Workers Have No Country: No to Nationalism, Yes to Class Unity!

The raid by Hamas militants which overran two military bases and various Israeli municipalities killing soldiers and civilians and taking hostages, has set off the predictable response from the Israeli ruling class: the murder of Palestinian civilians by carpet bombing (including of hospitals), tightening the siege on the enclave (which has been in force since 2007), cutting off power, water, food and fuel. It represents a type of medieval siege aimed at starvation, sickness and death for the 2.3 million who live in Gaza. Civilians ordered to move south have had their convoys bombed. The Gazans are all descendants of the Palestinians kicked out of their homes at gunpoint by Zionist settlers in 1948. The Israeli ruling class seems now to be trying to expel them to Egypt as the permanent solution to the Gaza problem. In other words, more ethnic cleansing. What we see today are the atrocities of Hamas fighters answered by further atrocities by the Israeli capitalist class. All this is a continuation of what imperialism has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere. These disasters are all the products of the global imperialist struggle which the current economic crisis of capitalism has intensified.

Neither Israel nor Hamas

Hamas is a pawn on the imperialist chessboard but so is Israel. Hamas was earlier funded and promoted by Israel itself, together with the US, to undermine negotiations for a settlement and keep the conflict on the boil while Palestinian land was stolen, and settlements and outposts built on it. Today Hamas is funded by Qatar to the tune of $30 million a month and provided with $7 million of fuel, while it receives military support from Iran, which is now part of the Russia-China bloc. Israel came into being as a result of the victory of Allied imperialism in the Second World War and was initially supported by both the USSR and USA, but with the outbreak of the Cold War it became the massively financed and armed outpost of Western imperialism in the Middle East. The Hamas raid was connected with the latest initiative of US imperialism, particularly its attempt to normalise relations between Israel and certain Arab states under the so-called Abraham Accords. This was leading to rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia and Hamas’ raid was intended to throw a spanner into this process. Russia and China have both issued statements of support for the Palestinians while the US has moved its fleet with two aircraft carriers to protect Israel from a wider war. The war is clearly an expression of imperialist conflict and, like the Ukraine war, is paving the way for a wider global war. The massive US military buildup in the Middle East and threats to Iran are only the latest indications of this.

The war has, as usual, unleashed an orgy of nationalism demanding support for either the Palestinian people or the Israeli people. The truth is there is no such thing as the Palestinian people or the Israeli people. All nations are divided into classes and talk of the Palestinian or Israeli people really means the states of the Palestinian or Israeli capitalist class. The working class have no interests in supporting their exploiters in either state, as the bitter class struggles in both Palestine and Israel demonstrate. In July there were economic protests against the Hamas government in Gaza, which Hamas crushed, and in Israel airport workers and public sector workers struck earlier this year, and there were huge protests against Netanyahu’s judicial reforms. The poison of nationalism now drives workers into the arms of their exploiters under the flag of the nation and allows them to be led into the slaughterhouse. We die there for the profits and dividends of our oppressors. We are seeing this in Ukraine and now once more in Palestine. Any solidarity or fraternisation on the basis of class is prevented. But class solidarity is the only way forward in Palestine, in Ukraine and worldwide.

No Solution Within Capitalism

The Social Democrats, the Stalinists, Maoists, Trotskyists and even sections of anarchism urge us to support one side or the other in the name of “anti-imperialism” or “the lesser evil.” But both sides are pawns in a wider imperialist battle. Only the overthrow of capitalism and its product, imperialism, can provide a solution to this problem. No matter what fine words our rulers use to hide the real purpose of their wars, they are all imperialist wars for the division of the spoils derived from our exploitation. They are consequently wars against the working class and today they threaten to suck us all into the maelstrom of global war. The left wing of capital’s political apparatus peddle ideas of a two state solution or a single secular state with equal rights for all. All this is a pipe dream. While capitalism and imperialism dominate the planet the conflict will keep going.

Despite the obstacles, class unity of all sectors of the working class regardless of national origin is the only route out of the upswing of wars which our rulers are already imposing on us, and which are a prelude to a wider conflagration that would engulf the world. This alone is the basis for a fight of the global working class for a new system of production where we stop fighting each other, abolish national borders and start producing collectively for human need instead of profit.

The only alternative to capitalist war is for workers mobilised on all sides to fraternise with their fellow wage slaves on the opposing side. No to capitalist wars, no to nationalism. No war but the class war!

The above article is taken from the current edition (No. 65) of Aurora, bulletin of the Communist Workers’ Organisation.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Aurora (en)

Aurora is the broadsheet of the ICT for the interventions amongst the working class. It is published and distributed in several countries and languages. So far it has been distributed in UK, France, Italy, Canada, USA, Colombia.