Thanks for your excellent piece in GLW #737 on the 1968 Tet offensive. It filled a gap in my knowledge on the Vietnam War. It's a pleasure to read well-written articles in the media. (You can imagine what kind of print media we get out here in the west of NSW).
Wagga Wagga, NSW
The letter in GLW #738 on Gaza by Steve Brook and David Rothfield is a good example of one penned by those who are incorrigibly supportive of Israel in its dealings with Hamas and Palestinians generally. However they wish to convey the impression of infinite reasonableness. It's the approach one takes when it is difficult to defend the indefensible and we should not be taken in by such letters, reports or commentaries.
So although the joint writers may communicate the opinion that it is not a good image for Israel at home and abroad with its policy of putting the Gaza Strip under siege and applying collective punishment, they would know that having a good image hardly matters. It never has mattered when you possess the military might to insist on the conditions you want to impose, or to have what you have taken over many decades and mean to keep: that is, land on which Palestinians had lived for centuries.
So when communicating earnestness of balanced concern in regard to the latest cruel manifestation of Israeli power, they urge Israel to seek a new way forward through diplomatic channels, opening a dialogue with Hamas and creating space to establish a dynamic political process.
Ho, hum. Here we go again. No genuine interest in justice. What is meant, is to persuade pesky Hamas to stop bothering Israel with their infernal rockets, so that Israeli citizens can live comfortably and in security. At the same time persuade Hamas and Palestinian sympathisers the world over, that everything is OK. It's alright. Black is white. Get used to the simple fact that we aim to forever control your old territories we've built settlements upon and made our own. We may even keep nibbling away for more land. But it's all perfectly in order because you see, in the end we have the military might to keep crushing you if you don't see things our way. But of course, we don t wish to actually express our will quite so crudely as that. Afterall, we're civilised and have the right values.
Mt Nelson, Tas
In GLW #738, a letter sent in by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society stated: "This policy has failed to
stop the firing of rockets on Israeli towns ... weaken the hold of Hamas". The Hamas-led government was democratically elected by Palestinians! What right has anybody to try to "weaken the hold of Hamas"? Perhaps the writers could have shown their support for democracy by saying that Israel should be a land where its entire people have equal rights as opposed to a apartheid regime where one group has rights and the other basically has none.
The AJDS letter writers demand protection for Israeli from "rockets" fired into Sderot. I accept that deliberate firing into civilian areas is an international crime; but so is deliberately placing civilians in the firing line. Israel could easily protect Sderot's population by moving them.
Israel never has an issue with "moving" Palestinians (if you can call getting your home smashed while you are still inside asleep), so why not move the Sderot population if their protection is of prime importance?
As is usual, the writers try to show some form of equality between Israelis and Palestinians, as opposed to the truth — reverse David and Goliath and you're near the truth.
Israel is using Sderot's population as a tool to show how it is Israel that is under "daily attack" as most media present Israel's predicament. "Daily attack" is not used when the victims are brown-skinned Palestinians.
It is the Palestinians who are actually being murdered in their own Warsaw Ghetto, with the irony being it is the Jewish state that is turning the screw of collective punishment.
The authors used moderate language towards Israel and its policy of attempted genocide (to use Ilan Pappe's view) and it does not seem to occur to them that the current situation is the result that Israel has diligently worked towards for decades.
A final note: Israel was offered a long-term "hudna" (cease-fire) years ago by Hamas, but refused it because the reality is that Israel has little interest in peace or human rights for non-Jews.
Via email [Abridged[
As GLW publishes what the ruling class do not want us to know anything about, such as the progress being made in Venezuela or the campaigns of the socialist parties in other parts of the world, it is of paramount importance to increase the circulation of GLW. We should aim to have it it sold in newsagents and street stalls.
We now have a government that uses the appellation "Labor" but whose leaders brazenly assert that they are fiscally conservative. Who do they think they are fooling when they claim to be for labour?
The simple truth is that they want to show the Business Council of Australia and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry that, although they claim to be for labour, they can administer the capitalist state just as well as the conservative coalition that lost the November election.
The ambitious Labor politician is attracted by the emoluments and social status that the ruling class are able to offer them and of course, ego-gratification is important to them.
The best we can expect from Labor are a few reforms and a less servile attitude to the United States government. Under strong pressure from the working class, they can be compelled to repeal the worst legislation of the previous Coalition government.
GLW is rendering a very valuable service to the labour movement , and every avenue should be explored by its supporters to increase its circulation.