Well, today I happened to stumble upon a little display set up outside of the North Campus Diner. Who was it run by? My good buddies the International Socialist Organization! To make things even better, they had a sign proclaiming their want for "Justice in Palestine" - hoo-boy.
If you didn't already know, the ISO's motto is that The ISO:
IS DEDICATED to fighting for a world free of all exploitation, racism and sexual oppression— a society whose productive resources are democratically owned and controlled by the working-class majority, and where human need replaces capitalist greed.
Let's define exploitation first, shall we? According to dictionary.com, one can define exploitation as:
1. The act of employing to the greatest possible advantage: exploitation of copper deposits.
2. Utilization of another person or group for selfish purposes: exploitation of unwary consumers.
3. An advertising or a publicity program.
Well, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that these people would be exploiting the very workers they claim to be representing. Don't get me wrong - it's on behalf of the common good, of course. Note also that they want to have "human need [replace] capitalist greed." I don't know about you, but do we really NEED more human need? It's not like this worked when they tried it in Russia. Or North Korea. Or Vietnam... or Cuba... or...
So the first thing I notice was that they had several books lying on the table. Of course, these all cost 5 to 15 dollars apiece, which, if the ISO is true to its word, would eventually get back to me anyway. I had no money on me, so I just stood around. One of their members finally noticed me.
Instead of pulling a charade and inquiring about the ISO, which I knew I would be unable to do with a straight face. Instead, I took my heed from the "Justice in Palestine" sign, and asked for a "dissenting opinion" on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Right, so first he explained that the Israelis were occupying land that rightly belonged to the Palestinians. (Nothing about the UN Mandate or the Spoils of War). He followed that up by explaining how the Israelis were in charge of a racist, apartheid state, and that people who lived in South Africa had gone there to say that the conditions there were even worse than what they had gone through. When pressed for such a source, he could not name one.
He then explained that the Israeli Security fence was being built through Palestine, separating the Palestinian houses from their farmland. While it does pose a couple problems to a select group of Palestinians (the terrorists trying to get into Israel to kill people), this statement is utterly false. Go here
to get the facts on the Israeli Security fence. (thanks to LGF
). However, the man seemed like a genuinely concerned fellow, and felt that he was doing the right thing. He would fall under the title of "naive" left, as opposed to the next group, which would tend to fall under the "nefarious" left.
In recent months, the ISO has become more closely associated with the Students for Justice in Palestine
, as the poster noted. The SJP's main goal seems to be causing the divestment (the opposite of investment) of all American Companies from Israel because of the "Apartheid" wall. Such a solution would cripple Israel, whether these students know it or not (they probably do). This divestment would cause most of Israel to become very poor, and the poor have a tendency to vote in line with socialist goals. Thus, the alliance benefits the two groups. They would like to ruin the lives of millions of citizens to further their own goals, while simultaneously jabbering on about the "power of the people". Instead, a better idea would be to invest in both Palestine and Israel, thus giving LESS people reasons to vote for Socialist parties. I like that idea. ^_^
The SJP is hosting an event at GW on March 11 entitled "Who shot Mohammed al-Dura?". If you're a frequent reader of the blogs in the blogroll-agannouj, you'd probably have a pretty good idea. This should tell you a lot about them.
This isn't the last you'll hear of these two groups, trust me. With the second anniversary of the War on Iraq looming during Spring Break, these people will certainly be organizing rather large protests. It's a shame I won't be there to counter-protest. I'm sure there'll be some back home in Connecticut.
Meh. Enjoy the baba gannouj.