The Zochrot group, Abnaa’ AlBalad and others, have over the years taken upon themselves the greatly important and most appreciated political task of organizing the protest and commemoration events regarding the Nakba – the actions of expropriation, expulsion, and robbery that led to the establishment of the State of Israel. This is especially important at a time when the Israeli government tries to outlaw the commemoration of the Nakba as an attempt to erase the Zionist crimes of 1948 from public consciousness.
However, we also strongly condemn the ban imposed by the organizers on raising “partisan” flags and symbols. We claim that any struggle for the realization of the Palestinian people’s democratic right to self-determination cannot afford to ignore the Palestinian masses’ democratic right to raise their flags and slogans as they see fit. In the political field of struggle, which is nothing but a reflection of a class struggle, presenting a politically neutral position, means de facto supporting to the strong against the weak.
The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian neighborhoods and villages began, as is well known, even before 1947-1948 and is in progress to this day. The State of Israel could not have been established without it. Furthermore, Israel would never let the refugees it expelled return to their homeland, since their return would mean the end of the Jewish majority rule in this land. Any agreement signed by any political element like the Palestinian Authority with Israel, in which the former relinquishes the right of the refugees to return, would be considered an act of treason against the Palestinian people and its right to self-determination. An agreement such as this would never hold out against the resistance of the Palestinian masses, especially the refugees themselves.
Israel pretends that it is willing to put up with the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian mini-state on parts of the territories occupied in 1967. This state would become a Bantustan with its foreign policy dictated by the Zionist governments – undoubtedly a mockery of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
Israel is an imperialist oppressive state, a settler-colonialist society that exists on stolen lands. That is why it is nothing short of a death-trap to the Jews who live in it, not to mention the fact that it puts the lives of the Jews all around the world at risk as well. Today, there is no place on earth where Jews live in constant fear as much as those who live in Israel, and that is because they are occupiers and expropriators. That is also why most of them continue to support crimes against the Palestinians and Arabs in general, in an attempt to preserve the imperialist state which they see as the defender of their privileges. We openly state that any Jew who lives in this country receives privileges which result directly from the expropriation and expulsion of the Palestinian people.
We commemorate the Nakba today in a time of increasingly developing revolutionary movement throughout the region against the despotic rulers of the Arab world. However, most of the Jewish residents of Israel greatly fear revolutionary changes rather than supporting and joining them. It is all the proof we need to establish that they currently lack mass revolutionary elements, apart from only a handful of courageous individuals.
We understand that among those who struggle against the racist policies of the Zionist state there are also Zionists who support the return of the refugees. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We claim that without struggle against the Zionist state itself, the Palestinians can only achieve small victories in isolated struggles, but they will never be free from Zionist oppression. We call for the Zionists who support the struggle to practice the anti-racism they preach, reconsider their positions, and understand that a state that wishes to preserve a Jewish majority within its borders is inherently racist.
We also warn against the good intentions of those who denounce Zionism as a relevant ideology (a.k.a. post-Zionists), but suggest solutions to the refugee problem within the framework of capitalism, a.k.a. “the One State Solution.” Even if we accept the possibility that a “de-Zionized” bourgeois state could come into existence, we cannot ignore the fact that in such a state the Palestinians would still live under oppression, similarly to the blacks, even in post-Apartheid South Africa.
The Internationalist Socialist League is a revolutionary communist organization. Thus, we believe that the only way to liberate the Palestinian people is through workers’ struggle against all the capitalist dictatorships in our region, a struggle which would lead to socialist revolutions and place the working class in power. According to this perspective, the Arab working class should play a leading and central role. We have seen this happen in Egypt and Tunisia, as opposed to countries in which the working class is significantly weaker, like Libya and Syria, where the despots continue to hold out against the masses, maintaining their power by committing massacres and atrocities.
Unfortunately, we must recognize the fact that the Palestinian masses are also too weak to defeat the imperialist Zionist state on their own. However, their heroic struggles over the years have become a source of inspiration for the masses of the region, and they will allow them to take a leading role in the current revolutionary struggle. Should the working class achieve victory, a successful socialist revolution in the region would establish a Palestinian workers’ state from the river to the sea, a state that would also have a place for Jews who wish to live in this land, free from discrimination. Such a victory is likely to convince many more Jews that their interests are in overthrowing the Zionist death-trap and joining the regional mass struggle.
To achieve all of the above, the working class requires a revolutionary leadership of its own. If you understand the need in building such a leadership, join us and help us in this task!