The great march to return- Palestine- rejecting the 2-state bantustan ‘option’
Since the 30th March 2018 there have been daily marches by tens of thousands of ordinary Palestinians towards the border fence in Gaza. These marches of return , up to and beyond the 15th May 2018 mark 70 years since the Nakba, the day the mass expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes by imperialist-backed zionist forces began. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed. Today’ the biggest refugee group is that of the Palestinians, over 7 million, scattered mostly across the Middle East, across the world and yes, even in Gaza. In fact most of the 2 million people in the Gaza are refugees. All they want is to go home.
Ironically, in the wake of the rise of Nazism, very few countries were willing to take in the thousands of Jewish refugees; in the 1940’s, even the USA was reluctant. Palestine was one of the few countries that welcomed the Jewish refugees, with open arms, sharing the little they had with them. The zionist forces were propped up and funded by imperialism. They hijacked the sympathy of the masses for those butchered by Nazism to promote their own nationalist agenda, which involved the suppression of the Palestinian masses. From the start, imperialism funded and armed the zionist forces to create a permanent division in the Middle East and to create a huge area of reaction, from which to discipline and suppress the masses in the region.
How US imperialism props up the state of Israel in its ongoing genocide on Palestinians
Every year, currently, US imperialism gives $2bn in military ‘aid’ to Israel. There is other financial ‘aid’ from imperialism that props up the Israeli state. Imperialist companies such as Anglo American redirect most of the diamonds from South Africa and the rest of Africa, to Israel for cutting and polishing. This is money laundering as these diamonds find their way into the world market but huge funds go to Israel to fund their military apparatus and their attacks on Palestinians and to permanently threaten the rest of the masses in the Middle East.
The Great Return Marches in Gaza- marking 70 years of the mass expulsion of Palestinians
Since 30 March 2018 there have been marches by the masses in Gaza towards the fences around it. The marchers have been and still are unarmed. Yet, the Israeli army has assigned snipers to shoot down anyone who comes within 800m of the fence. At least 137 Palestinians have been killed since the first marches in Gaza and hundreds injured. The simple demand is to return home. The demands are politically significant as there is no demand for the expulsion of anyone from where Israel is today. In fact, there is enough room for everyone, even for the 7 million Palestinian refugees.
These marches are an independent movement not under the control of Fatah nor Hamas nor any religious group. The drive towards an independent position is reflected also in the 2017 local election results with over 60% of independent candidates winning seats.
Imperialism and the zionist state realises that if the refugees return to their homes then, at one stroke, the state of Israel is no more. This is why they shoot down and now bomb the unarmed Palestinian masses. In 1948 hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed and at least 700 000 driven from their homes. They have never been allowed to come back, despite even a UN resolution to that effect. https://www.unrwa.org/content/resolution-194 . Yet, Israel claims that it is a democracy. How can it be democratic if it denies 7 million Palestinians their democratic right to return home?
There is, for example, the case of the village of Lubya, that was destroyed by zionist fascist forces in 1948. It is close to Nazareth. Part of the village land is now occupied by an Israeli village called Lavi, while most of it is covered by forests. There are several forests across ‘Israel’ that cover demolished Palestinian villages. In Lubya one of the forests is called South Africa park and even flies the South African flag. This is an insult to the Palestinian and South African masses. The forest is used for picnics but the original inhabitants are not allowed to return. They have spent the past 70 years in refugee camps around the world. Many have died. It is out of the sense of urgency for the original masses to return, along with their offspring, that has sparked the marches of the Great return. US imperialism is arming and funding the zionist destruction of the Palestinians. In a sense, the Great Return march is a political revolt against the growing alliance of Fatah, Hamas, the zionist regime, all the other reactionary regimes in the region and imperialism. It is a political revolt that rejects the so-called 2-state ‘solution’ offered by imperialism, which is nothing but a figleaf for the destruction of the Palestinian masses.
The 24 March 2018 marches against guns in the USA
Hundreds of thousands of youth and parents and teachers marched in the USA against the widespread use of guns in acts of violence against the youth and against school youth in particular. This was after yet another massacre at a school. There had been several since the 1999 Columbine school shooting. In total, at least 187 000 school youth have been affected by shootings on their grounds. After yet another school massacre this year the youth revolted en masse against the state. On the 24th March 2018 hundreds of thousands of youth, their parents and supporters marched in many cities in the USA and around the world. Some of the organisers tried to turn the uprising into an election campaign for the Democratic party. However the anti-state and anti-imperialist element started to shine through. Some called for a limit on availability of converters that turn weapons into machine gun mode. Others called for increased background checks, while others called for books not bullets; the world should be gun-free, said another. In 1994 US arms exports were $100bn. By 2015 it had expanded to $190 bn, almost double.
Time for renewed anti-gun marches and actions in the USA and worldwide
In 2003 US-led forces invaded Iraq on false pretences. Over a million Iraqis died
From 1996 to 2003 the US supplied weapons to both sides in the DRC war; over 6 million died in clashes between state-backed and Rwandan-backed militias; much of the land has been cleared and minerals for imperialist industry such as weapons, cellphone, laptop and playstations all thrive today based on continued plunder and terror of the masses in the DRC and Great Lakes region.
Since 2006 Israel has had several bombing campaigns in Gaza, killing thousands. There has been a crippling blockade of Gaza since 2006, which has also killed thousands and has kept the 2 million people there under permanent siege. The West Bank is under permanent military control by zionist forces.
US imperialism funds and arms both sides in Afghanistan
In Syria they have bombed the masses and worked with Russia to destroy the revolution by the masses against the butcher Assad.
They are arming Saudi Arabia and have helped bomb and terrorise the revolutionary masses in Yemen
They support and arm the dictator Sisi in Egypt
They have subverted the revolution in Libya by installing their own puppet regime.
In essence, the unchecked increase in sales of weapons in the USA is matched by the increase in sales of weapons by the US military Industrial complex on a world-wide basis. It is why no background checks are done locally and internationally. As long as sales increase. They need war, they need more shootings to happen, so they can profit. They will resist any curbing of arm sales. The military companies fund both Republicans and Democrats.
Exposing the Workers and Socialist Party (Committee for a Workers International-CWI) and their pro-imperialist policy on Palestine. (see http://www.socialistworld.net/index.php/international/middle-east/israel-palestine/9808-gaza-protest-massacre-for-mass-struggle-to-lift-the-siege )
The Committee for a Workers International- CWI, to which wasp is affiliated, supports a ‘Socialist Israel’ and a ‘Socialist Palestine’. In other words they support a 2-state solution, identical to what imperialism has long called for, but the CWI covers their tracks with socialist rhetoric. Where is this Socialist Palestine going to be? Along the lines dictated by imperialism. The CWI is not not even ashamed to call for the division of Jerusalem. The CWI wants East Jerusalem to be the capital of the Palestine bantustan. Thus they stand for the permanent division of the masses on lines of religious differences. Exactly in line with imperialism. They appeal to the Israeli union bureaucrats to lead solidarity with Palestinians. These same union leaders support the bombing of Palestinians. Even though they pay lip-service to the right of return of the Palestinians, they ignore the real intent of the peaceful marches, namely to call for a real return to their homes by the refugees. To the CWI the marches are just about breaking the siege. Let the siege of Gaza be lifted and let the Palestinians stay in their bantustan, is the message of the CWI. The masses have rejected the bantustan path and reject the reactionary position of the Wasp/CWI. We always fought against permanent division of the masses, why do socialists of the Wasp promote bantustans for Palestinians?
The pacifism of the BDS movement- the need for direct action
The Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is not only limited but leads to the masses being passive and give the leaders of the union and broader workers movement an excuse to do nothing.
The capitalist controls the funds for investment, so a call for disinvestment is calling on the very reactionary force that wants the destruction of the Palestinians. The same goes for a call for sanctions; most of the states in the world trade either directly or indirectly with Israel. It is part of the capitalist agenda to destroy the Palestinians. How can we appeal to the very governments that are strangling the Palestinians?
There are very few products from Israel and from zionist firms operating in the West Bank. Yes these products need to be boycotted but this is just a tiny part of what should be done. Boycott of products is a passive act and has only limited impact.
It is a myth that BDS brought change to SA. The imperialist started withdrawing their funds only at the threat of revolution, when they could have lost everything.
If the masses can block the highways for housing, then why not for Palestine? If the workers can go on strike for wages and conditions, then why not also for Palestine? The world capitalist system is based on plunder of the DRC, it is based on permanent war against the Palestinians.
Is it not time to block the highways, the ports, the factories that thrive on permanent world-wide war?
The need for an international campaign against US imperialism capitalism
The only way to defend the Palestinians, the masses in Yemen, Syria, DRC, yes, even the youth in the USA, is through a campaign of sustained direct action, limiting and disrupting the flow of weapons from US imperialism. We need youth to link up with workers, to stop trade with Israel, to target the military industrial complex and the banks and imperialist companies that support and fund them.
The organised workers in the mining, metal, transport and other sectors can stop the wheels of industry, in the name of a unified Palestine, one state, with the right of all refugees to return, living in peace, irrespective of religious belief, in a direct workers’ democracy. The pacifism of the BDS needs to end.
15 July 2018