This statement is published here in solidarity with those struggling against Zionism in Israel/Occupied Palestine.
Transcribed by Daniel Rubinstein.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for REDS – Die Roten.
Thirty-four years ago Israel attacked Jordan, Egypt and Syria, and conquered the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. Immediately after the occupation the Zionists carried out an ethnic cleansing of 300,000 Palestinians, which were added to the nearly one million expelled in 1948. To the surprise of the Israeli leaders, the Palestinian people continued to struggle against occupation.
In 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon in order to destroy the Palestinian resistance movement. With Sharon’s consent, the Israeli-backed Maronite militias carried out the massacres of civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The PLO fighters were forced to exile in Tunisia. The Israeli leaders, who believed that in that way had put an end to the resistance against occupation, were again surprised by the outbreak of the Intifada in 1987.
When the PLO signed in 1993 the humiliating treaty of surrender known as the Oslo Agreements, the Israeli leaders were convinced that this time they had definitely smashed the Palestinian resistance. They continued with their policy of land robbery, settlement building and destruction of Palestinians houses. Again to their surprise, in September 2000 a new Palestinian popular uprising broke out – this time with the active participation of the Palestinian “citizens” of Israel, which were tired of the Zionist lies and empty promises of equality in the face of daily oppression and discrimination. Zionism and imperialism have no response to the Palestinian demands for freedom and self-determination except repression and mass starvation.
In the Land Day and the Nakbah Memorial Day demonstrations, the Palestinian masses on both sides of the Green Line showed their resolution to fight in order to achieve their right of self-determination in a unitary state on the whole territory of historic Palestine. Their slogans emphasized the common character of the struggle, from Sachnin and Haifa to Shchem and Gaza. A unitary, democratic and secular republic in the whole territory of historic Palestine is also the interest of the overwhelming majority of the Hebrew-speaking population, which has everything to lose from occupation. It is the interest of all those who want to stop the bloodbath and live a common life in this country.
The PLO leaders, who represent the interests of the Palestinian bourgeoisie, as well as the opposition parties and organizations in Israel which support the partition of the Palestinian people under the cover of a “peace process”, can only serve the interests of imperialism, the Zionist rulers of Israel, and the reactionary Arab regimes – that is to say, of the parasites who live at the expense of the work and suffering of the masses in the Middle East.
The solution of the national problem in this country can only be conceived as a single unitary, secular and democratic state, granting equal rights to all. It was in this way that, more than 200 years ago, the great French Revolution solved the problem of a common life for different ethnic and religious groups within the framework of a single state. But today the Palestinian bourgeoisie is too decadent and afraid of the masses to raise this demand. Only the working class, together with the peasants and refugees, can realize this simple idea under the slogan: For a Secular, Democratic and Socialist Republic in the Whole Territory of Historic Palestine!
There are organizations and people which call themselves left but demand “international protection” for the Palestinians. They argue that the answer to the carnage of Palestinians in the territories, the policy of closure, the assassination of opponents to the Oslo Agreements, the firing of bombs and rockets from helicopters, the use of F-16 planes, etc., lays in the deployment of an international (especially European) force in the territories conquered in 1967. This demand is completely against the historical experience of the masses. Great Britain and France are imperialist countries directly responsible for the creation or exacerbation of most national problems in the region. Even during the last decade, Iraq and Serbia were brutally attacked by these “international forces”. To spread the illusion that the imperialist aggressors of Iraq and Serbia will protect the Palestinians plays into the hands of those who want to smash the Palestinian national struggle.
Only by winning the support of the masses in the Arab countries, together with the Kurds, the Iranians, and the working-class and poor among the Hebrew-speaking population, can the Palestinian uprising succeed. In spite of the military superiority of Israel, supported by the US and European imperialists, the Palestinian struggle for national liberation can win because it is an inseparable part of the growing struggle against global capitalism. It is only a question of time till the masses in the Middle East join the struggle against imperialism and the local regimes that cooperate with it. But in order for this struggle to succeed, it is necessary to build a leadership able to mobilize the workers, at the head of the peasant and refugee masses, under the slogan: For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
The struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination showed the emptiness of the claim that there is any significant difference between right and “left” Zionism. Those parties, which represent the interests of the Israeli capitalists and land robbers, are now united in the Sharon-Peres government of war criminals. To crown it all, the president of Israel, Sharon’s accomplice Moshe Katzav, takes a leaf from the book of the Russian pogromists of the time of the Czar and covers up his friend, Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert, by blaming the Palestinian and foreign construction workers for the collapse of the Versailles wedding hall! The present government of Israel, where 1,300,000 citizens live under the poverty line, lacks 13 millions to pay for its crimes, which it means to raise by oppressing even more the working masses. Against the Zionists propaganda for “national unity”, we must patiently explain that the ruling class in Israel is the enemy both of the Palestinian people and of the working class, the unemployed and the poor, who live not only in the Palestinian villages and refugee camps but also in the “development” towns and the poor neighborhoods of the cities.
In spite of the efforts of the United States, which is afraid of a popular uprising in the entire region, to bring about a cease-fire, and of the willingness of the Palestinian Authority to accept the conclusions of the Mitchell Report in order to sign a refurbished version of the Oslo Agreements, the opposition of the Palestinian people does not allow Arafat to consent to a new surrender – for the time being. In the present situation, the most immediate danger is that the Israeli government of war criminals may attempt to find a way out of the current impasse by provoking the outbreak of a new regional war, which it will use as a pretext the undertake a new ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. In that case, the claim of the masses, including the Hebrew-speaking masses, will be that of Lenin during he First World War: Peace to the Cottages, War on the Palaces!
In order to stop the preparations for this war, it is necessary to organize immediately mass demonstrations under the slogan: Down With the Government of War Criminals! We issue a call to the Arab parties, Hadash, Abnaa El Ballad, the Arab Students’ Committees, Gush Shalom, Women in Black, and even Meretz to organize demonstrations in which all parties and organizations which in one way or the other oppose occupation and the Apartheid regime will be able to participate bringing their own flags, slogans and leaflets. For a common action against the common enemy without hiding our political differences!
Our demands in these mobilizations will be:
Last updated on 8.8.2001