Palestine, Israel

Liberation won't come from two separate states

Deportations, destruction, massacres of innocent and defenceless citizens: the bloody cycle which recommenced more than a year ago with the Nazi-style provocation of Sharon has tragically accelerated. Yet Israeli mini-imperialism has always had a free hand. Thanks to the US veto in the UN Israel has been allowed the luxury of invading territory which no international law could possibly permit and of rampantly inflicting cruelty on the Palestinian population by means of repression and ethnic cleansing. All this was -and is - part of the logic of American imperialism. In fact Israel remains the precious bridge-head for US interests in the Middle East. Despite any passing and superficial disagreements between the two, this role is even more indispensable today, when the conflicting interests of imperialism are sharpening under the pressure of capitalism's world economic crisis. But for now all the Arab, Russian, and above all, the bourgeoisie of the European Union can do against the arrogance of the United States and its Israeli policemen is appeal for peace, calls which are as hypocritical as they are impotent.

Beyond the daily victims of military aggression, the situation in both the occupied territories and in that controlled by the PLO is becoming disastrous: unemployment, under-employment, under-payment, bestial working conditions, massive emigration, are the norm. Employed and unemployed live in shanty towns and refugee camps without services or drinking water. Where they exist, the drains are open to the sky and illness is the order of the day.

In such circumstances the enrolment of the proletariat and sub-proletariat to the nationalist cause is almost automatic and, given the absence of a working class political alternative, the illusion of fighting for a better life under an indigenous bourgeoisie is inevitable. For the same reason, it's inevitable that a good part of the Israeli proletariat which is threatened - if in a less dramatic way - with layoffs, cuts in wages and the “social state”, turns a blind eye to the bellicose and racist nationalism of their own bourgeoisie.

But the hypothetical Palestinian state, whether in the PLO version or that of Hamas, would only strengthen the bourgeoisie in question while the Palestinian proletariat would still be subject to unemployment and obliged to emigrate either to Israel or elsewhere in order to counter the same super-exploitation and miserable wages as before. Today no state can escape from the “globalisation” of markets, and it certainly will not be for the Palestinian bourgeoisie to reverse the course of capitalism.

Thus, the strikingly urgent problem is how to extract the Palestinian proletariat - and also the Israeli working class - from the humiliation and ferocious repression of the Israeli state on the one hand, and on the other, from the nationalistic/religious calls of their own bourgeoisie. This is not with a view to an immediate and improbable revolutionary solution - too many elements are missing for this, from the party to a minimum level of class consciousness - but so that the yearning for liberation which exists in Palestine, the suffering, the outrage at the abuse of power and the blood that is being spilt daily is not exhausted in one of the most tragic episodes of nationalism, without even sowing a seed of revival for the revolutionary class struggle.

April 2002

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.