Leninist communism is not something that people in the former communist countries yearn for and Zionism continues to be the poster boy for occupation in Israel-Palestine. This was among many things speakers at a panel discussion said on the final day of DLF yesterday.
Titled “Communism and Zionism: Unexpected Futures,” the panel was moderated by writer and broadcast journalist Bee Rowlatt who spoke with Charles Glass, Richard Lloyd Parry, K Nabil Ahmed and Dominic Ziegler.
Critiquing the fundamental rationale of Zionism, veteran journalist Charles Glass asked “Why not give them Bavaria?” referring to the formation of the state of Israel. Acknowledging the tremendous suffering that the European Jews had endured, Glass said, “Look, you were in a burning house and you dropped off the window and you landed on my back and you broke my back. I understand that. But you don't have to go on beating me every day.”
K Nabil Ahmed, a member of parliament from the ruling party Awami League, said that Muslim countries traditionally did not have vitriolic disliking of the Jews. Mentioning that the Jews fared very well with the Ottoman empire, Ahmed said that the negative attitude that prevails within the Muslim world comes from the sense of injustice in Palestine.
Richard Lloyd Parry, the Asia Editor of The Times of London, said, “China achieved this remarkable feat of redefining communism on its own terms.”
Dominic Ziegler, the author of The Economist's Banyan column on Asian affairs said that the communism in china is not the original communism. It is essentially a system of strong centralism and serves to concentrate power. “China intends to persist its current model and export it,” Ziegler said.
Richard Parry said, “I don't think communism is an export commodity. North Korea is the last country standing. Cuba has changed. North Korean communism is clearly a religion, it's a cult. It's not com at all.”
Charles Glass agreed and added, “I don't think there is much yearning for the strict Leninist communism.”
Moderator Bee Rowlatt asked the panelists what they thought of philosopher Karl Popper's statement that freedom is more important than equality. In response, Dominic Ziegler said, “Democratic countries are more likely to achieve that than non democratic countries.”
Referring to the rise of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Parry noted that Corbyn “is unmistakably a socialist.” And despite his unshakable progressive stance on many crucial issues, he added, he is likely to become the future prime minister of Britain.