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Israel

Running Commentary: PLO Recognition

PLO recognition

    “They’ve taken my legs, but it only means I’m more firmly planted in the soil.” Mayor Bassam Shaka of Nablus (3.6.80).

The terrorist attacks which maimed two West Bank mayors and wounded other Palestinians in Hebron last month were the climax of weeks of mounting violence in the area, provoked by what all governments would term “necessary vigilance for the security of the state”. The victimisation of communities, refugee camps and families by the Israeli security forces—together with arbitrary searchings and beatings—are having the effect of driving the most “moderate” Palestinians into the arms of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, something that Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in the heady days of 1978 was designed, in part, to prevent.

Between the Lines: Windsor Soap

Windsor soap

Dynasty is the name of a tacky American soap opera. Windsor is the name of a curious British dynasty. Of course, in one sense they both serve the same purpose: an escapist show with classy costumes to distract the proles from the woes of life. For socialists, the monarchy really does not matter: it is the class of parasitical loafers which it represents that gets up our noses. Monarchy: The Enchanted Glass (3 December, C4) was an intelligent attempt to get to the root of what the monarchy does. What function does it serve — and whose interests?

The Socialist Attitude to the Kibbutznik

First, we had better define our terms. Most of our readers will probably know what a Socialist is. But if, for example, you think he is a follower of say, Harold Wilson or Nikita Khrushchev, you would be sadly mistaken. Socialists are people who want political power for one purpose only, to revolutionise the world we live in, and change it from a Capitalist system to a Socialist one, where the means of life are owned by society as a whole. Which of course rules out the Khrushchevs and the Wilsons. They want power sure enough. But whatever labourites and communists have used power for, they have never used it for making the means of life into the common property of all the people. No sensible person even expects them to.

Palestine - Dream or Nightmare?

The Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip is “home” to 60,000 people. They live in corrugated iron hovels — on average 16 people to every two rooms. The camp has no proper sewage system; dysentery and malnutrition are rife. Thousands of Palestinians are also treated each year for psychological problems caused by the stress of life in a refugee camp.

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