This May 15 marks the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the Arabic word for catastrophe or tragedy. It was the unilateral creation of the State of Israel on the date, in 1948, through planned ethnic cleansing. At that time, 800,000 Palestinian inhabitants were expelled from their lands – equivalent to 2/3 of the population – and more than 500 villages were destroyed. The Zionist movement, which aimed to create a homogenous Jewish state in Palestine through colonization, consolidated its project in alliance with imperialism. In 1967, it expanded to the rest of Palestine (22% of the territory), by militarily occupying the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. From IWL (International Worker’s League) we call for mobilizations in all countries during the acts that mark 70 years of heroic Palestinian resistance.
We proclaim the strengthening of unconditional international solidarity until the end of the racist state of Israel, the only legitimate solution that contemplates the totality of Palestinian people, fragmented since the Nakba and most of whom are outside their land.
This May 15th, we must denounce the so-called “two-state solution” – Israel and Palestine – defended by the majority of the world’s left and supported by hundreds of governments. This proposal is nothing more than the legitimation of land occupied 70 years ago by Israel. In addition to being unjust ever since, it is totally unviable, by the advance of Zionist colonialism to the present day and institutionalized apartheid.
The legitimate and inalienable right to return to their land of the 5 million refugees living in camps in Arab countries and thousands in the diaspora can only be secured in a single, free, democratic and secular Palestinian state, from the river to the sea. After all, where would people that were expelled in 1948 return in the “two-state” proposal? That is the first right raffled in what is called a “solution” – as demonstrated in various “peace negotiations”.
The Oslo accords signed between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993, brokered by the United States, is rightly referred to, by many Palestinians, as the second Nakba: land colonization has increased, now with collaboration from the Palestinian Authority, with security cooperation with Israel, as a result of the agreement. It was easier for Zionism to colonize Palestinian lands with a foreman to crack down on resistance.
It is necessary to demystify the solidarity expressed by sectors of the left that still feed illusions with this process, or only recognize peaceful actions as valid. This formulation ignores the reality of the Israeli occupation and denies the legitimate right to resistance by any means in this situation. It expresses, in practice, a capitulation to Zionist apartheid, which has always used the false propaganda of “defense” and “reaction” to “violence.”
Israel uses this speech even to imprison for several years children and teenagers who throw stones against their tanks. One example of this formulation was the statement by Guilherme Boulos, PSOL’s presidential candidate for Brazil on his trip to Palestine, who affirmed his “solidarity with the Palestinian people and support for a peaceful solution of the conflict in the region.”
The “two-state solution” also ignores the Palestinians remaining in the territories of 1948 – now 1.5 million – who were subjected to dozens of racist laws under the yoke of the State of Israel. It would legitimize the institutionalized apartheid regime that Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are subjected to on a day-to-day basis.
At this point, it is still important to denounce the historical complicity of governments around the world with Zionist apartheid and colonization. The first demonstration was given during the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 29, 1947, presided over by Brazilian Osvaldo Aranha. The section recommended the sharing of Palestine in a Jewish and an Arab state and gave the colonizer nearly half of the land. A green signal to the ethnic cleansing that culminated in the Nakba, when the State of Israel settled in 78% of historical Palestine. Massacres and expulsion were the direct results of this decision.
This process also revealed the harmful role of Stalinism. The then USSR was the first to recognize in fact and in law the State of Israel, soon after its creation. The United States had recognized Israel a short time before, but in fact, not by right. Countries around the world followed imperialism, endorsing the consolidation of the Zionist colonial project. Stalinism went even further in its complicity: it provided weapons via Czechoslovakia for the genocide in 31 Palestinian villages and ethnic cleansing in the remaining ones during the Nakba.
Unfortunately, that complicity remains throughout the world. The Southern Common Market (Mercosur, formed by Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil) signed a Free Trade Agreement with Israel in 2007, which has been in effect since 2010. Unfortunately, Brazil has taken the first step in this direction. And under the Lula / Dilma governments, it became one of the top five importers of Israeli military technology – and these agreements continue to advance in the Temer government.
From there, the doors of Latin America were opened to the Israeli war industry – which tests its “products” for export in its guinea pigs: the Palestinians. Technologies that are also in the hands of the police agencies that repress, criminalize and promote the genocide of black and poor people in Brazilian states and in other countries. In these 70 years, it is necessary to strengthen the call from the Palestinian civil society for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) to Israel and demand the end of these agreements.
Enemies of the cause
It is necessary, in these 70-years anniversary, to unmask the historical enemies of the Palestinian cause: the Palestinian bourgeoisie, the Arab regimes, imperialism and Zionism.
Inaugurated in the late nineteenth century and deciding for Palestine as the territory for the creation of the State of Israel at its First Congress in Basel, Switzerland, Zionism always had the project of conquering land and working in alliance with imperialism of that time. First, it secured the endorsement of Great Britain, which had a mandate on Palestine after World War I and was interested in the alliance with Zionism in a strategic region. After World War II, the baton passed into the hands of the United States. None of them brought peace, of course, since they are interested in maintaining a colonial and military enclave in the Middle East and North Africa.
Nor will peace come from Arab regimes, which use the Palestinian cause to continue to oppress and exploit the population in their countries. Arab regimes say they are allies of the Palestinians, but the only allies are oppressed and exploited Arabs. The Arab regimes never promoted concrete actions for the liberation of Palestine; on the contrary. They promised to avoid Nakba, but they did not do enough to prevent it. Before, together with the local bourgeoisie, they had acted to defeat the revolution in [the period from] 1936 to 1939 against British rule and Zionist colonization – a time when Palestinian workers and peasants came closer to liberating their lands. This defeat was decisive for Nakba years later since Palestinian leaders had been executed, exiled or imprisoned and the population was completely disarmed.
The Palestinian bourgeoisie, then and now, because of its class interests, does not deserve to be trusted as a leader in a national liberation process. Liberation will come from the hands of the workers in unity with peasants, under a revolutionary leadership.
For a socialist and revolutionary alternative
Founded in 1964, the PLO played a decisive role in centralizing the Palestinian resistance. However, after the signing of the Oslo agreements in 1993, it failed to do so. Its main organization, Fatah, today chairs the PLO and the Palestinian Authority with a policy of collaboration with Israeli apartheid.
Hamas, the main opposition party to Fatah, is part of the Palestinian resistance. However, its bourgeois character pushes it toward collaboration with the State of Israel, expressed in their updated manifesto.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the main leftist organization, also integrates the Palestinian resistance but capitulates to the leadership of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. In addition, the PFLP turned its back on the Arab revolutions, supporting the maintenance of the Syrian bloodthirsty dictator Bashar Al Assad.
It is necessary to build a revolutionary and socialist alternative to unite the Palestinian and Arab masses in the perspective of a secular and democratic Palestine, where the Palestinian population can finally decide their fate, envisioning to integrate a Federation of Socialist Arab Republics.
Solidarity with Palestine
It is necessary to raise the banner of effective and active solidarity to the Palestinian cause, a symbol of the just struggles against exploitation and oppression throughout the world. And to draw inspiration from the heroic resistance of the Palestinians, demonstrated today in the Great March of Return from Gaza. The 45 killed and more than 5,500 injured in protests by the State of Israel do not stop those who have nothing to lose, whose fundamental human rights have been denied for 70 years. For Palestinians, to resist is to exist.
Support the events for the 70 years of Nakba! Boycott Israel!
For a free Palestine, from the river to the sea, end of the racist State of Israel!
For the construction of a revolutionary and socialist alternative in Palestine!