By Jamie Stern-Weiner
How can the Palestine solidarity movement win? What demands should it make in order to achieve the maximum amount of justice within the constraints of what is politically feasible? And how should it frame those demands in order to reach a broad public?
These are questions of political judgment rather than science. But sound political judgment will be rooted, so far as possible, in a clear-eyed assessment of current (or incipient) public opinion. A movement that wants to persuade a mainstream audience will position itself within or just beyond the spectrum of mainstream public opinion, taking care not to isolate itself by adopting language and demands that lack political resonance.
What in the end matters, moreover, is not merely public opinion but public opinion mobilized and expressed in the realm of formal politics.
The Swedish government’s decision in October 2014 to unilaterally recognize the state of Palestine triggered a succession of European parliamentary motions urging governments to follow suit. Lawmakers in the United Kingdom, France and Ireland called for immediate recognition while members of Portugal’s Parliament urged recognition “in coordination with the European Union.” Weaker motions were passed in Italy while, in Denmark, a resolution calling for immediate recognition was rejected.
Jamie Stern-Weiner is a researcher and editor for Spinwatch and OR Books, respectively, and is founding co-editor of New Left Project. His writing has appeared in MERIP, openDemocracy, VICE, Jadaliyya and Le Monde Diplomatique. The author is grateful to Norman, Michaela, Filipe and Cleo for their generous assistance.
For more of this story, visit: The Struggle for Palestine: What’s Winnable, What’s Not – Truthdig.