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