Key elements on the Palestinian uprising
Claudia Cinatti
La Verdad Obrera N° 74

The Palestinian uprising against Israel's occupation is going thru its sixth week. The Egypt Summit, the Arab Countries Summit, the agreement between Arafat and Shimon Peres at early November to achieve a "ceasing to hostilities" and the permanent Israeli repression that has killed over 200 Palestinians and injured dozens thousands, have not being able until now to dismantle the "new intifada". The murder of the leader of Fatah, Hussein Abayat, in Belen at hands of the Israeli army, has upset Palestinian masses even more, and it can lead to unpredictable consequences.
As part of the implementation of Sharm Sheik agreements, the US announced the formation of a commission that "will investigate" the crimes committed by Israelis troops, headed by no other than the former senator Mitchel with the help of other "friends" of Israel as Turkey. This "investigating commission" is like jeering in the face of the Palestinian mass movement.
Now the Palestine National Authority president, Yasser Arafat is demanding an international UN force to settle in the occupied territories. Barak's government was able to survive his deep crisis momentarily thanks to the incidental support given to him by the Shas, the party of the religious right-wing, whom are opposed to any other negotiation instance other than the United States. Israel will try to have the US raise the status of their relationships to the category of "strategic ally".
President Bill Clinton will make one final attempt to reach a truce in the confrontations and to establish the bases for negotiations to continue. However, due to the crisis opened after the US presidential elections and the end of Clinton's government make it difficultly to think that the imperialist politics will succeed in the meetings with Arafat and Barak.
Imperialism, the state of Israel and even the so-called Zionist "left", all call for a "negotiated outcome", but for them, this the way to achieve the submission of the Palestinian peoples. Revolutionaries denounce those "agreements" and "summits" for "peace" that condemn the Palestinian mass movement to live under national oppression.
In the previous issues of LVO we introduced our readers in several articles to the situation in the Middle East and its relation to the Palestinian uprising. In this issue we will try to answer the to the main queries on this conflict and envelope the politics of the revolutionaries.


Is a fair peace possible with two states?

To respond to this question it is necessary to revise shortly what it is and how the state of Israel was founded. In 1947, the United Nations consecrated the partition of the Palestinian territory and the foundation of the state of Israel, amid the bloody opposition of the Arab masses that you/they were majority in the region. This state was created artificially about the base of the native population's expulsion, the expropriation of its lands and a true ethnic cleaning, and it is sustained and armed with nuclear equipment for United States. From the beginning it has acted as a gendarme of the imperialistic interests against the Arab masses, completing a crucial list in the control of the calls routes of the petroleum", be worth as example the Israeli participation next to France and Great Britain in the war against Egypt in 1956, when the government of Nasser had nationalized the Channel of Suez.
The Zionist left and the pacifist Israeli movements that defend this state, without questioning their colonial origins and their alliance with imperialism against the Arab masses, argue that the peaceful and fair solution to the conflict between Palestinian and Israelis is to build "two states" , but they hold up, against the Israeli right that the frontiers of the Hebrew state should not include the territories occupied in 1967, among them the East of Jerusalem, and the Jewish colonies in Palestinian territory that have not ceased growing in the past years.
"Progressive" publications as Le Monde Diplomatique equal the national aspirations of Palestinian peoples to have their own state to the colonialist expansion of the state of Israel, outlining that: "the fancy idea of a ' Great Israel' or of a reunified Arabic Palestine belong to a long-perished past" and they continue describing the betrayal of the OLP in their renouncement to fight to "dismantle the Zionist entity" as "realism". (Argentinean Edition - November 2000).
The existence of the Zionist state was legitimated by the National Palestine Authority, accepting in the Oslo agreements the existence of "the two states". The definitive separation in two "states", one Jew and one Arabic, by means of diplomatic coercion or by the use of force, is an old plan both of the right-wing Likud as well as of the Laborists. The only Palestinian "state" they are willing to accept is in fact a fiction, a group of isolated Palestinian ghettos, without territorial or economical resources, without armament, surrounded by colonies and guarded by thousands soldiers'. The Palestinian "state" is similar to the Batustanes of the south-African "apartheid" régime, its function is to supply cheap labor-force for Israeli companies. The acceptance of this "state", also means that the four million Palestinian refugees barely surviving in refugee camps at Lebanon, Jordan and other neighboring countries, would forever lose their right to return to what once were their lands.
Ehud Barak's laborist government wants the unilateral separation of the Zionist state, to define their own frontiers according to their interests, absorbing the establishments of Jewish colonies in Palestinian territory and in the city of Jerusalem, as its capital city. This would go accompanied by policies of gaining Jew influence over cities of Arab majority as Galilea, as a way to neutralize eventual uprisings from Arabs living as second-class citizens inside Israel.
Far from being a realistic or even fair outcome as some pretend, the solution of building "two states" means the express acceptance of the colonial oppression carried out by the State of Israel and Imperialism over the Palestinian mass movement.


What do Islamic leaderships reflect?
The growing discredit of Arafat due to his constant capitulations to imperialism and Israel and the unbearable conditions of oppression lived by Palestinian peoples, have strengthened the radicalized Islamic currents to the left of Arafat, as the Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the Hezbollah, this last one based in Lebanon. These organizations inspired by the Iranian revolution, denounce the fake "peace process" and they call to continue the struggle against Israel and against Imperialism. They distortedly express radicalized sectors of mass movement of the region and they recruit the most combative activists of the national Palestinian struggle. The collaboration of Arafat and Palestinian police with the Zionist intelligence services and even with the CIA, to fight against "terrorism" has granted many members of Hamas and Jihad to be executed and thousands imprisoned. The revolutionaries unconditionally defend these organizations from the repression of the Zionist state and the Palestine National Authority. But these leaderships do not represent a progressive alternative for Palestinian mass movement. Their strategy is for establishing a state enemy of labor class heading the oppressed masses of the region to confront imperialism and their local subservient governments with independent policies. The 1979 Iranian revolution is a very clear example of the results of this cross-class collaboration strategy. The régime of the Ayatollas is what prevented the Iranian labor class that had created independent organisms, as the "shora", fighting with its own methods and throwing down the hated pro-imperialist régime of the Sha of Persia, from taking over power. Instead of taking advantage of the revolution to build a labor state, and using it as a lever to fight for socialist revolution all through Middle East, a state emerged that although it kept relative independence from imperialism, it founded a reactionary theocratic regime that denied all independent expressions of the mass movement, keeping bourgeois forms of property and drowning revolution.
The methods of individual military actions of the organizations prevent the mass movement from creating their own democratic organisms and from being at the lead of the struggle for national liberation. At the same time it allows the Israeli Zionist bloc, deeply divided by the crisis caused by the Palestinian uprising, to maintain a reactionary national unity, appealing to "security" reasons and trying to justify the massacres of their army as defensive actions from the terrorists.
The official and oppositionist fractions of Palestinian leaderships of Al Fatah and the OLP, as well as the different Islamic leaderships are enemies of the independent mobilization of the mass movement, of the self-organizing and arming of Palestinian people and Middle East mass movement, the only way to defeat the Zionist state. The policies of these currents keep Palestinian's upraise in impotence, as a street revolt of youths facing with stones the tanks and missiles of Israeli troops.


Who are the allies of Palestinian mass movement?
The destination of the current Palestinian uprising is not only being played in the streets of Gaza, Cisjordania and the Arab cities of the state of Israel, but also in the main cities of Arab and Muslim world from Africa to Indonesia and the Persian Gulf. Millions have taken the streets to express active solidarity with the Palestinian national liberation struggle. The proletariat from the main countries in the region, as the Egyptian and Iranian proletariat are the only ones who can fight along Palestinian masses and oppressed peoples for true independence in the region, against their own subservient governments and imperialism.
Workers and oppressed peoples in the world as Latin American mass movement that is standing up against the IMF plans should take the Palestinian struggle as their own, since they confront the same enemy.
At imperialist countries a new movement of anti-capitalist youths has expressed in Seattle, Washington, Millau, Melbourne, London and Prague. They have argued the perspective of internationalist struggle against capitalism and oppression. This movement fighting against poverty, social inequality and oppression caused by capitalism should support the Palestinian uprising that is at the moment, the most advanced struggle against imperialist oppression. The American youths that carried out heroic demonstrations against the Vietnam War, become a powerful ally that allowed the first military defeat of US imperialism at hands of a small oppressed nation, showing the potentiality of unity among youths at central countries along workers and peoples oppressed by imperialism. This new anti-capitalist youth should follow this path. The revolutionaries make an urgent call to all the organizations that claimed to be leftists and anti-imperialists, to every labor organization, to the anti-capitalist youths, to sectors of Jewish community that are upset due to the crimes of Zionist state, to put forward a huge international campaign to support the uprising of Palestinian peoples.


Which is the strategy of Marxists?
The Trotskyites supports the current Palestinian uprising unconditionally. We defend their right to national self-determination that will only be possible with the destruction of the racist state of Israel and the expulsion of imperialism. We denounce the "peace agreements" that imperialism looks forward to impose and that Arafat has accepted, since they only seek to guarantee the existence of the Zionist state and condemn the Palestinian masses to national oppression and misery.
We defend and support the democratic demands of mass movement, as the engines of revolutionary mobilization. We follow the method of Trotsky when he for example supported the right to a "Black Republic" at South Africa, demand raised by mass movement organizations. Also we defend the right to a Palestinian and non-racist state upon the historically Palestinian territory, based on the destruction of the Zionist state, historical demand of Palestinian mass movement that the OLP has abandoned. But we clearly point out that a state where Arabs and Jews can live in peace, will only be possible with a government of workers and peasants in a Worker's and Socialist Palestine; because in a world ruled by imperialism, based on the oppression of most peoples in the world, only the power of workers and exploited masses can bring democratic demands to be fulfilled entirely. The policies of nationalist bourgeois leadership at OLP has made possible the emergence of a "Palestinian elite", in which Arafat and a circle close to him benefit from the economic assistance of imperialist powers while peoples suffer unbearable living conditions. Their strategy for capitulation in the best of cases will lead to establishing a bourgeois "mini-state" where exploitation and oppression not disappear.
The Palestinian peoples are resisting heroically, confronting with stones the Zionist troops. But to win it is necessary for Palestinian uprisings to overcome their actual limitations. The massive demonstrations and arming of mass movement in the region are necessary, and the independent actions of the most concentrated proletariat at Middle East, because this is the only way to defeat the Israeli army, the fourth most powerful army of the world and with them imperialism. Also important are the active solidarity of world oppressed masses and of youths and workers that from Seattle to Praga, have rejected the power of corporations and the IMF.
The current leaderships of mass movement, in the first place Arafat, are staunch enemies of this perspective. Only a revolutionary leadership of workers, truly anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and internationalist, will be able to bring the struggle for national liberation of Palestinian peoples to victory, and to put forward a program responding to the interests of labor class of Middle East countries against their local governments and imperialism, and to use Worker's and Socialist Palestine to fight for a Socialist Federation of Middle East.




Fighting against Zionism makes you an anti-Semite?
For years, Zionism has tried to be identified as the natural ideology of Jewish communities. This reactionary political movement, and particularly its "left" wings, consider that all opposition to their colonial and pro-imperialist strategy to be an expression of " anti-Semitism".
This is an absolute fake. Zionism, the movement that promoted a state for Jews, began developing at the end of XIX century, in a moment in which anti-Semitism and prosecution of Jews was growing in Europe. Only a minority of Jews supported Zionism. A great part of Jewish workers at European countries were part of socialist movements and parties. Important Jewish revolutionary leaders as Leon Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg, fought strongly against racism and Zionism, that looked desperately for some imperialist power to support their project of establishing a Jewish state at Palestine, even negotiating with famous anti-Semites as the Russian czar. Zionism was approved by imperialist governments because they offered to call off the attention of Jewish workers from revolutionary parties, isolating them from the rest their class brothers.
Later during the Second World War, the horrors of holocaust and racism in the "democratic" imperialist countries that denied immigration rights to prosecuted Jews, made the project of Zionism to gain popularity.
Cynically, the Zionist state has used the sufferings of Jewish peoples at hands of Hitler to justify their own methods, that were no different than those used during the nazi Holocaust. The conquering over the territory used to build Israel was taken ahead with the methods of ethnic cleansing of Arab masses living in the region. This is how the famous "land without people" that the Zionists seek to created, expelling almost a million Palestinians. Later, in different wars against the neighboring Arab countries, the Zionist state continued extending its territories.
The racist and colonialist tradition of Zionism and their alliance with different imperialistic powers -first Great Britain, later the US - are the foundations of the state of Israel.
The slaughter of Palestinians perpetrated at Sabra and Chatila, the "legal torture methods" used upon against Palestinian prisoners and the 200 Palestinians killed in the past six weeks, many of them children, are only a few examples of the oppressor and racist character of Zionism and the services they give to imperialism against the oppressed masses that fight for their liberation. Paradoxically, those who accuse of "anti-Semites" to all who denounces these atrocities and that stand for the destruction of Israel, are the same who encourage the open expressions of anti-Semitism of extreme right groups that have begun to resurge, mainly at European countries that use the crimes of the Zionist state to justify their racism.
The revolutionary Marxists are internationalists, and we fight for the unity of labor class and oppressed peoples of the world regardless race, religion and nationality, to defeat the capitalist system that creates excrescences such as racism and anti-Semite, and to establish socialism. This is the only effective struggle against anti-Semite racism as against Zionism, both expressions of capitalist oppression.