On the Recent Blinken Visit to the Middle East


By Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 27 May 2021




The last Palestinian national elections were held 15 years ago. New elections were supposed to take place on May 22 this year. However, at the end of April the Palestinian general elections were canceled by the Palestinian Authority using the flimsy excuse that Israel does not allow the East Jerusalem Palestinians to vote and therefore the elections would be indefinitely delayed.


The real reason was the internal struggles in Abbas’s Fatah movement and its unpopularity, which raised the fear of "President" Mahmoud Abbas of losing to rivals both inside Fatah namely Marwan Barghouti and Mohammed Dahlan and more likely to Hamas. Today after the war in Gaza, Hamas is more popular than ever, and the last thing Mahmoud Abbas would like to see is elections in the West Bank.


What the Palestinians think of "President" Mahmoud Abbas, we saw earlier this week when the Mufti of Jerusalem, a representative of the PA was thrown from Al Aqsa while people called him a traitor. They are not wrong as Abbas is indeed a servant of US imperialism and a collaborator of the Zionist state. The role of his master was exposed when the US, that during the Israeli massacre of the people of Gaza repeatedly blocked UN Security Council joint statements calling for a ceasefire to ensure that Israel will be able to commit its war crimes, also promised Israel military aid in the amount of $755.


Upon his arrival to Israel, Blinken met Netanyahu who thanked the US for “firmly supporting Israel’s right to self-defence”. Both Blinken and Netanyahu hailed a US commitment to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system in the wake of the fighting, which comes amid calls by some US legislators address to curtail military aid and arms sales to Israel.” (1)


The Democratic party in the US, which is a real imperialist party, no less than the Republican party, sees Mahmoud Abbas as their loyal servant in Palestine. US Secretary of State after his meeting with Netanyahu went to Ramallah to meet with Mahmoud Abbas. To his surprise, Palestinians demonstrated against the US. The demonstration was organized by the National and Islamic Forces, an alliance of various Palestinian factions.


“Chanting “America is the head of the snake,” the protesters said they were opposed to “receiving the enemies of the Palestinian people on our land.” They also chanted: “Our people want the [rocket-propelled grenade] RPG.” Some protesters carried placards reading: “Blinken, you are not welcome!” The protesters also denounced the security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. “Security coordination is shameful,” the Palestinians chanted. “The Oslo Accords are gone.” (2)


In his meeting with the chief collaborator, Blinken pledged $75m in US assistance to Palestinians to rebuild Gaza after the Zionist bombardment of the Gaza Strip that ravaged the blockaded strip. "The United Nations said that more than 77,000 Palestinians have been displaced by airstrikes that reduced hundreds of apartment buildings to rubble and left others temporarily uninhabitable. Six hospitals and 11 health-care clinics were damaged, and nearly half the territory’s more than 2 million residents lack reliable access to clean water because desalination plants have stopped functioning." (3)




U.S. Financial Aid for Zionism




At the same time, the USA's contribution to Israel that was used to destroy Beirut and Gaza is 146 billion dollars. "To date, the United States has provided Israel $146 billion (current, or non inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. At present, almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although from 1971 to 2007, Israel also received significant economic assistance. In 2016, the U.S. and Israeli governments signed their third 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aid, covering FY2019 to FY2028. Under the terms of the MOU, the United States pledged to provide—subject to congressional appropriation—$38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in Foreign Military Financing grants plus $5 billion in missile defense appropriations) to Israel. This MOU followed a previous $30 billion 10-year agreement, which ran through FY2018." (4)


In addition, Israel has received very large sums from American Zionist Jewish sources, at least 12 billion dollars as Table 1 in the Appendix shows.


Not only this but in addition: "Since Netanyahu took office in March 2009, the population of Israeli settlements has grown dramatically. According to recently released Israeli government data, from the beginning of 2009 until the beginning of 2014, the settlement population grew 23 percent — more than double the rate of the overall Israeli population, which expanded 9.6 percent. In late December, another 380 new housing units in East Jerusalem settlements were approved.” (5)


This growth is partly being funded by millions of dollars from tax-exempt American charities, which help expand and support settlements. “Even though this revenue stream arguably violates Internal Revenue Service rules, neither Congress nor the Obama administration has done anything to stop it." (6)


Thus a 75 million dollars to rebuild Gaza is a drop in the bucket which reflects the declining of the USA as the hegemon.


Blinken hopes that this miserable contribution will weaken Hamas and strengthen the PA while Israel, using American weapons, killed at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, and injured nearly 2,000 others.


“Ties between the PA and the US were largely severed after former President Donald Trump moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 – a move that was widely denounced by Palestinians and international observers. Still Biden and his Secretary of State do not intend to return the embassy to Tel-Aviv but to re-open its Consulate General in Jerusalem, which had overseen relations with the PA before it was absorbed by the relocated US embassy.” (7)


Following the meeting with Netanyahu, Blinken stated that the US would work to assure international aid to rebuild Gaza would not benefit Hamas, “We’ll work with our partners closely, with all, to ensure that Hamas does not benefit from the reconstruction assistance,” Blinken said, without detailing how that would be achieved.” Abbas, for his part, said he hoped the future would be “full of diplomatic activities” with the US to “reach a comprehensive and just and full solution.” (8)


Abbas is not only proving once again that he is a servant of the USA and Israel but that he is not able to see reality. To rely on the USA in the region in this period is to grasp at straws. He was not able even to realize that Blinken, as a typical bourgeois diplomat, speaks from the two sides of his mouth. “Unlike in statements during an earlier news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which avoided talk of a wider peace process, Blinken said that a “just, durable resolution” between Israel and Palestine “ultimately requires two states”. He added the US continues “to firmly oppose” any actions that threaten more violence, “whether that is settlement activities, whether that is home demolitions, annexation of territory, incitement to violence, compensation for individuals in prison for acts of terrorism”. Reporting from Ramallah, Al Jazeera’s James Bays said the general lack of emphasis on a more comprehensive peace process during the visit indicates that the policy of US President Joe Biden’s administration “is to put a lid on this conflict”. “That, I think, is because they believe right now, the time is not right for peace,” Bays said.” (9)


Bays is wrong in that what the USA wants is an imperialist peace – a Pax Americana – where the Palestinians accept their oppression and Israel stands on their backs. This was possible in 1948 but not in the current period. The Palestinian struggle is part of the growing class struggle in many parts of the world.




Two-States “Solution”: A Problem, not a Solution!




Since 1948, 74 years have passed and the two-state “solution" has not materialized. Since 1967, 53 years have passed and the two states “solution" has not materialized. It is enough time to realize that as long as the Zionist state will exist the Palestinians will be oppressed. A growing number of people have realized that the only solution is a Palestine Free from the River to the sea. The only question is how to achieve this solution. The answer is in the theory and strategy of the Permanent revolution. A struggle that begins with democratic demand but wins with a worker and poor fellahin socialist revolution - the final step in the Arab revolution.


These days all the enemies of the Palestinians are calling once again to establish a mini-Palestinian state along-side of the Zionist settler-colonialist imperialist state. In the real world, one has to take a side. Either with the imperialists and Israel as its front line or with the native Palestinians. Self-determination for both is an impossibility. Israel is already an apartheid state and until it will be smashed and replaced by a red democratic Palestine it will only steal more land and kill more Palestinians.


Since Israel is similar to apartheid in South Africa it is important to know what Trotsky said about the solution for South Africa: "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 total) 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.” (10)






The Programmatic Cul-de-sac of Centrism




There are of course reformists and centrists who oppose this revolutionary program. They are divided into two groups. Those who say that Marxists support the right of self-determination of all nations. This is simply a lie. Did Marx and Engels support the right of self-determination of the South in the American civil war? No! They were for smashing the confederation.


Did Lenin support the right of self-determination of imperialist nations? No! He advocated support for the oppressed nations: “The aim of socialism is not only to abolish the present division of mankind into small states and all national isolation; not only to bring the nations closer to each other, but also to merge them. And in order to achieve this aim, we must, on the one hand, explain to the masses the reactionary nature of the ideas of Renner and Otto Bauer concerning so-called “cultural national autonomy” and, on the other hand, demand the liberation of the oppressed nations, not only in general, nebulous phrases, not in empty declamations, not by “postponing” the question until socialism is established, but in a clearly and precisely formulated political program which shall particularly take into account the hypocrisy and cowardice of the Socialists in the oppressing nations. Just as mankind can achieve the abolition of classes only by passing through the transition period of the dictatorship of the oppressed class, so mankind can achieve the inevitable merging of nations only by passing through the transition period of complete liberation of all the oppressed nations, i.e., their freedom to secede." (11)


The other group is composed mainly by those who say they are Marxists but act as reformists and are pointing out the difference between Israel and South Africa. In South Africa, unlike Israel, the native blacks were a very large majority. For this reason, they argue, without gaining the support of the Israeli Jewish workers a socialist revolution is an impossibility. The Jewish workers will not join the struggle of the Palestinian workers without having the right of self-determination.


This argument has two main flows. First of all, if you look through the perspective of the national borders of Israel indeed the Palestinian workers are a minority. But the Palestinians citizens of Israel are part not only of the entire Palestinian nation but of the Arab population of the entire region which makes the Israelis a small minority.


Secondly, like in South Africa, the Israelis including the Israeli Jewish workers are privileged in comparison with the Palestinian workers and people do not give up easily on privileges. Jews, including Jewish workers, will break from Zionism either when Israel will be defeated in a war or with the victory of the Arab revolution.


Thus, the argument of those centrists like the IMT or the ISA is no more than reflection of their pro-Zionist's position.


The Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine) stands for a socialist program und emphasis today the following slogans:


Down with the Zionist Apartheid State!


Down with the Zionist War Criminals!


Break the Siege on Gaza!


For the Return of the Palestinian Refugees!


Lands to the poor Fellahin and the Palestinian Refugees!


Boycott the Zionist Military Products!


Boycott all Sells of Arms to Israel!


Expel all Zionists Ambassadors!


Force the Arab Local Rulers to End their Relations with the Zionist State!


For Red Free Palestine From the River to the Sea!




Table 1: American Jewish Contributions to Israel (12)


                                                ($ in 1000s)


Year       Total Raised                         Total Allocated to Israel                    Percentage Sent to Israel


1948      $200,700                              $146,926                                              73%


1949      161,000                                 101,954                                                63%


1950      142,200                                 86,639                                                  61%


1951      136,000                                 79,311                                                   58%


1952      121,200                                 66,902                                                   55%


1953      117,200                                 63,694                                                  54%


1954      109,300                                 56,753                                                  52%


1955      110,100                                 56,101                                                  51%


1956      130,500                                 74,302                                                  57%


1957      138,100                                 80,119                                                  58%


1958      123,300                                 64,606                                                  52%


1959      130,700                                 66,058                                                  51%


1960      127,700                                 64,661                                                  51%


1961      126,000                                 64,785                                                  51%


1962      129,400                                 53,539                                                  41%


1963      124,700                                59,799                                                  48%


1964      126,700                                 58,890                                                  46%


1965      131,300                                 61,601                                                  47%


1966      136,500                                 64,257                                                  47%


1967      301,674                                 236,515                                                78%


1968      215,677                                 144,495                                                67%


1969      243,336                                 163,754                                                67%


1970      275,394                                 191,940                                                70%


1971      334,213                                 230,449                                                69%


1972      349,649                                 228,497                                                65%


1973      362,282                                 236,440                                                65%


1974      683,527                                 488,032                                                71%


1975      465,631                                 295,416                                                63%


1976      448,759                                 259,318                                                58%


1977      450,760                                 263,609                                                58%


1978      470,590                                 266,588                                                57%


1979      474,697                                 265,077                                                 56%


1980      502,773                                 288,081                                                57%


1981      538,164                                 304,766                                                57%


1982      558,164                                 322,698                                                58%


1983      583,270                                 302,975                                                52%


1984      634,738                                 322,496                                                51%


1985      656,491                                 345,500                                                53%


1986      687,959                                 249,485                                                36%


1987      724,725                                 361,583                                                50%


1988      738,593                                 352,797                                                48%


1989      757,620                                 366,374                                                48%


1990      756,281                                 357,391                                                47%


1991      738,607                                 327,458                                                44%


1992      732,850                                 322,004                                                44%


1993      722,363                                 317,593                                                44%


1994      726,644                                 299,368                                                41%


1995      732,960                                 297,368                                                41%


1996      751,723                                 305,044                                                41%


1997      760,117                                 287,608                                                38%


1998      764,700                                 305,000                                                38%


1999      795,500                                 300,000                                                36%


2000      826,300                                 219,800                                                27%


2001      850,300                                 192,600                                                23%


2002      831,1001                              199,000                                                24%


2003      831,300                                 194,500                                                23%


2004      859,500                                 199,700                                                23%


Total      $25,661,531                         $11,982,216                                        47%






1) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/25/netanyahu-vows-very-powerful-response-if-ceasefire-broken


2) https://www.jpost.com/arab-israeli-conflict/palestinians-protest-against-blinkens-visit-to-ramallah-669114


3) https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/05/22/gaza-rebuilding-faq/


4) Congressional Research Service U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel


5) https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/29/illegal-tax-deduction-charity-israel-settlements-palestine-irs/


6) Ibid


7) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/25/netanyahu-vows-very-powerful-response-if-ceasefire-broken


8) Ibid


9) Ibid


10) Leon Trotsky: Letter to South African Revolutionaries (April 1933), https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1933/04/safrica.html


11) V. I. Lenin: The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-determination (1916), https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/jan/x01.htm


12) American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise: Jewish Virtual Library, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/american-jewish-contributions-to-israel






* * * * *




We refer reader to a special sub-page on the RCIT website where we have compiled all our documents on the Fourth Gaza War: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-fourth-gaza-war/


See also the ISL’s program which can be read here: http://www.the-isleague.com/our-platform/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/summary-of-isl-program/


Book by Yossi Schwartz: The Zionist Wars. A History of the Zionist Movement and Imperialist Wars, 1 February 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-zionist-wars/


Book by Yossi Schwartz: Palestine and Zionism. The History of Oppression of the Palestinian People. A Critical Account of the Myths of Zionism, April 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/palestine-and-zionism/


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/