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(en) US, LA, EMMA GOLDMAN CHAPTER MDS* - STATEMENT ON THE "NEW MIDDLE EAST "

Date Thu, 03 Aug 2006 12:40:23 +0300


The Emma Goldman Chapter of Movement for a Democratic Society ( MDS ) in
Southern California realizes that we are at a critical juncture in history:
the US and its client state of Israel are pushing for an ever expanding
war against all Arabs by invading, bombing and blockading Southern
Lebanon. The Zionist military machine - paid for and supplied by the US --
is incessantly bombing civilians and social infrastructure in Southern
Lebanon and Gaza under the justification of "self defense." However, for
the first time in many years, the Israeli military machine seems to have
met its match. The Islamic Resistance Movement (AKA: Hamas) in Gaza and
the Hizbullah in Lebanon have refused to be victims and instead mounted an
effective challenge to US - Israeli imperial expansion. Furthermore, they
have done this without the aid or assistance of the corrupt US client
states of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates,
the Palestinian Authority ( Fatah ) or the puppet Maliki government of
Iraq. It is crucial that we not only stand but fight in solidarity with
oppressed peoples in the Middle East using all means available to us
including, but not limited to boycotts, divestiture, and blockades of
weapon shipments to Israel.

Of course, the Anglo-American-Zionist imperial powers justify their
slaughter and savagery by branding Hamas , Hizbullah and all other
popular, mass-based resistance movements as "terrorist" organizations. We
declare, however, that labelling these groups as terrorist is a demagogic
attempt to pacify and disempower mass resistance movements and mislead
global opinion. We believe that the people of Palestine, Gaza, Southern
Lebanon and Iraq are being systematically killed under a the thinly
veiled guise of bestowing "freedom" and "democracy" on the Middle East.
We believe that the US and Israel are waging a war against all Arab
peoples and that it is our duty to expose and resist this war through
direct action, education and dialogue.

As a radical resistance movement affiliated with the newly re-formed
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), it is the considered position of
the Emma Goldman Chapter of Movement for a Democratic Society (Southern
California Region) that the war against Arab people being waged by
Anglo-American-Israeli imperialism in Palestine, Lebanon, Gaza, the
Occupied Territories and Iraq is not about promoting "freedom" and
"democracy" nor is it a war against terrorism. This war is rather a brutal
war of terror directed against all Arabs (Christians, Sunnis, Shias) to
kill their hopes and dreams for liberation, freedom and unity. The
US/Israeli war is not a war against "terrorism" but a war of terror
against the aspirations of the entire people of the Middle East in all
countries who have hopes for a future free from foreign invasion,
occupation, domination, exploitation and torture. Specifically, the
US/Israeli war is a war of terror directed against mass-based, popular
resistance movements such as - but not limited to - Hamas, Hizbullah and
the authentic popularly supported resistance groups and formations in Iraq
who are fighting for control over their own destinies and
self-determination.

It is our position that groups such as Hamas* and Hizbullah* are deeply
rooted popular resistance movements that have developed as a response to
American / Zionist attack, invasion or occupation of the West Bank and
Gaza for almost 40 years and in Southern Lebanon from 1978-2000. Both
have won large electoral victories and provided social services to their
people, as well as protecting their people from attack. In Lebanon, the
Shia comprise approximately 60% of the population but are forced to live
in the lower levels of the economy. In Gaza, approximately 67% of the
people live in poverty everyday growing more severe due to the illegal
Zionist blockade. Like other popular resistance movements in the
invaded/occupied Middle East, Hamas and Hizbullah are deeply rooted social
and political movements of the most oppressed.

Both Hamas and Hizbullah are self-defined political resistance movements.
Hizbollah was formed in 1982 AFTER the illegal Israeli invasion and
occupation of Lebanon and successfully defeated and drove Israel out of
Southern Lebanon in the 1990s. In doing so, Hizbullah was only exercising
the right recognized by international law of an invaded, occupied people
to defend themselves by whatever means necessary. Currently, Hizbullah
enjoys the allegiance/support of the majority of Shia in Lebanon and its
support is growing among non-Shia Lebanese who see it as the only defense
against a Zionist onslaught that has killed thousands and displaced
hundreds of thousands of people. Therefore, we do not believe that
Hizbullah, Hamas and other mass based resistance movements are "illegal"
militias or "terrorists".

US and Israeli governments repeatedly attempt to illegally occupy and
pacify those struggling for autonomy by indiscriminately killing
civilians, destroying infrastructure and conducting invasions and
occupations . Israel illegally occupies the West Bank, Gaza, Arab East
Jerusalem, Golan and the Sheba Farms just like the US has illegally
invaded, occupied and attempted to pacify Iraq. Israel illegally holds
over 10,000 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners who were kidnapped from
their homes, thrown in prisons and denied all legal recourse. Long before
Hamas and Hizbullah existed, Zionist ethnic cleansing, collective
punishment, land stealing and military actions resulted in making refugees
out of 2/3 of the 9 million Palestinians.

Anglo-American-Israeli imperialists, however, have no problem with
committing illegal acts since their wars are justified by racism that says
Arab = terrorist, Muslim=jihadi, Islamism = fundamentalism. Zionism in
particular is racist in its essence, ideology and deadly practice of
segregation, discrimination, exclusion and genocide ("Palestinians are
beasts walking on two legs" -- Menachin Begin, 1982 speech to the
Knesset). We support and agree with the position of Hizbullah and Hamas
that Zionism is racist in its essence, ideology and deadly practice of
segregation, discrimination, exclusion and genocide and that Israel is a
colonial and occupying state that justifies its imperialism by claiming
that "God" gave all of Palestine and the land from the Nile to the
Euphrates to the Jews. The Zionist stance towards Palestinians is "a land
without a people, a people without a land". Israel also practices
segregation and discrimination against other Jews within Israel such as
those from Africa who are discriminated against and forced into the bottom
of the Zionist class system. Even Reform and Conservative Judaism are not
accorded legal recognition in Israel.

The Emma Goldman Chapter of MDS recognizes that unity of struggle is the
way for all Arab people to win liberation and victory in Lebanon, Iraq and
the Occupied Territories. We support this unity and recognize that the
real divide in the world and within states is not between Sunnis and Shia,
Arabs and non-Arabs, Christians and Jews, Muslims and Jews, Christians and
Muslims but the real divide is between the oppressed and the oppressors.
We support a new internationalism founded on unity and solidarity with
popular, mass-based resistance movements such as Hamas and Hizbullah
struggling against those who oppress us all.

We call for individual members and chapters of SDS/MDS in Southern
California to organize or participate in divestment, boycott and sanction
activities against Israel.

Furthermore, we urge individual members and chapters of SDS/MDS in
Southern California to seriously organize and engage in action (as opposed
to resolutions) that will impede the imperialist machine. To name
just a few possibilities : anti-recruitment campaigns against campus
military recruiters ; action around US military contractors (e.g.,
Lockeed Martin, Allied Signal, Raytheon ) who sell weapons to Israel ;
opposing US fundamentalist Christian Zionists ; port truckers and
dockworkers refusing to transport or unload Israeli imports ; civil
disobedience against ships, trains and trucks transporting military
material ; affinity group actions to " fuck things up" before, during and
after war escalations, invasions and occupations ; working with the
Palestinian Solidarity Movement in the US ; providing sanctuary to
soldiers who refuse, resist or desert military service both in Israel and
the US ; supporting/defending Arab Americans and immigrants of any
provenance who are being arrested and harassed by the FBI and Department
of Homeland Security ; refusing to cooperate with the US war of terror and
the national security state ; supporting Anarchists Against the Wall, the
International Solidarity Movement and military refuseniks and deserters
within Israel .
==========================
* [Ed. Note: At its beginning, Hamas was promoted by the Israeli
occupation forces as a fundamentalist Islamic competition to
the secular nationalist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
During its development and competition with the PLO Hamas took
a new direction and joined the struggle against Israel specialized
with suicide bombers against civilian citizens within Israel.
Israel continue to promote it in a way even after this turn
as a round about way to aid it in the efforts to discredit the
Palestinian authority. The main motivation of Hamas was and is
to promote extreme orthodox Islam in Palestine.

The Hizbullah was an extreme fraction among the shi-ey of
Lebanon, who succeeded to overcome the less extremist Amal
mainly by promotion of Iran and Syria. Though it played as
the main guerilla against Israeli occupying forces in Lebanon,
after the PLO was mainly driven away in the 1982 invasion
war of Israel in Lebanon, it also used bombing of civilian
Jews. After the retreat of the Israeli forces from Lebanon,
its struggle against occupation finished (when only two villages
formally belonging to the Syrians Golan still occupied.)
After the retreat of the Israeli forces, the main activity
of the Hizbullah in addition to its role in the internal
struggle for power in Lebanon is firing from time to time
missiles on civilians in Israel.

While the support for the Lebanese and the Palestinian masses
against Israeli atrocities is a must, the support to the reactionary
Hamas and Hizbullah is a big mistake. (In a way, the support to the
Hamas and Hizbullah is similar to the support for the Khmer Rouge
in Cambodia...].
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