Netanyahu Chooses Warehousing By Jeff Halper

Would Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu say the magic words “two states” after his meeting with President Obama? All Israel held its breath. (He didn’t). The gap between the two is wider than those words could ever have bridged, however. Obama, I believe, sincerely — perhaps urgently — seeks a resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, a pre-condition, he understands, to getting on with larger, more pressing Middle Eastern issues. Netanyahu, who rejects even the notion of a Palestinian mini-state as grudgingly accepted by Barak, Sharon and Olmert, is seeking a permanent state of “warehousing” in which the Palestinians live forever in a limbo of “autonomy” delineated by an Israel that otherwise encompasses them. The danger, to which we all should be attuned, is that the two sides might compromise on apartheid — the establishment of a Palestinian Bantustan that has neither genuine sovereignty nor economic viability.

For his part, Obama seems to understand the strong linkage between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the hostility towards the West so prevalent in the Muslim world. His administration has been quite candid about the need to move forward on Palestine in order to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue, and his ability to withdraw from Iraq, stabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan and deal with the challenge political Islam poses to the “moderate” Arab states also depend, to a meaningful degree, on forging a new relationship with the Muslim world, which requires an end to the Israeli Occupation.

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More twists in the tale of Binyam Mohamed By Andy Worthington

23 May, 2009 –

Binyam Mohamed may have returned home but his struggle to secure evidence from the government about his torture continues

Former Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed has been back in the UK for two months, but his lawyers’ year-long legal struggle to secure evidence from the British government – relating to its knowledge of his torture in Pakistan and Morocco between April 2002 and May 2004 – shows no sign of being resolved.

Last August, two high court judges – Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones – ruled that the government’s involvement in this period of his detention went ‘far beyond that of a bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing’. This was because two intelligence agents had interrogated Mohamed in May 2002, when he was being held illegally in Pakistani custody, and because the British government conceded that it had exchanged intelligence with its US counterparts after Mohamed was flown out of Pakistan by the CIA in July 2002.

The judges recommended that 42 documents relating to Mohamed should be released by the government – or, failing that, a seven line summary of the evidence compiled by the judges themselves – but for the last nine months the government has refused, repeatedly claiming that to do so would cause irreparable damage to the relationship between the UK and US intelligence services.

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Marx, Marxism and the Cooperative Movement By Bruno Jossa

25 May, 2009 – Economics, University of Naples Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2005

1. Introduction

Karl_Marx_posing1.jpgOn several occasions Marx declared himself strongly in favor of cooperative firms, maintaining that their generalized introduction would result in a new production mode. At different times in his life he even seems to have been confident that cooperatives would eventually supplant capitalistic firms altogether. Lenin also endorsed the cooperative movement and in a 1923 work (entirely devoted to this subject) he went so far as to equate cooperation with socialism at large. More precisely, besides describing cooperation as an important organizational step in the transition to socialism, he explicitly argued that “cooperation is socialism” (Lenin, 1923). All the same, ever since the time of the Paris Commune the cooperative movement has received little attention from Marxists.

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Video: Iran: Saman Salour, "The Final Match"

25 May, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

Saman Salour was born in Boroujerd, Iran in 1976. His last feature film Lonely Tune of Tehran was screened during the Directors’ Fortnight a the Cannes Film Festival last year. ‘The Final Match’ was made as part of Art for the World’s ‘Stories on Human Rights’ on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. See, also, ‘Interview with Saman Salour on ‘The Final Match” (Art for the World, 9 February 2009).

Guillaume Andreux and Charlotte Pello, “Ken Loach: ‘Make the Interests of Ordinary People Come First'”

25 May, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

En route to the Cannes Festival, where he is to present his latest film (Looking for Eric), Ken Loach stopped by in Marseilles on the 16th of May. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the great miners’ strike in Britain, the NPA 13 and the Païdos Library invited the English director, whose works include Which Side Are You On?

What was your reason for coming to Marseille?

Because you asked me to! [Laughs.] The success of the NPA fills me with enthusiasm. Today, the Left is in a catastrophic state, partly because it lacks the leadership it needs. The NPA is a response to this need. I’m here because we are at an important moment right now, politically. Hundreds of thousands of people are now abandoning the old way of doing politics, tired of the establishment that has caused the current social situation. If we don’t take advantage of this moment, we may have to wait another 15 to 20 years before finding a new political opportunity. That’s why I think the NPA is a great hope.

You recently stated that the NPA was the type of project that Britain — as well as Europe in general — needed. What are the conditions that could make such a project possible in Britain?

There is a huge rejection of politics and traditional politicians. There is a political vacuum on the Left, especially on the Center-Left. What’s more, the economic system is in a horrendous state. Everyone realizes that things must change. There is therefore an obvious opportunity for the Left. There are attempts to unify the radical Left, like Respect, which has unfortunately been unable to avoid splits, marked by sectarianism. Nevertheless, there still remains a solid core that can give life to our ideas. In Britain, candidates of far-left organizations are standing in the European elections. The problem is that the Left is fragmented in too many small groups. What is needed is a united front. As long as we remain divided in small far-left parties, we won’t be taken seriously.

What do you think of the idea of a new International of anti-capitalist parties?

It’s a complex issue that requires serious discussion. We need to get together to think about it together, and we need to create a program and organize ourselves. In the face of globalization, we must impose our idea of internationalism. And we need to respond, on a European scale, with a new party of the Left. A party that makes the interests of ordinary people come first, above the demands of capital. Our goal should be to define a new social and economic structure that allows us to achieve this result. And I really hope that the NPA is the basis of this movement.

The original interview ‘Ken Loach : « Faire prévaloir les intérêts des gens ordinaires »’ was published on the Web site of the New Anti-Capitalist Party on 20 May 2009. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi.

Joe Bageant: A redneck view of the Obamarama

25 May, 2009 – Joe Bageant

bageant.jpgWhen it comes to expressing plain truths, few are as gifted as American rednecks. During recent travels in the Appalachian communities of West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky I’ve collected scores of their comments on our national condition and especially President Barack Obama.

In America, all successful politicians are first and foremost successfully marketed brands. In fact, the Obama campaign was named Advertising Age’s 2008 marketer of the year. George W. Bush’s brand may have ‘collapsed,’ as they say on Madison Avenue, but things don’t change much. Rednecks instinctively know this:

‘It don’t matter who gets to warm his butt in the White House chair,’ says a West Virginia trucker. ‘The top dogs eat high on the hog and the little dogs eat the tails and ears. That’s what them bailouts is all about, and that’s the way it is no matter who’s president. So you might as well vote for the guy who looks like the most fun because you gonna be watching his ass on television for the next eight years.’

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