Victory to the Intifada! Smash the Zionist aggression!
Fracción Trotskista-Estrategia Internacional: Partido de Trabajadores por el Socialismo (Argentina), Liga de Trabajadores por el Socialismo-ContraCorriente (unificada) (México), Estrategia Revolucionaria (Brasil), Liga Obrera Revolucionaria por la Cuarta Internacional (Bolivia), Clase contra Clase (Chile).
Liga por una Internacional Comunista Revolucionaria: Workers Power (Gran Bretaña), Pouvoir Ouvrière (Francia), Arbetarmakt (Suecia), Arbeitermacht (Alemania), ArbeiterInnen Standpunkt (Austria), Workers Power (Australia), Socialistická organizace pracujících (trockisté) (República Checa), Young Revolutionary Marxists - MRM (Ucrania)

Israel`s army has transformed the Palestinian cities in a slaughterhouse. For weeks the Palestinian people have been bombarded, persecuted, murdered. In the refugee camp Jenin Sharon's blood dogs repeated the work their boss did in 1982 in Sabra and Shatilla. Hundreds have been massacred despite the heroic resistance of Palestinian fighters. Thousands have been detained including the West Bank Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti. Sharon hold to his promise of his "new" policy of "hitting Palestinians hard [until it is] very painful. We must cause them losses, victims, so that they feel the heavy price". These new losses were on top of the more than 1,200 Palestinians killed and more than 18,000 injured since the Intifada began in September 2000.

The new genocidal offensive of the Zionist state has provoked a mass solidarity movement with the Palestinian people around the world. Millions are on the street in the Middle East, hundreds of thousands in the Western capitals and even thousands in Israel itself.

Israel's state terrorism and the Intifada have become a flash point in the whole world situation. Imperialism and the Zionist state are doing everything possible to liquidate the Intifada, which is a just national liberation struggle and has become the symbol for all fighting workers and youth around the world.

The time has come for decisive internationalist solidarity action! Workers and Youth around the world - particularly the anti-capitalist movement in the centre of imperialism in Europe and North America - must lend their unconditional support to the just struggle of the Palestinian people. The international working class must strike Israel where it hurts by organising a boycott of Israel goods. It must provide material aid including sanitary means but also arms and volunteers for the defence of the Palestine people which fights desperately like David against Goliath.


Why Now?

The timing of the recent Zionist onslaught is not accidental. Until now the ruling class in Israel has been unable to defeat the Intifada which started in September 2000 although they suffered serious blows recently like in Jenin. The heroic Palestinian youth, workers and peasants continued their struggle for national liberation despite the murderous occupation policy of the Israel army which caused them more then 1.000 martyrers.

But Sharon's reactionary offensive has provoked an unforeseen backlash and created enormous problems for his masters in Washington. Millions are demonstrating in the Arab streets and denounce their governments for lack of decisive action against the Zionist aggression. In Cairo the first volunteers to support the Intifada have been already mustered. If the present crisis continues the Arab governments - many of them loyal puppets of US-imperialism - could be threatened by popular rebellions.

Hizbullah's military strikes against Israel in support for the Intifada indicate the potential for a widening of the conflict. The refusal of the Lebanese government to stop it show how deep the popular hatred against Israel goes. The danger of a regional war can not be excluded.

The recent escalation is particularly worrying for Bush's administration since it wants to start a new war against Iraq. In the present climax of mass solidarity movement for the Intifada this could provoke an uncontrollable regional explosion against imperialism and its allies. Therefore US imperialism would like to impose a reactionary settlement of the Palestine question to get free hands against Iraq.

Therefore the recent escalation of military aggression is combined with a flurry of diplomatic activity: Cheney's and Powell's trip to the Middle East and the return of Anthony Zinni as Bush's envoy to the region, a Saudi "peace plan" which proposes to swap Arab states' "normalisation" of relations with Israel in return for Israel's withdrawal from the Occupied Territories; Sharon raises the possibility of a "peace conference". And a UN security Council resolution - with US backing - that for the first time backs the idea of a Palestinian state.

These diplomatic activities are combined with increasing criticism of Sharon war drive by UN General Secretary Kofi Annan and the European Union accusing the army of human rights violations. Naturally this criticism is purely hypocritical since it is the UN in whose name the Iraqi people have to starve since a decade. And the EU imperialist powers also "forgot" their human rights concerns when they supported the USA in every major war in the last 11 years (Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan). In fact the motivation for these criticisms are inner-imperialist rivalries of the opponents of the USA.

In fact the escalating violence and the diplomatic initiative do not necessarily exclude each other. The brutal repression by the Zionist state is an attempt to strengthen its negotiating position ahead of any resumed talks on a political settlement by destroying the infrastructure of resistance and the use of mass detentions as a bargaining chip.

However the contradictory interests of the parties involved in this conflict could lead to a major escalation. Important factions in Israel's ruling class look for a merciless destruction of any form of Palestinian independent structures and are considering "ethnic cleansing" of parts of the Palestinian population. The Arab regimes are willing to make a deal with imperialism but are under enormous pressure from their own population which forced them already to distance themselves from Bush's war-drive. The ruling class of US imperialism itself is divided between the "hard-core" and the "moderate" version of the Zionist aggression.

But until now the new Israeli offensive has not broken the Intifada. Even more it has provoked a polarisation inside Israel's Jewish population like never before. The anti-occupation movement of reservists has mushroomed in the last months. Since September 2000 almost a thousand soldiers and potential draftees have now told the army officials that they will not take part in the occupation. In addition unprecedented strong peace demonstration took place in Israel. However a majority of the population supports the reactionary war-drive of Sharon.

The recent escalation in the Middle East are an expression of the explosive contradictions of the new period opened by the world-wide imperialist offensive after 11th September. As we revolutionary Marxists predicted already at that time this new period accelerates the fundamental contradictions of the imperialist epoch: wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions. Clearly the imperialist victory in Afghanistan have opened a reactionary conjuncture in which the USA and its allies are in the offensive. Bush's "war against terrorism" - i.e. against everyone who does not knee before Washington dictates - has encouraged the most reactionary forces around the world to go into the offensive. Sharon, the reactionary coup-plotters in Venezuela, Berlusconi's right wing government - they are the faces of the "new world order" which the US ruling class wants to establish.

But their aggressive war-drive, their reactionary manoeuvres and neo-liberal programs provoke resistance and hatred around the world as we can see in the millions marching against Sharon's genocide, who are participating in the General strike in Italy, the half a million demonstrating against the EU-summit in Barcelona or people around the world jubilant about the failed pro-Yankee coup d'etat in Venezuela.

Indeed the world working class and all oppressed have an immense interest in seeing US imperialism and it's reactionary lackeys defeated wherever it is possible.


The bankruptcy of Arafat's appeasement policy

Under his leadership Yasser Arafat has brought the Palestinian people to the brink of catastrophe. His bourgeois nationalism with its mix of guerrillaism, bourgeois diplomacy, corrupt patronage and brutal repression of opponents has led to a complete failure to secure self-determination for the Palestinian people. The roots of the second Intifada lay in his disastrous decision to co-sign the Oslo declaration of principles in 1993 with Israel and the subsequent detailed agreements (e.g. Cairo 1994) which set out the range of the PNA's powers and security commitments made to Israel.

In accepting to negotiate only for an independent state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians gave up in advance the 78 percent of Palestine land conquered in 1948, the country in which they were an overwhelming majority and owned all but a small fraction of the land just a few generations ago. Worse under the Oslo sell-out barely 18 per cent was ceded to the territory governed by the Palestinian National Authority. In the Gaza strip the Israeli-controlled areas and settlements take up about 40 per cent of Gaza's land - all to "protect 6,900 Jewish settlers living among more than one million Palestinians.

In the last years Arafat showed his true face as a willingly servant of Imperialism and Zionism when he arrested repeatedly Palestinian militants who opposed the Oslo Agreement and continued the national liberation struggle. There is a real danger that even now despite the genocidal offensive of Israel he could be prepared to expatriate Palestinian militants who the Israel army is hunting.

However Arafat's policy is not simply a result of bad calculation or desire for power. It represent the interests of the small Palestinian bourgeoisie and their Arab backers which look for a deal with Israel. But such a deal can never satisfy the interest of the Palestinian masses.


Radical Nationalism and Islamism - a cule de sac

While we unconditionally support the military resistance of the Palestinian people we warn against the cule de sac not only of Arafat's capulationist's policy but also of the alternative leaderships. The militant policy of his opponents inside Fatah and also of the PFLP is in fact only a repeat of the old petty-bourgeois nationalist policy of the PLO in the 1970s and early 1980s. It failed because it never pursued a policy of organising the masses in committees of direct democracy as the Palestinian workers and youth did spontaneously during the Intifada and because they collaborated with reactionary Arab rulers instead of implementing a strategy of mass mobilisations for their revolutionary overthrow.

Islamism is equally incapable of bringing a just solution to the Palestine masses. It's goal is a reactionary rule of a theocratic elite which continues exploitation of the workers and oppression of women. The Islamist's goal is the persecution of all Jews - our's a socialist, common future for both the Arabs and the Jews.

The Palestine workers and youth must lead the war for their national liberation. Not self-proclaimed elite's - be it Arafat or Hamas - must dictate their fate but by organising in popular camp, village and workplace committees of resistance the masses can take the struggle in their hands. Equally militia's like the Tanzim should be brought under the control of the camp and town committees. Organised popular militias - not suicide bombings which drive the Israeli population into Sharon's arms - are the way forward.

The Palestinian masses have nothing to expect from lackeys of imperialism like Mubarak. But they have also no ally in the fake-anti-imperialist demagogues like Saddam Hussein or Khamenei. No, the only real ally of the Intifada is the working class in the Middle East which has the potential to stop the oil industry and hurt imperialism. Only this class together with the oppressed masses has the power to overthrow the corrupt rulers and build workers and peasant governments.

To systematic agitate and organise for such a strategy a revolutionary workers party in Palestine and the whole region is desperately needed. A party which fights for national liberation and against any form of exploitation. A party which struggles against any subordination of the working class to factions of the bourgeoisie (as the cross-class alliance of the PLO does) and for an independent strategy of the proletariat. A party which is fundamentally internationalist and rallies all revolutionary Palestinians, Arab and Jewish workers and youth.


Two states - No solution! For a workers republic in the whole historic Palestine where Arab and Jews could live in peace.

Sharon's military offensive has undoubtedly shifted the political balance of forces in favour of the Zionist state. Sharon will seek in the coming weeks to use this to bring about a "settlement" that further weakens the idea of a Palestinian state, even compared to that which was on offer at Camp David in 2000. Optimally Sharon seeks to get the Arab leaders to "speak" and negotiate for the Palestinians but this is impossible. But he will demand that the PLO/PNA explicitly accepts the retention of Jewish settlements, abandons the "right" of refugees to return and that east Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine. Sharon hopes that a battered and demoralised Palestinian people will come to terms with these demands, pressed by the USA to settle.

The demands may be pressed by Israel in the context of the Saudi peace plan and the UN resolution which supports the idea of a Palestinian state. It has the implicit backing of Bush, Egypt and the Gulf states. Its attraction to Israel lies in ending its economic and diplomatic isolation from the region and hold out the prospect of rich contracts to rescue its flailing economy in the medium to long term.

Several Arab leaders have welcomed the UN and Saudi proposals. But they are as much of a trap as Oslo was. [If the Saudi plan is committed to full withdrawal of Israel to pre-1967 borders, including the dismantling of settlements (or placing them under Palestinian jurisdiction) then it is doomed since Israel will not countenance it. If this is "negotiable" in return for the present (or slightly enlarged) set of discontinuous PNA Bantustans being labelled " a state" by the "international community" and Israel, and this state cannot allow refugees to return home, then it is a recipe for future Intifadas and civil war.]
The proposal is to rewrite this paragrah as follows:

The Saudi plan is committed to a "negociated" withdrawal of Israel to pre-1967 borders, in exchange for the "normalisation" of the relationship between the Arab countries and Israel. In theory, this would include the dismantling of all settlements, (or placing them under Palestinian jurisdiction). Until now it is unacceptable for the Zionist state. But even if it would be succesfull, this "plan" would result in the maintenance or the slightly enlarging of the set of discontinuous PNA Bantustans being labelled "a state" by the "international community" and Israel. This "solution" would keep untouched the conditions of national oppresion of the Palestinian masses.

Any illusion in sending UN peace-keepers are groundless. In fact they are a trap for the Palestinian people. They would be not there to defend the oppressed people but their bosses in the UN security council - i.e. the imperialist big powers. They would be either light-armed weaklings which means that they could not defend the Palestinians. Remember what happened in Sebrenica in Bosnia 1995! Or they are well-armed which could only mean that they would act against any just national liberation struggle of the Palestinians for their right to return since imperialism has a long record of support for Israel.


Two states living in harmony and justice is a chimera. The state of Israel is not only a racist entity, based on the "only" Jews charcter of it´s population, which oppreses also the one millon Arab population that lives as second class citizens in Israel. It is also an agent and gendarme of US imperialism against the Arab masses. It is an enclave and an artificial state founded by the UN in 1948. This led to the expulsion of up to 750.000 Arabs from their ancient land. Today there are more than four millons of Palestinian refugees living in the refugees camps which are deneied their right to return.

The continued existence of an Israeli-Jewish state, even alongside a Palestinian state, would depend on the maintenance of the oppression, the racist citizenship laws and the exclusion of millions of Palestinians from the territory. Far from providing the basis for a lasting peace, this could only condemn the region to further cycles of repression and war.

Moreover, a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel would be like the PNA today - a powerless Bantustan, repressive of those who wished to continue the struggle for real-self-determination and dependent on European and US imperialism's political goodwill and money. The terms of its recognition would leave all the real control and might in the hands of Israel, the right to invade, to limit the nature of the armed power of the Palestinian state and circumscribe the nature of its diplomatic ties and international agreements. In short, it would be neither sovereign nor independent and hence a state in name only.

For these reasons, the destruction of the State of Israel and the expulsion of imperialism out of the region, is the only "just" solution to the Palestinian question. Only a secular non-racist workers republic of the whole Palestine - which has rights for all and privileges for none, where Jews and Arabs could live in peace - in short a Socialist and Workers Palestine can bring peace and justice, because there would not be peace as long as the oppresion continues. This could be the first step in the fighting for a Socialist Federation in the Middle East.

Solidarity with the Palestinian people! Victory to the Intifada! Drive the Israel army out the of the Occupied Territories! Expel the Zionist settlers - front line troops of Zionist expansionism! Release all detained Palestinians including Marwan Barghouti! Arafat must break all ties with CIA; release Palestinians fighters arrested and detained by Arafat;s PNA!
-No to the new Saudi "peace initiative"! Renounce the Oslo agreement and Wye Accords. No return to the "peace process". No stationing of "UN-peacekeepers"!
-No to the Zionist-Imperialist plan for a Palestinian Bantustan! No to Sharon's "peace conference" plan! No to demand to cease all resistance!
-Support the right of national self-determination of the Palestinian people! Down with the racist Zionist state of Israel! For the right of return to all Palestinians to their home and to their property!
-For unconditional and immediate aid - including arms and volunteers - by surrounding Arab states for the Intifada! End all oil supplies to Israel and USA. Break all diplomatic and trade ties with Israel.
-For a world wide solidarity movement with the Intifada! Force all government - particularly those who are close allies of Israel - to break all relations with Israel. Stop all arms supplies and military aid to the Zionist state! For a workers' boycott of goods to and from Israel! For International Brigades to support the Palestine resistance!
-Fascist and extreme reactionary forces want to exploit the present outcry against Israel for their sinister goal - No to any form of Anti-Semitism! No to the attacks against Synagogues!
-Stop the imperialist war-drive against Iraq! In the case of a war we call for the military defence of Iraq and the defeat of the imperialist forces!
-The only solution to decades of oppression and war is the permanent revolution, the overthrow of all the bourgeois governments of the region, a secular workers republic in Palestine with equal rights for Arabs and Jews and the creation of a Socialist Federation of the Middle East.
-For a new World Party for Socialist Revolution - an International which carries the programmatic heritage of the Lenin's Communist International and Leon Trotsky Fourth International.



Fracción Trotskista-Estrategia Internacional: Partido de Trabajadores por el Socialismo (Argentina), Liga de Trabajadores por el Socialismo-ContraCorriente (unificada) (México), Estrategia Revolucionaria (Brasil), Liga Obrera Revolucionaria por la Cuarta Internacional (Bolivia), Clase contra Clase (Chile).

Liga por una Internacional Comunista Revolucionaria: Workers Power (Gran Bretaña), Pouvoir Ouvrière (Francia), Arbetarmakt (Suecia), Arbeitermacht (Alemania), ArbeiterInnen Standpunkt (Austria), Workers Power (Australia), Socialistická organizace pracujících (trockisté) (República Checa), Young Revolutionary Marxists - MRM (Ucrania)