To the Editor:
Carl Gershman’s “The Socialists and the PLO” [October 1979] is one of those rare essays that masterfully marshals all the facts and arguments in support of its thesis—the despicable role of the leaders of the Socialist International in support of the terrorist PLO—and then it transcends that issue to reach its wider implications and consequences—to see the PLO affair as a paradigm of the Socialist International in the process of transformation from a movement aligned with the West in defense of democracy against Communist totalitarianism to one of “neutrality” in East-West relations and uncritical support of the radical parties of the Third World, thus abandoning its democratic essence.
Reading Mr. Gershman’s searing indictment, one is tempted to carry it one step further. Can this be seen also as a remarkable victory for Moscow on the issue of Eurocommunism? The Moscow-ordered split in the Socialist-Communist electoral alliance, which brought about its defeat in the 1978 French elections, marked the death knell of Eurocommunism as a movement within the European Communist parties. . . . Instead, Moscow has succeeded in transplanting a variety of Eurocommunism within the Socialist International, where it ideally serves Moscow’s purpose, while preserving Communist organizational and ideological solidarity. If this is so, Moscow has won a double victory.
Elias M. Schwarzbart
New York City