[SUGGESTION] Remove the reference to the no-state solution from the sidebar

Submitted by conseil in Palestine_and_Israel (edited )

To be blunt, this is something that white anarchists push without consideration for the fact that such a thing is impossible under literal military occupation; clearly it would be the best result, but I'm not certain I trust James Herod, an old white American, to entirely understand the situation in Palestine.

Its often used as an argument in other anarchist circles (especially those on Reddit) to entirely discard the Palestinian struggle as 'nationalists', and I don't usually see it used in good faith.

I'd also like to say that 'Anarchists against the wall!' sounds like a Bolshevik slogan.

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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

Hm...might be downvoted for this, but here we go anyway lol

I disagree strongly. A statist revolution against apartheid is what is impossible, and history proves this to be true.

Hamas and Fatah have utterly failed in their praxis, it is antiauthoritarians on both sides of the wall that have had any success, BDS being the most prominent example. Hamas shooting impotent rockets has in fact only made the situation worse for average palestinian people in material terms, has failed to lift the blockade, and it's pretty plain for anyone to see that. BDS, on the contrary, actually has provided a way towards liberation that, while certainly not successful yet, has seen success in gathering international pressure on Israel while not resulting in the short-term escalation of military occupation & violence like the rocket attacks by palestinian statists has.

Ultimately, the two-state solution is desired by both Hamas/Fatah and the Israeli government, because it preserves both of their power. A single multiethnic state is not desired by either party, even though it would result in the destruction of the white Israeli ethnostate due to the way it would completely change the electoral balance of parliament. A "no state solution" would similarly be highly undesirable by these parties, because it would require a massive egalitarian restructuring of civil society on both sides of the wall.

At the end of the day, Hamas & Fatah are organizations with their own self-interests that frequently diverge from both the will and the interests of the people who they claim to represent. Seeing them as homogenous with their constituents, just because the Israeli state is their antagonist, is ahistorical and not good analysis, if not out and out noble savage rhetoric. Palestinians get all of the negative aspects of living under multiple governments, but none of the usual benefits of statehood-- in my opinion, it is wrong to support those governments which so oppress them, and I refuse to do so, for basically the same reasons I refuse to support the apartheid state.

There are also palestinian anarchists who have started becoming more visible, talking openly about their ideas and perspectives in the last eight years or so. I think anarchists should focus on uplifting their voices, not those of statist functionaries, because by ignoring these APOC voices we are contributing to their marginalization in palestine and beyond. Here are some of them talking about their perspectives:

https://anarchiststudies.org/2013/07/19/palestinian-anarchists-in-conversation-recalibrating-anarchism-in-a-colonized-country/

As a Palestinian anarchist I look forward to going back to the roots of the First Intifada. It did not come from a political decision. It came against the will of the PLO.

I don't think that just because someone is not from the region/nationality/group/etc that their opinion is automatically invalid. I see this line of reasoning used often by authoritarian-leaning people of color, and it has predictably toxic effects on organizing. I have even seen first-hand this behavior enacted by confirmed informants who were sent in to sabotage organizing spaces that I have been part of in the past, and it has always worked very well due to the fact that white activist types have exactly zero spine for publicly disagreeing literally at all with any POC. It comes not from a desire to "be a good ally", but rather a selfish fear of losing social capital. This cowardice stifles any kind of real discussion and destroys radical projects, not to mention being pretty transparently rooted in the racist conception of POC as intellectually homogenous with each other. Here is an critique of this behavior (in another context) which explains what I am referring to better than I could (from Taking Sides, edited by Cindy Milstein):

I frequently hear from anti-authoritarian “white allies” that they are working with authoritarian or nonpartisan community groups, sometimes on projects they don’t believe in, because the most important thing is that they follow the leadership of people of color. The unspoken assertion is that there are no anti-authoritarian people of color—or none who are worth working with. Choosing to follow authoritarian people of color in this way invisibilizes all the anarchist or unaligned people of color who would be your comrades in the fight against hierarchical power. Obviously, there is at least as broad a range of political ideologies in communities of color as there are in white communities.

idk, I just want to support APOC, especially when it is unpopular. I totally get that white anarchists in Israel, Europe, the US, that they have too much space in the movement abroad for palestinian liberation. However despite that I really don't think the answer is to elevate and promote statists. To the contrary, I will stand by my assertion that anarchists should be listening to APOC anarchists who are in the situation, and signal boosting their message wherever possible. Obviously, it is not really a white anarchist's role to focus heavily on critiquing the palestinian incipient state-- it's far from the most important or relevant thing we could offer, given that we can achieve much more by elevating the voices of palestinian anarchists and dismantling the subsidization of the Israeli state. However, erasing all reference to anarchist goals in palestine seems highly undesirable, and I oppose this insofar as the sidebar is concerned.

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Dumai wrote

the first thing i posted on raddle was a criticism of this piece! i agree with most people here that it's pretty patronising. i'd add that it is built on a really poor platformist conception of anarchist praxis as well.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Hey, let's get some movement on this: I think there has been a good consensus that we should remove the essay that is currently linked, in my opinion. I was moved by the arguments in favor, for my part.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Suggestion: We could replace "Anarchists against the wall, for the no-state solution!" with:

In solidarity with Palestinian movements against settler colonialism & for self-determination.

Eventually, we could create a list of essays, media sources, etc that are made by Palestinian radicals/anarchists, but for now I think that phrasing is a good substitute.

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kittybecca wrote

As a Jew who lives on Seneca land (because my ancestors had to escape persecution in Hungary and Germany somehow), I think "settler colonialism" is a particularly un-nuanced way of looking at the founding of the state of Israel. Israel was founded by people who, after being expelled from Palestine, lived as constant others throughout the entire world, never being considered full members of their society, always serving as scapegoats, for millennia until the Zionist movement decided (wrongly) that a state was the answer. Israel was founded by people who experienced traumas on top of traumas on top of traumas, and inherited traumas on top of traumas on top of traumas.

European Jews were never real Europeans; we have never been full members of European societies. Not only that, but around 50% of Israelis are either Sephardic or Mizrahi, meaning that their ancestors most likely came there to escape persecutions elsewhere in the Middle East.

Israel is an apartheid state, as it fits the legal definition of apartheid, but to call it "settler colonialism" is to equate Jews with British and Dutch capitalists who colonized the world for purely financial benefit, which is patently false. Jews went there because they were fighting for their lives, to escape from their persecutors. There was no equivalent of the Dutch or British East India Company; there was simply a desire to escape constant and intense persecution.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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Dumai wrote (edited )

Ashkenazi Jewish people are not from the Middle East, they are an obviously caucasian group, probably a migratory population from the western Eurasian steppe who converted during the 12th Century CE. There is absolutely no direct lineage from the Ashkenazi population to that land, and Israeli media panics when people point this out. Recently, the fad has been to actually invoke race science in the field of genetics to try and justify the absurd narrative. Perhaps soon we shall see a return of phrenology, too.

the khazar theory of ashkenazi ethnic origin is a literal white supremacist myth, and it is contradicted by the evidence. the vast majority of contemporary scholars do not take it seriously. most people who do take it seriously are white supremacists (particularly in america, britain, and the former soviet union). it's ironic that you mention "race science" because the theory you're pushing here has been espoused by everyone from 19th century racial anthropologists to mccarthyists to the ku klux klan.

ashkenazi jews generally have a mixture of middle eastern and southern european ancestry. a number in the khazar elite did convert to judaism some time between the 8th and 10th centuries, but there is no evidence supporting the conclusion that khazars converted en masse.

a more sensible anarchist response to ethno-nationalism would be to refute the notion that ethnic ties to a particular geographical location legitimate a claim to statehood. one of the effects zionism had was to secularise/westernise jewish identity -- included in this was the assumption that self-determination requires a institutionalised nation-state. you really don't need to draw on racist pseudo-history and junk science to criticise israel.

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[deleted] wrote

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celebratedrecluse wrote

white anarchists in North America don't stop being settlers because they showed up to Standing Rock and do their best to be in solidarity with anti-colonial movements that are ongoing. I refer specifically to those anarchists acting in good faith. Frankly, I disagree with anyone of any background who says otherwise, I'm skeptical of white people who articulate this, and I'm pretty sure there are at least a few indigenous comrades who share that perspective in all three places you mentioned. But beyond that, it's just how I am defining the words.

don't get me wrong, doing solidarity as a white person is a good thing to enact, but anyone who is part of a settler colonial society is a settler, there aren't moral hierarchies of settler & not-settler depending on your politics. It's just a description of fact: if you are part of these societies, were raised in them, etc, then you are benefiting from settler colonialism by being a settler.

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conseil OP wrote

I was just using the definition given to me by an indigenous activist I know somewhat well. I'm ultimately not that educated in this.

Though, its not my place to define it so I'll keep as much to myself.

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ziq wrote (edited )

support

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

I do not know about these things for sure. I hope people will come up with full arguments for or against that we can engage. Thanks to those who have so far.

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ziq wrote (edited )

The important thing is it's not up to a bunch of people on the internet how Palestine should manage itself, it's up to Palestine. The sidebar limits this forum as only being for anarchists who want a specific solution for Palestine, which is a notion that's bordering on imperialist.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

can't the forum be specifically geared to anarchist perspectives on Israel & Palestine? I don't think it's imperialist to have a forum geared to that, it's not leveling power against palestinians to just have a space for discussion in that perspective. like i have posted below, there are definitely anarchist palestinian activists & writers who can be listened to, and who don't enjoy much space in the existing media to discuss their POVs.

If there are non-anarchists on the site who want a space for non-anarchist discussion of israel & palestine, they could certainly make a forum & I wouldn't object. We could remake the title of the forum to reflect the anarchist focus of this forum, as well, if people would feel more comfortable with that. but i think there is merit in having an anarchist-focused Israel/palestine forum, just because this is rare and deserves more space.

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ziq wrote (edited )

If the people using and modding the forum were anarchist Palestinians, but they're not. It's imperialist for non Palestinians to mandate a specific solution to Palestine's struggle without Palestinian's input.

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alex wrote

i agree with this. if people are interested in finding stuff like what’s listed in the sidebar an internet search is free. it’d be nice to have actual palestinians mod this forum but until then i’d support the link being taken down

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Fair enough. As long as anarchist perspectives are welcomed here (and I mean it's raddle, why wouldn't they be) I have absolutely no issue. In fact, I agree that links to non-palestinian writers who prescribe a specific revolutionary program for Palestine should not be in the sidebar, and that it would be cool to look for APOC palestinian writers to put over there, along with other radical palestinian authors.

I do wonder, however, if we will all feel a bit differently about deferring to palestinian statists when Palestine achieves statehood, or if the anarchist movement grows in Palestine. Perhaps we will look back and think "hm, maybe we should have supported these palestinian anarchist incipient movements more ten-twenty years ago".

But that's a game you could play with any situation, I still think you all are right about removing the hyperlink. I guess I'm just musing/rambling

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conseil OP wrote

maybe we should have supported these palestinian anarchist incipient movements more ten-twenty years ago

I certainly do support them, personally; I just don't think we have the power to write off everyone else, considering we're not there.

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conseil OP wrote

By nature of the site this sub would have a lot of anarchist perspectives on Palestine, but I don't think it should be rule of the sub unless its actually being run by anarchist Palestinians.

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kittybecca wrote (edited )

The important thing is it's not up to a bunch of people on the internet how Palestine should manage itself, it's up to Palestine.

This is exactly one of the arguments Israel uses to shut critics up: it's not up to the rest of the world to determine how they manage themselves. This fails to take into account the victims of Israel's alleged "self-government", and the same is true of any form of statism.

And it's important to remember that the overwhelming majority of Israelis did not move to the area out of a desire to colonize and rule over "the natives", but rather out of a desire to escape brutal persecution and often certain death in the West, the Middle East and North Africa. They were escaping intense persecutions of the sort that no white Western gentile can understand. This doesn't justify apartheid, but it does put the whole "settler colonialism" argument in perspective, adding a lot of cruel irony to the way that actual white Western colonizers conceptualize Israel. Unlike the colonizers of the Americas, Israelis were mostly refugees.

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