Tag Archives: Palestine

Listen to Moshé Machover on Iran, Israel and the Middle East

The public meeting held on Monday 28th May to discuss the war threats against Iran, which was jointly organised by Hands Off the People of Iran and the Milton Keynes Stop the War group was a good success. Over 20 people attended and heard an excellent opening from Moshé Machover, Israeli socialist and member of the HOPI steering committee. This was followed by a good discussion with a number of interesting questions and points being raised.

Thanks to Brian Robinson for the recordings and summary of the questions.

Moshé’s introduction:

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Responding to questions (see below):

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QUESTIONS

What bearing do current events in Syria have on Israeli thinking?  Doesn’t it seem all part of an Israeli push for war?
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Some time ago, towards the end of Saddam Hussein’s rule, there was a rumour going around the middle east about a plan to move Palestinian refugees to Iraq, the alleged quid pro quo being that if Saddam agreed, the West would “get off his back”.  The questioner also heard at the same time that the Saudis allegedly backed the plan, as part of their “unholy alliance” with Israel.  Was there any truth in these rumours?
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There was a report in the Guardian recently about some evidence having been found of a “nuclear clear-up” in Iran.  There was no suggestion that it was evidence of military potential, or indeed of any other use, but the questioner wondered how easy or difficult it was for inspectors to distinguish between civilian-use and weapons-grade radioactive material.
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We are “at the mercy of decisions made in Israel and Washington” concerning these matters, but how do the Israeli general public feel about them?  To what degree is there opposition to an attack on Iran amongst the general Israeli public?
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Does Israel really have a nuclear bomb?  There is talk that they have a stockpile of simulated nuclear bombs only, but what is Prof Machover’s view?  (A.  There is no question but that they do have several hundred, possibly even more than Britain.)

A further question as to how Israeli nuclear policy makes sense.
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In the early days of Israel, people used to emigrate “with a very egalitarian view of what it was about”, and they lived “like communists”, but that was then and this is now.  What would the world’s view be, where would things be in 50 years?

Prof Machover deals with the first part of the question, but declines, with humour, to speculate on the long term future, apart from emphasising that we are now in the middle of a worldwide crisis of global capitalism and nobody knows how it is going to be resolved.

Further question re social media, specifically Facebook and how it might affect developments.

And further to that, what effect might the Occupy movement have?
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Question about the situation inside Iran.
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The demographic situation in Israel is not tenable, but the questioner felt that further ethnic cleansing would be both unsustainable and unsupportable in the light of world opinion, so what did the future hold for Israel?  Do not Israelis suffer from an absence of hope and do they not therefore rather “live from day to day”?
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No to Zionism’s barbaric war!

January 2009

Click here to download the leaflet in PDF format

Hands Off the People of Iran unreservedly condemns the massacre of Palestinians by Israeli military forces. Air raids on Gaza have killed over a thousand people and a land invasion with tanks and heavy weaponry has created hell for the inhabitants of Gaza. No words can express our horror at the barbaric actions of the utterly unscrupulous set of leaders in Israel using their soldiers to commit war crimes.

Clearly this operation is in line with US imperialist strategy in the region, part of the so-called ‘war on terror’. This is confirmed by the refusal of the current President and President elect, Obama, to condemn Israel or to support calls for a ceasefire.

The biased reporting of these events by sections of the Western media has given the impression that this is a war against Hamas and Islamic fundamentalism. The reality is that the victims of the onslaught are defenceless Palestinians who in a desperate search for any viable opposition to Israeli colonialism voted for Hamas in 2006.

The Palestininan people have the right to resist. But this does not mean that HOPI politically supports Hamas. We do not believe it offers a real alternative to imperialism. Its politics will lead to further disasters. However, we reject the lies about Hamas told by Israeli military spokespersons to justify their barbaric war.

Very few reporters have reminded their audience that it was Israeli forces that broke a four-month long ceasefire on November 4. Few have mentioned the fact that in the late 1980s, it was Israel that supported Hamas in order to weaken secular, leftist Palestinian groups. Few have reminded their audience that Israel actually encouraged the corrupt and pliant Fatah leadership to overthrow their religious political rivals and recapture power – a poisonous policy of divide and rule.

Aggressive American neo-con-servatives participated in the sinister plot to instigate a Palestinian civil war. (Avi Shlaim – The Guardian January 7 2009). The reactionary Arab regimes in the region have once again proved they have no intention of supporting the Palestinians beyond some tired rhetoric. Egypt has actually aided the Israeli blockade, closing the Gaza frontier both to humanitarian aid and to volunteers attempting to bring in medical aid.

As far as the Iranian government is concerned, after all the empty slogans and propaganda in defence of ‘Palestine’, its current near silence on Zionism’s atrocities speaks volumes.

Ahmadinejad’s posturing and provocations, whether over nuclear weapons or the decision to host neo-Nazis in Tehran, have only helped Israeli propaganda and the warmongers in Washington. Yet even in the field of diplomatic efforts, Iran’s response to the Gaza carnage is muted. At a time when Palestinians need regional help, the regime puts its own interests first and keeps its head down.

No one should put any trust in the Islamic regime in Tehran. It has actually helped the enemy sow sectarian division among the Palestinians in Lebanon and Iraq. Iranian-backed militias have ethnically cleansed thousands of Palestinian refugees from Iraq, under the eyes of the occupation regime. The Iranian rulers have traded oil and arms with Israel, and if they use the Palestinian people to serve their interests today, it would be as pawns, to be sacrificed tomorrow.

However the working people of Iran have a right and duty to aid the Palestinian people in any way they can; but not because of a shared religion. Instead, this should be offered as an expression of international working class solidarity. This tradition has deep roots in the history of the mass radical left forces in the region.