Palestine, Ukraine, Neutrality and the right to defence.

There is unlikely to be any supporter of Irish Left With Ukraine who will not also support the latest Palestinian uprising (though I for one by no means approve of attacks on civilians and non-combatants). Today supporters of the Palestinian cause are rightly incensed by the reportage of the Hamas offensive and of the savage Israeli retaliation. At the inconsistency and one-sided nature of that reportage, starting with the RTE radio news bulletins this morning which featured an Israeli spokesperson but no spoken word from Palestine. RTE’s flagship This Week programme had the Israeli Ambassador on. The double standards of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who mixes vociferous support for Ukrainian resistance with crawling support for Israeli actions, sickens any decent humanitarian. And, yes, those in solidarity with Ukraine, including myself, have opposed Ukrainian President Zelensky’s bizarre obsequious salutes to the Israeli regime too. The Irish Left rightly blasts establishment inconsistency. But seems blissfully unaware of the beam in its own eye.

It really doesn’t feel at all like whataboutery, but more like disgust at dismal double standards, to point out the lack of response, the silence, across the Irish organised left to the Russian attacks on civilians of recent days, of the past twenty months, and the contrast with the horror and condemnation being quite correctly displayed over the new Israeli attacks on civilians.

What can be the motivation here but blinkered and politically-guided theatre, without any real feeling for people wherever they are trampled on, without any actual cognition of aggression, invasion, occupation and imperialist colonialism?

What is happening to the Palestinians is monstrous. What is happening to the Ukrainians is monstrous. What does the organised socialist Left and its associated ‘peace’ groups do? It organises a national march on ‘neutrality’ that is really against supporting Ukraine. Just read the text of the leaflet copied here which was distributed at the Cost of Living march yesterday. While issuing statements on the same day offering “full solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people”, while posting on Facebook on the same day ‘End the occupation of Israel’, and then rushing to organise demonstrations for the Palestinians being assailed in exactly the same ways as the Ukrainians (without waiting for the solidarity groups who have campaigned for Palestine all along)!

A post for such a demo actually says, “If Ukraine has the right to defend themselves so do the Palestinians”! While the same people, wearing even the same logos, are actively organising a march for November 4th against the Ukrainians right to defend themselves! Defending the right of Hamas and the Palestinians to defend themselves against Israel while opposing the right of Ukrainians to defend themselves against Russia, and attacking as “a breach of neutrality” even the supply of “flak jackets to the Ukrainian Armed Forces”! This Left rightly condemns Israel but doesn’t even mention Russia in its leaflet for the neutrality march distributed yesterday.

Yes, I’ll be attending the Palestinian protests. No, I won’t be attending the anti-Ukrainian, succour-for-Putin, march in Dublin on 4th November.