An Israeli Paratrooper in the Zionist army who recently moved to Israel from South Africa, was executed amongst three others: an Israeli settler, and two Zionist police officers were injured. The Palestinian who used a sub machinegun and a knife, 42-year-old Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shkheidem, a teacher resident of Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp, was killed. Hamas said in a statement Abu Shkheidem was politically affiliated with the Gaza-based armed movement that governs the occupied Gaza Strip. [i]
It is not difficult to understand why a white person will leave South Africa to Israel. After all Israel is the twin sister of South Africa in the time it was under apartheid. Thousands of right wingers participated in his funeral. We of the ISL do not have one tear for the dead while we see Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shkheidemas a resistance fighter. The Zionist call the killing of soldiers and policemen terror while we see it as an act of resistance to oppression.
The occupied oppressed nations have the right to fight with weapons against their oppressors even according to bourgeois international law. According to international humanitarian law, wars of national liberation have been expressly embraced by UN General Assembly resolutions that recognize the “legitimacy of the people’s struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination…by all available means”.
While the Palestinians have the right to resist with arms the occupation and the systematic repression by the Zionist state and its agents, like the settlers the police and the army, are guilty of crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.
Israel has used military rule over the Palestinian population for all but six months of its 73-year history. It did so over the vast majority of Palestinians inside Israel from 1948 and until 1966. From 1967 until the present, it has used military rule over Palestinians in the West Bank and has put the people in Gaza under siege that turned Gaza to the biggest ghetto in history. On this the Human Right Watch stated:
“The international community has over the years detached the term apartheid from its original South African context, developed a universal legal prohibition against its practice, and recognized it as a crime against humanity with definitions provided in the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (“Apartheid Convention”) and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).” [ii]
That Israel is an apartheid state is recognized by many. Even the conservative Zionist, “Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned at Haaretz-UCLA national security conference that Israel, even after replacing Netanyahu as prime minister, was moving farther away from a two-state solution toward an anti- democratic “one-state reality” [iii]
She is wrong of course; Israel is not moving in the direction of one apartheid state but is an apartheid state already and always was.
In its typical response to the execution of the soldier the Zionist oppression forces have arrested 50 Palestinians allegedly connected to Hamas.
The Palestinians themselves in spite of their heroic struggle are not powerful enough to win the struggle for their self-determination. The Israeli Jewish workers cannot develop a revolutionary struggle because they are prisoners of the Zionist ideology. The formula of “two states” is simply a cover that allows the Zionists to take over more Palestinian lands, build more settlements and prevents a real solution to the oppressed Palestinians. The local Arab rulers have betrayed the Palestinians and served the imperialists including Israel. The PA is also a servant of the Zionist state and an obstacle on the road of liberation. The only force that can bring the solution are the armed Arab and Iranian workers and poor peasants by the Arab revolution that will begin as a democratic revolution but will become in the same process a socialist revolution as part of the world revolution. In this process a section of the Israeli workers can break with Zionism and join the revolution. This is the strategy of Trotsky’s permanent revolution.
Various centrists in the world that call themselves Marxists and even Trotskyists like the ISA and its section in Palestine “Socialist Struggle” recognize the right of self-determination of the Israelis and call for a two “socialist” states solution. They argue that unlike South Africa where the blacks are a large majority, the Palestinians are not a big majority and therefore should join forces with the Israeli working class that will not join the Arab revolution unless the Israeli workers will be granted their right to their own state.
This scheme has nothing to do with reality nor with scientific Marxist theory and everything to do with tailing the existing Zionist consciousness of the Jewish workers. Reformists as well as centrists are unable to think as internationalists. They cannot see beyond the borders of the state they live in. It is true that the Palestinians are not a majority in Israel and the 1967 occupied lands (which is the result of an undemocratic process, so this argument by itself lends credibility to the Zionists, because if it weren’t for the Nakba, the Palestinians would be a majority), but the Arab and the Iranian workers and peasants are the majority in the region. Why should the Palestinians join the Zionist workers that see them as an enemy and not the Arab and Iranian majority? Since the Palestinians are Arabs, they are part of the majority in the region, and the Arab revolution, when won, will be much stronger than the Zionists. This will likely force some of the Israeli workers to break with Zionism and join the Arab revolution. The interest of these workers will be to support one state from the river to the sea, as part of a socialist revolution, not another separate state. Under the working class rule the larger the state, the more efficient it is. Of course, the nationality of this state will be Palestinian while the Jews who will support it will have full equal democratic civil rights.
The ISA is unable to learn from the mistakes they do, like supporting the imperialist democratic party in the USA, not to speak about learning from the mistakes of others. For example, the failures of Israeli Socialist Organization (Matzpen was the name of the journal published by them) that broke from the Israel Communist Party in 1962. They stood for the de-Zionization of Israel and thought that after this step Israel will be part of a socialist Federation of the Middle East. For this mistake they fell apart and disappeared. Before them existed the Revolutionary Communist League led by Tony Cliff when he was in Palestine. They also thought that the solution is Jewish and Palestinian Arab workers unity against the British, the Zionist capitalists and the Palestinians nationalist leadership and failed to see that the solution has been the Arab revolution and one socialist state from the river to the sea that will promise the Jews who accept this solution equal civil rights but not the right to form another state. Their failure led Cliff to leave Palestine and form another centrist organization – the British SWP.
Thus, from a working-class internationalist perspective Trotsky’s method for South Africa is applicable to Palestine from the river to the sea, while the ISA’s scheme is very close to Stalin’s scheme of socialism in one country.
In 1933, Trotsky wrote: “The example of our South African friends again confirms the fact that in the present epoch only the Bolshevik-Leninists, that is, the consistent proletarian revolutionaries, take a serious attitude to theory, analyze the realities, and are learning themselves before they teach others. The Stalinist bureaucracy has long ago substituted a combination of ignorance and impudence for Marxism. The overthrow of the hegemony of British imperialism in South Africa can come about as the result of a military defeat of Great Britain and the disintegration of the Empire. In this case, the South African whites could still for a certain period – hardly a considerable one – retain their domination over the blacks.
Another possibility, which in practice could be connected with the first, is a revolution in Great Britain and her possessions. Three-quarters of the population of South Africa (almost six million of the almost eight million totals) is composed of non-Europeans. A victorious revolution is unthinkable without the awakening of the native masses. In its turn, that will give them what they are so lacking today – confidence in their strength, a heightened personal consciousness, and cultural growth.
Under these conditions the South African Republic will emerge first of all as a “black” republic; this does not exclude, of course, either full equality for the whites, or brotherly relations between the two races – depending mainly on the conduct of the whites. But it is entirely obvious that the predominant majority of the population, liberated from slavish dependence, will put a certain imprint on the state”. [iv]
Release all Palestinian political prisoners!
Down with the Zionist apartheid state!
For Palestine red and Free from the river to the sea!
For a socialist Federation of the Middle East!
[iv] Leon Trotsky Letter to South African Revolutionaries (April 1933) https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1933/04/safrica.html