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Leftist views on Hezbollah, Israel-Palestine, Mideast wars

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Soviet cogitations: 4415
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 11 Sep 2019, 14:25
This was split off from another thread, where I asked a comrade versed on the Mideast conflict to share his views on the current tensions in the region. Hopefully it could prove useful to someone, perhaps not just on the site but more broadly in the interwebz:

soviet78 wrote:
What do you make of the showdown between Hezbollah and Israel? Does Hezbollah deserve to be defended by leftists, or do they somehow share some of the blame for the situation? My view is that Israel is just going insane, bombing everyone across the region - including Iraq now and moving to annex chunks of the West Bank, and that they're literally risking that their grandchildren are genocided by angry Arabs in the future if US support was ever withdrawn. But of course it's also true that Iran is supporting Israel's enemies across the region. What do you make of things?


Answer:

Yeqon wrote:
[Re: leftist support for Hezbollah]: As a party and ideology I would say no, they don't deserve to be supported by leftists, let alone communists because at the end of the day, they are in essence an islamist militant organization, albeit an extremely progressive one. Many in Lebanon believe that the only reason that they're so tolerant of other sects, going so far as to fight and die defending religious minorities in Syria, is because of the wisdom and benevolence of their leader alone, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah. What direction the party would take were he to die is something that worries many in that tiny country, and the fact that they're the most powerful organization militarily in Lebanon, far more battle hardened and better equipped that even the Lebanese Army does not ameliorate that concern one bit.

Generally speaking though, I believe we leftists should be defending most any organization if they're in the right, and wherever there's some type of injustice. What Hezbollah have done in Syria fighting radical islamists has been of great service to humanity. What they've done fighting Israel first by liberating the south of Lebanon in 2000 and then by successfully repelling a second invasion in 2006 has demonstrated to Arabs and especially to Israelis that any future expansionist plans they have in the works would come at too high a cost.

The thing about Hezbollah is that they have an extremely strong sense of loyalty towards the Palestinian cause, admittedly an admirable trait, because what the Israelis are doing to Palestinians especially in Gaza arguably amounts to crimes against humanity. On the other hand, Palestinians living in Lebanon have it worse than in any other Arab country, so there definitely is a level of hypocrisy amongst many Lebanese who support the Palestinian cause.

Another huge problem with many Levant Arabs is their narrow minded mentality in thinking of themselves as either Palestinian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian or Iraqi; instead of just Arabs from Bilad al-Sham. This type of thinking is so ingrained in their minds that even some of the Palestinians that I had befriended for almost two decades who were born and raised in Lebanon reject the idea of granting Lebanese citizenship to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, most of whom overwhelmingly had never set foot in Palestine. They steadfastly stick to their Palestinian identity even if that means leaving them stateless and living in squalid and overcrowded refugee camps.

The reason I bring this up is to demonstrate that far-right extremism exists on both the Israeli and Arab side. Anti-semitism most unfortunately also exists amongst Arabs, a fact that we as leftists should openly condemn when need be especially when taking into account that many of our idols the likes of Marx were Jewish. Arab anti-semitism manifests itself most strongly in the reluctance to recognize the rights of Jews to a homeland; and even though as an internationalist I don't recognise the exclusive right of any people to conquered land, I also find it ridiculous to assert that Italians, Russians, Brazilians, and Syrians have a right to a homeland but that Jews don't.

This is not to say that Israelis are any better in this regard, as is evident in practically everything they've done since the start of the Arab-Israeli conflict, from expelling the Palestinians from their homes to blocking any attempt at negotiations to the constant expanding of their de facto borders through occupations and the never ending building of illegal settlements. It seems that everything the Israelis have done is aimed at pushing Palestinians further and further away, and in that regard I fully agree with you in that it's a very risky long term policy that only serves to fuel anti-semitism amongst Arabs.

I am hoping that a lot of what is going on now with all the illegal bombings of neighboring Arab countries is mostly because of that whack-job Bibi Nut'n'Yahoo; and am expecting to see an amelioration in the situation after he's out of politics.

Regardless, I still cringe every time I hear someone like Nasrallah yell "Death to Israel!"; and even though he'd defend that assertion by claiming Israel to be a racist apartheid, a fact true to an extent, I don't find that type of bellicose rhetoric responsible or constructive if peace is to be attained one day.

As for Iran, their position is basically the same as Hezbollah's. They should be defended by leftists in the sense that they are victims of imperialist aggression what with all the sanctions aimed against them, as well as in their support of some of the most progressive elements in the Levant. I however do not of course believe that we as leftists should be supporting them out of hand, because I see Iran's form of democracy to be quite different from a worker's democracy.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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