Who built Tel Aviv ? Open letter to the Israeli youth

The heroic Refuser Solidarity Network recently reported that over 100 young IDF members had committed suicide since Oct 8th last year. These youth took this drastic step because they don’t feel heard. They feel do not agree with the genocidal war. They feel there is no organised opposition strong enough to stand up to the Israeli state. There may even be some that are following in the footsteps of Aaron Bushnell but whose messages of protest is being silenced by the state. The longer the war goes on the more likely this number will get to 200 or even more. It follows that it is important to build and strengthen the movement against the Israeli state. It is important to encourage the dissident youth to join this movement.

One of the most recent to commit suicide was Eliran Mizrahi , a disabled soldier who had already served in Gaza and had been twice wounded. Despite being disabled through the war and suffering from PTSD he had been called up to go again into Gaza. What type of army calls up disabled soldiers? Eliran leaves behind a wife and four children. The IDF command has refused a military burial and has distanced themselves from him, saying that he was no longer a soldier. To the IDF you are just a number, to serve without question.

On the 11th November 2015 former soldier Ido Gal Razon testified before the Knesset. His pleas were just brushed aside. He said he had been waiting for 9 years just to be classified as ‘disabled’. His mother had to cover all his medical expenses. He was suffering from severe PTSD, saying that he had trouble sleeping as those who he had murdered (his words) on behalf of the Israeli state were coming to him in his dreams and asking ‘Why did you kill me?’. He accused the Knesset of hiding the real picture of the numbers of soldiers who were disabled. He came to the conclusion that the entire system , the Israeli state, had failed.

Already more than 20 000 soldiers have been classified as disabled since Oct 7th last year. From Ido Razon’s testimony the numbers are much, much higher. How many have been killed? No one outside the IDF knows.  Youth should be concerning themselves with art and culture, with music and poetry not with wiping out of other youth who have similar dreams of love and life.

The Refuser Solidarity Network has come to the conclusion some time ago that the central problem is the entire structure of the IDF as a whole. We agree.

On June 9th a further 41 youth have openly declared that they refuse to serve any longer in the IDF. We salute their bold stand and call on all the rank and file soldiers and pilots to do the same. This bold step is a much better form of protest than the drastic step of taking one’s own life. We call for more of the rank and file to get organised, refuse the genocidal orders of the generals and to march, weapons in hand, if need be, to arrest the generals and ministers who are directing the genocide.

While the youth are being traumatised through war and through having to carry out irrational actions in Gaza the son of Premier Benjamin Mileikowsky is suntanning on the beaches of Florida. He didn’t get his call-up papers but disabled soldiers have to go back into the line of fire. Thousands of youths from 19 to 23 are being sent to carry out irrational orders in Gaza. The children of the rich are somehow exempt. Clearly some are more equal than others.

 During the early part of October the entire Israeli population was being swept up into a killing frenzy through very emotive statements, all which tuned out to be false: There was allegations of mass rape; mutilation of bodies, 40 babies beheaded, babies baked in ovens, killing of civilians. Well, all these allegations have been proven to be total lies. Even the conservative CNN published reports that totally refuted the allegations. Now even the conservative London Times, Associated Press have all refuted the lies. The Grayzone, Electronic Intifada and The Palestine Chronicle have also published detailed refutation of all the lies of the Israeli state and US imperialism. Throughout the entire war many lies were told. Even actresses were hired to tell lies. The IDF claimed that al Shifa hospital was a Hamas base, that it had their HQ under the hospital. All turned out to be lies.  It is also emerging that many of the civilians were killed by the IDF on Oct 7th under the so-called Hannibal directive (to kill your own civilians or your own soldiers to prevent them from falling into ‘enemy’ hands).

Well, piling lies upon lies resulted in every single hospital being destroyed and more than 40 000 Palestinian civilians killed, elderly people, babies, women, men. Over 100 journalists were killed; Over 100 UN aid workers killed, over 100 medics killed. There is mass starvation and hundeds of thousands are so malnourished that they may die soon. Gaza is becoming a death camp, with the open assistance of US imperialism. Tens of thousands of corpses still lie under the rubble. Children are dying in numbers. This extermination of the Palestinians is being driven by the Democrats and supported by the Republicans, not the masses in the USA. The vast majority of the billions in the world opposes the genocide.

You need to ask yourself: Why did the IDF lie? Repeatedly. Who benefits?

Just pause for a moment to reflect on the hundreds of thousands of Israelis displaced from the north and south. Just think of the collapse of the tourism, construction, agriculture and other industries.

Just think of the tens of thousands maimed or killed because of lies. Every household knows of someone who has become disabled or who died in the genocidal war.

Just think of the higher food prices, the higher prices of everything. Just think of the international IT company Intel that has just cancelled a $24 billion dollar investment. Several other international companies are following suit. International capital is loyal to no one; they are only loyal to their own profits.

Wherever any Israeli goes in the world, they are now regarded as pariahs. The case of genocide against Israel will be around for several years. Any regime that commits genocide must be dismantled and abolished. Its leaders must be held accountable.

The first one who benefitted is Benjamin Mileikowsky who now escapes corruption charges. The main beneficiaries, however, are those billionaires in control of the arms industry both in Israel and internationally, mainly in the USA.  To them the ordinary Israeli is just an expendable item to carry out their genocidal wishes, no matter what the consequences are. Profits and more profits are all that count. The Israeli masses are just regarded as useful idiots by imperialism. Most likely the Israeli billionaires in control of the arms industry don’t have their children called up. They are living luxury lives on the beaches of the USA and elsewhere. The arms industry has multi-trillion dollar expenditure every year. That is why they need war, perpetual war, every year. Since 1948 the ordinary Israeli have been used as cannon fodder for imperialism and the monopoly banks that control the arms industry. The other major reason for the creation of the state of Israel is to act as an armed force to keep the masses in the region under control of imperialism. US, UK, German, French and Japanese imperialism have divided up control of the oil assets in the region among themselves. So Israel is kept as a chattel to carry out terror in the region to keep the masses subdued.

The bombs and weapons provided by imperialism and unleashed by the IDF have wreaked havoc and indelible pain on the Palestinians. Since 1948 there have been several campaigns to erase them. The permanent divide in Palestine , between Palestinians and Israelis was created by the UN Security Council, and therefore by imperialism. In a similar manner Germany was divided into East and West; Korea was divided into North and South; Yemen was divided into North and South. The common thread was to divide the masses as a mechanism to keep them under control. The re-unification of Germany was not done by the UN Security Council but through the mass action of the ordinary people. Yemen was united but imperialism has tried everything to try and subdue and divide it again.  In 2021, for several months the masses in Gaza marched peacefully to the border, merely expressing their wish to return home. These protests were not organized by any political party. It was a spontaneous movement, noting that most people in Gaza are refugees. Hundreds of unarmed Palestinians were shot down by the IDF.

Who built Tel Aviv?

Let us reflect on the role of Palestinians. Why built the houses in Tel Aviv? Did the bricks carry themselves? Who mixed the concrete? Thousands of houses were built with Palestinian labour power. Many of the houses in Jerusalem were built by Palestinians. Even the multiple housing complexes in the West Bank and in every city was built with Palestinian labour power. When the IDF soldiers sat down for a meal in Gaza, who picked the vegetables and fruit? It was Palestinian labour power. Many of the olive groves and Jaffa orange orchards were planted by Palestinians. The olives and oranges were picked by Palestinians. The very honey that was drizzled over the breakfast of the soldiers came from blossoms from trees planted by Palestinians.

Go into some of the libraries of some homes in Tel Aviv you will find books written by Palestinians of old. Several art pieces come from Palestinians pre-1948. These are collectors items from the Nakba, the mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1948.

Much of the food, Jaffa oranges, arak, tabouleh, falafel, kubbeh come not only from Palestinians but from the Mediterranean cultures.

Ironically, the forest of 6 million in memory of the Holocaust was planted over the ruins of Palestinian homes destroyed in the Nakba.

Even the embroidery and dress are Palestinian culture now paraded as Israeli. Even the kufiya or battah is re-jigged and presented as Israeli.

Jewish culture on the other hand, is international. Hebrew and Aramaic texts have been found in Afghanistan and many other places. Jewish culture has been found in Europe, North Africa and Asia. It has a legitimate place as part of world culture. Zionism, on the other hand, is a racist, violent ideology based on the extermination of Palestinians. It is the reactionary aims of Zionism that has been used by imperialism for its own ends by artificially planting it in Palestine. Without support by imperialism the Zionist ideology would not be able to sustain itself. We can and must defeat Zionism. Jewish culture on the other hand, has always been respected by Palestinians. It was part of Palestine pre-1948 and should be part of the future state.

The destruction of the housing in Gaza has brought with it the collapse of the Israeli construction industry. The Palestinian construction worker has been shut out. The obliteration of the farmlands in Gaza has brought with it the collapse of Israeli agriculture. The Palestinian farm workers have been shut out. The total destruction of the Gaza economy and the severe restrictions on the West Bank and East Jerusalem has brought with it a crushing blow to the Israeli economy. The schools and universities in Gaza are all destroyed but its impact has been that many Israeli youth are suffering from PTSD and have had their academic year severely disrupted. Despite all the challenges that Palestinians face, they have the highest number of people with degrees per capita in the world. A unified state that values Palestinian and Jewish culture would be a tremendous advance for humanity.

The genocidal campaign in Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem has brought with it the implosion of Israeli society. The genocide against Palestinians is one giant act of self-harm to Israelis because Palestinians are integral to the existence of Israel.

Israel as a parasitic state

Despite the total dependence of Israel on the Palestinians, the Palestinian masses in Gaza, West Bank, East Jerusalem and in the refugee camps in the region, have no political rights. They only have a Bantustan administration, with no control over any border, nor control over trade nor foreign exchange. There is a police force that jails and suppresses Palestinians that try to fight against their oppression. The Palestinian refugees in the region don’t have any political rights at all. They are just dumped in camps to die. Most of Gaza is refugee camps. There are also several refugee camps in the West Bank. These are labour camps where Palestinians are worse than slaves (at least under slavery the slave master had an obligation to feed the slave). The Palestinian Authority is nothing but a sub-contractor for the Zionist regime. When Spain, South Africa or any other country says they recognise Palestine, what they are actually saying is they recognise Israel and a Palestinian Bantustan. We reject this artificial division.

Whenever any Palestinian from Gaza, or East Jerusalem or West Bank or from outside the country enters Israel they are controlled by military law. They can be held without charge for any length of time, sometimes years. They have no right of legal representation. No rights at all. They are often subjected to medical, physical and psychological abuse with no recourse whatsoever. Palestinians have no political rights but are regarded as aliens in their land of their birth. Foreign immigrants have more rights in Israel than Palestinians. The Palestinians from 1948 (those few Palestinians who remained behind after the Nakba), are also second class citizens too.

The Israeli state is the common enemy of the Israeli masses and Palestinians

The Israeli youth have come to the conclusion that the Israeli state is their enemy. The Palestinians know that the Israeli state is their enemy. Yet the Israeli masses and Palestinians are divided. Imperialism has managed to tear apart the common society and has Israeli fighting Palestinian and vice versa.

Dismantle the system of hostage taking- Forward to a Constituent Assembly

The Palestinians in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and elsewhere are hostages of the regimes there. They are kept in permanent limbo by imperialism in the hope that somehow they will be erased or simply die off. If a captive exchange happens, on the same day, if not the next, the Israeli state will take a Palestinian hostage, under the military law, as before. The cycle will start again and again. This system of hostage taking needs to be definitively broken. It can only be done by ending of military law against Palestinians and the granting of equal rights to all Palestinians and Israelis. This means the return of all Palestinian refugees as well and their full inclusion in the democratic process. Palestinian and Israelis need to form grassroots councils that elect delegates subject to instant recall and only earning the wage of not more than a wage of a skilled worker. These councils should convene a Constituent Assembly which will set up an interim government and a process meeting all the democratic rights of the masses in a unitary state on historic Palestine. The Golan Heights should be returned to Syria.

The process to the setting up of the Constituent Assembly should involve joint committees of struggle against the Israeli state. The IDF must be disbanded and there should be an integration of armed forces to be subject to the grassroots councils. The right-wing Israeli militias should be disarmed and dismantled while the Palestinian resistance should be brought under the control of the grassroots councils. The general arming of the grassroots masses is necessary to suppress the armed settler element or any imperialist sponsored force who is bent on genocide. At the moment the problem is that the Palestinian masses are largely unarmed and unable to defend themselves against the genocidal attacks. The entire repressive apparatus of Israel must be disbanded. All the forces that supported or aided the genocide must be disbanded.

All industry, banks and land should be nationalised and brought under workers’ control. The system of grassroots councils/shuras in which women also participate fully, should be spread throughout the region. In the common fight against the genocidal Israeli regime, the workers and youth in the USA and other imperialist centres are our strongest allies.

For an immediate and permanent ceasefire

Full and immediate release of all captives on both sides and an immediate end to military law

Unity of the masses in struggle against the Israeli regime

Away with the Zionist regime

Down with the Palestinian Authority

For a Constituent Assembly based on grassroots councils

For a united workers’ government based on the grassroots councils

For a rational use of land such as temporarily resettling displaced and refugee Palestinians in suitable areas in the south and north of historic Palestine. For a program of reconstruction of Gaza.

For the immediate tearing down of all the walls around Gaza and in and around the West Bank.

Reconstruction is to be proportionately paid by the those responsible for the genocidal campaign.

Freedom of religious belief

Freedom of expression and the right to organise

For a free Palestine based on the above principles and respect for all contributions to human culture

Unity of the working class and youth internationally against imperialism.

Workers and youth of the world unite. We have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a world to win. Forward to Socialism!

Issued by Workers International Vanguard League (South Africa) , Marxist Group of Namibia  and International Socialist Movement (South Africa) 16 June 2024           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Without exception,ALL the parties taking part in the elections,despite their promises, will deliver a future of more unemployment, lower wages, more hardship, more evictions, more homelessness, more exclusion from education, death and destruction through starvation and Aids.

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