What would Clement do?

A Labour blog that witters on about Clement Attlee. Hurrah for The Major!

“The Arab Street” is Really Angry…

Since the start of the Tunisian Revolution, the combined Dictators, Kings and Kleptocrats of the Middle East have been feeling the wrath of what commentators refer to as “The Arab Street” – which we would recognise as the ordinary fella and his wife…

Events in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Algeria, Lebannon and Iran have been building for a number of years, but the combination of  Tunisian revolt and the leaks from the last round of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations have made for a heady brew.

Anyone who believes in Democracy and Liberty will welcome the discomfiture (possibly defeat) of dictators and their supporters. I do see a number of issue which we as democratic Socialists should be clear about:

  1. Israel has a right to exist. Whatever the debates about Zionism, and however valid they were in the 1930s, the simple fact of Israel means that we have to oppose any move to destroy the state of Israel- it is a recipe for the potential mass murder of millions .
  2. The “Greater Israel” project, meaning the consolidation of gains made during and since The Six Day War must be stopped, and where possible, reversed. Support for Israels existence does not mean uncritical support. The repressive machine that Israel has become must be dismantled.
  3. Bottling up resistance with repression has only led to much more extreme forms of dissent. By undermining Fatah, the Israelis now have to deal with Hamas, the Algerian Dictatorship stole an election from FIS, now they will be dealing with something much more extreme, and then there is Iran…
  4. The West must play a very careful game here – we need to support moves towards Democracy without fuelling accusations that they are our patsies.
  5. The Socialist International, to which Labour belongs, must clean up its own house – the repressive thieves who rule much of  the region are often represented here. For the sake of international solidarity, they and their parties must be expelled.
  6. We must clearly support, as Democratic socialists, the right of free speech and protest against repressive regimes, wherever they are.
  7. However, we should have no illusions about some of the organisations that are seeking to lead these protests – some of them are Islamists, whereas most of the demonstrators are clearly ordinary men and women who have just about had enough…

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4 thoughts on ““The Arab Street” is Really Angry…

    • Really Richard? Then what do you, propose? I did not see this as a recipe for a perfect solution, after all, we are dealing with human beings here, not perfect beings. I would like to see a solution that doesn’t entail the genocide or oppression of one group or the other…

  1. Peter Reynolds on said:

    I agree with all of that but it’s got nothing to do with “we” as “democratic socialists”. I’m here and I agree with the good common sense and human decency expressed in your piece but not with the intellectual error that is socialism.

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