Social movement in Israel

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Social movement in Israel
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There's a discussion on libcom about the latest events in Israel. We should carry it on here as well.

This is what i posted on page 2:

It looks to me that what's happening in Israel is 'historic' in the same way that the movements in Egypt, Spain, Greece, etc are. Although there have always been strikes by Israeli workers in defence of their class interests, they have not often been very visible; this movement, while being more heterogeneous in class terms like its 'partners' elsewhere, is a much more obvious piece of evidence that class contrasts do indeed exist in Israel; not only that, it shows that there is a clear link between the aggravation of social conditions for the majority and the state's war policy. On one of the videos linked above it was pointed out that the state is pouring a highly disproportionate amount of money into building up settlements in the occupied territories rather than increasing the housing stock in the rest of Israel. But more generally the Israeli proletariat pays very heavily for the state's war effort.

Equally significant is the beginnings of participation in the protests by Arabs and Jews alongside each other. Obviously there are still huge ideological obstacles against class unity both in Israel and the Arab countries, but the outbreak of the movement gives internationalists a concrete argument against the war propaganda on both sides. In this we can expect no help whatever from the leftists, who are almost unanimously committed to supporting war against Israel.

I agree with Tojiha re the Black Panthers. They were a phenomenon of the 1970s. Delving into my archives I pulled out a copy of Flashpoint, , magazine of the Israel Palestine Socialist Action Group (UK), dated 1971-2. (this was a group which split from left Zionism and then generated a Trotskyist and a libertarian/internationalist wing before breaking up. Obviously I was in the latter wing) The cover shows a demonstration by the Black Panthers and there is an article about them inside. I don't know about any social movements in Israel prior to the Lebanon war in the early 80s, although there was at least one huge demonstration in Tel Aviv against the massacres in the refugee camps which had been supervised by Sharon and co.

I agree with Baboon regarding the link between war and social struggles. Whatever Netanyahu might try in order to divert attention from the social question, this movement can open up a period in which it begins to become increasingly difficult for the Israeli bourgeoisie to mobilise for war.

I don't think that this is an

I don't think that this is an issue that belongs in a discussion on the Period of Transition but is fully implicated in the here and now and the unprecedented and global scale of social movements over the last year or so (it's also useful for the period of transition). At the beginning of Tahrir Square there was a couple of very small demonstrations of solidarity with Tunisia and Egypt from some Israeli elements and now this has spread and deepened to include more workers' demands (al-Jazeerah last night) and more of a critique against capitalism coming from the effects of the economic crisis.

The role of leftism, which, in its anti-Israel, anti-American "anti-imperialist" perspective, has always demonized the proletariat in Israel, will be interesting here.

Sam, who was putting forward the possible response of the Israeli state of war to the social movement on libcom, has wisely reined back seeing a possible "event" which, as Alf says, is not beyond possibilities - one could think of recent attacks on oil pipelines in the "lawless" Sinai for example. I don't think war with Lebanon is on - though elements in the latter are itching for it - and still less Iran, which was mentioned.