Saturday’s socialist speak out
First, some good news. Tens of millions of workers in Europe went on strike this week against austerity.
The ruling class will not budge, even when threatened with production shutting down in major industries in country after country for a day or two.
The question is will workers draw the obvious conclusion – an indefinite strike across European borders is needed to defeat austerity.
If that were to occur it would raise the question of how to organise production during that time to keep society ticking over and workers surviving. The answer to that question could be workers taking over the workplaces and running them democratically.
Now the bad news. The Israeli war machine – the agent of Zionism’s genocide against the Palestinians – is killing civilians in Gaza and is about to unleash another invasion. Like Operation Cast lead many civilians will die. Like Operation Cast Lead it is built on the lie of aggression from the Palestinians.
I stand with the oppressed, in this case the Palestinians and their struggle for justice and freedom against the apartheid regime of Israel. Only a one state solution can solve the problem, and the Palestinians on their own do not have enough power to achieve that.
However the invasion might put on the table an end to the ‘peace’ treaty between Egypt and Israel and even perhaps spark the beginning of the next stage of the Egyptian revolution as Egyptian workers realise the essentially capitulationist position of their Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
We shall see if popular demonstrations for Palestine continue and increase in Egypt. Certainly the politics of Palestine and the failure of the revolution to improve the lives of millions contain the potential for a spark for workers’ revolution in Egypt that provides hope for humanity.
Here is what Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said on Friday night. It is fairly strong, almost war like language, but it might be in context just bluster from him. However if it is followed by action in defence of Gaza then it is a development which changes all the calculations about the situation.
I am telling the Zionist oppressors that if you insist on your aggressions, you will face the consequences of your mistakes, you and those who you think are protecting you… I am saying to Israel stop, or you will face the anger of Egyptians… Our souls are striving for the holy lands… Everyone must know that the will and abilities of Egypt could take out the roots of evil just like it took out the roots of oppression… Read history and you would know that you will never become victorious… There will be no peace or prosperity with oppression, as the bloods of victims will be a curse on you and will move all nations against you… The Zionists shall not have power over the people of Gaza, and we are not going to leave Gaza alone.
The Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil went to Gaza, as did Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdesslem.
The outbreak of demonstrations against the corrupt US supported royal dictatorship in Jordan, with some calling for an end to the Monarchy, could, if in any way successful and if linked to Palestine as well, have the potential to change the face of the the Middle East even further and challenge even further Israeli dominance as the attack dog of the US in the region.
And to all those pathetic liberals who hide what is essentially their support for Israel in hand wringing about a few rockets and nonsense about two sides to each story, here are a few questions.
Why do you think it is that around the world, those sections of the political spectrum which stood against slavery and later for the civil rights movement in the US, against fascism in Europe and apartheid in South Africa, for democracy and universal suffrage around the world, for women’s and gay rights: why do those currents increasingly stand with the Palestinians and against Israel today? And why do all those currents and institutions that resisted progressive change and defended barbarism throughout history stand shoulder to shoulder with the slaughter being carried out in Gaza?
On other matters, in China, just like the US, leadership was on the agenda, and in China there was a transition from one group to the next. Slightly fewer people voted in China than in the US. The new leadership are by all reports economic reformers and political hardliners.
This may mean they will attempt to repress the wave of protests and strikes that have broken out in recent items in the country. They may not succeed if they do go down that road.
Well known women’s advocate and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard rushed to support Israel and its killing of women and children.
She also announced during the week a royal commission into child abuse by institutions responsible for the care of children, such as the Catholic Church. This commission will take years and is likely to be met by standard operating procedure form the abusers and their protectors – stonewalling, obfuscation, lying and destruction of evidence.
As I have written the abuse is systemic and requires systemic solutions.
Revenue for the quarter was down slightly on estimates. That means if the trend continues Labor will unleash savage budget cuts on working class services in health, education and transport to name a few.
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Various Palestine posters