This book is written from a Marxist revolutionary perspective. Its aim is to provide a systematical analysis of the history of Palestine, a name given by the Greek and the Romans to the country that was known until then as Canaan.


Canaan was located in the Levant region of present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. It was also known as Phoenicia. The origin of the name `Canaan’ is not clear. According to the Bible, the land was named after a man called Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10). The name Canaan first appears in documents from the 15th century B.C. and was variously written: Akkadian: Kinani (m), Kinaui, etc.; Egyptian: Knnw and Pknn; Ugaritic: Knaany ("a Canaanite"); Phoenician and Hebrew: Knaan. Most scholars connect the name with the Hurrian term kinau meaning (reddish) purple. Support for this is found in the similarity between the Greek Φοινιξ meaning reddish purple and Φοινίκη meaning Phoenicia. Those who derive the name from the Semitic root kn' consider it either a name for the conchiferous snail which yielded purple dye, or a term for the western clans. [1]


The name Palestine refers to the Philistines who ruled Canaan in different periods between the twelfth century B.C. and the eighth century B.C.


While the writer of this booklet recognizes the right of the oppressed Palestinian people to their land stolen by the Zionists, the right of the return of the Palestinian refugees, and opposes the right of self-determination for the Zionist settler colonialists, he advocates a socialist solution that will enable the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews to live peacefully as equals in the same workers state and as a part of the socialist federation of the Middle East, the most democratic form of states. [2]


History has shown that the right of self-determination for the Zionists excludes the right of self-determination for the oppressed Palestinians even in a mini state. The same was true for South Africa. Revisionists of Marxism claim that Marxists support the self determination of all nations. They ignore the fact that Marx did not support the right of self-determination for the South in the American civil war, Trotsky’s position on South Africa where he supported a Black workers state and not a state for the European colonialist settlers and Lenin advocated the right of self-determination only for oppressed nations. [3]


Lenin wrote: ”Imperialism means the progressively mounting oppression of the nations of the world by a handful of Great Powers; it means a period of wars between the latter to extend and consolidate the oppression of nations; it means a period in which the masses of the people are deceived by hypocritical social-patriots, i.e., individuals who, under the pretext of the “freedom of nations”, “the right of nations to self-determination”, and “defense of the fatherland”, justify and defend the oppression of the majority of the world’s nations by the Great Powers.[4]


[1] "Canaan, Land of." Encyclopaedia Judaica. (March 20, 2019).

[2] We refer readers to the numerous publications on the Palestinian liberation struggle by the author of these lines as well as by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), of which he is a leading member. See e.g. the program of the Palestinian RCIT section which can be read here: and; see also Yossi Schwartz: Israel's War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, and; Yossi Schwartz: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism 16 November 2018,; Yossi Schwartz: The Origins of the Jews,; Michael Pröbsting: On some Questions of the Zionist Oppression and the Permanent Revolution in Palestine, and; We refer reader for more information on the ISL’s and the RCIT’s stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people to our websites and

[3] On Lenin’s theory of imperialism and the national question see e.g. the RCIT’s book by Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013,

[4] V.I.Lenin: The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination (1915),