Choosing sides

After watching SWPer and Israel-boycott supporter Tom Hickey being chewed up and spit out by Alan Dershowitz (of whom I’m not the greatest fan), it’s almost possible to feel a bit sorry for even a Trotskyist groupuscule that has the likes of Hickey as a public face.

But then I remember that the SWP has thrown in its lot with the murderous Jew-haters of Hamas in the struggle with Fatah, and any tendency toward pity vanishes.

If this article in Socialist Worker is any indication, the SWP has concluded that Fatah has sold out the Palestinians and joined with Israel in an effort to crush Hamas, the true face of the Palestinian resistance. Simon Assaf writes :

The graveyards in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan are full of Fatah fighters who fell in the struggle to liberate their land. Their Fatah is dead and gone, replaced by a clique around Mahmoud Abbas that accepts the only future for Palestinians is living under the boot of the Israelis.

The battle now taking place for control of Gaza is one that pits the resistance against both Israel, and Fatah, it’s [sic] new ally.

Or as Hamas’s military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, called it in more refreshingly direct language: the “Jew-American army” of Fatah.

Assaf repeats the standard claim (also made by some of Israel’s more rightwing supporters) that Hamas won “overwhelming backing” in last year’s legislative elections in the Palestinian Authority. In fact, while Hamas did win a big majority of parliamentary seats, its share of the actual vote was less than 50 percent. And it edged out Fatah by a relatively small 44.5 percent to 41.5 percent.

When you consider Fatah’s years of corruption, mismanagement and broken promises, that’s hardly “overwhelming.”