Leila Khaled on May Day 2011.

“Where there is occupation there will always be resistance.”

“We shouldn’t believe the imperialists that they can make a better world. It’s only the working class that can make the world much more possible to live in without injustice and having our freedom. When the working class gets its freedom in any country, it means that it is building a better future for the generations to come.”

EVENT : DEBATE : Should the Left support the BDS campaign against Israel?

For all Victorians, there will be a meeting on the 11 May · 19:00 – 20:30 at Trades Hall, 54 Victoria St, Carlton.

Almost everyone on the Left under 55 can only remember Israel as the Goliath battling the Palestinians David — from the first Lebanon war to the two Intifadas a modern army has faced far weaker opponents. And yet Israel is still supported very strongly by Western governments like our own.

The Left is united in wishing to tackle the issue, and the biggest item on the agenda is BDS a campaign for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel. But is BDS the best way forward – what should be the Left’s attitude to the global BDS campaign?

Two activists line up to debate the merits of BDS:

KIM BULLIMORE who has worked on the ground in Palestine with the Women’s International Peace Service since 2004 will be putting the case for the Global BDS.

Israeli-born SOL SALBE, a campaigner for Palestinian human rights in this country for 42 years will be putting case for a more selective pinpointed approach.

Former trade union activist BILL DELLER, who used to chair the Victorian Peace Network has agreed to chair the debate.


This event is part of the New International Bookshop’s Underground Talk series. Entry is $5/ $2 concession.

Palestine / Israel Links

AIPAC does not speak for me – Hedy Epstein:

The vicious discrimination brought to bear against Palestinians in the occupied territories deserves no applause from members of Congress attending the AIPAC conference. Instead, they should raise basic questions with Israeli officials about decades of inferior rights endured by Palestinians both inside Israel and the occupied territories.

Mohammed al-Dura’s father wins slander case against Israeli in French court
Out of a population of 1.6 million, 25 Gazans protested OBL’s killing.

The crowd included al-Qaida sympathizers as well as students who said they opposed bin Laden’s ideology, but were angry at the United States for killing him and consider him a martyr.

Bin Laden (and his sponsors): any political significance?
US is desperate for a victory and this one will be a chance, although the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are going terribly for the US. Obama yesterday basically signed the death sentence of the Pakistani president for thanking him for his role. How dumb is that? Even if he thought to falsely claim that the US did not violate Pakistani sovereignty near the capital of Pakistan. Public opinion surveys will soon give a tremendous boost to Obama,
Report recommends a ‘measured response’ towards Palestinian unity in order to keep the US on side, in contrast to Nutanyahoo’s hysterical reaction.
The 1936-1939 Revolt
Palestine in the Middle East: Opposing Neoliberalism and US Power

A central component of this vision is the normalization and integration of Israel into the Middle East. The US envisions a Middle East resting upon Israeli capital in the West and Gulf capital in the East, underpinning a low-wage, neoliberal zone that spans the region. What this means is that Israel’s historic destruction of Palestinian national rights must be accepted and blessed by all states in the region. In the place of real Palestinian self-determination (first and foremost the right of return of refugees), a nominal artificial state will be established in the dependent islands of territory across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This goal is an essential pre-requisite of US strategy in the region. Our political activities must be informed by this understanding if we are to successfully build effective solidarity movements to confront and turn back this project.

Raja Khalidi and Sobhi Samour present ‘a review of the neoliberal worldview that underpins new Palestinian political and economic thinking and which, in our view, endangers the Palestinian national liberation agenda by errors both of commission and omission.’

US Imperialist Links

Making the World Safe for Terrorism

– the U.S. has blended its battle against terrorism with preservation of American global interests. Each blended component contradicts the other and creates confusing missions in U.S. foreign and military policies.

The Middle East can be conveniently divided between the nations that the U.S. confronts and have been antagonistic to Radical Islam and the nations that the U.S. befriends and whose policies have contributed to terrorist actions against the United States.

The former nations, The Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, occupy the northern area of the Middle East. The latter nations, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Yemen occupy the Middle East’s southern frontier.

Fomenting nationalism with murder : While nationalism sweeps the US with the death of Bin Laden, Muslim Americans worry bigotry against them will persist.

Afghanistan / Pakistan Links

‘Khost Province has long been a breadbasket for Afghanistan because of its multiple agricultural growing seasons. It’s also a historical power base for insurgent networks run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani. “Hekmatyar and Haqqani and their forces just flow back and forth through both sides,” said Lt. Col. Jesse Pearson, the battalion commander of Task Force Spader, of the border with Pakistan.’

US funding of the very nasty and still existent Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, “a particularly fanatical fundamentalist and woman-hater.”21 According to journalist Tim Weiner, “[Hekmatyar’s] followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. CIA and State Department officials I have spoken with call him ‘scary,’ ‘vicious,’ ‘a fascist,’ ‘definite dictatorship material.’”

Hahhaa … this is rich : ‘Guantánamo Bay files: Pakistan’s ISI spy service listed as terrorist group’

Around 18 months after the fall of the Taliban, another memo claims, Iranian intelligence gave a former Taliban commander and Hekmatyar US$2m to fund “anti-coalition militia” activities. Citing further intelligence reports, the file says: “In December 2005, representatives of Ismail Khan, former governor of Herat and minister of water and power in Afghanistan, met with two Pakistanis and three Iranians to discuss the planning of terrorist acts and to create better lines of communication between the [Hekmatyar group] and Taliban.”

This latter claim appears highly speculative as Khan is a long-term enemy of Hekmatyar and the Taliban – in 2009 he narrowly survived a suicide attack for which insurgents claimed responsibility.

in consideration of the fact that

‘By 1987, the annual supply of arms had reached 65,000 tons, and a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon officials were visiting Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters in Rawalpindi and helping to plan mujahideen operations:

At any one time during the Afghan fighting season, as many as 11 ISI teams trained and supplied by the CIA accompanied mujahideen across the border to supervise attacks, according to Yousaf and Western sources. The teams attacked airports, railroads, fuel depots, electricity pylons, bridges and roads….

CIA operations officers helped Pakistani trainers establish schools for the mujahideen in secure communications, guerrilla warfare, urban sabotage and heavy weapons.31

Although the CIA claimed that the purpose was to attack military targets, mujahideen trained in these techniques, and using chemical and electronic-delay bomb timers supplied by the U.S., carried out numerous car bombings and assassination attacks in Kabul itself.32’