Where the Oslo agreements lead to
After having denounced on July 17 the agreement with Iran, the American president Trump announced on December 6 that he would transfer the United States embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. In other words, the main world power has officially recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hailed a “historic day”. Israel conquered Jerusalem totally in 1967. Since, methodically, the Zionist State persecutes and evicts the Arab population from the eastern part of the town, while favouring the Hebrew colonisation that it also pursues in the West Bank.
Facing the decision of the United States, other imperialist powers (China, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Great-Britain …) expressed their discontent. The secretary general of the UNO condemned Trump’s decision as contrary to the “two-State solution”. The general assembly followed him on December 21. But the UNO ratified the violent conquest of part of Palestine in 1947 by recognising Israel. Its numerous prior resolutions condemning Israel never had any practical consequence; the Security Council of the UNO never took any sanction against the United States or against Israel.
This decision is not a simple eccentricity. Trump satisfied the Republican Party and he implemented what Obama and the Democratic Party had proposed before. He attempts to consolidate the positions of his bourgeoisie and of the American State in a region where the latter has considerably retreated. The true targets of Trump and of the Republican Party are Iran and Russia; Palestinians are collateral victims. By recognising Jerusalem as capital of Israel, the American “democracy” approves the ethnic cleansing that is ongoing in that town.
The Palestinian Authority called for a “day of rage”. The Fatah that leads it is a threadbare Palestinian bourgeois nationalist party. Its founder Arafat concluded in 1993, with the American State and the Israeli State, the Oslo agreements. This treaty recognises Israel and its grip on part of Palestine. In return, it promises a Palestinian State.
The “two-State” solution was approved by the UNO. In fact, there is on one side a true State, over-armed, endowed with the nuclear weapon, supported by the United States. On the other side, there is a huge containment camp for Arabs, without army, economically dependent on Israel, under perfusion of the European Union and the Gulf monarchies. The West Bank and Jerusalem are separated from the Gaza strip. The West Bank is itself cross-ruled by Zionist colonies and by the Israeli army. The Fatah police is the auxiliary of the colonial army and of the Israeli secret services.
The Hamas predicted that Trump’s decision “opened the gates of hell for American interests in the region”. The Hamas is a clericalist bourgeois party founded by the Muslim Brotherhood. It pretends that Palestine must be Muslim, while there always lived Israelite Jews, Christian Arabs and Armenians. This reactionary party could take control of the Gaza strip in 2007 because of the betrayal of the national cause by the Fatah.
If the Hamas was able to make American imperialism retreat, that would be known since a long time. In fact, it is even unable to prevent the Israeli State (with the help of the Egyptian State) to transform the life of Gazans into hell. In particular, the Israeli army intervened militarily in the Gaza strip in 2008, 2012 and 2014, massacring its population and destroying its infrastructures.
The Fatah and the Hamas have in common to be led by bourgeois, to oppose the struggle of the Palestinian proletariat, to depend on neighbouring bourgeois States and to be unable to speak to workers in Israel (Arabs or Jews). Besides, they got closer during these last months under the pressure of general Al-Sissi, the president of Egypt who represses any political opposition.
For the united front against the pursuit of the Zionist colonisation and oppression
The Gulf and Jordanian monarchies protested against Trump’s decision, as well as the Islamist republics of Iran and Turkey. But Palestinians may not trust bourgeois States of the region.
The monarchy crushed the Palestinian resistance in Jordan in 1970-1971. The Christian-fascists of Lebanon liquidated in 1982 thousands of Palestinian refugees, with the help of the Israeli army. The Syrian Baas regime militarily hit the Palestinian resistance in 1983. The Egyptian and Syrian governments repressed the revolutionary movement of 2011, whose victory could open a perspective for Palestinians. Most neighbouring States overexploit Palestinian refugees or migrant workers, and discriminate against them. Saudi Arabia has just reinforced its links with the United States and Israel; it intervenes militarily in Yemen and its blockade causes devastation in the civilian population; it openly menaces Iran. Iran and Turkey oppress their national minorities, among which Kurds. Turkey is still member of the NATO led by the United States. Turkey and the Gulf monarchies helped Islamist-fascists who oppressed women in Syria and in Iraq, who exterminated worker activists, religious minorities, and national minorities. Egypt gets weapons and money from the United States, it blocks the Gaza strip.
Thousands of Palestinian Arabs protested in Jerusalem and in Gaza. On December 15, the Israeli army wounded 160 among them and killed 4. Hundreds of thousands of people, in particular in Arab or Muslim countries, demonstrated against the decision of the United States government. But the colonisation of Palestine, the oppression of Palestinians, the menaces against Iran, the military interventions in Syria and in Iraq by American, Russian, British, and French imperialists must become the business of the whole world labour movement.
The best aid to Palestinians is the struggle to overthrow the governments that support the Zionist State. In the whole world, foremost in the United States and in Israel, all organisations calling upon workers must demand:
•End the ongoing colonisation in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank!
•Lift the blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt!
•Destroy the apartheid wall!
•Free all Palestinian prisoners!
•Right to return for refugees and their descendants!
•No weapon, no military aid for Israel!
•No military threat against Iran!
For the destruction of the last colonial State
The world working class is, on this question as others, paralysed by the policies of its leaderships. The labour or social-democratic parties, the parties arising from Stalinism, support the “two-State” solution of the UNO, as do several centrist organisations SPEW, SAlt, LO, NPA …
We do not consider that the disappearance of the State of Israel should be necessary or desirable. We even think that its existence could be beneficial to the whole Arab and Jewish population of the Middle East. (Lutte de classe, July 1967); A workers’ power in France would support the establishment of the Palestinian State within the frontiers of 1967. (Arthaud, LO candidate to the presidential election, April 2, 2012)
This amounts to ratify the violent colonisation of part of Palestine and the creation of Bantustans under the boot of Israel. The leaderships of reformist parties even expel activists who hinder them, accusing them of anti-Semitism: for instance, Tony Greenstein was excluded from the British Labour Party, Gérard Filoche from the French Socialist Party …
Everywhere, the Israeli State and the Zionist movement attempt to assimilate anti-Zionists to anti-Jewish racists. The French president Macron took up this calumny again. The Austrian State, which never really purged Nazis and which has today at its head a government including a fascistic party, has even prosecuted as “anti-Semites” activists who defend the rights of Palestinians.
Anti-Semitism is hatred of the Jews as Jews. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Israel as a colonial power and as an exclusive Jewish state. (Avi Shlaim, professor at Oxford)
Certainly, one finds anti-Zionists who are anti-Semites, but there are also many pro-Zionists who are anti-Semites, following Lord Arthur Balfour or Lord Winston Churchill. The pro-Zionist governments of the United States and of the European Union maintain narrow links with Islamist absolute monarchies that spread in the whole world the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic forgery fabricated in 1901 by the Czarist police and abundantly cited by Hitler.
Internationalist communists, who since 170 years fight racism and colonialism, have no lesson to receive from Macron, Trump and Netanyahu. The Zionist movement itself often accommodated with anti-Semitism at the beginning of the XXth century, since these two reactionary currents shared the idea that Jews were inassimilable in the countries where they lived. Facing the worst anti-Semitism in history, Jewish bourgeois nationalism barely opposed the “3rd Reich” and some of its leaders even collaborated with the Nazis. It is after the 2nd World War that the Holocaust served as pretext for the Zionist bourgeoisie to colonise Palestine. Zionist terrorist networks exterminated whole villages, expelled hundreds of thousands of people … The Israeli Labour Party and the Zionist labour union then demanded to exclude Arabs from employment. The Hebrew bourgeois State discriminates its citizens according to their ethnicity and carries on racial cleansing.
Thus, Jewish bourgeois nationalism transformed a tiny minority of the world’s Jews into oppressors. The consequence has been the persecution and forced emigration of Jews settled since two thousand years in North Africa and in the Middle East, who were not colonists but who served as scapegoats to Arab bourgeois nationalist regimes. Zionism also facilitated the nauseating anti-Semitism of Islamists everywhere in the world.
Israel was established with the help of Western imperialist powers (which recycled former Nazis) and the complicity of the bureaucracy of the USSR. It led wars against all its neighbours. It profited by the aid of French imperialism to equip itself with nuclear weapons. It collaborated with the apartheid regime of South Africa, with counter-revolution in Latin America, etc.
The end of national oppression against Palestinian Arabs requires the destruction of the State of Israel, racist, warmonger and colonialist, tool of Western imperialism in Western Asia. Against all bourgeoisies (American, Hebrew, Arab, Turkish, Persian …), the mobilisation of workers in Jerusalem, in the West Bank, in Gaza, in Israel, in Jordan, in Turkey, in Egypt, in Tunisia … will allow to establish a secular and multi-ethnic Palestine over the whole territory of Palestine, in which Arabs and Jews, Muslims, Israelites, Christians and atheists will be able to live together. Jerusalem, with its multicultural traditions would probably be the capital of this workers’ State. Such a Palestine would be viable only by the extension of revolution, the abolition of frontiers inherited from colonisation and the establishment of the socialist federation of the Levant.
At the end of the XXth century, revolutionary organisations courageously defended a perspective of this type in Israel (ex-Matzpen) or in Palestinian camps (ex-FDPLP). On the contrary, the Palestinian bourgeoisie, whether it be pan Arabic (Fatah) or Islamist (Hamas), cannot liberate Palestine because it has always preferred collaboration with neighbouring bourgeois States to the mobilisation of workers of country and town that would have led to questioning private property. The national bourgeoisie, by preaching the fallacious unity of all Arabs or all Muslims, revealed itself unable to appeal to the working class of the whole region.
The working class, rallying farmers and students, is the social force that is able to liquidate Zionist colonisation and imperialist domination, to emancipate youth and women, to give land to farmers, education to youth, jobs for all and to ensure economic development.