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Supporting Palestine, Opposing Jihadists

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The failure to distinguish between pan-Arabism in a bipolar (US-Soviet) world from political Islamism as a social movement of its own is precisely the reason anti-war people come to different conclusions. The debate lies in the political foundations and the agendas presented and the ramifications of them. We have seen the consequences when the Iranian Student Association promoted Khomeini and disarmed, PMOI (the Peoples Mujaheadden of Iran) http://www.ncr-iran.org was likewise guilty of this during its history. The victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan has proven to be an object lesson regarding the intentions of political Islamists. There remains support organizations for those struggles that are still ongoing. In the US, the Afghan Women's Mission http://afghanwomensmission.org/index.php and the RAWA Supporters Santa Barbara http://www.rawasb.org/ are actively involved in promoting the principles of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. http://www.rawa.org/index.php Human Rights organizations such as Ahwaz Human Rights Organization in Iran continue to press for democratic and human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran click here

The definition of Islamists as anti-imperialist lies at the root of the continued efforts to promote their political organizations as revolutionary or progressive or better then others. We cannot continue to obscure the analysis regarding the strategy of people in the region for liberation. Politically they have distinct goals from organizations that seek to lead their people to liberation. The attempt to define Fatah as betraying the Palestinian struggle because it is accepting aid from US sources is only one manifestation of this. Those of us who support the struggle of Palestinian people for independence and democratic rights and land should be aware that Hamas has no such objective in its founding Covenant. http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalization/liberal_riposte_4242.jsp

Unlike the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad do not appear to be seeking the establishment of a nation-state of Palestine.This is the significance of the status of Palestine as a wafq. It seeks to restore Islamic lands under Islamic rule. "Preface: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (A quote by Imam Hassan al Banna) Article 6: "The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, ossessions and rights are concerned..." Regarding Hamas's intentions towards Israelis, the Hamas Covenant leaves much obscured as to their intention, but nowhere is there a presentation of a democratic secular state of Palestine. As a result you make presumptions as to Hamas's intentions. The do not say they support genocide of the Jews either, but they do say: "Introduction: Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and God's victory is realised."

This raises the issue even of whether or not a post-Zionist Palestine will even be a separate state or a part of an Islamic confederation. This is an unspoken agenda of political Islamists to the West in their effort to mislead public opinion within the anti-war movement. Making the issue one of supporting Hamas against Fatah is an unprecedented interference into the issues of internal factionalism and governance by the Palestinians that most of the ANSWERites, who promote the concept of Islamic "resistance" in the US have little evidence to be able to evaluate regarding the personalities and actions that have caused these divisions to become so significant. The ANSWER answers will eventually fall of their own weight and further alienate Greens and the left from their current bases of support and further isolate them in regards to having an active role in the foreign policies of our respective nations. Perspectives that can not project demands beyond "Out Now!" in projecting the role and platforms of our respective political parties should be tested more thoroughly regarding their intent. There is no separating ANSWER from the pro-political Islamist position in the US, unless they present a proposal that does so. In this context that means supporting the PLO and the authority of the President of the PA in his efforts to unify the Palestinian people to move forward and not to retreat to 1964.

In the discussion regarding Israel, there have already been presumptions piled atop presumptions in the effort to demonize or glamourize the political entity of Israel. In the Zionist narrative, Zionists routinely ignore the politics of the political parties and the impact of their politicies on the region. They continue to posture some sort of inevitability or national survival justification for "every" action. It fails to distinguish between the content and political character of the Palestinian national struggle and the Islamic goals and objectives, even when it concretely promotes the schisms between then as a tactic to undermine both. It has tried all tactics against the PLO and has routinely persecuted its leadership and sought to stay on the stage as the determining player. The recent invasion of Lebanon projects the political risks entailed by this tactic when anything short of annihilation is seized upon by Islamists as equivalent to victory. The failure to critically analyze its actions and policies make Israel particularly vulnerable to substantive criticisms.

The left, on the other hand, all too often appears to maintain that the rational for this is Israel's status as a US client-state. That analysis projects the mirror-image of the Zionist perspective and presumes: 1. That Israel can do nothing right; 2. It's very existence is based solely on US expansionism and 3. Therefore, any and all opponents of Israel are projected as having an inherently just (or anti-imperialist) character to them. What is missed in this approach is the very fact that the armed and political organizations within Palestine are self-defined and have their own constituencies and political agendas. Many Westerners seem to presume the analysis of the Western media regarding Fatah's corruption or the causes of differences between Hamas and Fatah and it becomes quite easy to hop from the Fatah to
Hamas without blinking an eye. Some of us prefer to make the politics of these organizations the guideline for our evaluation. As an example, being good social workers does not make Hamas good socialists. Being anti-US occupation does not make them Green.

The internal discussions between Greens and the Left take an unnecessarily hostile character but it reflects the lack of any real programmatic or ideological foundation of the politics of both. Neither has agreed upon its own real agenda and often finds itself in the position of defining a position after the actions on the ground. This falls into a distinct pattern and fails to provide any commentary regarding the role of outside governments or the ramifications of particular actions taken by the political leadership of groups such as Islamic Jihad or Hamas. Like the error of the Zionists in projecting particular actions and policies as inherently justifiable, those who promote the missles in Southern Lebanon or deny the intention of Hamas to arm itself for offensive actions against Isreal similarly make the same error.

Further, making the issue of supporting Hamas against Fatah is an unprecedented interference into the issues of internal factionalism that most of the Western left have little to be able to evaluate regarding the personalities and actions that have caused these divisions to become so significant. One wonders how they continue to attack the Fatah for its tactics in this period while even such figures as Marwan Barghouti promotes unity and seeks to re-establish a truce with Israel from within an Israeli prison. It has gone past the point of merely promoting these organizations to promote the opposition to the US occupation and the Israeli militaristic policies in the region to promoting the jihad of the political Islamists and the political objectives of them as well. This merges the left in the US with the Right in the Palestinian struggle.
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Martin Zehr Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Martin Zehr is an American political writer in the San Francisco area. He spent 8 years working as a volunteer water planner for the Middle Rio Grande region. http://www.waterassembly.org His article on the Kirkuk Referendum has been printed by the Kurdish Regional Government, http://www.moera-krg.org/articles/detail.asp?smap=01030000&lngnr=12&anr=12121&rnr=140 Another article was reprinted in its entirety by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) http://www.puk.org/web/htm/news/nws/news070514.html He is a Contributing Writer to Kurdish Aspect more...)

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