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The Red Review | Issue #3 (November 2023)
Editorial: From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!
Today, the eyes of the world are on Palestine. Why? Because of the genocidal bombardment of Gaza by the Zionist state following the assault on Israeli forces and settlements by Hamas. This present episode followed ongoing brutal repression exemplified by the Zionist pogroms in Hawara and Jenin, and the violent assault by the IDF on worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Over the long term, such attention to Palestine results from the vast reserves of oil in the Middle East. Corporate energy giants seek to control the resources of the world. They try to crush any nation that stands in their way. We witnessed that behaviour when Washington tried to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela, and when it moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, projecting that the Zionist Occupation will be permanent. To that scenario, we emphatically say NO. Free, Free Palestine! Imperialist Hands Off Venezuela!
The Palestinian people are in the forefront of resistance to world imperialism. They did not choose this role. It was thrust upon them. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed, the Western powers carved up the Middle East, just as they did Africa and Asia earlier. In the face of rebellion by the Arab masses, they sponsored a military fortress in the region. They exploited the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust for their greedy goals. But the fact remains: Israel is a colonial settler state. It is an outpost of imperialism in the Arab East. Zionism began as an extreme bourgeois nationalist minority movement. It ran counter to the strong socialist and internationalist traditions of Jews in the Diaspora.
Theodore Herzl, a non-religious Jew, and founder of Zionism, gained sponsors in France, Britain, even Czarist Russia. Later, Canada, the USA, and Christian Zionists joined the project. The Stalinist-ruled USSR voted at the United Nations in 1948 for the partition of Palestine that led to the establishment of Israel. The Zionist state was founded on a big lie: that Palestine was a land without people for a people without land. But the Palestinian people of today refute that lie.
Socialist Action, as part of the world Trotskyist movement, opposed the creation of the Zionist state 75 years ago. We oppose the so-called two-state solution – which is just a cruel cover story for permanent racism and ethnic cleansing. Likewise, the fanciful but reactionary notion of a socialist federation of Middle Eastern states would leave an exclusivist Jewish fortress intact. The truth is: freedom for Palestine is impossible if it is occupied and divided. And as for the Jewish Question, there is no solution under capitalism. The only solution is world socialist revolution. The precondition for that is support for national liberation struggles, which only the working class and poor farmers can lead all the way to victory.
In Canada, recent polls showed a big majority, 66 per cent, support sanctions against Israel. The majority recognize Israel is guilty of systematic oppression and war crimes. Among voters for four out of the five major parties in Parliament, 75 to 94 per cent favour sanctions. But party leaders and the big media conceal this. We say: End the Occupation! Down with the Zionist Apartheid state! Boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. For the right of all refugees to return to their homes. Lift the Siege of Gaza! For a Democratic and Secular Palestine for all its residents: Muslims, Jews, Christians, and atheists! Disarm the nuclear powers, starting with the USA and its Israeli junior partner. Abolish NATO. From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!
Breaking news: Ontario NDP echoes Tory Censure of NDP MPP for her pro Palestinian views
Ontario New Democratic Party leader Marit Stiles expelled Hamilton Centre NDP MPP Sarah Jama from the caucus of NDP MPPs on October 23, just minutes after she was censured by the Conservative-dominated Ontario Legislature. The censure cites Jama's October 10 statement on the internet expressing support for the Palestinian people, criticized Israel’s genocidal bombardment of Gaza, and called for a ceasefire in the conflict. The removal of Jama from the NDP caucus was ostensibly for her potential law suit against Conservative Premier Doug Ford. Her lawyer issued a cease and desist letter to the Premier. It demands that Ford withdraw his own social media post and issue a public apology to Jama who he accuses of being an anti-Semite due to her call for an end to the 75 years of the Occupation of Palestinian territory. Sarah Jama will now sit as an independent MPP, but she will be heard only outside the Legislature because the censure directs the Speaker of the House not to recognize her to speak -- which significantly limits the democratic representation of the voters of Hamilton Centre.
NDP Officials Fail to Silence Palestine Solidarity
by Barry Weisleder - Possibly the most memorable event at the New Democratic Party federal convention, October 13-15, 2023 occurred outside the convention hall, in an adjoining corridor. As NDP leader Jagmeet Singh spoke to under 1,000 delegates (a smaller than usual NDP federal convention), about twenty Palestinian youths and supporters tried to enter the third-floor corridor. Private security personnel blocked most of them in a stairwell. A handful broke through, but only after security assaulted the two Palestinian spokespersons, putting one in a headlock and pushing the woman spokesperson twice, once down the stairs. This was reported in local media as demonstrators’ “assault on security”.
Israel's Genocide in Gaza is No Longer "Incremental"
by Dimitri Lascaris - In 2006, one year after Israel initiated its cruel blockade of Gaza, Israeli academic Ilan Pappé accused Israel of having launched an “incremental genocide” in Gaza.
In so doing, Dr. Pappé warned:
Much depends on the international reaction. When Israel was absolved from any responsibility or accountably for the ethnic cleansing in 1948, it turned this policy into a legitimate tool for its national security agenda. If the present escalation and adaptation of genocidal policies would be tolerated by the world, it would expand and used even more drastically.
Tragically, Dr. Pappé’s warning was ignored.
The BC NDP government stands for “Affordability” they say. How are they doing?
By Gary Porter
The Gross Provincial Product for British Columbia is forecast by RBC to be the lowest in Canada at 0.5%.
Just today the NDP Housing Minister in BC announced that the limit on rent increases in 2024 will be 3.5%. In Ontario, Tory Doug Ford allows only 2.5%. "Affordability" would require a substantial roll back, not increases.
In 2020 data reported as part of the 2021 Census, British Columbia's poverty rate for all persons was 9.8% - tied with Nova Scotia for the highest poverty rate in Canada. The national poverty rate was 8.1% with the lowest poverty in Quebec.Oct 26, 2022. (The poverty rate is the ratio of the number of people (in a given age group) whose income falls below the poverty line; taken as half the median household income of the total population.)
Lessons from the Metro Grocery Workers’ Strike
by Susan Rosenthal - In late July, 3,700 workers organized in Unifor Local 414 struck Metro grocery stores across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for five weeks. Did they win or lose?
Unifor’s press release crowed, “Metro grocery workers ratify historic new collective agreement.” It goes on to praise an “unparalleled contract that sets a precedent for further bargaining” in 13 more grocery contracts.
The Financial Post drew a different conclusion, quoting one grocery worker, “We just spent five weeks on the picket line for that? Oh my God. I feel like crying. It’s the biggest insult.”
The One Million March is not about Parents’ Rights, It is Simply Anti Trans Rights
by John Wilson - The so-called 1 Million March on September 20 against the rights of trans students across the country was reminiscent of the "Freedom Convoy" that plagued Ottawa recently. That is no accident. Most of the March's organizers came from the same political cesspool of bigots, racists and outright fascists.
One good aspect was that this mobilization of haters was in the vast majority of cases decisively outnumbered by supporters of trans and queer rights, including a small town in New Brunswick.
The pretense that the "March" was organized in support of "parental rights" and was not anti-trans and anti-queer was shown to be a lie by the actions and statements of its participants themselves. In Xtra, an article cited a video from Calgary that showed a young Muslim boy, obviously coached, who declared "gays are psychopaths". Presumably no one told him that he was more in danger from "psychopaths" among the people he was with.
John Horgan, NDP Premier of BC in 2017, Declared War on the Environment by Launching the LNG Canada Pollution Project. Eby Continues the War
by Gary Porter - The enthusiastic endorsement in 2017 by the BC NDP government of John Horgan of LNG Canada’s decision to build a natural gas liquefaction facility in Kitimat and a 400 kilometer pipeline to Kitimat, is a triumph of short-term profit over long-term responsibility to act on climate change.
This article considers only the economic and climate effects of this project, not the destruction of pristine lakes and rivers, sources for pure water for indigenous people and animals across northern BC, or the wanton and brutally enforced violation of indigenous UNDRIP rights.
How Did We Arrive at Cheering an Old Nazi in Canada's Parliament?
by Gary Porter - Canada is now world famous for parliament's rousing applause for an old Ukrainian Nazi. Fittingly, it was during President Zelensky's second visit to Ottawa seeking more weapons, not peace. Was this all just a very unfortunate misunderstanding, a failure by the Speaker to do a background check, or did the government really think they could get away with it. Did they believe that celebrating a former member of the hated Waffen SS, a volunteer in the Ukrainian division that murdered thousands of Poles, Jews and Nazi fighting Ukrainians would go by unnoticed. In the Anti Russian fever that has been stocked by the collective imperialist west, are even Nazis, who murdered at least 27 million Russians and Ukrainians in an extermination campaign, now redeemed. In Nuremberg, the entire SS was branded a criminal organization. Does the honest mistake story have any credibility.