At the Democratic Party “debate” on Saturday (12/19), the word “Israel” did not come up once. This is at a time when literally fascist settler thugs are roaming the streets and hills of the West Bank, at a time when there is increasing discrimination against Palestinians inside Israel proper, and when African asylum seekers inside Israel are being rounded up and put in concentration camps. The fact that nobody mentioned “Israel” during the “debate” shows that they all – both the moderators and all three candidates – know that they are on extremely weak ground, none more so than Sanders who has a base among a lot of left and left-leaning people.
Here is a link to a video by David Sheen that documents what’s really happening in Israel. It’s well worth watching: https://youtu.be/sdJIAmLGwbs
While I disagree with your support for Sanders, you should be at least raising some of his weaknesses within his campaign. More than anything else, this means raising what is happening in Israel and his support for Israel. The fact is that he is complicit with crimes against humanity. If you raise the issue systematically and openly within his campaign, I think you might really make a difference; it might start to actually force him to address the issue. But if you don’t make this a public issue, aren’t you allowing this complicity?
In online conversations with quite a few different members of Socialist Alternative, several of them have said they don’t agree with everything that Socialist Alternative is doing. Now is the time to raise your voice, both individually and collectively. Not only in private conversations but in your branches, in the form of resolutions, proposed leaflets, etc. And yes, openly within the broader workers’ movement and among fellow socialists outside Socialist Alternative. Either speak up openly or accept that you, too, are responsible for Sanders’ complicity with crimes against humanity.
Categories: socialist movement, videos/documentaries
At the 38 minute mark of this video, Daniel Kroop, a Socialist Alternative leader in NY, gives a 5 minute summary of Socialist Alternaitve’s strategy with the Bernie Sanders campaign:
This video is the clearest explanation I have seen yet of what SA is hoping to accomplish. Kroop claims that in 2016 the best way for the left to build itself will be to “orient to” (or in other words, join) the Sanders campaign. Kroop explains that the strategy is to work along side, “those activists who are genuinely enthusiastic about what Sanders represents.”
The really odd part of his speech is where Kroop gives credit to Black Lives Matter activists for influencing Sanders into taking a position on the issue of police violence. Kroop implies that this was somehow connected to his own inside the beltway strategy. Maybe he quietly whispered something in Sander’s ear. No prominent SA member has previously supported or given credit to the BLM activists for forcing Sanders hand on this issue. In fact, there was a deafening silence from Kshama Sawant, and SA at the time this intervention occurred. Now, Kroop is appropriating this success as evidence for his own strategy. He goes further, and specifically mentions BLM as one of the movements that can be “built” by “orienting to” (or in other words, joining) the Sanders campaign.
Sanders campaign events have also been protested by Palestine solidarity activists. But again, as John indicates, SA has been too busy cheer leading to include their voice in these protests.
So how does SA go from a muzzled stance inside the Sanders campaign to leading an independent mass movement outside the Sanders campaign? Apparently, one tactic is to assume credit, or at least joint ownership, of any rebellion occurring on the outside while claiming to be organizing a similar kind of rebellion on the inside. When their wet dream comes to fruition, SA will suddenly bolt from the Democratic Party with a powerful independent movement trailing behind them. It’s not going to happen. The expectation is similar to what the winning faction of the Green Party thought it would enjoy back in 2004. They assumed their influence would explode after they refused to support Nader and instead ran a lesser candidate under the “safe states” strategy. Just like the Green Party back in 2004, SA will only succeed in discrediting itself, and losing support.
But thank you, Daniel Kroop, for finally giving a clear explanation of SA’s strategy.