by Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 27.11.2018, http://www.the-isleague.com
A peaceful march by Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States, trying to enter the United States from the southwestern United States border, faced a close border and tear gas was used against them on Sunday afternoon, as hundreds of people tried to evade a Mexican police blockade and run toward the border crossing that leads into San Diego.
More than 5,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Tijuana in recent weeks as part of a caravan, dubbed the Central American exodus. They are fleeing violence, poverty and political persecution. The US closed the San Ysidro crossing point between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California for several hours. Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen issued a statement accusing the migrants of seeking to harm border patrol personnel "by throwing projectiles at them". "As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons," she said, adding the US would "seek to prosecute" offenders. Tijuana's municipal government said that more than three dozen migrants were arrested for disturbing the peace and other charges related to the march and what followed.” (1)
Trump has declared in the last few weeks, time and again that he will prevent the caravan members from entering into the United States and has sent American soldiers to the border.
Trumps’ actions against the refugees are similar to the Israeli actions against the Palestinian refugees from Gaza who demand to return to their lands stolen from their families in 1947-1948. Was it not for the long history of the US plundering of Latin America and installing pro-imperialist oppressive dictatorships such a caravan would not be possible.
There is a fundamental similarity between the USA and Israel as both societies have been founded in the process of stilling the lands and committing massacres against the local native population.
Massacres – The USA
The U.S. government authorized over 1,500 wars, attacks and raids on Indians, the most of any country in the world against its indigenous people. By the end of the Indian Wars in the late 19th century, fewer than 238,000 indigenous people remained, from the estimated 5 to 15 million living in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492. (2)
North America, that was an Indian land, was rubbed by white Europeans that claim that they are settling in the promise land. A white girl wrote in the 1980s: "Growing up, the Religious Right echoed this message and I often heard it. We co-opted the stories of the Jewish people. In our Sunday school classrooms, we learned under the glowing visage of Warner Sallman’s Jesus. The curriculum recounted narratives with flannel-graph figures in the shape of a blonde Moses leading his pale-skinned followers through the wilderness to the Promised Land. As our teacher tried to make the lessons of an ancient nomadic people applicable to our 10-year-old 1980s lives, we understood that the U.S. was our Promised Land, given to us by God, so that we could have religious freedom." (3)
The Zionists claim that Palestine is the “Promised Land” that the Jews never gave up on. To form a state with a Jewish majority they committed many more massacres.
Massacres – Israel
Since its establishment, the State of Israel has kept a silence concerning massacres committed in the War of Independence. The only massacre acknowledged in official publications is that of Deir Yassin. The Israeli historian Aryeh Yitzhaki wrote: 'I read all the documents in the IDF archives written about the War of Independence. In the course of years I became especially alert to anything concerning the massacres.'
Yitzhaki assembled all the testimonies and documents concerning the subject matter and waited for the right time to publish. "The time has come," he says, "for a generation has passed, and it is now possible to face the ocean of lies in which we were brought up. In almost every conquered village in the War of Independence, acts were committed, which are defined as war crimes, such as indiscriminate killings, massacres and rapes. I believe that such things end by surfacing. The only question is how to face such evidence."
According to Yitzhaki, about ten major massacres were committed in the course of the War of Independence (i.e. more than fifty victims in each massacre) and about hundred smaller massacres (of individuals or small groups). According to him, these massacres had an enormous impact on the Arab population, by inducing their (departure) from the country.
The right wing historian Uri Milstein wrote: "If Yitzhaki claims that almost in every village there were murders, then I maintain that even before the establishment of the State, each battle ended with a massacre. In all Israel's wars massacres were committed but I have no doubt that the War of Independence was the dirtiest of them all. All over the world, massacres constitute an integral part of the norm of war and it is in fact the fundamental basis of human conduct in a situation of battle. The idea behind a massacre is to inflict a shock on the enemy, to paralyze the enemy. In the War of Independence everybody massacred everybody, but most of the action happened between Jews and Palestinians."
Milstein adds: "In my opinion, the regular armies of Arab states were less barbaric than the Jews and the Palestinians. Until the entry into the battle of the Arab armies, the concept of taking prisoners was unknown. The regular armies especially that of Jordan and Egypt, were the first in the region who did not kill prisoners, as a matter of principle. Not that they were exceptional, but they killed the least of all, relatively speaking. The Jordanian Legion even succeeded to stop Palestinians of massacring Jews in Gush Etzion, at least in a part of this area. The education in the Yishuv at that time had it that the Arabs would do anything to kill us and therefore we had to massacre them. A substantial part of the Jewish public was convinced that the most cherished wish of say, a nine-year old Arab child, was to exterminate us. This belief bordered on paranoia."
A careful study reveals that until today over twenty massacres were publicly reported. The testimonies were not published in one collection, a fact which adds to this phenomenon another dimension. At least eight massacres were described by Benny Morris in his book "The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem." Two cases were reported in Milstein's books. Two cases are reported in the book of Palestinian historian Arif al-Arif. The rest were reported in novels, memories and the press. (4)
Land Grabbing – The USA
Americans claim sovereignty over the territory of someone else’s homeland: the Native Americans. Lately the Trump administration claims that the American nation is no longer a nation of immigrants. He has not realized that this claim contradicts the concept of "discovery" which is the legal rational for the stealing of the Indians' lands. The legal foundation of the federal claim to dominion over territory is called the Doctrine of Discovery, a notion that goes back five centuries. As European explorers sought new maritime passages and found new lands, popes granted European powers the authority to “invade, search out, capture, vanquish and subdue” the people they found. By the logic of the papal bulls, and that of later charters to English explorers made by the English king or queen, indigenous peoples had no rights to land or to legal recognition of any kind. Only immigrants did.
According to American Chief Justice Marshall, English charters and claims had established an “absolute and complete” title to the land of North America, which then “passed to the United States” in 1776. The judicial magic of creating sovereignty and property is performed on behalf of immigrants and only on behalf of immigrants not of native people.
In the 21st century, in New York v Oneida Indian Nation of New York, the Supreme Court cited Marshall’s rulings and relied upon the Doctrine of Discovery as the basis of the federal government’s dominion over land once controlled by Native Americans – which is to say, the entirety of the United States of America.
Land Grabbing – Israel
In 1947 the Zionists had ownership of fewer than 7% of the Palestine's lands, and after the 1948 war 80%. In 1967 the rest of Palestine was conquered, Sinai Gaza and the Golan Eighties. While Sinai was returned to Egypt, Gaza is under blockade, Jerusalem and the Golan have been annexed and Israel openly moves to establish an apartheid state from the river to the sea.
The US Plundering of Latin America
The U.S. President James Monroe in 1823 formulated the so-called Monroe Doctrine which stated that Latin America was within the United States' "sphere of influence, and any attempt by European states to colonize the region would be considered an aggression against the interests of the USA” In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt stated that the U.S. could freely intervene in any nation in the Western Hemisphere found guilty of "brutal wrongdoing." It was a self-issued permit for the U.S. to intervene in the region's internal affairs according to the interests of the North American ruling class. When Mexico rejected U.S President Polk's offer to buy California, New Mexico and what is now the American Southwest, he declared a war on Mexico. Mexico lost Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and New Mexico.
Convinced that General Victoriano Huerta would be a better fit for Mexico, from American perspective, Henry Lane Wilson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, helped the General to take power. Huerta proved to be an even more authoritarian than Díaz and is considered one of the worst politicians in Mexican history.
Supported by the Nixon administration, the Chilean Coup of 1973 against Salvador Allende government supported by the USA is one of the most horrific military coups in Latin American history. It led to a 17-year dictatorship under U.S.-backed Augusto Pinochet, who was head of the Chilean army.
The military dictatorship of General Jorge Rafael Videla in Argentina that led among other brutalities to 30,000 victims missing was supported by the US.
The brutal dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay lasted from 1954 to 1989. It was backed by the USA. He was replaced by former Bishop Fernando Lugo of the Christian Democratic Party as President of Paraguay. Lugo's government was removed from power by a coup backed by the USA.
In Guatemala the democratic election of left-leaning Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown during the US-backed 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état leading to right-wing US-endorsed authoritarian governments.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) resulted in the loss of manufacturing jobs to Mexico and lower wages for U.S. workers. Nearly 3 million tons of harvested Mexican corn is left to rot every year because it is too expensive to sell. In 2008, tariffs on U.S. corn and beans and subsidies given to Mexican farmers were eliminated.
The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty signed with the Republic of Panama in November 1903 granted the United States "exclusive and permanent possession of the Panama Canal Zone." The canal would not officially be turned over to Panama until the end of 1999.
Whether the immigrant and refugees should be allowed to enter the U.S. not the right of those who stole the lands of America to decide, and it is not the right of the Zionists to decide the right of return of the Palestinian refugees. They do it because they use force and they will continue to do it as long as these robbers have the power.
For humanity to survive this power must be broken by working class led socialist revolution!
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We refer readers also to the following programmatic documents:
Yossi Schwartz: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism 16 November 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-semitism-and-anti-zionism/
Yossi Schwartz: The Origins of the Jews, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/origins-of-jews/
Yossi Schwartz: Israel's War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, http://the-isleague.com/1948-war-5-2013/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-s-war-of-1948/
Michael Pröbsting: On some Questions of the Zionist Oppression and the Permanent Revolution in Palestine, http://the-isleague.com/zionist-oppression-and-permanent-revolution/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/permanent-revolution-in-palestine/