By Carlos Petroni (León Pérez)
Adopted by International Left
“This country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God himself. It would be ridiculous to ask him to account for his legitimacy.”— Golda Meir, Le Monde, October 15, 1971.
Israel is an artificial state created by the imperialism of the United States and England in 1948, with the support of the Europeans, sectors of the Arab bourgeoisie, even the Soviet Union and its Stalinist satellites with the aim of resolving the cumbersome “Jewish question” to which they held partly responsible for having had to participate in the war against the Nazi-Fascist-Japanese Empire axis. For all of them it was a nuisance to have Jewish minorities on their borders and they saw in the creation of the State of Israel a way to get rid of the problem. At the same time, the US and England saw the State of Israel as an enclave to stop and defeat the anti-colonial revolution that was developing throughout Africa and particularly in the northern and central areas of the continent. The Zionists created the state of Israel as a Jewish fundamentalist religious state to culturally and politically trap the Jewish diaspora and to manage it as they please without having to answer to anyone because, after all, they proclaimed themselves “the chosen people”:
“For you [Israel] are a holy people to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you among all the people on the face of the earth, to be his people and his treasure” (Deuteronomy 7:6).
The Arab-Israeli war of 1948, also falsely known by the Israeli state as the “War of Independence” (they had no one to free themselves from because they were the aggressors and invaders of foreign lands) or “War of Liberation” (There was no such liberation, it was pure aggression), which occurred from May 1948 to mid-1949, was the first of a series of armed conflicts that pitted the State of Israel and its Arab neighbors, in what is known globally as the Arab-Israeli conflict.
For the Palestinian people this war marked the beginning of what they more appropriately call the Nakba (‘The Catastrophe’, or ‘the Disaster’). Israel evicted millions from their lands and forced more than a million Palestinians to live in refugee camps in different nearby countries. Since then, Zionist aggression and oppression against the Palestinian people has not ceased. They continued to seize land from other countries, such as the Golan Heights of Syria, and from the Palestinians, pushing them and locking them in two tiny strips in Gaza and the West Bank, which now do not communicate, and whose populations live in virtual concentration camps. under the open sky, surrounded by Israel Defense Forces (IDF), walls, barbed wire… In the West Bank, the so-called Palestinian Authority is nothing more than a contractor for Israel’s security.
Israel’s current attack on Gaza, as a massive reaction to the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers on October 7, has already seen 24,000 civilians killed in Gaza by the IDF, 50,000 injured, hundreds of thousands of homes, all hospitals and schools destroyed. The massacre in Gaza has killed mostly women and children. At the beginning of the military attacks with tanks, indiscriminate bombings and infantry operations, Israel forced the expulsion of 1 million Palestinians from the North to the South, telling them that there they would be safer from the bombings. When the Palestinians fled south and formed refugee camps, Israel began bombing them mercilessly, even using more powerful weapons than in the North. With this, Israel has accelerated its plans for genocide and expulsion of Palestinians who survive. Israel wants to push them to the Sinai desert.
Israel’s Zionism has committed and is committing every war crime imaginable: mass murder of civilians including women and children, destruction of their homes, cuts of their gas, oil and water supplies, systematic bombings, kidnapping of civilians linked to the armed groups or without any connection, keeps thousands of prisoners without trial or sentence, including children. Israel is an artificial state in the hands of Jewish fundamentalists who committed and continue to commit genocide. Israel could not survive if it were not for the billions of dollars in military, financial and exchange aid it receives from the US and a handful of European states. These countries, which also protect Israel in the UN and other international organizations, have mobilized troops, warplanes, and warships to the region, and on the other hand, attacked Hamas allies in several countries such as Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iran. These countries led by the US are co-authors of the genocide of the Palestinian people.
Now Israel bombs Iran to provoke war between this country and imperialism. Zionism’s strategy is to turn all its Arab neighbors into failed states to guarantee the creation of what they call “Greater Israel” by appropriating all lands in Palestinian hands and portions of neighboring Arab countries. The so-called “Zionist Revisionism” has had this strategy for a long time and it was gradually forged by first defeating the Jewish socialist and Bundist mass parties and then overcoming the “Zionist Labor” more inclined to negotiation and less to extreme militarism as proclaimed by the ¨Revisionism¨ which also, as its founder Vladimir Jabotinsky taught him, negotiates with Nazi governments and movements and collaborates in destroying the so-called progressive or left-wing governments. North American and British imperialism welcome, agree with and fully support this strategy because it would allow them to appropriate the natural resources, including oil and gas, of the Arab peoples and states, but fundamentally because it helps to dismantle the growing influence of the BRICS in the region.
The fiercest and bloodiest representatives of Zionist Revisionism are the prime ministers who emerged from terrorist organizations such as the Irgun, the Hagganah, Le ji, the Stern Gang, Palmaj and the Secret Service, the Mossad, founded and always directed by revisionism. They are Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir and the current Netanyahu who were members of those terrorist groups.
The International Left calls to defeat Zionism, crush Netanyahu’s government, dissolve the state of Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state where Jews and Palestinians coexist in peace; a secular, democratic, multi-ethnic and socialist state from the River to the Sea but also allowing the return to their homes of all displaced people and refugees from the Nakba. To this struggle we call on all Palestinians, and Jews subjected to barbarism by Zionism should recover the Jewish traditions of mass struggle, of workers, of socialism and internationalism that Zionism in power in Israel has silenced.
“The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) believes that the land of Palestine is a consecrated Islamic Waqf [endowment] for future Muslim generations until the Day of Judgment. Neither it nor any part of it should be wasted; neither it nor any part of it is to be abandoned. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, nor any king or president, nor all kings and presidents, nor any organization nor all of them, whether Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that.” – Hamas Pact, August 1988.
Hamas presents the problem as an interreligious confrontation, like Israel, but with a different sign. For Hamas, nationalism is a useful tool to pursue the end of a fundamentalist Islamic State in Palestine. Christians or non-believers could live in that Palestine as long as they agree with the Islamist hegemony and submit to it. In that aspect it is also a mirror of Israel. Hamas always appeals to the support of more powerful countries such as Iran, Qatar or Turkey. The governments of these countries subsidize Hamas with more than 200 million dollars a month. The China-Russia-BRICS bloc provides Hamas with diplomatic and UN cover.
We, as Marxists, recognize the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, which includes separation as their own state if they so wish. At the same time we reject Hamas, other fundamentalist organizations and even the PFLP and FDLP that accept this Islamic hegemony (otherwise they would not be authorized to operate within Gaza).
We defend the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination and we fight to give them revolutionary leadership. We reject Hamas, its fundamentalist ideology, its strategy of Islamic hegemony among those who live in Palestine and its purpose of domination over other religions or ideologies. We fight for a single Palestine, where Muslims, Christians, Jews and non-believers can live, secular with strict separation of state and religions and socialist.
Unlike Trotskyist organizations such as the Workers’ Party (PO) “which defend all actions taken by Hamas” and accept its leadership because “it is the leadership accepted by the masses” or the Socialist Workers’ Party – PTS (and its international, the Trotskyist Fraction) which Although they express different levels of disagreement with Hamas, they proclaim their “ unity of unconditional action¨ with Hamas and other organizations that claim to be resistance.
We also extend all our criticisms of parties such as the PTS (Trotskyist Fraction), Partido Obrero, Socialist Left (UIT) to other currents that are further to the right, such as those grouped in the Unified Secretariat, the different fractions in which they have divided the Lambertists, or the diaspora of organizations that come from Grantism. (Isaac Blank Germiston known as Edward (Ted) Grant, founder of The Militant and the various currents into which it has divided) and the International Workers League (LIT).
For us revolutionary Marxists, religious fundamentalism, whether Islamic, Jewish, Christian, Hindi, Buddhist or any other religion is a modern version of fascism. Religions are fundamentalist when they extend their activity to political issues, seek to seize the power of the State and impose their hegemony over the rest of society. In general, whether in India, Iran, Turkey or wherever, fundamentalists inevitably rely on some imperialism, which out of convenience or opportunism gives them free rein.
We are internationalists, therefore, for us the question of the direction of the resistance and the strategy to win in Palestine, including the task of building the revolutionary party, or in any other country, cannot be resolved, given the current conditions, in the ¨national¨ terrain but in the international one. This is doubly important when dealing with an oppressed country.
It is inconceivable that parties that call themselves revolutionary, like the PTS, say that the question of the leadership of the Palestinian people is an internal question for the Palestinians. We propose the construction of revolutionary parties in all countries, united in an international one. We demand that parties like the Partido Obrero or the PTS or the LIT that have the personnel and resources to do so build parties in Palestine and Israel.
To explain our position it is necessary to appeal to revolutionary Marxist theory, Trotskyism. Let’s start with the most common terms of this:
Unity in action is when two or more forces of different origin and even class converge in a common action in a limited way. There is no programmatic or organizational agreement beyond a direct, ephemeral and circumstantial action: for example, a march against a military dictatorship (Down with the dictatorship!) or for some democratic demand such as the fight for some right of women (For the right of unconditional. universal, free, abortion rights!) or immigrants (Papers for all!), etc. Common actions are limited to that objective, and all necessary criticisms and complaints of other participants in the unity in action are maintained. We hit the same target, even if we march apart. We can use this tactic on some specific occasions in Palestine, in the military field, for example with secular organizations, or in international solidarity movements with it. This tactic can also be used among small organizations.
United Workers’ Front, agreement of mass labor or political organizations on a program and measures of action to advance the interests of the entire working class. The UWF has a limited lifespan and its program is one of general democratic demands with the aim of advancing the interests of the whole.
The method of unity-confrontation is maintained, maintaining the independence of the different forces and making the necessary criticisms and warning the working class of the limits of the participating organizations when they are reformist. There is no asymmetric FUO between mass organizations and those that are not, there cannot be one because the direction and program in fact would not be agreed upon but rather imposed by the large, mass organization. Nor can there be UWF between small organizations because they would not have the possibility of mobilizing the working class as a whole or even its majority or a significant sector, one of the elementary clauses of a UWF. The UWF is proposed to mass organizations of the working class, such as unions or workers’ parties. For example, when leading a union, we called on other unions to prepare a partial or general strike or when Trotsky proposed in the 1930s a united front of German social democracy and the communist party to crush Nazism in the streets. Yes, it is a tactic that we can call upon the mass organizations of our class to make a reality demanding it. We are against, therefore, self-proclamation.
We flatly reject the policy of Stalinism and reformism of using the term United Front (UF), stripping it of its worker adjunct, to cover up alliances with bourgeois sectors or, as in the case at hand, with religious fundamentalist organizations. Without the participation of two or more sectors or mass workers’ organizations there is no WUF and this concept absolutely reject any alliance with the bourgeoisie.
The Unity in action or the UWF agreements ARE NEVER UNCONDITIONAL as proposed by PO and the PTS and other parties such as the Socialist Left and our participation or support for them must necessarily include criticism. As Lenin stated, “to unite, and with the purpose of uniting, you must first differentiate yourself .” What the Bolshevik leader proposed for relations between revolutionaries should be observed with even more reason in relation to other non-revolutionary organizations. Paraphrasing we could maintain that, to carry out a common action, and with the objective of carrying it out, the tactics, program and methods to be used must be exhaustively discussed.
Revolutionary United Front, a programmatic and methodological agreement in the direction of building a common revolutionary organization. The debate on program and tactics continues, although there is a strategic agreement. It can be practiced between small organizations or organizations of different sizes because the true objective of this RUF is to be in a common revolutionary organization.
HAMAS, Hezbollah, the regimes of Iran, Egypt or the kingdoms of Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the other bourgeois and reactionary Arab governments are not our allies, nor can they be allies of the Palestinian people whom they have betrayed many times and will do so again, but rather enemies of the strategic interests of all oppressed peoples and socialists. The Palestinian people must call the people of those countries and the world for revolutionary unity. For this, it must have a revolutionary organizations that we are willing to help build.
We do not do either UA or UWF with fascist, counterrevolutionary, Nazi or religious fundamentalist organizations (whom we characterize as a representation of fascism in the current era).
Hamas, Hezbollah, the IRG (Iranian Revolutionary Guard), etc. They are religious fundamentalist forces against revolutionaries that seek the hegemony of Islam and impose it on the rest of society. Not all enemies of our enemies are our friends.
Hamas maintains in its manifestos and forms of operation that Palestine is Muslim territory and that other religions and ideological groups must accept the hegemony of Islam and submit to it. Hamas’ strategy is to create an Islamic State in Palestine, based on Sharia Law and a policy of super oppression and exploitation of women and non-Islamists.
We defend the right to self-determination of peoples through which peoples must freely and democratically choose what they want to do, including their right to separate their nation from the other, oppressive one. Marxists, however, maintain that the best are federations or national alliances based on socialism and we defend this point of view both within the oppressed and oppressor nations.
Our defense of the right to self-determination of peoples does not mean or include the defense or support of the political-ideological leaderships of the oppressed nation and when they are reactionary like Hamas, we oppose them and always seek to organize revolutionary parties in the oppressed nationalities and in the oppressors.
With Hamas we also have other deep differences and confrontations of a strategic and tactical nature that include:
- We oppose the individual terrorism practiced on many occasions by Hamas. We oppose sending militants with bomb vests to markets or civilian populations. We are against sacrificing militants and civilian victims in this way.
- If the beginning of Hamas’s attack on Israel when they tore down fences and attacked military posts on October 7 is justifiable within the framework of the fight against the oppressor nation, this justification ends when Hamas members began to murder hundreds of civilians in the Kibbutzim. and at a party, including women and children.
- We are against the kidnapping of civilians, adults or children. In that sense, Hamas copies Israel, which holds more than 5,000 Palestinians hostage, including hundreds of children and women. This we consider a war crime.
- In the case of taking military prisoners and within all possibilities, they must be maintained with all guarantees of their physical integrity, food and care for their health and wounds. Hitting or torturing prisoners are war crimes.
- Armed actions against the oppressing nation must have mass support and never be the decision of groups that expose the rest of the people to their consequences without being consulted. We are against the militarization of politics, which puts a military leadership not elected by anyone outside the group of commanders in charge of all decisions and which keeps its decisions secret from the masses.
- The strategy of murdering civilians and children and creating retaliation a hundred times greater is a criminal strategy. We oppose the terrorist actions of Zionism that sends armed groups to different countries to assassinate opponents and we are opposed to the same tactic on the part of Hamas.
- We firmly maintain that any organization in the oppressed nation that fights against the oppressor nation has the duty to look for dissident elements in the oppressor nation or that may coincide with the struggle of the oppressed.
- Given the isolated characteristics of the Palestinian people and their manifest weakness in military terms, their liberation will depend on a revolutionary and internationalist alliance with the people of Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and the rest of the Arab countries and the Jews who are willing. to recover its rich history of labor, internationalist and socialist struggle. If Jews once formed communist-friendly organizations in many countries and provided them with many of their most prominent leaders, they can do so again. The construction of revolutionary, Marxist parties in all countries is the first step in this direction.
- In Palestine we fight for a secular, democratic, united and socialist state and against the oppression of Israel and imperialism against the Palestinian people. We oppose both the Jewish fundamentalist Zionist State and its counterpart, the proposal for a fundamentalist Islamic State.
- Freedom to all civilian prisoners and hostages in Israel’s prisons and Hamas tunnels!
- Rejection of all forms of religious fundamentalism and the exclusion of churches of all denominations from political and governmental activity. Religion for those who want it must be confined to private action without any type of subsidy or relationship with the State.
- For the construction of revolutionary, Marxist parties in Palestine and Israel!
- Stop the Genocide, Down with the Netanyahu government!
- Stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and collaborate internationally and on the ground with their liberation by collaborating in marches and solidarity actions.
- We oppose the ongoing attacks in the US and other countries against pro-Palestine labor or student organizations.
- For the trial and punishment of all members of the Israeli government and senior IDF commanders on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide!
- A democratically elected Palestinian people’s court must judge Hamas’ criminal actions such as the indiscriminate murder of civilians.
- Stop military and economic aid to the State of Israel!
- Boycott and isolation of the State of Israel for the genocide it is committing!
- Breaking diplomatic and commercial relations with Israel!
- For the construction of secular and socialist armed militias and for the distribution of weapons to the entire Palestinian population!
- For unity of military action with the secular forces of the resistance!
- For the dissolution of Hamas and its replacement by a secular, revolutionary and socialist leadership and government of the Palestinian people!
- For the dissolution of the Zionist state of Israel!
- For the right to unconditional return of all refugees from the Palestinian diaspora
- For a single, secular, united, democratic and socialist state from the river to the sea
- For the promotion of the workers and socialist revolution in the Arab peoples and the creation of a federation of socialist states
Socialism or Extinction!