Socialist Fight Statement on Occupied Palestine/Israel 2/8/14

01/08/2014 by socialistfight

 

It is necessary to produce this statement by Socialist Fight alone in the first place and then to submit it as a draft to the LCFI because in Socialist Fight No2, Summer 2009, the International Trotskyist Current, the forerunner of the Socialist Fight Group, which produced Socialist Fight then, issued the following: Socialist Fight Statement on Israel/Palestine: For a Bi-national Workers’ State, in which many errors were made by perpetrating the positions inherited from the Workers International League /Leninist Trotskyist Tendency and we need to repudiate and correct these with this statement.

Gerry Downing for the Socialist Fight Group [1]

 

Socialist Fight Statement on Occupied Palestine/Israel

2/8/14

As we write this statement the death toll of defenceless citizens in Gaza city has surpassed 1,400. Horrific war crimes are have been committed daily by the Zionist murder machine which the whole world can see. Israel has kept the 1.8 million inhabitants of Gaza under lockdown siege for seven years now since June 2007 after Hamas won the elections to the Palestine Legislative Council in 2006. Israel bombs them every few years; “mowing the lawn” as one particularly fascistic Israeli army officer put it. Only one nation gives Israel implicit permission to carry out this mass slaughter and protects it in the United Nations and elsewhere from resolutions and any effective action to rein in their attack dog; the USA.

Israel assassinated Arafat to replace him with their agent Abass

Israel assassinated Yasser Arafat on 11 November 2004 by Polonium poisoning almost certainly with the assistance of their agents within the PA. According to Global Research:

“In August 2003, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared “all out war” on the militants whom he vowed “marked for death.”…“In mid September, Israel’s government passed a law to get rid of Arafat. Israel’s cabinet for political security affairs declared it “a decision to remove Arafat as an obstacle to peace.” Mofaz threatened; “we will choose the right way and the right time to kill Arafat.” Palestinian Minister Saeb Erekat told CNN he thought Arafat was the next target. CNN asked Sharon spokesman Ra’anan Gissan if the vote meant expulsion of Arafat. Gissan clarified; “It doesn’t mean that. The Cabinet has today resolved to remove this obstacle. The time, the method, the ways by which this will take place will be decided separately, and the security services will monitor the situation and make the recommendation about proper action.” (See Trish Shuh, Road Map for a Decease Plan, http://www.mehrnews.com November 9 2005).”[2]

The reluctance of Abbas to investigate the assassination and his obvious attempts to cover it up and in line with his quisling role as exposed by the Mask of Zion:

“Since 2005, Abbas’s Palestinian ‘Authority’ has been cooperating with the Zionist entity through ‘security coordination’, which links the two illegitimate powers to a crackdown on all elements that support Resistance to Zionism. Despite denial after denial by Abbas himself and his spokespersons, he finally admitted to this filthy collaboration in March of this year. Israel and Mubarak’s regime have transferred weapons to Abbas, and the US has given Fatah hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to undermine Palestinian Resistance, chiefly Hamas, and to strengthen the Zionist stranglehold on occupied Palestine.”

The two intifadas

Although Arafat was notoriously corrupt nevertheless he was assassinated because he operated politically by balancing between Israel and the Palestinian people. He endorsed the intifadas to a certain degree; he looked after the families of suicide bombers etc. and opposed the Israelis to a very limited extent. Abbas is simply an Israeli stooge who would never win another election. But the two intifadas were the real story of heroic resistance by the Palestinians. The first began in 1987 and ended with the signing of the Oslo accords in August 1993 and the creation of the Palestinian National Authority. The Second Intifada (also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada) began in September 2000 and ended in 8 February 2005 with the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit when President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to stop all acts of violence against Israelis and Palestinians and reaffirmed their commitment to the Roadmap for peace (extracted from Wiki). This was how the first Intifada was defused but it caused yet more problems. However Hamas won outright the election to the PLC (PA legislature) in January 2006:

“The result was a victory for Hamas, who won with 74 seats of the 132 seats, whilst the ruling Fatah won just 45. In terms of votes received, Hamas took 44.45% of the vote, whilst Fatah received 41.43% and of the Electoral Districts, Hamas party candidates received 41.73% and Fatah party candidates received 36.96%.” [3]

Israel did everything it could to disrupt this election and refused to recognise its outcome, the last the “only democracy in the region” has allowed the Palestinians to have. As Wiki tells us:

“In the lead-up to the elections, Israel launched on 26 September 2005, a campaign of arrest against PLC members. 450 members of Hamas were detained, mostly involved in the 2006 PLC elections… 15 PLC members were captured and held as political prisoners…The Carter Center, which monitored the elections, criticised the detentions of persons who “are guilty of nothing more than winning a parliamentary seat in an open and honest election”… After the capture of Gilad Shalit on 25 June 2006, Israel launched a series of raids into Gaza and West Bank. Israel destroyed civilian infrastructure and arrested dozens of Hamas supporters, including elected cabinet ministers and members of the PLC. On 28 June overnight, the army invaded Gaza and performed airstrikes, bombing infrastructure such as bridges and an electricity station. On 29 June, the IDF detained from the West Bank 8 ministers and 26 PLC members in addition to many other political leaders. By August 2006, Israel had arrested 49 senior Hamas officials, all from the West Bank, including 33 parliamentarians, “because technically they were members of a terrorist organisation although they may not be involved in terrorist acts themselves”.” [4]

The Israelis, backed up by the “Quartet on the Middle East” (the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia) refused to accept the result of the election, implicitly endorsing Israel’s attacks on the only freely elected parliament the Palestinians had ever had. They imposed sanctions to be lifted only when the Palestinian government has met the following demands: Renunciation of violence, Recognition of Israel by the Hamas government (as had the PLO), and Acceptance of previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority.

Gas and Israel’s support for Abbas against Hamas

However the international sanctions on PA were terminated in June 2007, following the Battle of Gaza, in which Hamas took over Gaza, ousting its rival Fatah. At the same time a new and more severe blockade of Hamas-governed Gaza Strip was initiated. And there we still are with Hamas confined to Gaza, although they are the legitimately elected authority for the whole of the Palestinian nation and Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah/PLO, the authority recognised as the government on the West Bank by Israel and the “International Community” (those who agree to do the bidding of the USA), although they lost the election. And Abbas has had no electoral right to govern since his term of office ran out in January 2009 but he is recognised as the President nevertheless because he is the puppet of Israel and the “International Community”. The PLO’s Central Council had styled him President of the State of Palestine, which ridiculous title he still sports. Hamas correctly does not recognise his authority at all.

The 2006 election of Hamas and the driving out of the tribal warlord-based Palestinian Authority in the battle of Gaza in June 2007 was a big blow against Israel, the political expressions of what remains of the gains of the first two intifadas. Although Hamas is potentially no less reactionary and more so on social issues than the PA nevertheless it is fighting Israel now. It expresses the anger of the oppressed, in a very distorted way it is true, so it deserves unconditional but critical support against Israel right now.

Israel wants to break the resistance of the Palestinians by eliminating Hamas and imposing Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Gaza. This is partially to secure the rights to the natural gas off the coast and also to have far more complaint and corrupt puppets operating in Gaza. Arafat made Israel agree to pipe the gas into Gaza but that was before the 2006 elections.

Israel aims to take total control of the Levant Basin gas and out of the hands of Hamas. This is precisely what is happening in Ukraine to take control of the Shale gas in Donbas on behalf of Dutch Shell and Joe Biden’s son’s company Burisma Holdings. It is probably also the reason for the ‘revolution’ against Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Sisi coup. Morsi would have had to open the crossings from Egypt into Gaza. Revolution News spells it out here on their website.

“Israeli defence minister and former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $6.5 billion. Ya’alon dismissed the notion that “Gaza gas can be a key driver of an economically more viable Palestinian state” as “misguided.” The problem, he said, is that: “Proceeds of a Palestinian gas sale to Israel would likely not trickle down to help an impoverished Palestinian public. Rather, based on Israel’s past experience, the proceeds will likely serve to fund further terror attacks against Israel… A gas transaction with the Palestinian Authority [PA] will, by definition, involve Hamas. Hamas will either benefit from the royalties or it will sabotage the project and launch attacks against Fatah, the gas installations, Israel – or all three… It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement.””[5]

So the elected authority Hamas should get the gas revenue but they can’t be allowed to have it because they would use it for “terrorist purposes” argue the Zionists, therefore we must steal it. Arafat had forced Israel to agree to pipe the gas into Gaza but that was before the 2006 elections. Hamas might be able to use Russia as a bargaining counter against Israel at some point because of the Ukraine conflict. According to Revolution News:

“But the PA is also courting Russia’s Gazprom to develop the Gaza marine gas field, and talks have been going on between Russia, Israel and Cyprus, though so far it is unclear what the outcome of these have been. Also missing was any clarification on how the PA would exert control over Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.” [6]

We know the answer to the last question now, Operation Protective Edge! We would also caution against what game Putin might be playing here in light of his manoeuvres with Imperialism over the Ukraine. Note he is making the deal with the PA, the unelected ‘government’ recognised by the “International Community”. Russia is part of the Quartet that imposed sanctions on the Palestinians for electing the wrong people in 2006.

The Israel-Palestine conflict is clearly not all about resources. But in an age of expensive energy, competition to dominate regional fossil fuels are increasingly influencing the critical decisions that can inflame war.

Right-wing nationalists attack a central Tel Aviv protest against Israel’s bombing of Gaza on Saturday, 12 July.

 The West Bank, Israel Itself and International support

Hamas did not murder the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped in the West bank. Netanyahu knew this from the start yet chose to use this excuse to attack Gaza. The Israeli police itself just recognse that the rationale for the beginning of the current massacre was a scam. [7]

Although opinion polls show massive support for Israel’s mass murder, as high as 87%, nevertheless there is opposition within Israel – large protests in Tel Aviv which have been attacked by fascists, this is just one:

“Since the assault on Gaza began, CPI and Hadash have been organizing and leading a series of demonstrations and activities against that assault, calling to immediate ceasefire and to keep all civilians, Palestinians and Israelis alike, out of this bloody conflict. Throughout our activities and initiatives, fascist and racist mobs attacked us verbally and physically, while the Israeli police have hardly done anything to stop that. Those violent attacks were practically promoted by Israeli neo-fascist government that continuously incites against all progressive and democratic forces in Israel, especially against CPI and Hadash and even more so against the Arab-Palestinian population that resides within the state of Israel proper.” [8]

And only the Third Intifada, uniting the West Bank and Gaza with the opposition within Israel will thwart this plan, in which the unelected Abbas (since 2009!) is undoubtedly complicit. Talk of exterminating 1.8 million or driving them out into another diaspora is not yet politically possible. That would require a global fascist triumph – that has definitively not happened yet. Even in west Ukraine there is a big revolt against the Kiev Maidan.

Mass demonstrations internationally in almost every major city in the world for Palestine are in sharp contrast to the actions of the mass media and the behaviour of governments in the United Nations. Only one nation, the USA, gives Israel a blank cheque in that body, wielding its veto to prevent any serious condemnation or any hope of international intervention to stop the slaughter. And the votes or abstentions of every individual nation starkly reveal their dependency on US finance capital that the consequent necessity for them to grovel to the USA in the United Nations and everywhere else.

But in protest at the Gaza mass murder the governments of five Latin American countries; El Salvador, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru withdrew their ambassadors from Tel Aviv. This reveals that: On the one hand, the popular international solidarity against the Palestinian tragedy is an element that presses sharply on the semi-colonial governments. These semi-colonial governments feel strengthened by the rise of Eurasian bloc and the BRICS, and to this extent against Israel, testing how far they can advance in the establishment of relative political autonomy in relation to imperialism. Moreover, the timid diplomatic measure, although progressive, does not have major consequences in economic and military relations between Israel and these semi-colonial governments. Revolutionaries must require complete rupture of relations these governments with Israel to isolate Israel and simultaneously expose the diplomatic demagoguery of semi-colonial governments.

The Rights of Nationalities in a Multi-ethnic Workers state

Socialist Fight stands for a multi-ethnic workers’ state in Occupied Palestine/Israel and is totally opposed to a two state solution. We are for the destruction of the settler-colonial state of Israel and for a Multi-ethnic Workers State of Palestine in a Socialist Federation of the Middle East.

The Zionist state is an outpost of imperialism; the US subsidises its military expenditure to the tune of over $3 Billion annually. This expenditure is to maintain a bridgehead to militarily protect imperialism’s access to oilfields in the Gulf and Caspian Sea and crush any revolutionary developments that might threaten US interests in the region. Only the Third Intifada, uniting the West Bank and Gaza will thwart Israel’s plan.

We do not recognise Israel as a nation. This Zionist law grants every Jew in the world Israeli citizenship and the “right to return” on the basis of their mother’s religion as determined by a religious court whilst denying the right of return and citizenship to Palestinians who were born there who were driven out in 1948, 67 or 73 and to their descendants. We recognise that Israeli Jews constitute a nationality like other nationalities in the region, Christians, Druze, etc but we do not advocate Jewish right to self-determination because that would be to endorse the Zionist racist project of excluding non-Jews from the state. So whilst we are for the destruction of the Zionist semi-theocratic state we defend the rights of Jews as a nationality to their cultural identity and local autonomy. We propose a multi-ethnic workers’ state of Palestine where Jews, Palestinians, and all minorities have equal rights as citizens, to which the several generations of Palestinian refugees are given the right to return and to which all immigrants have equal rights of entry.

We reject the two state solution as an impossible dream now. Zionist settlements have made sure of this. The fact that it is solution advocated by but never seriously sought by Zionism and imperialism and that it has been accepted by successive PLO leaderships and might well be accepted by Hamas does not make it a progressive solution nor one that the majority of Palestinians would opt for if they were given a viable choice.

Zionism will not allow Gaza and the West Bank to link up as a unit; there is no prospect that Zionism will withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, which in any case abandons the Palestinian diaspora. Gaza is an isolated hell-hole which can never develop a viable economy on its own; the West Bank is so truncated by illegal Jewish settlements and hemmed in by the illegal wall that it is clear that the long term plans of Zionism are not for any kind of viable state there either. All that is now on offer are isolated Bantustans hemmed in by rings of steel to which the Palestinian citizens of Israel may well be expelled if the ‘viable two state solution’ ever becomes a reality.

Permanent Revolution; “against the constitution of a Jewish State.”

The Theses on the Permanent Revolution was set out by Trotsky in 1929:

“With regard to countries with a belated bourgeois development, especially the colonial and semi colonial countries, the theory of the permanent revolution signifies that the complete and genuine solution of their tasks of achieving democracy and national emancipation is conceivable only through the dictatorship of the proletariat as the leader of the subjugated nation, above all of its peasant masses… This in turn means that the victory of the democratic revolution is conceivable only through the dictatorship of the proletariat which bases itself upon the alliance with the peasantry and solves first of all the tasks of the democratic revolution.”

The November-December 1947 number of Quatriéme Internationale, organ of the International Executive Committee, said:

“The position of the Fourth International on the Palestinian problem remains clear and sharp as in past. It will be in the vanguard of the struggle against partition, for a united, independent Palestine, in which the masses will with sovereignty determine their fate through the election of a constituent assembly. Against the effendis and the imperialist agents, against the manoeuvres of the Egyptian and Syrian bourgeoisie, which is trying to divert the struggle for the emancipation of the masses into a struggle against the Jews. It will launch an appeal for the agrarian revolution and for the anticapitalist and anti-imperialist struggle, the essential engine of the Arab revolution. But it cannot conduct this struggle with any possibility of success without taking an unequivocal stand against the partition of the country and against the constitution of a Jewish State.”

The Second World Congress of the Fourth International, meeting in April 1948, summarized the general position of our movement in these terms:

In what concerns particularly Palestine, the Fourth International rejects as utopian and reactionary the ‘Zionist’ solution to the Jewish question. It declares that the total repudiation of Zionism is the condition sine quo non for a fusion of the struggles of the Jewish workers with the emancipatory social and national struggles of the Arab workers. It declares that it is deeply reactionary to demand a Jewish emigration to Palestine, as it is reactionary to appeal for the immigration of oppressors to the colonial countries in general. It maintains that the matter of immigration and the relationships among Jews and Arabs cannot suitably be decided until after the expulsion of imperialism by a freely elected constituent assembly with full rights for Jews as a national minority. [9]

 

Boycotts and workers sanctions

The Israeli Histadrut is not a legitimate trade union federation. The Histadrut contains many employers in its ranks and itself owns a substantial section of Israeli industry and is one of the main props of the Zionist state; it always defends Israel’s bombings of Gaza. The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) acts as a Fatah front in many ways, it has not held elections since 1981 and its agreements with Histadrut are simply an extension of Mohamed Abbas’s (Abu Mazen) collaboration with Zionism against the rights and often the lives of militant trade unionists and liberation fighters. But it is a genuine trade union federation. We campaign for the derecognition of the Histadrut by national and international trade union federations. Nevertheless the Histadrut organises substantial proportions of the working class in Israel and revolutionaries should work within it fighting to split it along class lines if there is no alternative available.

However the trade unions that support the BDS do represent the majority of Palestinian workers and are partially listed here:

“The Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS) is the broadest and most representative body of the Palestinian trade union movement and includes the following organisations: General Union of Palestinian Workers, Federation of Independent Trade Unions (IFU), General Union of Palestinian Women…”

Furthermore the a conference of all these trade unions was held on 30 April 2011 and it adopted a statement that endorse the BDS but went further in urging workers sanctions too, and:

“The Conference decisively condemned the Histadrut and called on international trade unions to sever all links with it due to its historic and current complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights. The Histadrut has always played a key role in perpetuating Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of racial discrimination… Calls on port workers around the world to boycott loading/offloading Israeli ships, similar to the heroic step taken by port workers around the world in suspending maritime trade with South Africa in protest against the apartheid regime. [10]

Whilst supporting all sanctions and boycotts against Zionism we fight for workers’ sanctions; we campaign for the working class via their trade unions and Labour party branches and CLPs to fight to block arms shipments to Israel, etc. We strive through workers’ organisations to block all cooperation and trade with firms engaged in war industries and in the occupation, We support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign which uses economic and political pressure on Israel to end Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, for full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and campaigns for the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

We support the campaign against companies which profits from the exploitation of Palestinians by the racist Histadrut federation. This is how Wiki reports the campaign:

“United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967”, Richard A. Falk, in his 2012 report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recommended that “businesses highlighted in the report – as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise – should be boycotted until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards.”

He specifically named the United States’ Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard and Motorola; Israel’s Ahava, Elbit Systems and Mehadrin; Sweden’s Volvo Group and Assa Abloy ; France’s Veolia Environment; United Kingdom’s G4S, Belgium’s Dexia Group, Netherlands’ Riwal Holding Group and Mexico’s Cemex. At a news conference Falk said:

“The focus on business activities is partly an expression of frustration about the inability to obtain compliance with these fundamental legal obligations of Israel and the ineffectiveness of the U.N. efforts to condemn settlement expansion.” He also stated “The whole issue of Palestinian self-determination is at risk here.” “ [11]

However we recognise the cross-class BDS campaigns are inadequate. The myth that sanctions helped to end apartheid in South Africa is used to justify limiting this campaign to tokenistic gestures. The only time the world’s monopoly capitalists started to disinvest from South Africa was when they were faced with a mass working class rebellion there. Out of fear that they may lose everything, they changed the form of control to create local front companies to act on their behalf.

Barclays ‘disinvested’ and left behind the front called First National bank. But the same monopolies were still in control. When the working class resistance was smashed here in the 1960s the monopoly capitalists poured in money into South Africa- this was declared a safe haven for investments. Thus the only effective way to force imperialism to accept the democratic aspirations of the Palestinian masses is through working class mass action and workers’ sanctions.

We take this stand on a multi-ethnic workers’ state because, despite the 87% backing for the war on Gaza, we are also confident in winning the best elements of the Israeli working class in revolution and the ability of a revolutionary party with the correct transitional method to forge the unity of Arab and Israeli workers, as has happened many times in the past, despite the best efforts of the Histadrut.

What slogans for the struggle?

Whilst we are for a multi-ethnic workers’ state we are sensitive to the role that democratic demands might play in the revolutionary struggle. Demands for a constituent assembly and the fight for secular democratic rights are very likely to play a prominent part in the revolution but we know that these must be subordinate to the goal of overthrowing capitalism in Israel/Palestine but also in the entire region of the Middle East. Therefore the governmental slogan and the demands that lead up to it are important. For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly is the correct mobilising slogan to draw together all the elements and nationalities in the region to begin the battle for workers councils and a soviet government. We reject the ultra-leftist notion that a revolutionary programme cannot contain such democratic demands as part of its whole strategy. Such a position rejects the attempts by the revolutionary party to relate to the current state of the class consciousness of the working class and the fight to bring it into the struggle which alone opens it up to the revolutionary programme as a whole.

Smash of the settler-colonial state of Israel!

For a revolutionary Constituent Assemble!

For Workers Councils united across religious and ethnic divides!

For a Multi-ethnic Workers State of Palestine in a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!

For Workers Sanctions against Israel!

Sever all links between the Histadrut and all international trade union organisations!

Defends Hamas against the Zionist state!

For the military victory of the anti-imperialist guerrilla organizations Hamas and Hezbollah in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria!

 Notes

[1]Socialist Fight No. 2, https://socialistfight.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/socialist-fight-no-2.pdf

[2] The Assassination of Yasser Arafat was Ordered by The Israeli Cabinet: “We will Choose the Right Way and the Right Time to Kill Arafat.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-assassination-of-yasser-arafat-was-ordered-by-the-israeli-cabinet-we-will-choose-the-right-way-and-the-right-time-to-kill-arafat/5357121

[3] (wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_legislative_election,_2006)

[4] Ibid.

[5]Bombing for Oil: Gaza, Israel and the Levant Basin http://revolution-news.com/bombing-oil-gaza-israel-levant-basin/

[6] Ibid.

[7] http://www.almanar.com.lb/spanish/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid=23&eid=67791

[8] Israeli Communists rage against slaughter in Gaza, http://www.communist-party.org.uk/international/news-a-statements/1974-israeli-communists-rage-against-slaughter-in-gaza.html

[9] This section is extracted from the THESES ON PALESTINE by the International Trotskyist Opposition, 8 March 2001, http://home.igc.org/~itofi/statements/ito_palestine.html

[10] Statement of Principles and Call for International Trade Union Support for BDS

by the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS, http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/ptuc050511p.html

[11] Wiki, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott,_Divestment_and_Sanctions

 

WRP Explosion