The undersigned organizations condemn the threatened annexation of wide swathes of West Bank territory which was due to begin on July 1st, and to be finally announced on July 4th, but has now been delayed seemingly because of contradictions within the Netanyahu/Gantz unstable, uneasy coalition in power in Israel, and also apparently with their external partners-in-crime in the United States government. The various genocidal nationalist factions in power in the Zionist state, and the Trump administration are all in favour of this annexation as part of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’. But they are still wrangling about the details behind closed doors, trying to produce some formula for the annexation that will not blow up in their faces in a new round of struggles waged by the masses of oppressed Palestinians.
The annexation project has continuity with the ‘peace process’ put together at Oslo under Clinton and the Labour Zionists Rabin and Peres in the early 1990s. The division of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C with the latter fully under control of the Israelis, with only ‘area A’ under the control of the stooge ‘Palestinian Authority’ under Arafat and now Abbas, and ‘area B’ as a buffer between them, was itself a salami-slicing of the West Bank and a preparation for future annexation. So far from the ‘Peace Process’ of the liberal Zionists and their helpmates in the West, the Clintons etc, being an alternative to the annexations and advocates of ‘transfer’ on the Zionist right, in reality the plans dovetailed with each other and Oslo paved the way for annexation. As was seen clearly by some of the most far-sighted Palestinian thinkers like the late Edward W. Said, who condemned the collaboration of Arafat with the Oslo process as comparable to the collaboration of the Vichy regime with the Nazi occupation of France in WWII.
The comparison is quite valid. Political Zionism always was a genocidal project, which modelled itself on the colonial-settler projects spawned by British expansionism in the early capitalist era, where the settlers took the country off the indigenous population of the territories they colonised, and subjected them to enslavement and extermination. The Zionist apologists who claim that the persecution and discrimination against Jews in the late Medieval period and the beginnings of anti-Semitism in the modern era somehow excuse that, overlook this affinity with the other colonial movements that drove that. This was always a movement, right from the start, that aspired to oppress and eliminate the Arab inhabitants of the territory it coveted.
They overlook the specifically Jewish chauvinism that drove the Zionist movement from its beginnings in the later 19th Century, when it went about seeking sponsors among archaic great powers and modern imperialists alike, finally managing to get the support of the British Empire. The 1917 Balfour Declaration; the handing over of Palestine to a third-party colonial movement ultimately to expel its native population was among British imperialism’s most insidious crimes. Thus when we talk about the genocidal character of Zionism, we are talking about it in the same breath not only as National Socialism and the Hitler movement in Germany, of which it is like a mirror image, but also as the genocidal creation of the United States through the destruction of native Americans, of Australia through the destruction of black native Australians, and other such acts of barbarism.
In that regard, for us all of Israel is occupied territory; we, like the Palestinian people themselves, affirm that the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinians in exile elsewhere, and the so-called Israeli Arabs, are all Palestinians, they are the majority native population and they unconditionally have the right to self-determination over the whole territory of historical Palestine. The Jewish settler population have no choice but to accept this basic democratic principle and learn to coexist on the basis of complete equality. In democratic terms, this logic is inescapable.
In a way the creeping annexation of more Palestinian territory involved here recognises the objective unity of Palestine and creates a situation where the Jewish majority in cleansed Israel becomes more and more tenuous. With that, the genocidal rage of much of the settler population becomes more and more severe.
This could erupt in monstrous atrocities against the Arab population and a renewal of the Nakba, the mass expulsion of the Palestinian people. Or conversely, it could result in renewed mass struggle for equality by the unified Palestinian people, across the 1967 Green Line and the various lines drawn by the Israelis and their collaborators across the occupied territories. In all these cases, what is needed is active solidarity from the working class in the Western countries, and throughout the Middle East, in that mainly Arab region also who will have a special role to play in uniting with the Palestinian working class.
The objective need is for a programme of permanent revolution across the Middle East, taking in hand the numerous democratic questions that are unresolved in that region, of which the question of Zionism, Israeli colonialism and the dispossession of the Palestinian people is obviously the most pressing. For it obvious that in its oppressed and dispossessed situation, the Palestinian working class and poor do not have the power to deal with the Zionist state on their own: they need the militant aid of the regional, centrally Arab, proletariat of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and also the Persian proletariat of Iran, among other oppressed peoples in the region. The question of democracy in general, over the whole region with its underdevelopment and long history of despotism can only be fully resolved with the proletariat in power on a regional, federal level, through a federation of revolutionary workers states, and the end of the Nazi-Zionist state through the struggle for a multi-ethnic Palestinian popular council of Arab and Hebrew workers.
The other crucial strand of this is the need for active solidarity from the workers movement in the West, in countries like the United States and Britain that arm Israel to the teeth against the Palestinians and against other forces in the region seeking liberation from Zionist aggression. This is an extremely difficult task right now because of the very powerful position of the Israel lobby in most of these countries. This was shown graphically by the massive Zionist-led campaign to destabilise and destroy the very moderately pro-Palestinian leadership of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party over the last several years.
There is an additional level of complexity and difficulty for socialists and revolutionaries in many advanced countries, particularly in Europe and North America, in delivering solidarity with the Palestinians. Not only do they have to deal with the ‘normal’ attitude of ‘their’ bourgeoisies to a liberation struggle against one of its allies, but they also have to deal with a specific faction within the ruling class, which based on its Jewish origin and an ethnocentric Zionist variant of bourgeois politics, regards Israel as ‘its’ state and fights just as hard for the interest of Israel as it does for the interests of the imperialists country in which it resides.
This unique overlap of the ruling class of Israel with that of other imperialist countries creates a situation where it is doubly difficult, in current conditions, to deliver real, meaningful solidarity with the Palestinians in those countries as distinct from those engaged in ‘simpler’, more conventional struggles against one’s own ruling class, such as in Ireland or Vietnam in the past. Nevertheless, there is no evading this question, and the international movement has the right to insist that its sections in Israel’s imperialist allied countries address this difficult problem in their political material and agitational work.
Frente Comunista dos Trabalhadores – Brazil
Socialist Equality Council – Bangladesh
Socialist Worker League – United States
Tendencia Militante Bolchevique – Argentina
Trotskyist Faction of Socialist Fight – Great Britain