A long time friend of mine, Daniel McGowan, asked me for help with his web site Deir Yassin Remembered about 12 years ago. I designed a nice site for him and put up all the content. I thought it was cool that Casey Kasem of American Top 40 fame was a Palestinian.
Over the years I've read about what was going on in Palestine and the various scenarios to "fix" the "problem." I learned about Zionism and its problems. I watched as the US began its massive anti-Muslim campaign. I followed Rachael Corrie's story and read her writings.
Not until Socialism 2006 during a rally where we chanted "Intifada! Intifada!" in response to the horrible treatment of the Palestinians by the world community as punishment for their electing Hamas (go democracy!) did I come to the political position in favor of Intifada and against Zionism.
Even during the chant I felt uneasy and nervous, seditious I suppose. But when I thought about the thousands who die each year because of their national identity, and I looked into the faces of those around me, it made me think of the Phil Ochs line from Day of Decision "You can do what's right, or you can do what you are told." Zionism is wrong and is killing innocent people - standing up against it is the right thing to do. Even by bourgeois standards what is happening in Palestine is wrong and evil. Collective punishment of civilian populations is against UN law.
As socialists we cannot be in favor of the reactionary politics of Hamas, Hezbollah or any other theocratic movements (Islamist, Christian or other). We are however compelled to recognize that the reason that regular Palestinians voted for Hamas is because of the genocide being visited upon them by Israel and the neo-liberal agenda. What is necessary is working-class solidarity of Israelis and Palestinians to overthrow the racist nationalism on both sides of the "security wall" and the establishment of a socialist democracy that protects the rights of all people, eradicating race hatred.
One of my favorite bloggers, BionicOc had this to say in a somewhat recent post:
[...]All are highly encouraged to read BionicOc's entire excellent post.
The ongoing global abandonment of an occupied, brutalized people, the utterly disingenuous scapegoating of Hamas as the source of the current untenable situation, and most of all the deeply racist characterization of Palestinians as a pariah people devoted to the infamous 'cult of death', dedicated to the extermination of Jews, and the primary authors of their own misfortune: these are crimes in which we may be complicit or against which we can fight. There is no neutral position. Victory to the Intifada.
Bionic Octopus: Happy Catastrophemas
I will close with a definition:
Intifada: انتفاضة : Arabic word stands for shaking off or shivering because of fear or illness. It also means abrupt and sudden waking up from sleep or unconcerned status. Politically; The word came to symbolise the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation. The word also stands for the weakness of the Palestinian people and their suffering under the Israeli occupation