left nationalist stance on israel

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left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Metal Gear on Thu May 24, 2012 12:58 am

What would you say is a proper left nationalist approach to Israel?

I personally think that Israel should not exist because it was not formed based on the regular material conditions that form a nation, but it was assembled after the war artificially and it is not truly national, it is global among Jews all over the world.

However that is my stance, I would like to see people show their perspectives so that I can test mine against it and see which position is the best to take.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Red Aegis on Thu May 24, 2012 1:31 am

I say that Israel should be crushed and the Palestinians force them to flee to other countries. Israel is a disgusting country that contains almost every social aspect that I despise.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Celtiberian on Thu May 24, 2012 1:52 am

The Jewish people are undoubtedly a nation, but Israel is clearly an illegitimate state. Anyone even vaguely familiar with the unbiased scholarship on the history of Israel should understand that it's a state which was established by way of theft and maintains itself solely through the systematic use of terror.

So, while I'm sympathetic to the Jewish people's desire to establish itself in its own sovereign territory, I cannot accept the dishonorable means by which it has attempted to do so in Palestine.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Rev Scare on Thu May 24, 2012 2:44 am

I do not support the existing state of Israel, but I do support benign Jewish nationalism. The Israeli people identify as a nation, and it would be against our principles to call for their complete dissolution; instead, I am fully in favor of a left-wing nationalist compromise between Palestine and Israel or the establishment of a new Jewish homeland that does not encroach upon the rights of other nations.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Metal Gear on Thu May 24, 2012 8:47 am

Celtiberian, I would not say the Jews are undoubtedly a nation, they are more of an ethnoreligious community. I am aware of the anthropology studies of Jews that place the majority of their ancestry around the Mediterranean (similar to Italians), however I do not think ethnic group equals nation. A nation also has to have a state, a territory, a language, a common consciousness as Stalin put it.

For instance, I do not consider Irish Americans to be "a nation" separate from other Americans.

Finally Israel pushes itself as the state of the Jews, not the state of the local region. So that to me is cosmopolitan globalization. It's an abstraction.

However, if Israel had a left nationalist revolution and fixed the criticisms I am making, whether or not I support it would wholly be based on merit. Anti-semitism is not part of my ideology.

Also, Israel is a tool of US imperialism. I don't think it would exist without its strategic role in US imperialism.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Celtiberian on Thu May 24, 2012 12:22 pm

Metal Gear wrote:Celtiberian, I would not say the Jews are undoubtedly a nation, they are more of an ethnoreligious community. I am aware of the anthropology studies of Jews that place the majority of their ancestry around the Mediterranean (similar to Italians), however I do not think ethnic group equals nation. A nation also has to have a state, a territory, a language, a common consciousness as Stalin put it.

Unlike Stalin, I disagree with the notion that nation's need conform with such a rigid criteria in order to be considered legitimate. One of the most erroneous aspects of the Bolshevik's nationality policy was their refusal to recognize the Jewish people as a nation—which likely stemmed in part from Lenin's antipathy toward the Jewish Labour Bund. My view of nationality corresponds more closely to that espoused by Otto Bauer, who wrote:

"The nation is a relative community of character; it is a community of character because, in any given era, a range of corresponding characteristics can be observed among the great majority of the nation's members, and because, although all nations share a number of characteristics by virtue of their humanity, there is nevertheless a range of characteristics that are peculiar to each nation and distinguish it from other nations. The nation is not an absolute, but only a relative community of character. . . The nation has a national character, but this national character merely indicates a relative commonality of the characteristics of individual behavior."
Bauer, Otto. The Question of Nationalities and Social Democracy, p. 22.

However, Bauer's thesis on the national question is also too inflexible to accurately represent national identity or a solution to the desire of certain nations for territorial self-determination, in my opinion. The relative emphasis a nation may place on language, mores, ethnicity, history, etc. will vary, and that's perfectly fine—it doesn't serve to render certain nation's anymore legitimate or illegitimate than others. As far as a solution to the national question is concerned, the matter will be addressed in a plurality of ways following the revolution; there is no single formula to which we should bind ourselves.

For instance, I do not consider Irish Americans to be "a nation" separate from other Americans.

Nor do I, and I don't suspect many Irish-Americans would consider themselves a nation either. If, however, Irish-Americans began to view themselves as such, I wouldn't contest their right to do so.

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Metal Gear on Thu May 24, 2012 3:47 pm

Most nations do not exist based on an engineering idea. They exist because of the material conditions that build them. American colonialists predated America. The Italian population predated Italy.

The conditions of having Jewish people in Palestine did not exist, so they brought them there. The real material condition was the holocaust in europe.

It doesn't work like that. You can't make such a radical change without causing problems. Society cannot "Jump," it has to evolve. European immigrants were in America centuries before the revolution. It is not the same. I think that is the root of the problem. Again, it's the Jewish desire not to assimilate and to separate that produces problems when the world is not ready for it. The conditions to build the society did not exist, so they are trying to artificially create the conditions. It will always fail. Americans have now reconciled with the Indians, but Israelis have not reconciled with the Palestinians.

It would be like moving a bunch of Irish people to Africa and taking out a tribe there, then saying "we all came from Africa!"

And really, the real root of the conflict is that the people who needed the money (hardcore zionists) got the money and power. There is nothing "genetic" about Jewish behavior.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Celtiberian on Fri May 25, 2012 5:49 am

Metal Gear wrote:Most nations do not exist based on an engineering idea. They exist because of the material conditions that build them. American colonialists predated America. The Italian population predated Italy.

You're conflating nations with states. The former is based on group psychology while the latter is indeed the result of material conditions. Most nation-states, from antiquity to the present, were/are the product of generations of imperialism, feudal and bourgeois diplomacy, etc. However, once capitalism has been superseded by socialism, the material conditions will exist for the national question to be addressed democratically—which necessitates deliberation, negotiation, and engineering.

Again, it's the Jewish desire not to assimilate and to separate that produces problems when the world is not ready for it. The conditions to build the society did not exist, so they are trying to artificially create the conditions. It will always fail.

It's only problematic insofar as they are prohibited from possessing a self-determined territory of their own. The trouble with Israel is the unjust method by which the Zionists acquired land and the genocidal means by which they maintain their state. Had the Jews decided to construct the Israeli state in an unpopulated location, and instead of descending to a militaristic imperial force, decided on a constructing their community on the principles of democracy, socialism, and mutual aid, the state would be unobjectionable. (An Israeli socialist commonwealth would obviously face serious obstacles related to global capitalism, but that's a separate issue.)

Americans have now reconciled with the Indians, but Israelis have not reconciled with the Palestinians.

Have we? There are numerous Native American organizations which would beg to differ. By no means has the United States settled the national question with the various Native American nations.

And really, the real root of the conflict is that the people who needed the money (hardcore zionists) got the money and power. There is nothing "genetic" about Jewish behavior.

I agree.

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Modgardener on Sat May 26, 2012 5:50 pm

Whether we are supportive of the existence of Israel or not, we cannot deny the state now exists. What i do oppose however is Israel's international position where it is the Middle-East bully boy of the United States government and its international policy.

I think there are two things we should be calling for in the region.

1) Revolution in Israel and the creation of a democratic socialist state of Israel which will hold a totally different international position.

2) The creation of s Socialist Palestinian State. I can see little point in calling for the creation of a Palestinian state if it is not governed under socialist principles. Failure to do this could surrender the fledgling state to religious funadmentalism or even the influence of capitalism.
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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Metal Gear on Mon May 28, 2012 5:47 pm

Also as long as the economy is market based, which socialism typically utilizes market forces, then the Jewish state can expect an Arab minority and the Arab state can expect a Jewish minority. Neither state will be free of minorities. That is not possible unless market forces are totally eliminated and they won't be eliminated anytime soon.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Balkan Beast on Wed May 30, 2012 2:57 pm

Well the real problems I have with israel are because of the government itself, and the reactionary elements that are gaining a strong foothold(the orthodox jews that beat arabs). It is ironic that a people whom actively use their past persecution as a tool to justify their state, now persecutes others.

My own stance is neutral though, I am against the Zionists and I have no opinion on the Palestinians. I just desire that Israel/Palestine ceases to be a tool for Imperialism(and an Imperialist state itself), and for a socialist movement to take power.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Modgardener on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:42 am

I think you have hit the nail on the head Balkan Beast, both Israel and Palestine are used as tools for imperialism. Both need a socialist revolution.
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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Metal Gear on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:48 am

You make a valid point that Arab and Islamic imperialists may use Palestine just like American imperialists use Israel.

Still, I think the situation with Israel is much worse and I think Israel has another problem with it attempting to be "the state of the Jews." There are many reasons I think this is wrong, but the cliff note is that a state should represent the people there not migrants who "should be there." I also believe it puts diaspora Jews in an unfair situation where they are seen as agents of Israel.

Aside from opposing American imperialism in the middle east, I oppose the idea that Israel's imperial interests are equal to Americans imperial interests! So even if I wasn't anti-imperialist, I would still see the Israel lobby as a fifth column. But I oppose the American ruling class as well.

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Re: left nationalist stance on israel

Post by Modgardener on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:41 pm

Interesting article in the Morning Star
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/119847
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