Hello Fully Automated listeners!
This is a rebroadcast of Episode 10 of Class Unity: Transmissions, as posted here. Transmissions is the official podcast of Class Unity, and I want to thank them for their permission to use this episode. You can find out more about Class Unity over at https://classunity.org/
In this episode of Transmissions, we discuss the recent events unfolding in the Israel-Palestine conflict. In typical Class Unity spirit, we try to focus on the question of what it might mean to approach this conflict from a class first perspective.
A central theme of the episode is the question of how the left seems to have split around the issue of Zionism. As we note, there does seem to be an “anti-anti-zionist” strain at large in the left around this issue. Proponents of this position seem to believe that “Hamas has no support in the Palestinian population.”
Yet, while many of these critics focus on the leadership of Hamas ensconced in Qatar, we seek to address a more rare question in leftwing critiques of this conflict. Namely, who were the fighters of October 7? The key issue, we suggest, is not whether to reject or celebrate Hamas. Rather, it is to understand the objective material conditions and yearning for basic dignity that makes it so easy for Hamas to recruit.
Staying with this notion of the objective material conditions in Gaza, we submit that this might actually be one of the few cases where the admittedly overused concept of settler-colonialism might actually apply.
We discuss the dire economic predicament facing the young and highly educated population of Gaza, the numerous attempts they have made at non-violent resistance, and the brutal response of the Israeli state to these attempts.
Next, we discuss the present political situation in Israel, and the durability of US support in a context of a shifting balance of power in the region. With US power in decline, and the Israeli army no longer as unquestioningly powerful as it once appeared, where is this conflict heading?
Other key elements of this episode include the role of the right of return as a sticking point in previous attempts at creating a negotiated settlement to the conflict. How much longer can this vital question go ignored, and what are its implications for Israel’s status as a democracy? And just what is a good response to people who say Israel doesn’t target civilians?
This episode was recorded on October 29, 2023.
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