By Shmuel Yerushalmi, Israel/Occupied Palestine, 14.5.2013
Last Saturday (11.05.2013) an important protest demonstration took place in Tel-Aviv against the anti-social policy of the right-wing Netanyahu-Lapid Government. The demonstration started at the Habima Square with thousands of people taking part. (According to Israeli newspapers there were about 10.000 participants.)
The demonstrators expressed with slogans and stickers their opposition against the austerity measures and the privatizations of public enterprises announced by the pro-capitalist government. There were also calls for the nationalization of privatized companies.
Surely as socialists we support the protests against the reactionary austerity policy of the Netanyahu-Lapid Government. However, such a support must be critical. Why? Because these protests have a strong social-chauvinist basis. They totally ignore the Palestinian question and Israel’s oppression against the Palestinian people. But it is this national oppression on which the whole existence of the Israeli state with all the relative privileges for the Israeli-Jewish population rests!
Therefore the Arab and Jewish revolutionaries of the Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT-Section in Israel/Occupied Palestine) intervene in such protests by supporting the opposition against the austerity policy and linking it with the unconditional support for the Palestinian national liberation struggle.
This differentiates us from left reformist and centrist forces like the Da'am Workers Party (a split from the Communist Party in 1995) and the “Trotskyist” group Maavak Sotzyalisti (Socialist Struggle, CWI-Section in Israel). Both of them didn’t raise the Palestinian question in any way. Da'am for example, speaks in a typically economist manner all the time about the rights of the workers and about social equality. They are however silent on the need for a socialist country on the whole territory of Palestine.
Maavak Sotzyalisti similarly distributed a leaflet in Hebrew language which didn’t say a single word about the oppression of the native Palestinian people or about the criminal character of the Zionist regime! Such a kind of social-chauvinism is in full contradiction to the positions of the huge majority of Trotskyist groups in the world.
And one more important point: As I wrote above, the call for the re-nationalization of privatized companies and for the public control of all recourses and infrastructures played an important role in the demonstration in Tel-Aviv. In this context I want to say that we don’t need nationalization with compensation for the owners of the companies. What we need is the confiscation of all property of the large capitalists under full control of the working class. This is what revolutionaries should argue for in all the anti-austerity protest movements in Israel and all other states.
Finally, in opposite to the reformists and centrists, we are for a socialist and internationalist solution – for the total national liberation combined with the socialist revolution. Therefore we fight for a revolutionary multinational workers and peasants republic in the whole territory of Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to Jordan River.