No state solution in Gaza

No state solution in Gaza

Statement produced by the Manchester (UK) Anarchist Federation branch on the conflict in Gaza, in solidarity with the victims of the conflict, and for internationalism.

One thing is absolutely clear about the current situation in Gaza: the Israeli state is committing atrocities which must end immediately. With hundreds dead and thousands wounded, it has become increasingly clear that the aim of the military operation, which has been in the planning stages since the signing of the original ceasefire in June, is to break Hamas completely. The attack follows the crippling blockade throughout the supposed ‘ceasefire’, which has destroyed the livelihoods of Gazans, ruined the civilian infrastructure and created a humanitarian disaster which anyone with an ounce of humanity would seek an end to.

But that’s not all there is to say about the situation. On both sides of the conflict, the idea that opposing Israel has to mean supporting Hamas and its ‘resistance’ movement is worryingly common. We totally reject this argument. Just like any other set of rulers, Hamas, like all the other major Palestinian factions, are happy and willing to sacrifice ordinary Palestinians to increase their power. This isn’t some vague theoretical point – for a period recently most deaths in Gaza were a result of fighting between Hamas and Fatah. The ‘choices’ offered to ordinary Palestinian people are between Islamist gangsters (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) or nationalist gangsters (Fatah, Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigades). These groups have shown their willingness to attack working class attempts to improve their living conditions, seizing union offices, kidnapping prominent trade unionists, and breaking strikes. One spectacular example is the attack on Palestine Workers Radio by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, for “stoking internal conflicts”. Clearly, a “free Palestine” under the control of any of these groups would be nothing of the sort.

As anarchists, we are internationalists, opposing the idea that the rulers and ruled within a nation have any interests in common. Therefore, anarchists reject Palestinian nationalism just as we reject Israeli nationalism (Zionism). Ethnicity does not grant “rights” to lands, which require the state to enforce them. People, on the other hand, have a right to having their human needs met, and should be able to live where they choose, freely.

Therefore, against the divisions and false choices set up by nationalism, we fully support the ordinary inhabitants of Gaza and Israel against state warfare – not because of their nationality, ethnicity, or religion, but simply because they’re real living, feeling, thinking, suffering, struggling human beings. And this support has to mean total hostility to all those who would oppress and exploit them –the Israeli state and the Western governments and corporations that supply it with weapons, but also any other capitalist factions who seek to use ordinary working-class Palestinians as pawns in their power struggles. The only real solution is one which is collective, based on the fact that as a class, globally, we ultimately have nothing but our ability to work for others, and everything to gain in ending this system – capitalism – and the states and wars it needs .

That this seems like a “difficult” solution does not stop it from being the right one. Any “solution” that means endless cycles of conflict, which is what nationalism represents, is no solution at all. And if that is the case, the fact that it is “easier” is irrelevant. There are sectors of Palestinian society which are not dominated by the would-be rulers – protests organised by village committees in the West Bank for instance. These deserve our support. As do those in Israel who refuse to fight, and who resist the war. But not the groups who call on Palestinians to be slaughtered on their behalf by one of the most advanced armies in the world, and who wilfully attack civilians on the other side of the border.

Neither one stare nor two states, but no states

Whoever dies, Hamas and the Israeli state win

13 Responses to No state solution in Gaza

  1. littlehorn says:

    But not the groups who call on Palestinians to be slaughtered on their behalf by one of the most advanced armies in the world, and who wilfully attack civilians on the other side of the border.
    I don’t remember having ever heard any Hamas official “call on Palestinians to be slaughtered.” I’m guessing this is your interpretation of what Hamas does. In my own view, retaliation is only a matter of justice. Your even-handedness on this issue will help Israelis continue the current slaughter.

    I don’t support Hamas either; but only a sick person would use Israeli talking points against them. Hamas has stopped firing rockets at Israel for months; no one died then; on november 4th, Israel attacked them and Hamas retaliated. Yet, no one died in Israel from those rockets. That is, no one died in Israel, until Israel waged war on the pretext of those same rockets, a pretext they deliberately created, a war they had planned for, 8 months ago.

    To call Hamas actions wrong is mandatory, to oppose Hamas as an opposition movement, that is at the very least, controversial. As I said, Hamas has made some efforts since the cease-fire.

    To simply say, by virtue of your opinions, that anarchy is the only way, and therefore Hamas and Zionists must be stopped, that is very very short, in my view.

  2. Ali says:

    As you feel so strongly Asher,why dont you go over there and protest on the border?Instead of hiding behind a computer screen.Youre very brave using words,deeds speak louder.

  3. [...] The Manchester (UK) Anarchist Federation has issued a statement condemning both Israel & Hamas’ violence, and rejecting those on the Left who believe “that opposing Israel has to mean supporting Hamas and its ‘resistance’ movement.” [Anarchia] [...]

  4. Ansiolititko says:

    Im not a Hamas suporter i just want to poinu out that:

    “the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, whose December 31 report titled “Six Months of the Lull Arrangement Intelligence Report,” confirmed that the June 19 truce was only “sporadically violated, and then not by Hamas but instead by … “rogue terrorist organisations”.

    Instead, “the escalation and erosion of the lull arrangement” occurred after Israel killed six Hamas members on November 4 without provocation and then placed the entire Strip under an even more intensive siege the next day.”

    Also, Hamas not represent only radical islam , lots of its members are not islamist , joined just because is the only way to fight the occupation (fatah is dirty and corrupt and seen by many palestinians as collaborators)

    The palestinian people in general isnt particulary open to radical islam as their history proves.

    I think there must be a palestinian state. why?

    *becose is the fastest way to end the genocide and brutal occupation , witch right now is the concern of anyone who is thinking about the palestinian people

    *The state -anykind. is bad , agree , but belive me , military ocupation and war are worst -are we thinking was best four our btohers and sisters in palestine? o whats best for us?

    *becose hoping for dificults , hardly possibles escenarios becose they are more coherent with someone views or desires, implies dont giving a shit a bout the thousand being massacred – like the zionist that during WWII blocked the escape plan of many jews to europe becos they wanted them to go to palestine

    *Becose a world where peoples no longer live under military occupation and colonialism hoping for democracy , is a world closer to anarchy

  5. naught101 says:

    “Neither one stare nor two states, but no states”

    blink and you lose!

  6. رزان says:

    I second littlehorn comment.
    I fail to see how anarchists equate between occupiers and resistance. your discourse is no better than mainstream media outlets.

    I have my reservations on Hamas domestic policies, but i support Palestinians right to self-determination. “Israel” is an apartheid state, is an occupying force with weapons of mass destruction as we have seen in Gaza, with the absence of the Arab armies to do their duty and lauch war on the zionist occupiers, the people of Palestine find other ways to defend themselves, and where you find oppression you find resistance, as anarchist and leftist, we should support ANY form of resistance, it doesnt have to leftist to support it, or else we know shit about anarchism.

  7. welshboi says:

    To equate a people with the state is a logical flaw. Are the people of America the same as the Bush administration that sent its armies into Afghanistan and Iraq? Of course not.
    Hamas are a fascist organisation (in the truest sense of the word) not a resistance organisation. It’s a party that fights for its own interests, the domination of the people of Gaza.
    It’s not that Hamas is not leftist it’s that it’s extremly right wing, homophobic, sexist, anti-semitic, and anti-working class in general. As anarchists/leftists we can not support such an organisation.
    This does not however mean that we do not support the people of Gaza as the Israeli state attempts to annihalate them. We send aid, we raise awareness, some of us travel out there in order to stand in solidarity with the people and to help in whatever way we can.
    We can not, should not and will not support the enemies of the working class whichever form they take.

  8. Sahar says:

    “On both sides of the conflict, the idea that opposing Israel has to mean supporting Hamas and its ‘resistance’ movement is worryingly common. We totally reject this argument. Just like any other set of rulers, Hamas, like all the other major Palestinian factions, are happy and willing to sacrifice ordinary Palestinians to increase their power”.

    This right here goes to show that UK anarchists don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to the Israel-Palestine issue.

  9. Aaron says:

    “This right here goes to show that UK anarchists don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to the Israel-Palestine issue.”

    Sahar, Is there an Anarchist Research Competition to compete for the ‘I Know The Most About The Palestine-Gaza Issue Prize’?

    Oh, and I agree with welshboi. We are not nations or states, we are people. The working class are people. A person has inalienable human rights regardless of state.

  10. Sahar says:

    Aaron, who said it’s about a competition? It’s simple: don’t comment on an issue you clearly don’t know jackshit about.

  11. lettrist says:

    Therefore, anarchists reject Palestinian nationalism just as we reject Israeli nationalism (Zionism).

    Nationalism is a rallying point that allows native people of Palestine to unify their struggle against the oppressor. Take away that rallying point and you have a non-unified struggle against a unified enemy. I see what you’re saying and agree in theory, but nationalism is not easily thrown out.

    It’s also difficult to say who is going to enact the “no state” solution. Israel, Palestine, the UN, etc? Most people will be vehemently opposed to it.

  12. Snapdragon says:

    The problem with highly theoretical ways of proceeding–listening and talking, for instance–is the danger of always thinking in terms of one’s own vocabulary. My guess is that to most Palestinians, ‘nation’ means themselves, their neighbors, and Palestinians as a group…most of whom understandably feel threatened and highly stressed by the Zionist violence. Thus, though you may not intend it, your opposition to “nationalism” might well be heard by them as a dismissal of their struggles.

  13. jhx says:

    Re. snapdragon’s comment – the same goes for Jewish ‘nationalism’ (Zionism), which is and has historically been very different from Israeli nationalism, even though, obviously, there is today a major overlap. See A.D. Gordon, Buber et al. for conceptions of Jewish ‘nationalism’ that are perfectly congruent with anarchism/s, esp. Rocker, Bakunin and Landauer. A blanket dismissal of nationalism, though a tempting recourse in understanding a situation riddled with the kind of complexities not readily accounted for in traditional anarchist thinking, is too simplistic.

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