On Monday May 31, Israeli special naval commandos killed at least nine civilians, many of them Turks, on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza aiming at breaking the siege of Gaza
The Zionist state claims that the murders were in self defense. However, when the Israeli soldiers and police are attacked by right-wing settlers, the Israeli army knows how to use other means than live ammunition. This is reserved for the Palestinians and their supporters.
As we have written many times before, the more isolated the settler-colonialist state is, the more violent and oppressive it becomes. We saw the same in South Africa during the rule of the white racists. We saw the same in “French” Algeria during the struggle for independence.
Israel would not have dared to act in such a way were it not for the economic and political support it gets from the other imperialist states. The response from the European Union, whose citizens made up a large portion of the convoy’s passenger list, was very soft. Even worse was the response of the Obama Administration, which under the pretext of neutrality says it would be OK for the Zionist murderers to investigate themselves.
In the past few days we have heard Israeli spokespeople and their friends bend over backwards to convince the world that the navy had no choice, that the peace activists are to blamed. However, the masses are not likely to swallow this poison. The Zionist state that is starving the 1.5 million people in Gaza has a long history of massacres, beginning with the mass murder and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians refugees in 1947-8. All Israel is stolen land!
The Zionist state continues with the theft of Palestinian lands, and it is working to undermine the Muslims’ holy sites. It is being exposed further as a racist colonialist-settler state.
The Palestinian masses are ready for another uprising, but the problem is a lack of revolutionary leadership. The perspective of a Palestinian capitalist mini-state coexisting with Israel has proved itself to be a complete failure. Due to the bankruptcy of its strategy, Fatah has turned itself into an agent of Zionist and American imperialism. Hamas, which presents itself as a consistent opponent of Zionism, has made clear that it is willing to make a deal to live in peace with Israel, all the while oppressing the masses in Gaza.
But despite the suffering it inflicts, the ruling class cannot stand triumphant. The capitalist imperialist system, which backs Israel as its main cop in our oil-rich region, is suffering its worst economic crisis since the 1930s. A collapse like that of the USSR is what awaits the other imperialist states.
The crisis has stirred up the working classes in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. In the Middle East as well, the masses are beginning to show their revolutionary potential. In Egypt we have seen demonstrations, strikes, occupation of plants and mass struggles. These are struggles against Mubarak’s regime, which not only exploits the Egyptian masses but suppresses the Palestinian solidarity movement while building a steel fence around besieged Gaza.
In Iran, behind the protest movement against the open dictatorship of Ahmadinejad is the awakening of the working class, which is beginning to show its strength in the struggles of the steel workers in Khodro, of the car industry workers, in the actions of private sector workers in Tehran, and in the heroic struggles of the taxi drivers and sugar cane workers in Haft Tapeh.
The Palestinian masses alone cannot overthrow Israel, but they can play an important role as the vanguard of the workers and poor of the region. If the workers were in control of the countries neighboring Israel, instead of the treacherous bourgeoisie which seeks cooperation with imperialism, Israel could never maintain its strength.
The demand for a boycott of Israel is becoming more widespread. We support a boycott of Israel’s military industry, of the settlers and their supporters around the world, including lecturers and artists who are working in the service of the Israeli propaganda machine. We encourage the workers of the world to boycott arms shipments to and from Israel and to demand that every government cease any financial support for Israel. But we also oppose tactics which punish Israeli Jewish workers and poor and which push them into the hands of Israel’s rulers.
Over the next years, we hope to be able to convince many Jewish workers and poor in Israel that the road to peace is support for the Palestinian mass struggle against the Zionist state and its replacement with a Palestinian workers’ state. There, after the return of the refugees, the Jewish minority could live in peace without discrimination on an ethnic or religious basis. Unfortunately, we do not expect to convince more than a minority of the Israeli Jews.
We support every struggle of the working class and the masses which raises even partial demands on the bourgeoisie. But we live at a time when every partial victory of the masses will be reversed by the bourgeoisie and its reformist servants unless the struggle eventually leads to the overthrow of the capitalist system. In order to understand this one needs only to remember the betrayal of the ANC and the Communist Party in South Africa, who continue to protect the capitalist system on the backs of the suffering masses. Israel is the twin sister of the apartheid regime, and the lessons of the struggle against it apply here as well.
The working class cannot win without creating an International, a revolutionary internationalist workers party, which can take the struggles forward and lead the masses in a victorious revolutions. The guiding theory of this party can only be Trotskyism – modern day Marxism. Trotsky’s strategy of permanent revolution, which teaches that the struggle for national liberation and democracy can only be successful once the workers overthrow capitalism, is certainly correct in the Middle East, as we have seen over the past decades.
A socialist world of peace and abundance for all is possible. But for this the Fourth International, the revolutionary party created by Trotsky which collapsed in the 1950s, must be re-created. We invite all those who are interested in this perspective to visit our web site and contact us.
The ISL is a Trotskyist group active in Israel/Occupied Palestine. Our goal is the creation of a revolutionary international vanguard party of the working class. To this end, we are in contact with a Marxist propaganda group in the U.S., the League for the Revolutionary Party. On our website one can find more details in Hebrew, Arabic and English: www.the-isleague.com
*The League for the Revolutionary Party (U.S.) and the Internationalist Socialist League (Israel/Occupied Palestine) have been conducting discussions of key questions of political theory and program for more than two years now, through which we have established in increasing degree of political agreement. For a description of the ISL’s views and history, as well as a report on its discussions and plans for increasing collaboration with the LRP, see our Joint Statement “Report on Political Discussions.”