Fri Jun 14, 2024
June 14, 2024

IWL-FI STATEMENT: The War in Palestine and the Class Struggle Worldwide

Israel’s genocide has continued with the ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. The brutality of the State of Israel’s Nazi-fascist forces has been broadcast to audiences across the world.

Large demonstrations of support for Palestine (in some countries, mass demonstrations) show that Zionism is beginning to lose the battle for the conscience of the world’s masses.

The war in Palestine has become the center of the world class struggle. The Israeli war on Palestine and the Russian war on Ukraine have deepened the crisis of the world order and the inter-imperialist and inter-bourgeois disputes.

This crisis has a material basis in the downward trend of the economy, which has been present since the 2007-2009 recession, and has been amplified by the dispute between the United States and China.

The decadence of world capitalism is being expressed in growing instability, with political crises and strong bourgeois divisions, as well as is in important upsurges of the workers’ movement and the crisis of revolutionary leadership.

Capitalist decadence is also apparent in the living conditions of the masses and increasing manifestations of barbarism, which is leading to social explosions in various regions of the world in sometimes unexpected or even unprecedented ways. In other places, the workers’ and popular movement is in decline due to the crisis of revolutionary leadership.

U.S. and the European imperialism are directly assuming the political consequences of supporting the Israeli genocide. Biden is already suffering the political consequences, as recent polls indicate a majority of Americans, especially youth, the Black movement, and those in the leftwing of the Democratic party disapprove of U.S. support of the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

The mainstream bourgeois media has continued to play an important role in supporting Zionism when it talks about Israel’s “right to defend itself.” Yet far-right sectors are growing in their support of Israel, which has been bolstered by calls for support from evangelical religious currents.

Russian imperialism has been taking advantage of the war in Palestine. On the one hand, it has sought to block the Ukrainian advance, and is counting on the American crisis that will ostensibly further limit the military support of North American imperialism to Ukraine.

Russia, like China, has economic and political interests in the Middle East with Iran and Israel. They are interested in stability and not war. None of them want the destruction of Israel. When the war began, they started to criticize both sides and once again defend the strategy of the Oslo Accords: the two-state solution.

On the other hand, Russia and China have capitalized on the erosion of North American imperialist influence in the region. And they are working to become part of a post-war “peace plan for the Middle East.”

Russian imperialism has influence over the bloc called the “axis of resistance,” which is comprised of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah (in Lebanon), Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

This bloc has avoided engaging in direct military struggle against Israel. Up to this point, the threats and statements against Israel have not materialized into meaningful military action, which has left Gaza alone in the face of Israeli genocide. There is already some perplexity and concern with this attitude among sectors of activists around the world who support Hezbollah and Iran.

Mobilizations Can and Need to Advance

Mobilizations in support of Palestine have been very significant in imperialist countries such as the United States and England, as well as in Arab countries. In powerful demonstrations, American Jews who are against the Israeli invasion occupied the Capitol and New York’s Grand Central Station. A significant number of young people and immigrants have been attending these and other demonstrations.

The breadth of vanguard and mass support for the Palestinian struggle has allowed for solidarity committees to be organized in all cities and often among the ranks of workers and youth.

Some workers have staged active solidarity actions with the Palestinian struggle. Three Belgian transport workers’ unions have called on their members not to allow weapons to be shipped to Israel. In Oakland California, a vanguard action delayed the departure of a ship with weapons to Israel.

Neither Israel nor the world’s imperialisms expected that there would be such significant growing repudiation of Israeli genocide across the world, in ways that have forced countries like Bolivia, Belize, Ireland, South Africa, Colombia, Honduras, and Chile to fully or partially break diplomatic relations with Israel. This explains the harsh tone of Turkish president Erdogan, who was forced to call a mobilization in support of Palestine to stop the demonstrations.

Fifteen Spanish unions have brought statements to parliament demanding the breaking of diplomatic relations with Israel. Working class organizations’ must stand up against Zionist propaganda, take a stance against genocide, and demand their countries’ governments to break with Israel.

Many protests have been banned, groups and parties that support the Palestinian resistance have been criminalized, while others have been branded as “terrorists” and “anti-Semites.” In general, we are facing a serious restriction of democratic freedoms of expression and organization. Even so, the mobilizations are growing stronger all the time.

We Are Not Pacifists

The mobilizations in support of Palestine have one point of agreement, which is to stop the Israeli genocide. Although we understand their positions, we still want to dialogue with the pacifists.

We do not equate the violence of the oppressor and that of the oppressed. There is a war, and we are taking sides with the Palestinians. We stand for the military victory of the Palestinians and the defeat of Israel. The blame for the deaths of Israeli civilians lies with the Zionist State.

The war has already lasted more than a month and is expected to continue for longer. The evolution of this process means it is possible that it will take on new characteristics, particularly to the extent to which mobilizations are able to radicalize and to connect with local issues. What we can affirm is that the massacre in Gaza is exacerbating the political polarization that already exists in the world.

In Defense of a Revolutionary Program

The only possibility for defeating Israel is by transforming this war of national liberation into an international revolutionary struggle.

The war is very unequal from a military point of view. Israel is not only the fourth largest military power on the planet, but it also has the direct support of U.S. and European imperialism.

As we know, it is possible to defeat even hegemonic imperialist powers when mass mobilization and armed struggle are combined. The United States was defeated in Vietnam in 1975 due to a combination of the heroic resistance of the Vietnamese combined with mobilizations around the world, particularly in the United States.

The center of our program for Palestine is a democratic slogan: for a secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to destroy the State of Israel.

We stand for the military defeat of Israel, but our strategy does not stop there: we support the destruction of the State of Israel. Without it, a secular, democratic, and non-racist Palestine is impossible.

And this requires a revolution that will have to confront the local bourgeoisies who are against this objective. In other words, we are talking about the need for an objectively socialist revolutionary process since it will naturally turn against the bourgeoisie and its organizations.

Therefore, although our democratic slogan is “for a secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine,” the center of our program for the region and our transition strategy is the development of a Socialist Federation of countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Any vision that ignores the issue of Palestinian national liberation and postpones or dilutes the need for socialism is completely erroneous and capitulates to Zionist pressure.

On the other hand, any vision that only sees the Palestinian war as one of national liberation, without the framework of permanent revolution and the need for a socialist and revolutionary struggles against the bourgeois leaderships of the region, will end up capitulating to those leaderships.

It is necessary to aim for an international process, such as the combination of a new Palestinian Intifada, the resumption of the so-called “Arab Spring” in the neighboring countries, and mass mobilizations across the world, particularly in imperialist countries. Let us remember the importance that the mobilizations against the Vietnam War in the United States had for the Vietnamese victory.

We stand for a democratic and independent mass movement, and call on the working class, immigrants, and youth to support the struggle of the Palestinian people against genocide and the occupation. We believe that the movement should be focused on the tactics of strikes, boycotts, and mass protests as well as armed struggle as an auxiliary element. That was the nature of the First Intifada (1987-1993), the return march in 2018, the Palestinian workers’ strike in Israel in 2021 and the BDS campaign, which we must expand to all countries.

The “Two-State Solution” is a Mistake

On the surface, the “Two-State Solution” may seem “more realistic.” Yet, this policy has been tested out since the Oslo Accords which were signed in 1993.

After 30 years, it is clear that the policy is meaningless since it ignores the colonial character of the occupation and the Nazi-fascist methods of the state of Israel.

The result is the current disaster that is the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank, which plays the role of Israel’s occupation manager. It has no real authority or autonomy, and Palestinians largely see it as worthless.

The policy is part of imperialist plans both of the United States and the Russia-China bloc, depending on the results of the Israeli offensive.

The only possibility for achieving a “secular, democratic, and non-racist Palestine” is through the destruction of the State of Israel.

The existence of the Israeli State is defended by bourgeois governments as well as by reformist parties. They assume ideologies, including those that state “being against Zionism amounts to anti-Semitism,” and that Israel is “the only democracy against the Arab barbarians”, etc., in order to justify this policy.

We do not accept the State of Israel, neither in its current borders, nor in those that were drawn after 1967 (the Six-Day War), nor with those from the 1948 UN resolution founding the State of Israel. We stand for its dismantling.

In other words, we stand for the historic program of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], which is summarized in the slogan “for a single, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine.” This is the deep meaning of the slogan “free Palestine, from the river to the sea.” That is, we believe Palestine should extend from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

That is the only way to ensure a peaceful coexistence between a Palestinian majority (including the return of the millions of refugees scattered across the world) and a Jewish minority and those of other religions. The coexistence of these different religious and ethnic groups was possible before the State of Israel. In essence, this is not a religious issue, rather the bourgeoisie has used religion to defend imperialist interests.

Some sectors of activists, although they are very committed to the defense of the Palestinians and opposed to the “two-state” policy, they do not defend the destruction of the State of Israel. One of the expressions of this is the so-called ODS (One Democratic State). The proposal is for a single, democratic State that is not Palestinian. In other words, they do not think Israel should be destroyed.  

Our Agreements and Differences with the Palestinian Leaderships, Including Hamas

We defend the broadest unity of action with Hamas, who are at present the most respected Palestinian leadership. But we do not agree with its program.

Hamas’ strategy is to defeat Israel, with its alliances with the regional bourgeoisies of the “Axis of Resistance,” which includes the governments of Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, but does not include the independent mobilization of the masses.

In its 2017 programmatic declaration, Hamas rejected the Oslo agreements and the two-State solution, but retreated regarding the strategy of the destruction of the State of Israel by acknowledging its 1967 borders.

Along with this strategic retreat, Hamas has made a democratic movement against religious oppression by differentiating itself from the theocratic State of Iran. It is an Islamic movement, but without the proposal of an Islamic theocratic State. It is a different program from ours as we explicitly stand for a “secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine.” Hamas does not.

Finally, Hamas does not have a socialist revolutionary program, but rather one of bourgeois development.

None of this prevents us from fighting alongside Hamas and the Palestinian masses against the State of Israel and imperialism. But we maintain the Leninist tradition of striking together but marching apart, not only from Hamas but from all bourgeois and reformist currents.

The Need for Revolutionary Leadership

Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the crisis of revolutionary leadership is absolute. There are no Marxist revolutionary leaderships or organizations. The current tragedy in this region is that it has not been possible to organize an alternative leadership during the revolutionary processes that have been recurrent but defeated.

The role of Stalinism was and is key to explain this situation. The USSR, under the leadership of Stalin, supported the creation of Israel and even funded weapons for the Zionist movement. This was one of his most serious historical crimes.

Later, Stalinism supported bourgeois nationalism in the region. Today, Stalinism worldwide supports the bourgeois leaderships of the region: Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah.

For this reason, it is essential to advance in the construction of an alternative leadership. There is an urgent need for a new leadership, which has a revolutionary Marxist program, and which includes the slogan “for a single, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine” as a transitional slogan within a socialist revolutionary strategy. The perspective must be one of a socialist Palestine that is part of a Federation of Socialist Republics of the Middle East and North Africa.

This leadership can only be built in the daily struggle for the defeat of Israel, working shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinian Youth and around the world.

– Unconditional support for the struggle of the Palestinian people!

– In defense of a new Intifada! For a new “Spring of the People;” a new uprising of the working people of the Middle East and North Africa against their regimes!

– For an international movement to support the Palestinian struggle with street actions, workers’ strikes, and boycotts of Israel!

– In defense of the breaking of economic, political, and diplomatic ties with Israel!

– For strengthening the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel!

– For the formation of committees to support Palestine!

– For the military defeat of Israel! Weapons for Palestine!

– We denounce the governments of the Middle East and North Africa, even those that speak out against the Israeli genocide, such as Iran, for not entering the war and leaving Gaza isolated. We demand, in particular, the engagement of Iran and Hezbollah in the war against Israel!

– We stand for the solidarity of the peoples of Ukraine and Palestine, two wars of national liberation.

– For a secular, democratic, and non-racist Palestine. This is only possible with the destruction of the State of Israel.

– For a socialist Palestine!

– For a Free and Socialist Federation of the States of the Middle East and North Africa.

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