The recent massacre carried out by Israel in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in the West Bank, has once again shown the violent and aggressive character of Israel in Palestine and in its treatment of Palestinians. It has also shown that the Palestinian people, especially the youth, do not give up and continue to heroically resist .
At the vanguard of this struggle, the Palestinian youth are increasingly advancing in their political awareness of the essence of the conflict and in their methods of struggle. This has been shown in an in-depth report by the BBC .
Among the various issues the article deals with, we would like to refer especially to young people’s rejection of the supposed solution of the “two states” that would divide the territory of Palestine into a Jewish one (Israel) and a Palestinian one. This was the conception with which the UN created Israel in 1948, legalizing the usurpation of most of Palestinian territory. Today, the “two-state solution” continues to be defended by many international leaders, an important part of the world left, and by the PNA (Palestinian National Authority) and its main political current (Fatah). About this supposed “solution,” the BBC writes:
“International leaders spent decades advocating the peaceful coexistence of two states – one Israeli and one Palestinian. But data obtained by the BBC show that this idea has fewer and fewer adherents, mainly among young Palestinians, who also seem not to believe in their own leaders. These unique data indicate that Palestinian youth are increasingly rejecting the idea of a two-state solution to the conflict.” Janna Tamimi, 17, showed “disdain” when asked about this and responded that “The two-state solution is a cliché thought up by the West that does not consider the real situation.”
For decades, the Morenoite current and the IWL have been arguing against the sectors of the world left and the Palestinian organizations themselves that defend them that the “two states” do not represent any solution.
Among many other articles, we mention one by Alejandro Iturbe published in the magazine Marxismo Vivo, in 2011, and recently reproduced on this page . The text which refers to the two states is the following:
“Despite its restricted character, after so many years of suffering and not having its own country, this proposal is seen, even by sectors of the Palestinian people themselves, if not as the “ideal and most just solution,” at least, as a step forward to which the Israeli government is opposed, a point of support to continue advancing.
In this sense, it is nothing more than a continuation of the 1947 UN resolution. It would again internationally sanction and legalize the theft and usurpation that was the creation of Israel, even if it were adopted on the basis of the pre-1967 war borders. At the same time, the Palestinian people would be definitively divided into three much weaker sectors.
The first of them, the 1.5 million Palestinians living inside Israel, will be condemned more and more to endure in isolation the attacks of Israeli governments that want to erase their memory and their history (for example, the prohibition to remember the Nakba); to gradually take away the Israeli nationality of those who do not swear allegiance to Israel and Zionism; and, finally, as is Lieberman’s plan, to expel them directly or leave them in untenable conditions like those living in East Jerusalem.
The three and a half million inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank, inhabitants of the future “independent” mini-State, will have to live in a fragmented country, without any possibility for economic autonomy and, even, if the compromises Abbas is accepting are fulfilled, without armed forces and with its borders patrolled by NATO troops. In other words, little more than the current PNA, equally encircled by Israel and its military boot, only formally more “independent.”
Finally, the five million living outside Palestine will see their right of return definitively liquidated. This is the de facto content of the creation of the “two states”: by accepting this resolution, one accepts that the stolen and usurped lands from which they were expelled are definitively and legally Israeli. And the Palestinian mini-state will offer no objective possibility (neither economic nor land) for them to settle there.
With their policy, the leaderships of Al-Fatah and Hamas basically express the interests of the bourgeois sectors of the West Bank and Gaza, for whom the creation of the Palestinian mini-state could bring some benefit. But they do so at the cost of sacrificing the other two sectors. Essentially the exiles who, as we have seen, would lose any possibility of returning.
And this is reflected in the recent mobilizations, where the vanguard has become the Palestinian youth living in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and also those from more distant countries. For them, as Soraya Misleh (a Brazilian journalist of Palestinian origin) expressed in an interview published in the magazine Correo Internacional No. 5, the right of return is non-negotiable, and the mobilizing axis is “We will return to our land!”
This opens deep contradictions between the leaderships of Al-Fatah and Hamas and, as we have already pointed out, from the mobilizations, the possibility of building a new Palestinian leadership as an alternative to the old leaders and organizations who have been responsible for so many years of defeats and frustrations. That is why Abbas and Al-Fatah began to try to make moves politically. They signed the “reconciliation agreement” with Hamas and presented the request for recognition of the Palestinian State to the UN against the opinion of Israel and imperialism. The move is beginning to pay off, at least in the West Bank, where thousands of Palestinians celebrated this request in the streets and, upon his return, Abbas was received with great enthusiasm. That is to say, in order to remain an agent of Israel and imperialism, with a certain popular weight, and not be swept away by the mobilization, Abbas needed to make a tactical move in the diplomatic field.
However, despite the limitations of the claim made by Abbas, today US imperialism and Israel are not in a position to grant it and are categorically opposed to it. For such a vote to take place in the UN would be a political defeat for them. For this reason, without changing one millimeter our position on the “two states” nor on the character of the UN, we defend the democratic right of the Palestinian people to demand such a vote in the UN General Assembly, and we will support any mobilization of this people for this demand.
The only true solution is the construction of a single, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine and the end of the state of Israel. Faced with the proposal of the “two states,” we claim that the only true solution to the “Palestinian question” is the one that was formulated in the founding program of the PLO: the construction of a single, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine.
A Palestine without walls or concentration camps, to which the millions of refugees expelled from their land can return, and to which the millions who remained and are today oppressed can regain their full rights. A country where all Jews who are willing to live together in peace and equality can remain. This is a proposal that was abandoned by the PLO but is claimed by thousands of young Palestinian activists around the world, and that was present in the recent mobilizations in memory of the Nakba.
But this proposal cannot be carried forward, and there will be no peace in Palestine until the State of Israel is definitively defeated and destroyed. That is to say, until the imperialist cancer that corrodes the region is not totally and definitively extirpated. We call on the Jewish workers and people to join this struggle against the racist and gendarme state of Israel.
However, we must be aware that, because of the character of large sectors of the Israeli Jewish population we have analyzed, it is most likely that only a small minority will accept this proposal. While a great majority, including the old Ashkenazi Zionist base, will likely defend “their state” and its privileges tooth and nail, and therefore we will have to fight them to the end.
The destruction of Israel and the building of a new Palestine is a historic task, equivalent to the destruction of the German Nazi state or the South African apartheid state. It is a difficult task that may take many years.
But the Arab revolution and the mobilization of the Palestinian people, added to the defeat of the Zionist troops in Lebanon and the crisis of the Zionist State and society, pose as a possibility a unified mass political and military struggle of the Palestinian people and the Arab masses as a whole that will allow victory.
*This text is the final part of the article “The ‘Palestinian question’, central point of the Arab Revolution” published in the magazine Marxismo Vivo Nueva Epoca No 2, in 2011. It was written after a great mobilization of young Palestinians in exile to Israel who “penetrated” the borders of Israel and managed to enter its territory. Today, as Soraya Misleh recounts in a recent article, the vanguard of Palestinian resistance has shifted to young Palestinians in the West Bank, in pockets she calls “lion dens.”