The Blanket

Stop Playing the Joker

Sean Noonan


Michael Dahan writes:

"But the (Israeli -SN) Labour Party resignation is also an opportunity for the parliamentary Left in Israel to regroup and to show leadership from the opposition benches. It is an opportunity for Labour to redefine itself, and to present a truly alternative political and social agenda. As it stands today, the Labour Party is no more than a pale reflection of its former self, with little to distinguish it from the Likud."

The 'former self' of the Israeli Labour party that Dahan invokes here is the same party that dominanted Israeli politics during the first 30 years of the Israeli state and has a long record of ethnic cleansing, occupation and apartheid. The Israeli Labour Party is, and always has been, only a slightly less malignant strain of the racist ideology of Zionism. Israeli Labour Party is merely the more secular and pragmatic wing of Zionist racism.

With that said, there are a small number of principled Jewish-Israeli leftists (such as Allegra Pachecho). However, these Jewish-Israeli leftists are so small in number and ostracized from the mainstream Jewish-Israeli political parties it is meaningless, even deranged, to hope for the emergence of a genuinely left movement within the Israeli Labour Party. Importantly, among Palestinian-Israelis (who make 20% of the population inside Israel) there is a stronger leftist current. Figures like Azmi Bishara, of the National Democratic Assembly party, take a principled left stance and call for the immediate ending of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and hope for the ultimate creation of a single, secular, multiethnic state in all of historic Palestine. If Michael Dahan was truly committed to justice and peace in Palestine his efforts would be better spent: (1) bringing attention to the work of people such as Pachecho and Bishara; (2) calling for the immediate withdrawal of all Israelis from the West Bank and Gaza; and (3) demanding the right of return for the 3.5 million Palestinian refugees who have been ethnically cleansed from Palestine over the past 55 years. From a leftist perspective, Dahan's scribbling in support of the ever-so-slightly-less-evil Israeli Labour Party is a waste of bandwidth on The Blanket.



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