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.
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
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
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
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
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
Radical Nationalism and Islamism - a cule de
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
Two states - No solution! For a workers republic
in the whole historic Palestine where Arab and Jews could live in
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
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
-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
-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)