On January 28, 2020, U.S. president Donald Trump and Zionist PM Netaniahu announced the so-called “Deal of the Century” which means more apartheid and ethnic cleansing for the Palestinians. Both PA Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab League rejected the deal. What should the Palestinians do?
By Hassan al-Barazili
Firstly, we need to figure out who are the enemies and the allies of the Palestinian cause.
The Palestinian people itself is not only divided by location – 1948 Palestine, West Bank, Gaza, Al-Quds, Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. They are divided into opposed social classes, in and outside Palestine, which have different perspectives facing the deal of the century.
The Palestinian bourgeoisie always want to bargain with imperialism and Zionists. They trade apartheid and ethnic cleansing for profits. That is what happens in the West Bank. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian bourgeoisie accept to be the managers of the occupation as far as they can make business and get rich. They do not have strategic goals other than capitalism, exploitation and oppression. That is why they always compromise. That is why they do not fight to liberate Palestine.
Yet, the working classes, the peasantry, the Bedouins, the Youth need apartheid and ethnic cleansing to finish in order to survive. That is why they need to fight back both the deal of the century, the Zionist State and imperialist rule. There is no possible compromise. They need to fight to liberate all Palestine, from the river to the sea, in order to return to their lands, to live in peace, to have land, jobs, wages, education and healthcare.
Any unity in action with the Palestinian bourgeoisie is temporary, provisional and the working classes and the oppressed must keep their independent organizations without the bourgeois class. Of course, if one bourgeois individual join the struggle, he/she should be accepted. Nevertheless, as a class, the bourgeoisie will never do that.
The Arab people have the same class division.
On the one hand, there are the Arab bourgeoisie and their regimes who are always ready to bargain with the U.S. imperialism. Among the members of the Arab League only three out of 22 do not have any relations with the Zionist State (Kuwait, Algeria and Tunisia). All others are normalizing their relationship with the Zionists including the Sudanese regime which has just announced that. The Arab regimes are not true allies in the struggle to liberate Palestine.
On the other hand, Arab working classes and the Youth are fighting back these authoritarian Arab regimes and want the U.S. imperialism out of the Arab world. Instinctively they stand in solidarity with the Palestinians. Arab workers and Youth are the true allies of the Palestinians.
In their struggle for the liberation of Palestine, workers and the Youth may carry out temporary actions in unity with Arab regimes, yet they should be prepared for betrayal.
In the Arab world, the only true ally of the Palestinian working–classes are their sisters and brothers of the working-classes in all Arab countries.
Maybe the Palestinian workers and the Youth can defeat the Zionists and liberate Palestine by themselves although it is more difficult. To increase the chances, it is better to build an alliance with Arab working people and ask for international solidarity from workers and the Youth across the globe as well.
Three Critical Directives for the Liberation of Palestine
- To build democratic organizations to unite all the Palestinian working people and the Youth, in and outside Palestine, that must be fully independent from the bourgeoisie. Trade-unions, neighborhood councils, committee for campaigns are very important and the bourgeois class should not be let in.
- To build alliances with the Arab working peoples. It is necessary to stand in solidarity with their uprisings and revolutions in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and to support Iranian workers against Iranian regime. It is not possible to ask solidarity from Arab or Iranian workers and at the same time be silent about the authoritarian regimes that oppress them.
- To work under a democratic, socialist and internationalist perspective. Democratic because we do not want Palestine to be ruled likewise other Arab authoritarian regimes. Socialist because we need equality among all Palestinians. Internationalist because Palestine and all other peoples is under an international imperialist order. The struggle for a Free Palestine is necessarily combined with the struggle for justice across the nations. Our enemies – imperialism, the bourgeoisie and the Zionists, operate on world scale. It is necessary to build international solidarity among the working peoples in order to defeat them.
The Question of the Party
Along more than one century of resistance, the Palestinians have struggled in different ways and have built different organizations, the PLO being the strongest of them all.
It is debatable whether it is better to rebuild the PLO or launch another organization in order to unite Palestinians in and outside occupied Palestine including all political parties and factions.
The point is, however, to have a revolutionary political party that stands for a true liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea, where all Palestinians will have the right to live together with all people who accepts to live in peace with the Palestinians. A revolutionary party that fights back the enemies of the Palestinian liberation (Palestinian bourgeoisie, Arab regimes, Zionists and imperialism) and work together with the natural allies – Palestinian workers and the Youth in and outside occupied Palestine; the Arab working peoples, the anti-Zionist Jews and workers and the Youth internationally.
Today none of the Palestinian political parties play this role. All of them are bourgeois parties or work with the Palestinian bourgeoisie. All of them sides with one or another Arab regime or the Iranian regime, making silence over these regime’s crimes against the Arab peoples. Which Palestinian political party supports the people’s revolutions in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Iran? None is the answer.
Collective work on international scale
Currently there are many true activists that agree with these ideas but do not agree on building a revolutionary political party. These activists are very important for the struggle to liberate Palestine. We need to work together with them, in committees, demonstrations, strikes and Intifadas.
Furthermore, we need to talk to them, to have open discussion on the strategy to liberate Palestine and the question of the party.
Isn’t it useful to have a group of true activists that explain to the Palestinian people that the Palestinian bourgeoisie compromises with the Zionist State and Arab regimes on the expenses of the Palestinian working people?
Isn’t it important to have a group of true activists that calls the Palestinian resistance to stand in solidarity with the Syrian revolution against Assad regime?
The same question can be made for the struggles in other countries.
For the Egyptian revolution, wasn’t it critical to have a group of true activists to say out and loud that the military and the people are not one hand?
For the Lebanese revolution, isn’t it important to have a group of true activists that denounces any “technocratic” government, and stands for workers’ power.
In the Middle East, isn’t important to have a group of true activists that denounces U.S. criminal actions and fights to expel all U.S. troops and bases from the Middle East, but at the same time do not call Iranian general Qassem Suleimani a martyr of Al-Quds since Suleimani is the butcher of the Syrian people together with Putin and Assad?
This group of true activists, we call a revolutionary party.
One can argue that all of this can be done as an individual. It is true but it is more efficient to do it as a group of activists that operate not only on local level but internationally.
How a revolutionary party works
There is no fixed formula on how a revolutionary party should work. We must take into account the political situation in the country – if there is some freedom or open repression only; if there is a wave of struggles or not – and the size of the group: a few individuals or some hundred membersi.
Anyway, the revolutionary party must be where the working class is: workplaces, trade-unions, working-class neighborhoods and refugee camps. In addition to taking part in their struggles.
It is very important to have public communications be it printed (newsletter or leaflets) or virtual (website, facebook page, tweeter, instagram) to spread the ideas of the party.
It is critical to have international links with a revolutionary international party.
At last it is necessary to be prepared for repression. The ideas of the party must be public but information about members, leaders, meetings should be kept in secret. Contact with lawyers who can assist members in jail, and means to hide must be planned.
These are some ideas. The International Workers’ League (Fourth International) is open to address this discussion with any true activist.
At last, we post a poem about the Party written by revolutionary German artist Bertold Brecht.
In Praise of the Party
Man has only two eyes
The Party has a thousand eyes.
The Party can see seven lands
Man a single city.
Man has only his hour
The Party has many hours.
Man alone can be annihilated
But the Party cannot be annihilated
For it is the vanguard of the masses
And it lays out its battles
According to the methods of our classics, which are derived from
The recognition of reality.
Bertolt Brecht (1930)