True Colours Shining Through?

On the Green Party’s Palestine & Israel discussion list, Green Party members have been urging a bigger Green Party presence at UK pro-Hamas rallies. Jessica Goldfinch, Norwich Green Party, responds.

‘Green is the colour of Hamas; green is the colour of resistance’ – for some reason when I read this, the 80’s classic, by Cyndi Lauper, ‘True Colours’ popped into my head.

The last time I checked the Green Party of England & Wales has no affiliation to Hamas and yet to have gone unchallenged that we should have more green banners at Gaza protests because ‘Green is the colour of Hamas; green is the colour of resistance’, demonstrates at least a tolerance for the idea.

I was going to go into a potted history of Hamas, the meaning of its acronym, its election to power in Gaza, its documented treatment of Gazans and so on, but there is really no need. There is evidence and counter-evidence all over the web and we are all capable of doing that for ourselves and drawing our own conclusions. However, whichever opinion camp you find yourself in, the following issues are still up for dispute at the very least and questions remain unanswered:

  • The essence of the 1988 Hamas Charter still stands under articles 6, 7, 22, 31 & 32.A ‘temporary truce’ or hudna does not mean recognition vs. Hamas is prepared to recognise Israel along the 1967 lines – various western & eastern political commentators have views on this.
  • Hamas was not democratically elected, (seats won, Hamas 76 – 43 Fatah), in the way thatmost democratic countries would understand free and open elections vs. Hamas is the democratically elected government of Gazan-Palestinians.
  • Despite reform and change, Hamas is responsible for: the summary executions and torture of collaborators and Fatah members; incidences of persecution, torture and murder of men,women, Christians and LGBTIQ citizens; the deaths of 100s of children predominantly from tunnel building & training as combatants and using its citizens as human shields vs. not the case/ unproven.
  • Hamas is designated, (as a whole or as constituent parts); by some countries and the EU as a terrorist organisation vs. Hamas is not a terrorist organisation.

So, whichever opinion camp you fall into, should ‘we’ talk to terrorists? Clearly history shows us that eventually talks do happen. Slowly, agonisingly so, previous arch enemies sit & make uneasy peace. We know, from the Irish-British “Troubles”, that hundreds of years of animosity can be overcome.

However, there needs to be the ‘right’ conditions for talks to begin, even for so-called ‘unconditional’ talks. Who do you talk with? – my personal opinion here is that Jordan, (two thirds old Ottoman-Palestine), should not get-off for this and be part of the solution too. Who is most representative? High level training in diplomacy and peace negotiations? A ‘human’ touch maybe?

The current Israel-Palestine tragedy is embedded in, not just decades, 100s of years of ethnic-religious-geo-political conflict and whether we like it or not, the solutions lie with the politicians and citizens of the region, with conditions of trust enhanced and fear reduced. There may be help from outside, which enhances these conditions. The conditions which are not needed are ones in which venom, demonization and rabble-rousing, glamorous cause celebre sound bites.

Crass comments undermine the peace process, undermine the Green Party’s credibility and reputation and are dangerous.

Crass comments include: we should have more Green Party banners at Gaza protest because green is the colour of resistance, green is the colour of Hamas.

Is this unchallenged comment our ‘true colours’ shining through?

I hope not.

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7 thoughts on “True Colours Shining Through?

    1. Rangjan

      The idea that Bennett or Lucas would support Hamas is laughable. Should we also ask them when they stopped abusing children? This seems to jump from one ridiculous statement made by a GP member (although I note that there is absolutely no context given) to arguing that we need to call out the leadership. Way to go!

      Reply
  1. Jessica Goldfinch

    I haven’t asked them personally, it gets tiring chasing the tail all of the time. With the ‘autonomous’ structures within the Green Party, it’s frustrating that the buck doesn’t seem to stop anywhere as such. this needs to change, in my humble opinion.

    Further, I like to see and am most impressed by politicians, who aren’t backward about coming forward on other related issues, step up and state their position clearly and unequivocally, without prompting or badgering.

    This, for me, is the sign of solid and mature leadership…harder in practice no doubt, when everyone wants a piece of you.

    Reply
  2. Andree Frieze

    Thank you for bringing up this issue. I myself have commented on The Green Party website about the very one-sided policy that came out of conference which only called on Israel to take action after the recent conflict (https://my.greenparty.org.uk/news/results-conference-0). At the very least, coming from a party that prides itself on its fairness, this call is not even handed, a its worst it is anti-semitic as outlined here: http://t.co/Oj3YLn3qDr and here: http://cifwatch.com/how-we-define-antisemitism/.

    I am an active Green Party member, and I support many of its aims, but I find myself at odds with it over its policy towards Israel and Hamas. Although not Jewish myself, I am married to an Israeli (whose family were kicked out of Iraq in 1952), my great-great grandparents were Jews who escaped the pogroms of Eastern Europe at the end of the 19th Century, and we are members of a Liberal Jewish synagogue. If you’re reading this you may say therefore I’m ‘too close’ to the issue, but just look at what came out of conference, and ask yourself, inherently, is it fair to call on Israel alone? Then, read the defnition of anti-Semitism, and ask yourself if The Green Party is applying double standards to Israel.

    Reply
    1. Rangjan

      OK, I just read the motion on Israel at last conference and it doesn’t call on Israel to do (or desist from doing) anything. It does (inter alia) call for the UK govt. not to supply arms to Israel. We already have such measures against Hamas, and other states. Can you maybe clarify what you mean by being one-sided and “calling on Israel alone”?

      Reply
      1. Mira Vogel Post author

        Glad to hear you think it is ridiculous to invite Hamas into the movement. Please keep in mind that there have been some extremely concerning cases of platforming-sharing by senior Greens in the past.

        The motion takes some decoding, as all boycott motions do. The kind of BDS the GP has decided to go with is open ended so that those who wish to interpret it as a campaign to end Israel’s existence may do so. It is utterly contemptuous of Israel – refuses to acknowledge any defence needs whatsoever, and seeks to disarm and remove defences (I know of no other security barriers the GP refuse to tolerate – and there are so many to choose from). Make no mistake, this is not a wedge-driving, settlement boycott, of the kind the EU is supporting. It shows no signs of being first-and-foremost a pro-Palestinian strategy at all – it is an Israel-eliminationist boycott and it is effectively pro-war. It’s really that singular and that sinister.

        Would you be able to link to, or describe, the measures against Hamas and other states? Why then does the boycott motion simply not refer to them? In that way the GP could have pre-empted any charge of singular treatment on that count.

        Reply

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