SHARE

This article was first published in IWL-FI’s theoretical magazine Marxism Alive (New Epoch) n. 2

The request for the acknowledgement of a Palestinian state within the boundaries previous to the 1967 war and the right to a permanent seat in the Security Council of the UN that the President of the Palestinian National Authority (PAN), Mahmud Abbas, presented to the above mentioned organism once again posed the issue of the “Palestinian question” in the centre of the international political debate.  

A short time before, last May 15th, on the day of the Nakba (catastrophe in Arab) thousands of exiled Palestinians marched from the bordering countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan) together with sympathizers of those countries towards the frontier, thus claiming their right to return to the land from which they were evicted in 1948. These mobilizations ere repressed, first by the armies and police forces of the Arab countries and those who did manage to cross the borderline were then repressed by the Israeli army.  

These mobilisations echoed clearly all over the world and signalled that the Arab revolution, initiated in Tunisia last January is now spreading powerfully on to the Palestinian people and is driving all the old political organisations into crisis.  

{module Propaganda 30 anos}It is a very important event: the demand of the Palestinian people to recover their historic land (today divided into what belongs directly to the State of Israel and the part that Israel controls indirectly, through the mediation of Palestinian National Authority) is the unifying demand in the struggle of all Arab peoples. It is a cause intrinsically associated to the need of destroying the imperialist military enclave: Israel.  

This is so because of two reasons: Israel has been the main aggressive weapon for military attacks against those nations; secondly, the Palestinian tragedy that came together with the creation of that state is still a bleeding wound in the heart of Arab peoples.  

That is why, the demand for the recovery of Palestine and the destruction of the State of Israel is to be posed as a joint process. This new wave of revolutionary ascent of the Palestinian people makes it deeper and stronger. On the other hand, this takes place when the Zionist state and the society on which it is based evidence increasing symptoms of crisis and weakness. It is not a coincidence that analysing the events to the 15th May, a Zionist journalist said that they “revived the most secret fears” of the authorities and Israel secret services that a revolutionary mobilisation of the masses could tear down the frontiers of Israel. What seem unattainable task until just a few years ago today – within the frameworks of the Arab revolution is regarded as real and possible, even in the “most secret fears” of the Zionists.  

Zionist legends

To understand the current “Palestinian question” arose, it is necessary to see how the State of Israel was created in 1948 and what its creation meant for the Palestinian people.   Zionism, political-ideological trend, founded in Europe in 1897, that carried out the creation of the modern State of Israel, justified its actions by means of a main historic falsification: they drew close together  “a landless people” (the Jews and a “people less land” (Palestine). It was with this great lie that they justified all the ruthless crimes committed by Zionism to “wipe out” the Palestinian people from history.  

In the early XX century, Palestine was a province dominated by the Turkish Empire. In 1917, 644 999 Arab Palestinians and 56 000 Jews lived there.[1] In that same year, the Balfour Declaration was signed between the British authorities and the European Zionist organisation to encourage and finance Jewish migration to Palestine. Furthermore, this agreement sealed the strategic alliance between Zionism and western imperialist powers. This alliance became evident through the words spoken by the Zionist leader, Chaim Weizmann, later the first President of Israel who, by the end of the I World War ensured, “a Judaic Palestine will be the safeguard for England, particularly where the Suez Channel is concerned”. (Weinstock, Nathan, Zionism, false Messiah).

One the war was over and the defeat and dismembering, Society of Nations (ancestor of the UN) declared the territory to be the British Mandate. The population was as follows: in 1922, there were 664 000 Palestinians and 84 Jews; in 1931: 750 000 and 175 000 respectively. Zionism has achieved considerable growth of the Jewish population but Palestinian Arabs continued being a vast majority.  

The creation of the State of Israel: violent and ruthless usurpation

After the II World War, a very important shift in the situation of imperialist countries took place: the shrinking of England became more evident and USA surfaced unabashed as the hegemonic power.  

The control of the Middle East, possessor of two thirds of world reserves of oil, acquired strategic value. That is why, USA, apart from seeking support from allied petro-monarchies needed a “base of their own”, a solid point of support to control the region. It was the State of Israel that had to play that role.  

European Jews had just suffered atrocious genocide perpetrated by the Nazis and the whole world was in shock over that. Imperialists and Zionists took advantage of this just feeling for their own benefit. On the one hand, the immigration of European Jews to Palestine was accelerated; on the other hand, who could oppose the creation of a state where Jews could “live in peace” and “heal their wounds”. However, there was a pending problem to be solved: what was to be done with the Palestinians living on those lands.  

Boosted by the American imperialism and with the support from the Stalinist bureaucracies in what was then the USSR, in November 1947, the General Assembly of the UN voted a resolution creating two states in Palestine: one was Jewish (Israel) and the other one was Arab. At that moment 1 300 000 Arab Palestinians and 600 000Jews lived there.  

But the UN granted 52% of the territory to the minority that, furthermore, had been created artificially. Even in the territory granted to Israel, Palestinians were majority (950 000).  

“Ethnic cleansing”

The legalised usurpation was further aggravated by the terror unleashed by Zionism when driving Palestinians from their homes and their lands as form the day of the effective birth of the State of Israel (14 May 1948).  

Zionist armed organisation (such as Ergun and Lehi) attacked hundreds of Palestinian villages. What happened in the Deir Yassin village (near Jerusalem remain as a symbol: in order to get them out of their properties, nearly 200 out of the 600 inhabitants were murdered, including old people, women and children.  

As an outcome of the six-month long ethnic cleansing (blessed by imperialism and Stalinism), only 138 000 Palestinians remained in the Israeli territory. The rest were evicted. 

Later, the Israeli passed the Absentees Bill: houses and lands of citizen declared absent were appropriated by the state, who distributed them among those “present”. It was in this way that while in1947, Jews in Palestine only possessed 6% of the land, and by 1948 they had already grabbed 90%. Using the method already tested out in Deir Jassin Zionists and Israel appropriated and additional 15% of the land apart from the 52 granted by the UN.  

Evicted Palestinians went as exiles to other Arab countries, especially Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) or to more distant regions, such as USA or Latin America. In this way, the people got divided into three sectors: those who live within the Israeli boundaries, those who live in Gaza and Western strip and the exiles. This is how the tragedy (Nakba) was born, caused by the creation of the State of Israel. This is also how the struggle to recover the historic land began.  

Time aggravated the problem    

In the over seventy years that elapsed, the Palestinian question kept on getting worse and worse. The various wars that took place between Israel and the Arab countries (1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973) ended in the defeat of the Arabs. This is how the legend of “Israel the Invincible” was spawned and was to be the dominating belief in the period to follow.  

After the 1967 war (known as the 7 days war) Israel invaded and occupied territories allotted to the Palestinians and up to that moment under the Egyptian administration (Gaza) and Jordanian administration (East Bank) together with the Golan Heights (Syria) still in their power. In 1993, in the occupied territories, the National Palestinian Authority was created as a result of the Oslo Agreements.  

On the other hand, Israel carried out several invasions of Lebanon (1978, 1982 and 2006). The two first ones were to attack camps of Palestinian refugees in that country. In1982, the Lebanese Phalange, an ultra right group supported by the Israeli, carried out the infamous Sabra and Chatila camps in western Beirut.  

Some Arab administrations have already collaborated with Israel in the persecution of Palestinians. Such was the case of “Black September” of 1970, when Jordanian army attacked the Palestinian camps in that country, trying to evict its inhabitants and killed about 20 000 people.  

On the other hand, the 2006 invasion of Lebanon seeking to attack Hezbollah and ended with the first clear defeat of the Israeli army       

From the PLO…

In the 1960, there was a very important event in the history of the Palestinian struggle: the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) was founded, integrated by all the political organisations of that nation. A-Fatah was the main force and Yasser Arafat became the leader of the PLO.  

Regardless their deep limitations due to their national bourgeois character, the PLO, Al Fatah and Arafat had two great merits in those days. The first one was to turn the “Palestinian question to turn into the central issues of world politics.  

The second one was that the central point of their programme was to achieve a Secular, Democratic and Non-Racist Palestine. This proposal engulfed various central questions:

·      Rejection of the “two states” because this meant admitting and accepting the usurpation and the theft legalised  by the UN resolution of 1947  

·      Expressed the right from those that had been evicted from their homes and lands and the devolution of the latter  

·      Since after their return the Palestinians would be a clear majority, it was stated that all the Israeli Jews wishing to remain there and coexist in peace could do so with full rights (democratic and non-racist character of the State was proposed);   

·      The construction of a new Palestine implied the need of destroying the State of Israel for were it to exist, its very character would make this solution impossible.   

This proposal was the only real solution to the “Palestinian question”. In it time it won the support of almost all the left, including the trend that paved the way for the IWL-FI. Today, unfortunately, it has been abandoned by the PLO as well as by the Al-Fatah. And yet, the IWL-FI still stands stalwartly for it and we keep it up as the central proposal for the solution of the “Palestinian question”.  

…to the Oslo Agreements and the National Palestinian Authority

In the late 70s, American imperialism adopted a policy of cooptation of bourgeois nationalist leaderships in the Middle East that had started capitulating.  

A central step in this direction was taken in Egypt, after the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser (1970). In 1979, his successor, Anwar el-Sadat signed the Camp David agreement with USA and Israel, acknowledged the State of Israel and put an end to the struggle against the latter. Hosni Mubarak deepened this policy and transformed Egypt into a key part of the policy of imperialism and Israel against the Palestinian territories.  

Several years later, this reactionary swerve of the Egyptians was accompanied by Yasser Arafat and the leadership of the PLO which, evicted from Lebanon has now settled down in Tunisia. In 1993 they signed the Oslo Agreements with Israel and USA by means of which they acknowledged Israel and abandoned the struggle for its destruction. This means that the PLO set aside their founding programme. In consideration of which they received a promise of creation of a future Palestine mini-State within the narrow frontiers of Gaza and West Bank, constantly reduced by the settling of Jewish settlers.  

However, the truth is that not even that promise has been fulfilled and in consideration of their betrayal, the leaders of the PLO and Al-Fatah obtained the formation of PAN on the Gaza Fringe and West bank. Actually, the PAN is a colonial administration with very limited powers, similar to the Bantustans of the days of South African apartheid, under Israeli military control and deeply dependant financially on Israel and aid from abroad.  

To understand the imperialist and Israeli policy of creating PAN we must understand that by 1987, the first Intifada had started a rebellion of the Palestinian youth on the occupied territories who, with stones in their hands, challenged Israeli weapons and tanks. In spite of relentless repression, Israel could not put an end to it while elements of crisis among the Zionist army grassroots. These were clear signals the policy of directly occupying Palestinian territories had reached its limits.  

At the same time, as from the moment that Al-Fatah took over in the PAN, it was no longer representative of the struggle of most of the Palestinian people against Israel. Its leadership and its main cadres had become corrupt bourgeois looting on the funds of the PAN. What is worse, they had turned into colonial agents of Israel and imperialism, accomplices of repression against the Palestinian peoples using for this the PAN police force. This process had begun with Yasser Arafat, but it got worse after he was murdered and replaced by Mahmoud Abbas.  

Enter Hamas

The betrayal of the nationalist bourgeois leaders together with the emerging of the regime of the Ayatollahs in Iran after the 1979 revolution allowed for this space to be taken up by Islamic fundamentalist trends just as the Iranian regime and the Hezbollah in Lebanon, who maintain their programme that includes the destruction of Israel. Within the Palestinian territories, a space was opened for the growth of Hamas, an organisation related to the Moslem Brotherhood of Egypt.  

In 2006, the shrinking of the Al-Fatah was reflected in the triumph of Hamas in the elections to PAN. This fact was led to a confrontation between the two organisations and a coup de état by Mahmoud Abbas with the support from Israel, which retained the domination over the West bank, but the coup was defeated in the Gaza Strip, which remained under the control of Hamas. Ever since then, Israel blockaded this territory and has been launching continuous attacks to evict Hamas, a target they have not yet achieved.   

In spite of all the resistance and of having maintained the struggle against Israel, the influence and the prestige of Hamas has been decaying. This is due to: firstly because within the Gaza Fringe they have persecuted and repressed oppositionists, including those who are against Israel and Abbas. Secondly, they have had the wrong attitude towards the Egyptian revolution and they have even prevented or even repressed mobilisation that were cropping up in Gaza in favour of that revolution. Finally, and as a central question, they have always had a policy of conciliation towards Al-Fatah and Abbas. Summoning them to “unity” and this is now expressed in agreement of reconciliation they signed with the leaders of both organisations.  

Impact of the Arab revolution

It is within this context that last January, in Tunisia, the current wave of the Arab revolution began and is now spreading all over the region. The demonstrations of March this year were the first evidence of its penetration in Palestine. “Tens of thousands of Palestinians marched across Gaza and West Bank demanding the end of the political divisions of the occupation by Israel…” (The Guardian, 15/03/2011).  

The impact of the Arab revolutionary process on the Palestinian people, especially on the youth, is great for various reasons. First of all, it places the great demonstrations and massive actions as a tool fit to achieve changes in the situation that seemed inevitable. If this was the way to defeat Mubarak, why can we not fight against Israel?   Secondly, it shows the youth vanguard that it is possible to organise demonstrations independently (or even against) the old political organisations, whether secular or Islamic that keep on calling for “peace” and “negotiation”. From this point of view, internet has turned into formidable tool in the hands of those youths for organisation and communication for struggle.  

It is a generation of young Palestinians who are taking their first steps. They are the foundations of a real possibility of building a new Palestinian leadership that may turn into an alternative to the old leaders and organisations, responsible for so many years of defeats and frustrations.  

A great sketch of the future   

It was as from here that young Palestinian activists in the territories and in exile started to organise the latest activity in memory of Nakba, to “drill through” the frontiers with Israel. They decided to do so from outside because they had better conditions to do it this way. They coped with stumbling blocks and repression from the Arab governments in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But they reached the borderline… and crossed it.  

We can say that this demonstration and its outcome were a kind of first sketch of how struggle against Israel is to be carried out. It showed that, supported by the process of the Arab revolution, a great mobilisation of the masses of the Arab world can put Israel on their backs. That is why Zionists regard it as “their worst fear”.  

Of course, the character of Israel as an imperialist military enclave – heavily armed and ready to do anything in order to preserve themselves – poses the need for the revolutionary mobilisation to have some military development. What we are highlighting here is the political framework of which this military development will be part. On the other hand, the defeat of Lebanon in 2006 has already pulled down the myth of “military invincibility” of Israel.  

The Al-Fatah – Hamas agreement    

Shortly before this battle was fought, Mahmoud Abbas and the leader of the Hamas, Khaled Meshal, signed “an agreement of reconciliation”. Reports are that Hamas would accept for Abbas to continue as a president of the PAN to keep on negotiating agreements of security with Israel.  

As we have already seen, ever since 2006, Al-Fatah and Hamas have been in blatant confrontation. Abbas and PAN cooperated with the blockade and Zionist attacks against the Gaza Strip and Hamas exposed Abbas for this accomplice role and rejected the prospect “independent Palestinian state” that Abbas negotiated. Why and on what bases are they now “reconciled”? It is an agreement that expresses a deep contradiction and can be analysed from various angles.  

Firstly, it is the outcome of the mobilisation of the Palestine people, especially that of last March. Let us just remember the demand of “end the political divisions””- From this point of view, the agreement is regarded by the Palestinian masses as a triumph, as a positive step towards the strengthening the struggle against Israel<, something that doubtlessly boosted the massive participation in the marches on the Israeli borderlines.  

But in the background the reconciliation between Hamas and Al-Fatah aims at other targets. Among the main ones there is the fact that it is a preventive agreement intended to halt and control the impact of the Arab revolution on the Palestinian toiling masses and youth for its development goes against the political plans and projects of both organisations. It was during the last March mobilisations. The Guardian informed, “The dominating political factions of Al-Fatah and Hamas authorised the marches, but many independent activists complained about the attempt of party leaders to control the protests and so avoid an Egyptian-style revolt to overcome.”  

Once the agreement was signed, Noura Erakat, a Palestinian activist on exile, analysed that, “One might say that the formation of a unity government is a preventive tactic to try and contain the increasing Palestinian restlessness and the increasing relevance of juvenile protest in an Arab spring. (web site Jadaliyya.com, 4/5/20011)  

We must also take a third aspect into consideration: the request to discuss the possibility of creating an independent Palestinian mini-state at the General Assembly of the UN. Benjamin Netanyahu has just highlighted his opposition to this request and Obama has just expressed his support to this rejection. The Al-Fatah-Hamas agreement would therefore be a way of showing imperialism that there is a Palestinian leadership capable of controlling the process in the territories and, at the same time,, press the Israeli government to accept the debate and, if it is passed, accept the resolution creating this State.  

Racist and militarist society

At the beginning of this article, we pointed out that the current revolutionary wave in the Arab world and its expression among the Palestinians take place at a time when the Zionist State and the society on which it is based evidence symptoms of crisis and weakness. In order to understand this crisis and its character, we shall thoroughly analyse the character of this society and this state.  

Israel was born as a military enclave set up in Palestine to defend the interests of imperialism in strategic territories. Its creation has been based on a “transplant” of a population foreign to the region: Jewish immigrants. This artificial character was further heightened as time went by and post-1948 immigrations arrived: because of the Law of Return, any Jew who would settle down in Israel, even if he had no previous links with Palestine, would automatically receive Israeli citizenship and all the privileges, a right that Arabs are barred from, even if they are descendants of displaced Palestinians.  

In 1990s, after the fall of the USSR, a migration of over a million of Jewish Russians was encouraged. These migrants are now the spearhead of colonisation and of the grabbing of the land on the West Bank, and constitute the grassroots of one of Israeli furthest right-wing organisations. This is the case of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party. He is the current Foreign Minister of the Benjamin Netanyahu administration and a Russian immigrant, established his legal address in a colony of West Bank. This means that the “national essence” of Jews who settled in Palestine and of their descendants is a foreign population that seized the land belonging to native inhabitants and exert oppression in the service of imperialism. That is how they acquire racist and militarist character.  

The “common link that draws all the Jewish citizens together is the awareness that in one way or another they live off usurped land of other people and the support they receive from imperialism in consideration of  their role of watchdogs in the region. They know that Arabs are their victims and fear lest these peoples get together and drive them away. That is why the main cohesive factor of this racist, violent and militarist society is the fear in the face of a “common enemy”.  

In order to defend this character of the Zionist State, Israeli population is constantly living on the warpath. Every citizen – man or woman – over 18 is to do his or her compulsory 3-year military service. Then they become reservists until they are 50 with a month of training every year. The population is trained to live permanently in the service of the army.  

This character also has economic bases. Essentially, Israel can be defined as a huge imperialist base, where soldiers live with their relatives and develop some productive activities as a support. But it all clearly hinges round war and production of weapons.  

From the point of view of “normal” parameters, the State has permanent deficit of nearly $10 000 million a year. These “gaps” are filled with funds from abroad: $3 000 yearly grants officially mailed from USA. Further $2 000 million reach that country through other sources, and finally there is the money collected by Zionist organisations all over the world.  

At the same time, for years now, production of weapons as well as military and security technology is the main economic activity of the country. They not only fail to supply for their own needs but also 40% of the country’s exports is weapons and military technology. In spite of its reduced population, Israel is today world’s fifth exporter of military products. In the country’s official pages, this is disguised as “production of high technology”. In other words, most of the Israeli population lives directly or indirectly from war budget and production of weapons.  

The crisis of a nazi-fascist state

“The genetic character” of Israeli society and state explains why their political life has been shedding off the “progressive” and even “socialist” varnish they used to have in the early decades and has been overtly swerving rightwards towards clear expressions of racism and militarism, such as the netayahu administration and its Lieberman wing. In 2006, the military defeat in Lebanon and the difficulty of overcoming Gaza brought as consequence an even worse strengthening of the right tendency of political life.  

But within the framework of this inevitable strengthening of the right tendencies, there are some obvious symptoms of crisis and weakening and crisis of this militarist and racist state. This crisis is due to a combination of reasons.  

One of them is the increasing isolation of Israel as the repudiation of Israel’s genocidal and repressive nature grows. This is expressed in the growth of the Boycott Campaign (BDS), the way important sectors of artistic and intellectual community, which used to support Israel and even in the symptoms of the crisis in a strong part of the American Jewish community.  

But here can be no doubt: the centre of this crisis is in the evidence that the days of “almighty Israel” are over as we could see from the military defeat in Lebanon, the difficulty of overcoming the Gaza Fringe and now the rebirth of Palestinian mobilisation for “Return”. Gone are the decades of “comfort” when Israeli society received many benefits out of its character of colonial enclave (which allowed many sectors to develop living standards similar or superior to the best of Europe and USA without too much sacrifice). Today the clear supremacy in military technology is no token for victory… and let alone for lack of peril.  

That is why this society is undergoing difficult tests that announce decisive clashes. This change is taking place at a time when vast sector have turned bourgeois and are drifting away from the ideological and militant attitude sp characteristic to the previous generations that defended Israel and were prepare to give their lives for it.  

The attitude of General Dan Halutz, the commanding officer of Israeli troops, concerned about what would happen to his investments on the Exchange in the middle of a meeting where the 2006 invasion on Lebanon was a symptom of the degree of deterioration of the morals of the armed Forces top-notches. Another important symptom was that many civilian and military VIPs tried to prevent their children from being anywhere near where a battle could be fought and tried to fin them secure posts in central buildings in Tel Aviv that, according to Zionist daily Haaretz, we “far from the war and near the shopping malls.”  

As reality looms more and more dangerous, may get fed up with this atmosphere and the number of Israeli citizens willing to leave the country accrues. Numbers are carefully concealed: some talk of tens others of hundreds of thousands. But it is a fact that considerable number of Israeli citizens many of them belonging to the intellectual and professional elite look for an individual solution in migrating, to escape from the hell of a “permanent war”. Most of them say nothing about abandoning the country: they mention plans of studies of temporary jobs abroad (USA or Europe) but a great many stay abroad and only return for brief visits to their families. Another figure that is swelling is that of non-explicit desertion. It refers to youngster in the age of military service who are trying to duck being sent to the front and doing the service in Palestinian or Lebanese territories.  

Inasmuch as the descendants of the “founders” are no longer willing to defend Israel with weapons in their hands (many of them will not even stay in the country), the “militant” base is transferred on to the new immigrants such as the Russian Jews, whose privileges are in the colonies on the West Bank and State grants. That is why they are so highly radicalised against the Palestinians and have such predisposition to fight for this defence.  

But in this shift, Zionism has lost some of their best cadres forged during decades. It is not all about the old Ashkenazi sectors breaking with the character of the Israeli State and starting to fight against it: they just are no longer in the first line of fire.  

We must also mention the thousands of the indignant who, in the best Spanish style, have recently marched in Tel Aviv, claiming against the cost of living, of food and rents. At first sight, we can see some differences in these Israeli “indignants”. The first aspect is progressive: a sector of Israeli society gets moving for their demands, they challenge the Netanyahu administration and that weaken the Israeli “national unity”. But while the Spanish “indignants” carried out hard criticism against the political regime of their country, because of its close links with the great banks and corporations, the Israeli expressed no criticism and evidenced no elements of split with the character of Israel.  

We must understand that even an enclave such as Israel is affected by the international crisis and its consequences, such as the inflation that erodes the purchasing power of a sector of Israeli population.   So, the “indignants” surface like a sector that, without splitting with the character of the State, demands better economic conditions, a better share in the distribution of what the enclave receives.  

Tactical rubs between Obama and Netanyahu

International mass media have been giving a lot of space to the rubs and discrepancies between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations. There is no doubt that these differences exist. For example: Netanyahu criticised the reconciliation between Al-Fatah and Hamas, while Obama sustained a more open  position as long as they “give up violence, live up to the agreements reached in the past and acknowledge Israel.” In the previous months, Obama had flirted with the possibility of creating a Palestinian state within the frontiers previous to 1967, while Netanyahu was decidedly against negotiating this at that moment.  

It is necessary to see what these differences express and what their strategic and tactical implications are. For American imperialism, Israel is the “strategic ally” in the Middle East: their most secure base in the midst of Arab world. This is something Obama himself asserted during his campaign, when he met the different expressions of the “Israeli lobby”. This is the strategic limit of the disagreements: if taken to extremes (real possibility of destruction of the State of Israel), American imperialism and Obama himself will do anything within their political and military reach to defend it.

But Obama had to respond to a world and regional situation that is unfavourable for imperialism, with the military defeat in Iraq and another almost certain in Afghanistan, a situation that has been worsened by the outbreak of the Arab revolution and its reflection among the Palestinian people. The response is based centrally on pacts and negotiations in quest of defence of strategic interest.  

That is why he tried to deactivate, or at least delay the explosion) represented in the Palestinian situation. Opening a debate and negotiations about the creation of the Palestinian mini-state was part of this policy.  

But for this purpose it was necessary for the Netanyahu administration to grant some concessions (such as the reduction of colonies on Western Bank or the end to the Gaza blockade to make these negotiations “credible” and allow Abbas (and even Hamas) prove that progress is reached in this way.  

Stubborn denial on behalf of the Netanyahu put an end to any tactical alternative and forced him to strengthen the position of strategic ally in the region.. In this way the Obama administration suffers further erosion for he is now regarded as “the same thing as Israel” without any chance of acting as mediator. Or guarantee of the negotiation. 

From the strategic point of view, Netanyahu’s situation is totally different. He probably knows that he will have to accept the opening of a debate in the UN and negotiations with the Palestinians. But he wishes to postpone it as much as possible so as to seek for better conditions: after completing the Judaization of Jerusalem, he wants to grab as much land as possible on West Bank and defeat Hamas in Gaza. At the same time, today he cannot accept this debate and these negotiations for this would mean the bursting of the ruling coalition and the breach of his alliance with the most recalcitrant sectors, such as the above mentioned Lieberman and his party Yisrael Beytenu.   

The mini-State is not a solution

What is the solution to the over six-decade long conflict between Palestinians and Israel? Basically, two alternatives are proposed.  

The most widespread proposal is “two peoples, two states”, that will be under discussion in the General Assembly of the UN. It is supported by imperialism, Al-Fatah and PLO and important part of the world left.   In spite of its restricted character, and after so many years of suffering and of having no country of their own, this proposal is regarded as “not the ideal but at least more just” even by some sectors of the Palestinian people, as a step forward, something the Israeli administration resists, a starting point from which to keep on advancing.  

From this point of view, it is nothing but the continuation of the 1947 UN resolution. It would once more sanction and legalize the theft and usurpation that creation of Israel meant, even if it were adapted to frontiers previous to 1967. At the same time, Palestinian people would be definitely divided into three much weaker sectors. The first one, the million and a half of Palestinians who live in Israel, will be doomed to put up with attacks from Israeli administrations eager to wipe away their memory and their history (for example: prohibition to commemorate the Nakba), gradually deprive those who will not swear fidelity to Israel and Zionism of Israeli nationality; and finally, according to the Lieberman plan, evict them directly or leave them in conditions that cannot be sustained, like those that live in Eastern Jerusalem.  

The three million and a half who live in Gaza and Western Bank, inhabitants of the future “independent” mini-state, will be compelled to live in a fragmented country, with no viable economic autonomy and even, if they comply with the commitments that Abbas is accepting, they would not have any armed forces of their own and their frontiers would be patrolled by NATO troops. To say it in other words: little more than what they have in the PAN, equally hedged in by Israel and their military boot, only formally more “independent”.  

Finally, the five million who live abroad will definitely see their right to return vanish into thin air. This is the deep meaning of the creation of the two states: accepting this resolution, they will accept that the usurped land from which Palestinians were evicted will now definitely and legally belong to Israel. The Palestinian mini-state will offer no objective possibility (neither land nor money) for them to settle down there.  

With this policy, the leaders of Al-Fatah and Hamas basically express the interests of the bourgeois sectors of Vest Bank and Gaza, for whom the creation of this mini-state might bring some benefits. But they do so sacrificing all the other sectors and essentially the exiles that, as we have seen, will have lost their chance to return.  

This is what the recent mobilisations reflect, with Palestinian young people living in Syria, Lebanon or Jordan and other, more distant countries, became the vanguard. In their opinion, as Spray Michel (a Brazilian journalist of Palestinian stock) said at an interview published in the magazine International Courier nr 5, the right to return is not negotiable and it is a mobilising guideline: We shall return to our land!  

This opens deep contradictions with the leaderships of Al-Fatah and Hamas and – as we have already mentioned above, as from the mobilisations, the possibility of building new Palestinian leadership as an alternative to the old leaders and organisations responsible for so many years of defeats and frustrations.  

That is why Abbas and Al-Fatah are trying to find a new position. They signed the “agreement of reconciliation” with Hamas and – against the opinion of Israel and imperialism – they presented a request of acknowledgement of the Palestinian State to the UN. This bid is beginning to render some crops, at least in West Bank: thousands of Palestinians poured into the streets to celebrate this request and, on his return, Abbas was cheered with great enthusiasm. This means that in order to keep on being the agent of Israel and imperialism, Abbas had to play a tactical game that faces puts him face-to-face with them on diplomatic grounds.  

And yet, even with all the limitations that this demand posed by Abbas contains, American imperialism are not fit to grant it and insist on opposing it. If the vote is taken in the UN, it would spell a political defeat for them.    

The only real solution: construction of a sole, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine and the destruction of Israel

Challenging the proposal of the “two states”, we still uphold that the only real solution for the “Palestine question” is the one that was contained in the founding programme of the PLO: construction of a sole, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine.  

A Palestine with no walls and concentration camps, one to which millions of refugees can return and the millions who remained and are now oppressed can recover their rights. A country where all the Jews who are willing to coexist in peace and equality; a proposal that was abandoned by the PLO but is still asserted by thousand of Palestinian activists all over the world and could be heard at the recent demonstrations in memory of the Nakba.  

But this proposal cannot be carried out and there can be no peace in Palestine until the State of Israel is not definitely destroyed; i.e.: until the imperialist cancer that grinds down the region is not totally and definitely extirpated. We summon Jewish workers and toiling masses to join this struggle against a racist gendarme of Israel. However, we must be fully aware that, because of the character of the Israeli Jewish population that we have analysed, it is most likely that only a small fringe will accept our proposal while the great majority of them, including the old Ashkenazi grassroots of Zionism, will certainly defend “their state” and their privileges fiercely and that consequently we shall have to fight against them to the bitter end.  

The destruction of Israel and the construction of a new Palestine is a historic task, equivalent to the destruction of the German Nazi State or the state of the apartheid in South Africa. It is a hard task and it may take many years.   But the Arab revolution and the mobilisation of Palestinian toiling masses, together with the defeat of the Zionist troops in Lebanon and the crisis of the Zionist State and society pose it to be possible and the current joint political and military struggle and the Arab toiling masses will make this feasible.                  

[1] All the data referred to the population have been taken from the book Hidden history of Zionism by Ralph Shoenman.