17/08/2018 by socialistfight
On that same day 58 dead Palestinians….F
Trump’s shift of US policy on Jerusalem is a perfect example of a US policy of supporting a predatory project that benefits Israel but is likely to destabilise US interests over a very wide area of the world.
The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the US could easily be seen by Jewish fanatics as a green light to destroy Al Aqsa, which would make Indira Gandhi’s 1984 destruction of Amritsar’s Sikh Golden Temple seem a minor local matter.
The United States would be blamed, rightly, for encouraging Israel to annex East Jerusalem and all that follows. This is why previous administrations, even when they pandered to the most hardline elements of the powerful Jewish-Zionist caste within their own ruling class (and their fellow travellers), hesitated to actually do this. Obama paid lip service to this idea when he was trying to get elected but shied away from it in power.
Now Trump, whose regime is even more servile to Israeli interests, has actually done it. At the same time as he is trying to destroy Obama’s Iran deal, and threatening to sanction all those in Europe and elsewhere who do not agree to sanction Iran. Meanwhile many of his most odious followers almost worship Israel’s form of racism and call themselves ‘white Zionists’. Political Zionism truly is playing a major, vanguard role in world reaction.
The US has used its veto 43 times to protect Israel between 1972 and 2017. In 2017 Israel held over 6,500 Palestinians – children, Journalists, MPs in its jails. There had been little violence since Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli genocidal bombing of Gaza in August 2014. Casualties in 2014 on the Israeli side were 67 soldiers and 6 civilians killed and 469 soldiers and 87 civilians wounded. Hamas reported 2,310 Palestinians killed and 10,626 wounded.
Since Trump’s Jerusalem embassy move statement on 6 December 2017 violent conflict has erupted again. The Right to Return marches began on 30 March 2018. Up to 5 July Israeli snipers had murdered 155 Palestinians and wounded 17,259. 23 of the dead were under 18. Just one Israeli soldier was killed, 6 soldiers and 5 civilians injured in that time.
Elizabeth Throssell, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the use of deadly force was largely unjustified, since such force may only be used as a last resort when there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury. “An attempt to approach or cross the green-line fence by itself certainly does not amount to a threat to life or serious injury that would justify the use of live ammunition,” the office said.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian territories echoed the argument and stated: “The killing of demonstrators in violation of these rules, and within the context of occupation, may amount to wilful killing, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as a war crime.”
CreditAbir Sultan/European Pressphoto Agency, via Shutterstock
The passage of the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law by the Knesset on 19 July 2018 has been widely condemned as undermining any claim on Israel’s part to be a liberal democracy. The law makes clear that in Israel only Jews have a right to national self-determination. The law gives no recognition to the rights of 20 per cent of Israel’s citizenry who are Palestinians. The new law builds upon an extensive range of discriminatory laws — more than 60 — that pertain to all areas of life, including land, education, family unification, residency rights and housing.
One stark example is the admission committees law passed in 2011 that allows small towns and villages in Israel to remain Jewish-only. The nation state law cements the legitimacy of maintaining Jewish-only towns with a clause that affirms that the state:
“views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”
Ahed Tamimi was jailed with her mother on 24 March 2018 for 8 months for slapping an occupying Israeli soldier after her cousin has his skull smashed by a rubber bullet. They were released on 29 July 2018. The IDF soldier, Elor Azaria, who murdered a comatose Palestinian prisoner in the full view of the whole world, got just 9 months and was freed two days early to a hero’s welcome” to attend his brother’s wedding on 8 May. “We the Palestinians are not going to wait for Saladin to liberate us. We are going to make our own Saladin and liberate ourselves” Ahed proclaimed.
An investigation by the Israeli military shooting of a paraplegic Palestinian man, Ibrahim Abu Thraya, 29, cleared Israeli troops of wrongdoing, saying it found “no moral or professional failures” in the incident. Palestinian health officials disclosed the he was shot in the head by an Israeli army sniper on 16 December 2017. Abu Thraya, who had previously worked as a fisherman, lost his legs in an Israeli airstrike during Israeli bombing of Gaza in 2008. He had since used a wheelchair. Itedal Abu Thraya, Ibrahim’s mother, questioned the military’s self-investigation and said her son posed no threat. He was a very prominent activist, and that was undoubtedly why the Israelis murdered him. He was protesting the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
For a multi-ethnic workers’ state in Occupied Palestine/Israel
Socialist Fight is totally opposed to any two-state solution and is for the destruction of the settler-colonial state of Israel and its replacement by 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, 73 etc. 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, as the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law did on 19 July. 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.
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, 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:
“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.”
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.
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!