The struggle for one Palestine is under threat
World War 1 and 2 were essentially fought to re-divide the world among the imperialists. Thus for example, Syria and Lebanon was given to French imperialism while Germany was split up into East and West. Palestine was divided into a Bantustan for working class Jews (Israel) and a Bantustan for Palestinian Arabs (areas greater than the West Bank and Gaza). Besides areas of influence for imperialism these divisions were artificially created to smash the resistance of the working class in regions around the globe. Israel was created to use working class Jews as cannon fodder by imperialism to control the working class in the Middle East. After many years of struggle, East and West Germany have been united, albeit on a capitalist basis. East Germany, however, still serves as a vast labour camp for imperialism. There has been heroic resistance by the Palestinian masses, as well as millions of the impoverished masses around the world, to the division of Palestine. Imperialism has time and time again come up with new plans to maintain and deepen the divisions of the oppressed and exploited. One of the latest plans is to build up the ANC through Ronnie Kassrils, the Minister of Intelligence of the SA government and SACP leader, as a supposed representative of Palestinian interests.
Middle class interests sacrifice the democratic demands of the masses
What is common between the ANC, the SACP, the PLO and Hamas is that they all have a pro-capitalist programme. They are all prepared to sacrifice the democratic aspirations of the masses for a stake in the capitalist system. The SACP played the leading role in building up the ANC to take power. It was the SACP-inspired sunset clauses (through Joe Slovo) which helped make the ‘breakthrough’ to get the masses to accept keeping the repressive apparatus intact as a pre-condition to the finalisation of the negotiated settlement (resulting in the 1994 elections). All the radical struggles and mass strikes were re-directed by the ANC-SACP alliance towards putting the ANC in government on a capitalist basis. After 1994 South Africa has been a paradise for imperialism, recording their highest profits ever, while the working class and lower middle class have faced unprecedented hardship. Today the ANC and SACP leaders oversee the plunder of local resources and the exploitation of the working class while a small section of the black middle class, the new managers for imperialism, enrich themselves from the crumbs from the ‘master’s table’, through ‘black economic empowerment’ and other measures. The demands for jobs, housing, land, etc have all been compromised by the ANC-SACP alliance in return for their playing the new manager role for imperialism. Unemployment stands at over 40%, the highest ever; homelessness grows faster than housing provision while there is still a housing backlog of over 3 million units. The government still allows weapons and diamonds from SA to be sold to Israel. Telkom, the state telecoms company has recently struck an agreement with Israeli company, Alvarion, to roll out broadband. Recently, the very Ronnie Kassrils issued a statement from Ramallah that the SA government stands firmly behind a 2-state (Bantustan) for Palestine. Yet the PSG, the MJC and others want to have joint marches and activities with the very ANC that is betraying the struggle of the Palestinians.
At a recent conference hosted by the Friends of Al Aqsa, the Hamas representative welcomed Kassrils as his friend and indicated that they were here to learn from the ANC. In other words Hamas has come to learn how to sidestep the mandate they had of a 1-state solution (what else can a non-recognition of Israel mean?). The PSG (Palestinian Solidarity Group- South Africa) welcomed Kassrils as a ‘deployed activist’ within the SA government to represent the Palestinian interests. The PSG (SA) also promotes a Bantustan for Palestine.
A Palestinian journalist, Ramzy Baroud, at the same conference, indicated that Palestinians do not need fighters; they want more people to say ‘not in my name’, an indirect support to the position of Kassrils. In other words, Baroud was saying that it is fine for the capitalists to stand together in Nato, the UN Security Council, in the WTO, the World Bank and IMF, but workers must stand divided and not unite across the world in action against imperialism and in support of the Palestinians. According to Baroud, it is fine for capitalists across the world, the arms industry, the capitalists in the diamond industry, etc to unite to support the artificial state of Israel, but workers should not stand together to support the Palestinians. Each group of workers, according to Baroud, should only fight in their own corners, over national interests.
The Way Forward
It was the rebellion of the Palestinian masses against the sellout by the PLO through the Oslo accord and other agreements, that brought Hamas into leadership of the PA (Palestinian Authority). The second Intifada started as both a rebellion against Zionist-slave relations as well against the PLO. The masses are sure to rebel against any attempts by Hamas to sellout their struggle.
We call on the broad masses to reject joint actions with the ANC and with Kassrils as this would divert the heroic struggle of the Palestinian masses onto the road to a Bantustan. The SACP and ANC have betrayed the struggle of the masses in SA, let us not allow them to betray the Palestinian cause.
We call for working class unity, across religious barriers, in the Middle East and elsewhere, to fight Zionism and all imperialist capitalist efforts the world over.
Forward to workers’ sanctions against Israel!
One Palestine- no Bantustan!