Israel/Occupied Palestine: Report about the social protest demonstration in Be’er Sheva on 18th May 2013

By Shmuel Yerushalmi


Today, on Saturday the 18th May, several demonstrations took place in Israel against the policy of the Israeli government. Activists from the International Socialist League (RCIT-Section in Occupied Palestine/Israel) participated in these demonstrations. I personally took part in the demonstration in my home town, Be’er Sheva, which is in the Southern part of Israel.

About 500 activists took part in the demonstration, which was organized by students and social movements. Like the majority of the demonstrations in Israel, the one in Be’er Sheva did not deal with the class character of the social problems and also not with the rights of the Palestinian people. The reason for this is of course the orientation of the leading forces at the demonstration which are not standing on a proletarian, revolutionary base.

The main slogans and the general line of the demonstration was focused on demands like the one for "social justice", the abolishment of cut-backs in the social systems which were implemented by the Netanyahu-Lapid government, and also demands against the minister of finances, Yair Lapid. Although I support the demands, it is important to say more than this. Real social justice will in the end only be possible if the working class takes the power via a worker’s revolution, the expropriation of the capitalist class by the armed uprising of the working class. To raise a revolutionary profile, I was holding a banner during the demonstration which says: "Take the property of the Rich! We need workers control over the society!"

At the beginning of the demonstration, speeches were hold in front of a smaller audience. I was one of the speakers. In my speech I explained the need of a revolution of the working class and the fight for the freedom for Palestine. I called the workers, the students and the poor to leave their homes and to take the streets. I called them to join the fight for a revolution against the capitalists and the capitalist exploitation.

The demonstration marched through some of the districts, all about 4-5 kilometers. Our conclusion from the demonstration today in Be’er Sheva (and from other demonstrations we participated in) is that the demands for social justice and against cut-backs are important and have to be supported but that they are not enough. Especially the strong connection to Zionism hinders the building of a true revolutionary struggle in our region. One can not fulfill the demands of the protesters without breaking with the Apartheid, with the Zionist state. The protesters in Be’er Sheva, Tel-Aviv and other cities and villages of Israel must understand that they can not fulfill their demands, the can not win their struggle without breaking with Zionism, without breaking with the Israeli Nationalism, without breaking with the Apartheid. To reach real social justice we need a worker’s revolution. But if one is not ready to defend Palestinian workers and the rights of the Palestinian people one can and will not make a revolution in any part of (Occupied) Palestine. Just a revolution of the Palestinian and migrant workers together with Anti-Zionist Jewish workers, and with the support of the Palestinian Fellaheen (peasants) can really solve our economical, political and social problems.