Resolution of the Revolutionary Communist Organisation for Liberation (RKOB), 15.9.2011
1. On 9th September thousands of Egyptian demonstrators, protesting against the Israeli embassy in Cairo, tore down the wall established by the army and finally stormed the embassy. The Israeli ambassador fled the country under protection of the Egyptian army. Despite the great sacrifices that the Egyptian protesters had to pay in their anti-imperialist action - the repressive Egyptian apparatus killed at least three people and injured more than 1,000 - the storming of the Israeli embassy was an extraordinarily important and successful action.
2. The RKOB wholeheartedly welcomes the heroic action of the Egyptian democracy movement. It rightly received the overwhelming support in the Arab world and from all progressive, internationalist forces worldwide. The embassy is the symbol of the hated racist apartheid state of Israel.
3. This state can only exist because, with the help of the big imperialist powers during the 20th century, Jewish settlers were systematically settled on its territory (at the beginning of the 20th century only some ten thousand Jews lived in Palestine). Israel can exist only because it expelled at its foundation the indigenous Palestinian population - more than 750,000! - from their homes into refugee camps. Its existence is interlinked with wars of conquest, occupation and daily terror against the Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank. Finally, Israel can exist only because it is a regional watchdog for the major imperialist powers, and as such it receives exceptionally large economic and military aid from them. (e.g. Israel is the No. 1 among the recipients of U.S. foreign aid)
4. The protesters showed the whole world: the Arab masses reject the reactionary Arab despots’ policy since 1978 of collaboration with the racist oppressor state of Israel. The RKOB shares the demands of many advanced workers and youth in Egypt for termination of all relations with Israel. This includes not only the expulsion of the ambassador, but also the termination of Egypt’s ongoing gas deliveries to Israel (since 2004) and the full opening of the border with Gaza.
5. The RKOB also supports the worldwide boycott campaign against Israel, initiated by numerous Palestinian organizations and supported by many progressive organizations and trade unions - including progressive Jewish organizations such as the “European Jews for a Just Peace". The State of Israel must receive no weapons and no further financial support! The unions have to organize a boycott against Israel and simultaneously raise support for the Palestinians. The racist trade union in Israel - Histadrut - has to be expelled from the “International Confederation of Free Trade Unions”. The progressive academic organizations should break off contact with Zionist institutions in Israel. At the same time they should expand cooperation with Palestinian and Jewish anti-Zionist forces. Not only in Cairo but in all countries must the diplomatic missions of Israel become the target of broad, militant protests!
For the destruction of the Apartheid state Israel!
6. The RKOB supports the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. That is why in the struggle between the Palestinians and the Israeli state we are on the side of the former - despite our absolute rejection of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois forces at the forefront of these struggles (like Hamas). All Palestinians must have the right to return to their homeland. Likewise, the land grab must be reversed and the Palestinians must get their land returned. The return of the displaced people of course means that the Palestinians will constitute the majority of the population.
7. This shows that Israel is not a "normal" capitalist class state. Its existence as a capitalist state is historically and indelibly intertwined with its existence as a colonial settler state, which can only maintain the expulsions and repression of the original Palestinian population by the means of apartheid and of direct terror. Israel is a capitalist state, whose essence is an indelible merger of class exploitation and national oppression. The abolition of class exploitation, therefore, can only go hand in hand with the abolition of national oppression, and vice versa, and this is possible only through the destruction of the State of Israel as a separate Jewish state. Although Israel is not an imperialist power, it is undoubtedly an exceptionally privileged semi-colonial capitalist state, which combines its role as a watchdog of the imperialist interests in the Middle East with the advancement of its own power interests.
8. We therefore reject the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine because it can only exist as long as the expulsion of the Palestinians continues to exist. We therefore reject a "two-state solution". This would deny the Palestinians the right of return. Likewise, a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza would be reduced to a Bantustan, a dependent de-facto colony of the much richer and more powerful Israel. The State of Israel must be destroyed and be replaced by a secular, Arab-Jewish workers' republic in the whole of Palestine. In this state, the Palestinians and the Jews, who accept the elimination of the privileges of the apartheid state of Israel, can live together equally and peacefully.
Social protest movement in Israel
9. The RKOB supports the "tent city" movement in Israel against the price hikes, the housing shortage and the increasing social injustice. This is another example of the international significance of the Arab revolution. At the same time however, it is indicative of the reactionary Zionist character of the leaders in this movement that they deliberately ignore the special poverty and oppression of the Palestinians and do not put forward demands to help the Palestinians. The movement is in jeopardy of being open for a social-chauvinist trend. Because the Netanyahu government might reduce the housing shortage – by expanding the settlements in the West Bank and thus at the expense of the Palestinians!
10. This shows once more the necessity to understand correctly the Marxist approach to the problem of aristocratism. The Arab proletariat, the youth and the urban poor have put the revolutionary process in the Middle East in motion – building on the heroic resistance struggle of the Palestinian working class and youth in several intifadas and the successful Lebanese resistance against the Zionist occupiers. The Israeli proletariat, as a compared to its Arab brothers and sister very privileged part, could not play such a vanguard role. But it could be affected by the "Arab Spring" and set in motion. But in order to achieve the important goal of a real unity of Arab and Jewish workers and youth, a conscious break of the Jewish proletariat with the defense of the privileged apartheid state of Israel is essential and the support for the national liberation of the Arab people is necessary. In this context, the struggle to build a new, joint Arab-Jewish union is important, which – in contrast to Histadrut - organizes the Arab workers in Israel and advocates their interests. Likewise, a real workers trade union – in contrast to Histadrut – would not be one of the biggest capitalists of the country and would have no involvement with the Zionist state. However as long as such a real worker’s trade union does not exist, revolutionaries must – where necessary – work within Histadrut and put demands to their leadership.
11. The Arab revolution must have an anti-Zionist thrust, but at the same time it must also be directed against any form of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is the poison of reactionary Islamist and other civil forces that would thereby blur the class divide that exists between the interests of the Arab bourgeoisie and those of the working class and all toilers.
Crisis of leadership
12. The RKOB welcomes the commitment of organizations in Israel such as the International Socialist League, which combine support for the tent city movement with a clear rejection of Zionism, solidarity with the Palestinians and the perspective of destroying the State of Israel. We note also that the social-chauvinist policy of centrist organizations, like the CWI, express themselves not only in their support for the reactionary "British Jobs for British Workers'” strike (2009) or the condemnation of the Uprising of the poor, blacks and migrants in August 2011 in Britain, but also in their refusal to support the national liberation struggle of the Palestinians. Instead, they favor a two-state solution and thus the continuation of the expulsion of the Palestinians. This is nothing more than a capitulation to the logic of Zionism.
13. The same applies even more for the Communist Party of Israel and its front organizations. This Stalinist party bears the mark of Cain of the historic support for the war of expulsion of the Palestinian people in 1948. The Soviet Union under Stalin not only immediately recognized the apartheid state of Israel, but delivered - through Czechoslovakia - masses of weapons to Israel so that it could effectively slaughter and expel the Palestinian people.
Perspectives of the Arab Revolution
14. The Arab revolution is at a crossroads. The victory of the uprising against the Qaddafi dictatorship in Libya, the partial transition of the Syrian revolution into the civil war, the strikes and the storming of the Israeli embassy in Egypt, the revival of the protests in Bahrain, etc. are unmistakable signs that the Arab Revolution – despite the allegations of petty-bourgeois "Marxist" intellectuals a la Slavoj Zizek - is by no means over.
15. On the other hand, big dangers exist for the working class and the oppressed in North Africa and the Middle East too. The lack of leadership which is fighting for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the establishment a workers 'and peasants' republic is increasingly evident. Similarly, the attempts of the imperialist powers to contain and control the revolution under the pretext of "democracy" and "human rights" increase.
16. To advance the class struggle and evolve the revolution, the struggle for wage increases and against price increases will be as important as the struggle for the expropriation of the rich, corrupt families and for the nationalization of key industries, service industries and the banks under workers' control. Moreover, the struggle for democratic rights - including for national self-determination, elimination of the supremacy of the military and the police and the convening of a revolutionary constituent assembly – will be central. Likewise, any form of intervention by the imperialist powers or powers in their service (like Turkey) must be firmly opposed. NATO - hands off Libya, Syria and Iran!
17. It will be crucial to whether the working class and the oppressed can extend their strikes and demonstrations and organize themselves in action committees in the factories and neighborhoods - - as a step towards workers 'and peasants' councils. Equally important - especially in Syria today - is the creation of armed self-defense units and finally workers 'and peasants' militias. The means of the general strike combined with the perspective of an armed uprising and the establishment of a workers 'and peasants' government is of crucial importance.
18. The Arab revolution is by its very nature international. An important component on the one hand must be the struggle for the opening of borders and the mutual support of the liberation struggle. In particular, the Arab revolutionaries have to rush with their arms to help their brothers and sisters in Palestine and to tear down the apartheid wall – especially the one that has turned Gaza into an open-air prison. The Arab revolution must be a signal that the Palestinian workers, peasants and youth organize themselves in action committees/Soviets and popular militias and start the third intifada. Such a wave of armed struggles of the Arab masses in North Africa and the Middle East, the Palestinian workers and peasants and those Jewish brothers and sisters who break with the privileges of the apartheid state, could strike a mortal blow to Israel and open the door to a socialist federation of all peoples in the region.
Socialism – Revolution – Revolutionary Party
19. National liberation and social revolution in the Middle East go hand in hand. One cannot be realized without the other. The return of the Palestinian population and the elimination of the conditions of poverty are only possible if the economic wealth of the region is wrested from the hands of the small minority of capitalists and used, under the dictatorship of the proletariat, by means of a socialist planned economy for the benefit for all. "Socialism", on the other hand, which does not write the national liberation of the Palestinians on its banner, is not socialism, but social chauvinism. Such a permanent revolution cannot be limited to Palestine, but must cover the entire region of North Africa and the Middle East.
20. The realization of the perspective of permanent revolution requires the timely construction of a revolutionary party as part of a Fifth workers International. Only such a party - made up of dedicated fighters for the socialist revolution and on the basis of a revolutionary program - can lead the masses to victory against the imperialists, the national ruling class and its petty bourgeois stooges. The RKOB fights for these goals.
Down with imperialism, Zionism and Arab reaction! Victory of the Arab revolution! For the permanent revolution!
For the dismantling of the apartheid state of Israel! For a secular, Arab-Jewish workers' republic in whole Palestine!
For a socialist federation of the Middle East and North Africa!
As a background for the RKOB’s analysis of the Arab Revolution we refer readers to excerpts of our recently published book on the Arab Revolution. They can be found in the first issue of our English-language journal “Revolutionary Communism” and on our website http://www.rkob.net/new-english-language-site/