“PALESTINIANS ARE IN THE RIGHT — MUCH WRONG HAS BEEN DONE TO THEM BY ISRAEL AND ITS PRINCIPLE BACKER – THE USA…ALSO BDS IS WORKING AND COSTING ISRAELIS $8 BILLION” — TARIQ ALI
“Interview: Tariq Ali on Gaza, BDS, ISIS and Iraq” by Al McKay, an editor-at-large of E-International Relations August 18, 2014
Tariq Ali is a longstanding editor of the New Left Review and has written seven novels, screenplays, works on history and world politics. His latest book, “On History: Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone in Coversation and The Obama Syndrome.”
Tariq Ali discusses the recent Israel-Palestine conflict, the BDS movment, the rise of ISIS, and Obama’s commitment to long-term US involvement in Iraq.
I studied Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and Mao with a more critical eye in Pakistan. Not until I arrived to study at Oxford in October 1963 did I really understand Cuba, Fidel. and Che.
When the USSR collapsed it was the end of an epoch. But one couldn’t just say, “Ah, the slate has been wiped clean and we can start afresh”. It marked the triumph of capitalism and the ideologies associated with it — a global counter-revolution. So what was to be done?
Some on the left admirers of Communist regimes simply shifted their loyalties to the new order — Becoming as dogmatic in its defence as they had once been in relation to Russia, China, Yugoslavia, North Korea….
For this flexible left, “globalization” was the goal of USA and NATO and Israel.
This process is not exactly novel — Britain experienced defeat + defeat of the revolution in France = One must recognize defeat, and adjust to change.
Many of the important ideas of the last century will still be useful.
In Israel-Palestine conflict the Palestinians are in the right. Much wrong has been done to them by Israel and its principal backer, the USA. The Israelis treat them as “inferior people – untermensch”, and tried to destroy their historical memory, and are now attempting to destroy them as a political entity and destroy their quality of life.
What are Israeli government’s political aims in Gaza?
TARIQ: Israel wants to intimidate and the destroy Hamas and its supporters (most of 1.7 million living in Gaza), and ecpand the puppet regime of the PLO in the West Bank as a administrator group over Gaza — Goal supported by USA, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well.
Has there been a perception shift towards Israeli use of force? Has this shift provided hope to the Palestinians?
TARIQ: Polls show a vast majority of European citizens are opposed to Israel’s most recent assault on Gaza (Like Iraq), but public opinion has no real force. Certainly the shift gives support to the Palestinians, allies, but that is not sufficient to alter the overall situation.
The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is it still an effective approach?
TARIQ: It’s the only alternative to non-violence and its damaged Israel with $8 BILLION IN LOSSES according to the Palestinian National Initiative movement — due to the boycott campaign against illegal settlements, equivalent to 20 per cent of its GDP. If the figure is accurate, the movement has been a success.
Obama’s has committed USA to a long-term involvement in Iraq in response to ISIS(L) — What do you think?
TARIQ: Its Nonsense. The real reason is to make sure that the USA-Israeli protectorate in the Kurdish region remains safe.
TARIQ: USA GOAL = Divide Iraq across religious lines into splintered weak failed states. Its what I called balkanisation of Iraq.
Hillary Clinton says the rise of ISIS(L) is due to the failure of the USA to help rebels in Syria?
TARIQ: That is another absurdity. The USA helped arm Syrian rebels via Turkey. Qatar/Saudis/Turkey/US backed the so-called moderate Islamists — ISIS(L).
TARIQ: USA did not bomb Assad out of existence, because they were unsure of the consequences. — Clinton supported the war on Iraq and saw what happens if you completely destroy a regime — You get the rise of ISIS(L) when USA destroyed all the structures of the old regime.
TARIQ: If USA destroyed Syria (like Iraq), we would have had an even worse situation than now, with at least three different wars taking place.
Some of the loudest voices calling for military intervention in Iraq, and previously intervention in Syria, are the COMPROMISED LEFT (Euston Manifesto). What effect does the Euston Manifesto have on the political left? Is it a modern leftist internationalism?
TARIQ: The COMPROMISED left are “liberal imperialists” like the long pedigree in Britain — Fabians and Labour upheld the British Empire and defended its values long after the independence of India in 1947. Labour governments played an appalling role in Malaya and Aden in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. They had no need of a “humanitarian” ideology, since they were still infected by civilizational zeal. In short they are NOT LIBERALS AT ALL.
TARIQ: Students should read, read and read some more while becoming active. In UK and USA the political party of the left don’t exist. Greece has the Syriza, Spain has the Podemos, and Germany has the Left Party [Die Linke], Scotland has the Radical Independence Campaign and Stop the War in Britain are the best transition to radical left politics.