While the the article's explanation of the role of Zionism in the accusations of anti-Semitism is laudable and of import, there are other important discussions to be had about the politics of the Women's March. While disavowing Farrakhan's despicable statements about Jews nothing has been said about his reactionary ideas about blackness -- that black men's bad behavior is responsible for poor social status as opposed to racism, that black people should aspire to become capitalists, and of course, separatism. In fact, organizing in cells of ethnic identity has come to be seen as progressive, when it really obscures class differences, divides potential allies and weakens efforts to build movements strong enough to bring about real change, but multiracial unity is not the goal of this movement. The March's purpose is actually to bring about more participation in the Democratic party, which will certainly fail to actually bring about any of the lofty goals it espouses like equality or justice. From the draconian anti-immigration bill and police expansion and welfare cuts of Bill Clinton to the mass deportations continuation of wars by Obama, Democrats will not solve our problems. They, like Republiscans, operate to promote the interests of American capitalism. A truly progressive movement needs to call on all workers to unite and to question the basic tenets of the system we now endure, one that puts profits first and human life last. You are invited to visit multiracialunity.org.
As an American anti-Zionist who has visited the West Bank and Israel quite a few times over the last 13 years and attended 2 ODS conferences, one in Ramallah and one in Dallas, I am glad to see that the movement is being revitalized. Indeed any movement to battle injustice, nowhere greater than in the Occupied Territories, must have an overall goal and strategy as well as a program of immediate resistance. That goal helps to define how one fights in the present, ie the hope of uniting oppressed Palestinians, progressive Israelis and international allies in fighting together against military occupation and murderous racism. Other possible long range goals of two states, for example, would not attempt to build fighting unity between Israelis and Palestinians.
However, I would raise for consideration that simply because a nation is supposedly democratic and espouses equal rights on paper, that does not guarantee equal rights or quality of life in reality. In the US, over 150 years since the end of slavery, racism remains an overriding fact of life. It is not just a result of prejudice, but I would posit it is an economic necessity for American capitalism, saving untold billions in wage and service differentials, enough billions to be a significant portion of the GDP. Israel and Palestine both have economic inequality indices (GINI) in the same ball park as the US, some the highest in the world. Both are dominated by small economic elites that control much of the wealth. I think therefore that one cannot achieve equality by simply creating a new capitalist state in One State, but must consider a whole economic reordering of society. (And the rampant racism of most Israelis will justify an ongoing inequality.) This, indeed, may be the hardest area to struggle over.
There are many oppressed and/or colonized peoples in the world, from Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and in Israel, to Native Americans or African Americans in the US to Aborigines in Australia, to the poor in India. Each of these peoples has a unique history and culture, yet each is the victim of capitalist and imperialist oppression. In fact, the workers of the imperialist nations are also the victims of exploitation and oppression, from the U.S. to China to Israel. Despite our differences of dress, language, culture or appearance, we are all humans with similar desires for a safe and secure life, the love of family, productive work, and the respect and comradeship of our fellow workers. Those wealthy and self-serving bosses who dominate us in every country have only their own interests at heart, but in many cases they have convinced us to unite with them on the basis of nationalism and to see other workers as our enemies, rather than them.
The author is correct when she says there are differences amongst Palestinians, for Palestine is ruled by an elite and corrupt few who spend much of their budget on police to control their own people and collude with the Israeli colonizers. Such is most often the case in colonies. In the imperialist nations, the police and military serve to repress rebellion at home and export oppression abroad, winning enlistment on the basis of patriotism. The point is that workers, students, and farmers of the world must unite together in struggle, recognize who our enemies are, and be enriched by the multiplicity of our cultures. We must not fear to support each other’s struggles. We must not fear to learn from the failed or victorious struggles of others or silence any voice simply because we may come from different cultures. Unless we recognize our unity as workers we will not have a chance to defeat the monsters of international imperialism, who are bound to destroy our planet, be it through war or climate change.
I think Nada is completely right, except for one thing. The name of politics as usual is capitalism, and most of those marching are not questioning capitalism, but just prefer its liberal guise. Liberal, however, also involves deportations, police violence, environmental devastation, bank bailouts, mass incarceration, unemployment, dispossessions, homelessness, maquiladoras, endless war -- with nicer rhetoric or expressions of regret. All these things happened under B Clinton and Obama. Even Sanders did not question the survival of capitalism or Obama's foreign policy. He thought you could redistribute profits to people, but this is really not possible under capitalism, especially when it is under stress, as the US is now, facing rising competition for resources and trade. (Just examine the recent rapid rises in unemployment, bankrupcies, etc in Norway and Sweden). Although we must fight against racism, sexism and xenophobia and for the services we need, we must keep the larger goal in mind and not have the illusion that electing a liberal next time will bring us a peaceful or prosperous world.