza; and tightening his militaristic hold over the region.

Message from SYRIZA to Chicago anti-NATO protests + photos, videos: massive, conscious, determined

Demonstrators defy Chicago police during anti-NATO protest march in Chicago, May 19, 2012.

By Antonis Davanellos and Sotiris Martalis, members of the coordinating secretariat of SYRIZA

May 20, 2012

Dear comrades, dear brothers and sisters of the anti-war movement

We salute your mobilisations against the NATO Summit [in Chicago] and we send you our solidarity from Greece.

We don’t need to say much about the reasons to raise our voices against NATO. Millions of people are familiar with its record or crimes over the last years in the Balkans, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya to name just a few.

And if we look further back, NATO has provided nothing but wars, dictatorships and terror around the globe, from the day it was founded, and during all the years of its existence.

Britain: The challenge of George Galloway’s ‘Bradford Spring’

George Galloway campaigns in Bradford West.

[For more discussion around George Galloway's re-election and the left's response, click HERE.]

By Paul Kellogg

April 4, 2012 -- PolEcon.net, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission by the author -- In the end, it wasn’t even close. Britain’s most prominent anti-war politician, George Galloway, is back as a member of parliament for his Respect Party, after receiving support so overwhelming that he had, in the words of a reporter for The Guardian, “annihilated the Labour vote”.

Syria and the Palestinians: 'Almost no other Arab state has as much Palestinian blood on its hands'

Hamas’s prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, greets supporters after Friday Prayer, where he spoke out against President Bashar al-Assad.

By Michael Karadjis

March 7, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The declaration by Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Hamas, that his movement was backing the popular uprising in Syria against the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad was widely reported, as was the significance of his statement to worshipers at Cairo's Al Azhar mosque. Hamas, while ruling the Gaza Strip, had its exile leadership based in Syria; now Haniyeh was perhaps betting on a new strategic relationship with post-Mubarak Egypt. Haniyeh saluted “the heroic Syrian people, who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform”.

Arab Spring, Syria and the left: 'No support for authoritarian regimes, no support for imperialism'

Tariq Ali spoke to Russia Today on March 3, 2012, on the situation in the besieged town of Homs, bombarded by the Syrian military. “The Assad regime carries on as if it doesn’t realise how hated it is by some sections of the population; the opposition, which is armed now increasingly by the West via its conduits in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, are turning nasty.”

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Adam Hanieh: 'The Arab revolutions are not over'

Adam Hanieh addresses a meeting in London.

Adam Hanieh interviewed by Farooq Sulehria

February 3, 2012 -- Viewpoint -- Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf states, have been key protagonists in the counter-revolutionary wave unleashed against the Arab uprisings. Indeed, 2011 has clearly demonstrated that imperialism in the region is articulated with – and largely works through – the Gulf Arab states. "Overall, it is important for the left to support the ongoing struggles in the revolutions as the contradictions of the new regimes continue to sharpen", says Adam Hanieh.

Adam Hanieh is a lecturer in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave-Macmillan 2011) and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Historical Materialism.

Farooq Sulehria: The outcome of elections in Tunisia and Egypt went in favour of Islamist parties, even though the revolutions in these countries had a secular character. Islamists are also an integral part, if not the dominant force, in the revolutions in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain. Is the Arab Spring in fact a victory for the Islamist movements?

On Jesus and social justice

A poster from Cuba depicts Jesus the revolutionary. 

By Phil Shannon

Christmas seems an appropriate time to turn to the question of the relationship between Christianity and social change. Do pacifism and non-violence, and social change through personal change — which are among the values shared by progressive Christians and secular greens — offer a way forward?

Two thousand years ago in Palestine, exploitation by Rome and its quisling Hebrew ruling class meant severe poverty, political repression and an average life expectancy of around 30 years (less if it was found out that you thought the Romans should go home).

Of the contending politico-religious groups, the Sadducees advocated collaboration with Rome. A moderate wing of the Pharisees, who represented the middle class and the lower and middle priests, embodied the strategy of timid liberal dissent — one proverb said of them "when arms clash in the street, retire to your chamber".

A more militant wing of the Pharisees supported direct action against Caesar and Herod. They eventually split to form the Zealots with a rebel force of peasants from Galilee. Intensely nationalist and religious, the Zealots adopted armed struggle and led large popular uprisings.

The Essenes rejected all political strategies in favour of cultivating personal spiritual perfection.

The Australian Greens and Palestine: confronting the 'inconvenient truths' of the party's right of return policy

In 1948, more than 800,000 Palestinian men, women and children were forced to flee their homes.

[After a year of debate, and under pressure from right-wing forces, the NSW Greens decided on December 4 to retreat from supporting the global pro-Palestine boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. Below, Tony Harris discusses the background to the policy.]

By Tony Harris

November 25, 2011 -- This article first appeared at Watermelon, and is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- In March last year, 35 prominent Jewish Australians signed a petition renouncing their automatic right of return to Israel, labelling such a right a “racist privilege” while Palestinians, ethnically cleansed from Israel in 1948, are denied their rights of return under international law.

COSATU leader on South African and Israeli apartheid

Address by Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, District Six Museum, Cape Town. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine's Cape Town hearings concluded that Israel is guilty of apartheid crimes. Its panel of jurists ruled that Israel's actions against the Palestinians breach the prohibition of apartheid under international law. Click here for more details of the tribunal's findings.

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Black South African workers -- especially a mineworker like myself -- who bore the brunt of South African racial capitalism, and understood the purposes and mechanisms of apartheid, know that when we talk about the conditions faced by our Palestinian comrades we are talking about apartheid . -- Zwelinzima Vavi

Palestine: The environmental impact of Israel's military occupation


Samah Sabawi addresses the Climate Change, Social Change conference, October 1, 2011. Film produced by Jill Hickson and John Reynolds.

[The following talk and PowerPoint slides were presented to the World at a Crossroads: Climate Change, Social Change conference in Melbourne on October 1, 2011. Samah Sabawi is the public advocate for Australians for Palestine. For more material from the conference, click HERE.]

By Samah Sabawi

Posted October 30, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Thank you for asking me to take part in this conference and to add the voice of my people and their struggle for justice to your voices. There is great strength in solidarity and quite often, once we’ve peeled the external layers of what makes our individual causes unique, we quickly find that we are all in the same boat and that our fight for justice, equality and respect for the land shares many common threads.

Palestine: Adam Hanieh on why trade unions should support BDS


Video by SWPTvUK.

Adam Hanieh from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) development studies department was one of the speakers at a forum, "Palestine's fight for freedom", held in London on October 24, 2011.The meeting was initiated by the National Union of Rail Maritime & Transport (RMT) London Transport Region and supported by the SOAS branch of Unison and the University and College Union.

Other speakers included: Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PCS); Moshe Machover, Israeli socialist; Anne Alexander, MENA Solidarity Network; and Ilan Pappe, author The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine; SOAS Unison. For more videos of the speakers at the forum, go to SWPTvUk.

BDS campaign declares: 'Occupy Wall Street not Palestine!'

[For more on the BDS campaign click HERE. For more on Occupy Wall Street, click HERE.]

 If a people one day wills to live                     fate must answer its call
And the night must fade                               and the chain must break

– Abou-Al-kacem El-Chebbi (Tunisia)

We are part of the world’s 99% yearning for freedom, justice and equal rights!

Democracy Now! debate: Does UN statehood bid advance or undermine Palestinian struggle?

September 23, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to officially submit a statehood request to the United Nations in defiance of U.S. and Israeli threats... While supporters have hailed the bid as a step forward in the struggle to end the Israeli occupation and bring peace to the Middle East, critics call it a ploy by the Palestinian Authority to cling to power while undermining the rights of Palestinian refugees. We host a debate with two leading Palestinian analysts: Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the website The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, and Mouin Rabbani of the Institute for Palestine Studies and the webzine Jadaliyya. See also http://links.org.au/node/2453.

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JUAN GONZALEZ: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to officially submit a statehood request to the United Nations Security Council later today. The United States has vowed to veto the move.

New book: Adam Hanieh's 'Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States'; Modern slaves in the GCC

Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States
By Adam Hanieh
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Long-time friend of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Adam Hanieh, has just released a book that is essential reading for all those following developments in the Middle East. With Hanieh's permission, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal publishes an interview with the author, conducted by Jadaliyya, and a short excerpt from the book.

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What made you write this book?

Palestine: Ilan Pappe -- At the UN, the funeral of the two-state solution

By Ilan Pappe

September 12, 2011 -- Electronic Intifada -- We are all going to be invited to the funeral of the two-state solution if and when the UN General Assembly announces the acceptance of Palestine as a member state.

The support of the vast majority of the organisation’s members would complete a cycle that began in 1967 and which granted the ill-advised two-state solution the backing of every powerful and less powerful actor on the international and regional stages.

Even inside Israel, the support engulfed eventually the right as well as the left and centre of Zionist politics. And yet despite the previous and future support, everybody inside and outside Palestine seems to concede that the occupation will continue and that even in the best of all scenarios, there will be a greater and racist Israel next to a fragmented and useless bantustan.

Declaration by Palestinians and Israelis in support of social protest, anti-colonial struggle


Whether to demand to end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is being debated within Israeli's mass social protest movement, with the main organisers opposing its inclusion. Report by the Real News Network on August 31, 2011.

Declaration by Palestinians and Israelis in support of social protest, anti-colonial struggle

September 2011 -- Translated by International Viewpoint -- Some 20 political parties and social movements from both sides of the Green Line issued an historic declaration in support of the social protests currently rocking Israel and their necessary linkage to the struggle against Israel’s occupation and colonial policies.

We are united for putting an end to occupation and racism, in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people to attain their national rights and against national and social oppression

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