Originally published in Hebrew in Kol Ham’amad (The Voice of the Class), No. 31, September 1947
This was published by the Revolutionary Communist League – Palestinian Section of the Fourth International
Translated from the Hebrew by the Socialist Workers League (Palestine), August 20, 2001
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for REDS – Die Roten.
The members of the UN committee showed “understanding” and “did a wonderful job in a very short time”. With these words the Jewish Agency’s representative, Golda Meier, endorsed the partition proposal. Most of the Zionist parties agreed with them, with certain reservations regarding the “form” of the solution.
The American Foreign Secretary Marshall also shared this opinion. It is well known, however, that the fate of the persecuted peoples is not usually the main concern of the American Foreign Secretary. So his reaction might cause apprehension among those who believed in the good intentions of the UN committee.
What gives the UN proposal to the Jews? At first sight, everything: an immigration quota of 150,000 and more; political independence; about two thirds of Palestine; three big ports and almost all the coastline. That is more than what the optimists among the Jewish Agency members dared to ask for.
Are not this “understanding” and “friendliness” a bit suspicious? Why voted for this proposal the representatives of Canada, Holland and Sweden, who have close ties with the Anglo-Saxon powers? And why voted for it the representatives of Guatemala, Peru and Uruguay, whose policies are dictated from Washington? All the Zionist periodicals, as well as the semi-Zionist ones (the Communist Party of Palestine organs) refused to pose this question. And of course they did not answer it.
But that is precisely the determining question. More important than the contents of the proposal are the motives of those who submitted it. Let us make no mistake! Behind the – in Marshall’s words – “neutral” countries, stand the powers, which are most interested in this issue. The calculations that produced the partition proposal are precisely the same that brought about the partition of India.
What are these calculations? In our period, the period of social revolutions and revolts of the enslaved peoples, imperialism rules by means of two main methods: ruthless and brutal repression (as in Indonesia, Indochina and Greece), or by breaking the class war through national conflicts. The second way is cheaper and more secure, and enables imperialism to hide behind the curtains.
Imperialism has till now successfully employed divide et impera methods in this country, by using Zionist immigration as divisive factor. In this way, national tension was created, which, to a large extent, directed the anger caused by imperialism among the Arab masses in Palestine and the Middle East against the Jews. But lately this method ceased to produce the desired results. In spite of the national tension, a strong and combative Arab working class developed in the country. A new chapter in the history of Palestine opened when the Arab and Jewish workers cooperated in large-scale strikes, in order to force the imperialist exploiters to make concessions. And the failure of the latest attempt, to force the inhabitants of Palestine into a new whirlpool of mutual bloodshed by means of provocations, taught the imperialists a new lesson. Now they drew their conclusions: if you refuse to fight each other, we will put you in such an economic and political position that will force you to do so! That is the real content of the partition proposal.
Perhaps the partition proposal will materialize the Jewish people’s dream of political independence? The “independence” of the Jewish state will boil down to choosing, in a “free” and “independent” way, between two options: to starve or sell itself to imperialism. The foreign trade – both imports and exports – remains as before under control of imperialism. The key sectors of the economy – oil, electricity and minerals – remain in the hands of foreign monopolies. And the profits will continue to flow to the pockets of foreign capitalists.
A Jewish statelet in the heart of the Middle East can be an excellent instrument in the hands of the imperialist states. Isolated from the Arab masses, this state will be defenseless and completely at the mercy of the imperialists. And they will use it in order to fortify their positions, while at the same time lecturing the Arab states about the “Jewish danger” – i.e. the threat represented by the inevitable expansionist tendencies of the tiny Jewish state. And one day, when tension reaches its highest peak, the imperialist “friends” will leave the Jewish state to its fate.
The Arabs will also receive “political independence.” Partition will bring about the creation of a backward feudal Arab state, a sort of Trans-Jordan west of the Jordan River. In this way they hope to isolate and paralyze the Arab proletariat in the Haifa area, an important strategic center with oil refineries, as well as to divide and paralyze the class war of all the workers of Palestine.
What about the “salvation of the refugees from the concentration camps”? Imperialism created the problem of the refugees from the concentration camps when it closed the gates of all countries to them. The fate of refugees is its responsibility. Imperialism is not philanthropic. If it sends as a “gift” the refugees to Palestine, it will do it for one reason only: to use them for its own purposes.
The partition proposal, apparently so “favorable” to the Jews, contains several aspects that are highly desirable from the point of view of imperialism: 1) The concessions to Zionism will be used as a bait in order to get the approval of the Jewish majority; 2) It includes several provocations, such as the incorporation of Jaffa to the Jewish state and the denial of any port to the Arab state, which infuriate the Arabs; 3) These provocations enable Great Britain to appear as a “friend of the Arabs”, which will “struggle” for a second, more just partition. This in turn will help them swallow the bitter pill. In other words, we have here a pre-arranged division of labor.
To sum up: the proposal of the UN committee is a solution neither for the Jews nor for the Arabs; it is a solution pure and exclusively for the imperialist countries. The Zionist policy-makers avidly seized the bone imperialism threw to them. And the “left-wing” Zionist critics, in the name of removing the mask from the imperialists’ game, attack half-heartedly the partition proposal, and call for ... a Jewish state in the whole of Palestine! A bi-national state according to the Shomer HaTsa’ir (Young Guard) proposal is just a fig-leaf for the right of the Jews to impose on the Arabs – without their consent and against their will – Jewish immigration and Zionist policies.
What about the Communist Party of Palestine? It apparently waits for the “just” UN solution. In any case it continues to sow illusions regarding the UN, and in that sense helps to hide and implement the imperialist programs.
Against all this, we say: Let us not fall into the trap! The solution of the Jewish problem, like the solution of the problems of the country, will not come “from above”, from the UN or any other imperialist institution. No “struggle”, “terror”, or moral “pressure” will make imperialism abandon its vital interests in the region (oil stock gave 60% dividends this year!).
In order to solve the Jewish problem, in order to free ourselves from the burden of imperialism, there is only one way: the common class war with our Arab brothers; a war which is an inseparable link of the anti-imperialist war of the oppressed masses in all the Arab East and the entire world.
Last updated on 21.8.2001