A few questions for Irish Socialist Party comrades

Reprinted below is a leaflet written by a supporter of the Bolshevik Tendency living in Cork, Ireland who was struck by the starkly contrasting attitudes of the Irish Socialist Party (SP) and their American comrades in Socialist Alternative, over the 7 October 2023 breakout from Gaza led by Hamas.

The responses of SP members at the pro-Palestinian demonstration in Cork on Saturday 9 March reflected this difference and ranged from: “We didn’t write it—take it up with SAlt in the USA,” to “Different sections [of the International Socialist Alternative] have different emphases,” to “We don’t agree with them, and the issue is being discussed”.

In a 21st December 2023 article the Socialist Party’s sister organisation in the United States, Socialist Alternative, described the 7th October Hamas attack on Israel as follows:

What Happened On October 7?

“Hamas militants massacred 1,200 people from dozens of Israeli communities, including working-class towns like Sderot and Ofakim, as well as seizing control of Israeli military bases. It did not spare Jews and Arabs who worked or volunteered as part of medical teams and rescue teams that provided an initial response. It also targeted other oppressed nationalities like those living in impoverished Bedouin villages in the Western Negev desert. In the shadow of the massacre, the attack included the largest-ever kidnapping incident of Israeli citizens.

“Among the kidnapped were Jews, Arabs, and immigrants — there were also babies, children, and elderly people. The mass slaughter in the various areas had an extremely sadistic character and included, as it appears from the records and the forensic autopsies, a pattern of acts of torture, burning people alive, the slaughter of babies and children, the slitting of throats, decapitations, the amputation of limbs, sexual violence and rape, in addition to the mass execution of 364 people at the Nova music festival.”

This account gives the impression that the Hamas attack on Israel on 7th October was primarily concerned with indiscriminate slaughter of civilians with the actual main target – Israeli military bases – only being some kind of side issue.

The Socialist Alternative article’s sensationalist claims about the “sadistic” nature of the “mass slaughter” read like a memo from the Israeli embassy – the facts of which by the time of the publication of the article were being widely discredited. See for instance https://www.tbsnews.net/features/panorama/what-really-happened-7-october-753058 or https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-really-happened-october-7/5837833… and more recently in this comprehensively researched analysis – https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/October-7th-.pdf

There is no indication on the Socialist Alternative website that this sordid regurgitation of Israeli government propaganda about the events of 7th October has been retracted or corrected.

So I have the following questions:

Do Socialist Party members stand on the description of the events of 7th October as outlined in the Socialist Alternative article?

If so, why do you believe this account despite the evidence discrediting it?

If not, what are you going to do about it?