By Laurence Humphries, RCIT Britain, 7th December 2023
Since 7th October all imperialist western nations including Britain, Austria, Germany and the USA have reacted ferociously against the pro-Palestine movement. They fully support Israel which has launched an genocide against the civilian population in Gaza, destroying 60% of all homes and killing thousands of innocent Palestinians. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters from Palestine took a number of hostages in their attack on 7th October in order to free thousands of Palestinians in jail in Israel suffering beatings and torture.
“Israel’s barbaric war against the Palestinian people in Gaza reflects not only the genocidal nature of the Zionist state. The past weeks have also demonstrated the steadfastness and heroism of thousands of resistance fighters who are prepared to scarify their lives for the defence of their homeland. This is a struggle where the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and all authentic anti-imperialists unconditionally support the Palestinian resistance forces in order to defeat the Zionist occupier” 
The masses in Britain responded magnificently to the terror and rampage unleashed by Israel on Gaza. Immediately the Palestinian solidarity organisation
organised demonstrations and protests not only in Britain but also in many other countries. They are still continuing every week. The masses and particularly Palestinians and Arabs and people
from the Global South poured out onto the streets. It was estimated that nearly a million people were on these marches draping the Palestinian flag around them and chanting for a “Free Palestine from the River to the Sea”. The response of the ruling class in Britain was immediate denouncing of all demonstrators as “supporters of the terrorist organisation Hamas”. Furthermore, they are using Anti-Semitism as a weapon to beat anyone who defies the Zionist statelet.
Suella Braverman Dismissed
The Tory Government’s Home Secretary together with other Tories wanted the Palestinian marches banned as they perceived that only a tiny cabal of pro-imperialist fanatics support the Zionist state. As Home Secretary Braverman criticised the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police who refused to ban the marches. Rishi Sunak felt that this was a direct attack on the state force the police and dismissed her on 13th November. Braverman is part of a right wing racist and chauvinist group in the Tory government who consider Sunak as weak and incompetent.
This reflects the utter incompetence and crisis of the ruling class in this period fostering divisions and splits within the imperialist camp. The slump and crisis of the capitalist system is also leading to inter-imperialist rivalry between western Imperialism and the eastern imperialism of China and Russia.
“Suella Braverman has been sacked as home secretary, after she defied No 10 over an article accusing the Metropolitan Police of bias in the policing of protests.” 
“Right-wing Tories have met after Rishi Sunak sacked Suella Braverman as home secretary, with one MP publishing a formal letter of no confidence in the prime minister. Andrea Jenkyns, a noted supporter of Boris Johnson who served as schools minister under Liz Truss, tweeted her letter to the party’s backbench 1922 Committee, saying: “Enough is enough … It is time for Rishi Sunak to go and replace him with a ‘real’ Conservative party leader. Braverman supporters stressed they did not expect significant immediate pushback against a cabinet that took a notable step to the centre with her departure and the unexpected return of David Cameron but the former home secretary is unlikely to stay quiet.” 
The splits evident in the ruling class are obvious and a widening chasm has developed between the Bonapartist ruling class and the masses. The capitalist
system is facing wipe out and the opportunities for the masses is developing.
The role of reformism and the trade union bureaucracy
Keir Starmer, the pro-capitalist leader of the Labour Party, similar to Rishi Sunak has refused to call for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. The masses in Britain desperately want there to be a ceasefire in order that medical supplies and basic goods are delivered by aid organisations to Palestinians in Gaza who have lost everything including their homes and possessions.
The true role of reformism was exposed in the House of Commons when the Scottish National Party put an amendment to the King’s speech calling for a ceasefire. The amendment was lost because Starmer ordered his MP’s to abstain. However, 56 MP’s rebelled – mostly Muslim Labour MP’s and others including some shadow cabinet ministers.
“Sir Keir Starmer has suffered a major rebellion over his stance on the Israel-Gaza war, with 56 of his MPs voting for an immediate ceasefire. Jess Phillips, Afzal Khan and Yasmin Qureshi were among shadow ministers who quit their roles to back the motion from the SNP. Ten of the party's frontbenchers have left their jobs over the vote, including eight shadow minsters. Sir Keir has instead backed pauses in the conflict to deliver aid.
Announcing she was quitting her role as shadow domestic violence minister, Ms Phillips said she was voting with "my constituents, my head, and my heart". "I can see no route where the current military action does anything but put at risk the hope of peace and security for anyone in the region now and in the future," she added. The vote was on an SNP amendment to a government motion on its plans for the year ahead, presented in the King's Speech last week. Sir Keir had signalled before the vote that MPs holding such a role would be sacked if they backed the ceasefire call. It called for an end to the "collective punishment of the Palestinian people" and urged "all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire". 
The position of reformism is clear to see. In the worst crisis since the 1930’s the British Labour party led by a Blairite now totally supports Israeli imperialism and its attack on the Palestinian people. It effectively moves consciously to embrace bonapartist attacks on democratic rights.
The trade union bureaucracy meanwhile does everything to prevent any support for the besieged masses in Gaza. There has been very little support from trade
union bureaucracy for the mass mobilisations in Britain. The only MP’s speaking at these demonstrations are Jeremy Corbyn and Muslim MP’s like Apsana Begum.
Global solidarity movement in support of the Palestinians
Unlike the trade union bureaucracy in many countries there has been an enormous show of support for Palestinians in Gaza. In the United States there have been actions by offshore workers refusing to load or unload military hardware bound for Israel. This shows that workers identify with the Palestinians in Gaza. There has also been support in Italy and Belgium where workers have carried out similar actions. In Britain recently over 1,000 workers blockaded four arms factories producing parts for F-35 Israeli fighter jet. The campaign “Workers for a Free Palestine” includes members of UNITE, UNISON, GMB, NEU, BMA, UCU, BECTU, and BFAWU. This is a practical action by rank-and-file workers opposed to Israel’s genocide and war crimes.
“Over 1,000 workers have simultaneously blocked four arms factories across the UK which provide components for arms used by Israel in its bombardment of Gaza. The workers, under the banner ‘Workers for a Free Palestine’, include teachers, health workers, hospitality workers and others who are members of a wide range of trade unions, including Unite, UNISON, GMB, NEU, BMA, UCU, BECTU and BFAWU. The blockades have been organised in coordination with workers in France, Denmark and the Netherlands, who are also blockading arms factories today” 
“We are currently experiencing a phenomenal movement of international solidarity with the Palestinian people. Workers and oppressed, young and old, demonstrate on the streets to show their protest against the genocide which Israel, supported by Western powers, is committing against the Palestinian people in Gaza. These mobilisations constitute the largest global movement since the protests against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. According to ACLED – an academic organization specialized in collecting data of global protests as part of such massive pro-Palestine solidarity movement; calls are spreading for the boycott of Israeli goods as well as of corporations of Western supporting the genocide. From Türkiye to Malaysia and from Egypt to Indonesia, millions of people refuse to consume Coca Cola or visit a McDonalds or Starbucks store.
A particularly important form of boycott is the refusal to transport military weapons – or components relevant for such
– to Israel. Shortly after the Zionist state launched its genocidal war against the Palestinian people in Gaza, Palestinian trade unions published an important appeal in which they called trade
unions and popular organisations around the world to take action against Israel’s war machinery. Since then, a number of trade unions in North America and Western Europe – which are the most
important arms suppliers of the Zionist state – have picked this call. In the U.S., hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters organised blockades at two ports – first in Oakland, California, and
then in Tacoma, Washington state. Carrying signs reading “No Aid for Israel” and “Free All Palestinian
Prisoners”, they tried to stop the loading and unloading of a military supply ship, the Cape Orlando, with weapons bound for Israel”.
Centrists adapting to reformism
Many centrist groups, particularly the ISA and the CWI, advocate positions without recognising Israel as a Zionist State and calling for a two-state solution. They are completely out of touch with the aspirations of the masses who regularly chant for a “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free”, and which hate the Apartheid state Israel. These Centrists end up with a complete pacifist position denouncing Hamas and taking up a social pacifist position close to recognising Israel’s “right to exist”.
The RCIT calls for the victory of Hamas despite their Islamic leaderships and supports – like the masses demonstrating in London – a Palestinian state from the River to the Sea with full democratic rights for the Jewish minority. The centrist CWI and ISA both take up a pro Zionist position equating the oppressor with the oppressed.
“Such a stance means for us as Marxists that we unconditionally support the struggle of the resistance forces of the oppressed (in these cases the Ukrainian army resp. Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions) without lending political support to the leadership of these forces. Concretely, as revolutionary socialists we oppose the (petty-)bourgeois nationalist or Islamist politics of Zelensky resp. of the Hamas leadership.
The ISA and the CWI – two organisations which stand in the opportunist tradition of Ted Grant but split in 2019 –. In the Gaza War, both organisations effectively take a social-pacifist and pro-Zionist position. They oppose the war but refuse to support the Palestinian resistance in the current war. The ISA – which has a section in Israel – shamefully equate Hamas and Israel.
Consequently, they express their solidarity with “all victims”, i.e. both with the victims of the oppressed nation as well as those of the oppressor nation! “The Socialist Struggle Movement (ISA in Israel-Palestine) stands in solidarity with ordinary people, with the relatives of those killed and with the wounded from all communities, on both sides of the fence, and with the abducted civilians.” (Another quote: “We stand in solidarity with all victims of war and terror, and join those who are standing up and fighting back.”)
The CWI effectively takes the same position as their former comrades. “Socialists, however, can give no support to Hamas and Hezbollah, parties which are based on right-wing political Islam.” In contrast to these centrist
cowards, the RCIT and our comrades in Israel / Occupied Palestine take a principled anti-imperialist stance: “Support the Heroic Palestinian
Resistance! Defeat Israel!” [And “Victory for Hamas and the Arab masses! Down with the Zionist apartheid regime!” The crude form of
the ISA’s and CWI’s denunciation of Hamas is a pale imitation of this imperialist propaganda. 
RCIT calls for the expansion of solidarity activities
The RCIT in Britain puts forward the following demands in support of the Palestinian resistance and fore a military victory of Hamas without supporting their leadership.
* Call on the trade unions including their leaderships to follow the example of the offshore workers in Oakland California who refused to load or unload military hardware bound for Israel. We call for the dockers, rail workers and transport workers to refuse to load or unload shipment to Israel.
* Support the boycott movement against Israel!
* For a Free Red Palestine from the river to the sea!
* No to Islamophobia and racism! For open borders, no to immigration controls or deportation to other countries!