Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-07-05T10:43:19-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Israel Held Secret Talks With Russia, U.S. Over Cease-fire in Southern Syria | Ha'aretz

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 09, 2017 10:41 AM
"If the Iranians do not leave Syria, Israel warned, according to the official, the country will become a base for missiles that will threaten Israel and Jordan, like the situation in Lebanon and Gaza. Iranian presence in Syria could also change the balance in Syria between Shi’ites and Sunnis and undermine the stability of nearby Sunni states, Israel further warned."

Thousands poised to leave Lebanon-Syria border zone under deal | Reuters

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 31, 2017 12:17 PM
"A Lebanese security source said 200 militants with hundreds of their family members, as well as more than 5,000 refugees, were due to leave, mostly towards insurgent-held Idlib. Nusra Front will release eight Hezbollah fighters under the deal, three captured in recent days and five held in Syria, a Lebanese security source said."

Labor left to embrace Corbyn, torpedo neoliberal economics | The Australian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 27, 2017 12:12 PM
"Labor’s left faction will mount a ferocious attack on neoliberal economics at the party’s NSW conference this weekend ... Unions aligned with the party’s left and right factions want to expand their power in workplaces by introducing an unimpeded “right to strike”. This would include ending the ban on secondary boycotts and pattern bargaining, and freeing up unions to take strike action without notice or protected action ballots."

The beginning of a crucial week in Venezuela | Monthly Review Online

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 26, 2017 11:15 AM
"For this week the opposition has called for two days of “general strike” on Wednesday and Thursday. This means in fact a bosses lock out in some companies, but above all a widespread campaign of road blockades and barricades, probably combined with sabotage of the electricity grid in key cities, in an attempt to bring the country to a standstill. Several opposition leaders have made public appeals for people to stockpile on food and basic products for the whole week and stay home. ... Faced with this situation we cannot be neutral. It is scandalous that organisations like the misnamed Party of Socialism and Freedom of Orlando Chirino has in effect joined the opposition offensive, calling on people to participate in their “consultation” and giving public support to their “civic strike”. They have joined the camp of the capitalist class. ... We are implacably opposed to the opposition offensive, which represents the interests of the capitalists, bankers and landowners with the full backing of US (and Spanish) imperialism. This is therefore a class struggle and can only be fought with class struggle methods. Faced with armed assaults against state-owned companies, workers should form Popular Defence Brigades (BDP), armed self defence organisations, like the ones peasant organisations have already set up in Zulia, Barinas and Apure. Last week a caravan of the BDP marched from Santa Bárbara de Barinas to Socopó, in a show of strength and made an appeal to others to replicate their example. It is the time to activate the reserve of the army in which many workers are already enlisted."

Why artists should not perform in Israel | The New Arab

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 26, 2017 10:47 AM
"The 1.5 million Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel face more than 50 laws that discriminate against them, although they form 20 percent of the population of Israel. The two million Palestinians living in Gaza face a decade-old blockade, and they are being of stripped of their civil liberties and basic human rights ... Critics of the BDS movement often argue that there are no campaigns to boycott other countries that also violate human rights, such as Canada or the US. By the same token, there are no calls for boycott from oppressed populations from these countries. There has, however, been a call from Palestinian civil society for the international community to boycott Israel."

More than 100 hardline Jewish settlers occupy house in Hebron | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 26, 2017 10:28 AM
"Palestinian residents said settlers had raised an Israeli flag on the roof of the building they had occupied, known to Israelis as Beit HaMachpela – the house of the patriarchs. Israeli settlers were evicted from the same building after occupying it in 2012, as they had not obtained the necessary permits to purchase it in a city where there is constant friction between Hebron’s 200,000 Palestinian residents and several hundred Israeli settlers who live in the heart of the city under heavy military guard."

Corbyn joins calls to reclaim UK pseudo-public space from corporate owners | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 26, 2017 10:24 AM
"A spokesman for Khan said the mayor understood “the strength of feeling about public spaces and is concerned that the government’s ongoing austerity measures will continue to push cash-strapped boroughs into working with private companies to deliver new, additional public space it cannot afford to create and take on itself. ... Landowners were asked to provide a list of the restrictions and behaviour codes they operate on their sites, as well as details of the private security companies used for enforcement, and information about how ordinary citizens could hold them accountable. All but two of the companies declined to answer."
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