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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 66/No.16April 22, 2002

lead article
Washington: End all aid to
colonial-settler Israel!
Back the fight for a democratic, secular Palestine!
Photo - see caption below
Protest in Miami April 9 against Israeli assault.
In their hundreds of thousands working people, students, and youth are pouring into the streets across north Africa and the Middle East to condemn the murderous onslaught by the Israeli regime and Washington's aid and support to Tel Aviv. Many have stood up to tear gas and assaults by the police to march on U.S. and Israeli offices from Egypt to Bahrain. The Palestinian people, through tenacious resistance and heroic sacrifice, are winning the broadest solidarity in many years, catching Washington and the pro-imperialist regimes across the Mideast by surprise.

U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell, the butcher of the Iraqi people as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under an earlier Bush administration, has been greeted with protests of up to half a million as he has moved from capital to capital while Israeli military forces have unleashed a reign of terror across Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps in the West Bank. Having tried to demonize and write off Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat just months ago, the Bush administration has now been forced to send a top official to meet with the representative of the dispossessed people.

Through their resistance the Palestinian people have dealt the biggest blow to Washington's war preparations against the people of Iraq, and strengthened possibilities for future anti-imperialist mobilizations in face of new aggressions by the imperialist powers.

These developments give working people and youth the greatest opportunity in years to demand Washington end all aid to the colonial-settler state of Israel, and to back the historic battle for a democratic and secular Palestine. Protests in the United States, France, and other imperialist countries are spreading to numerous cities and drawing large participation. Growing numbers of working people want to learn about the situation and draw their own conclusions independent from official U.S. policy or the pro-Israeli coverage in the big-business media. Working people and youth living in the United States have a special responsibility to get out the truth about the Palestinian struggle, expose Washington's backing for the brutal Israeli regime, and mobilize opposition to the role of U.S. imperialism in the Mideast.

"Israel, created in accordance with the Zionist goal of establishing a Jewish state, could be set up in the Arab East only at the expense of the indigenous peoples of the area," reads a 1971 resolution of the Socialist Workers Party published in part on page 11. "Such a state could come into existence and maintain itself only by relying on imperialism. Israel is a settler-colonialist and expansionist capitalist state maintained principally by American imperialism, hostile to the surrounding Arab peoples. It is an imperialist beachhead in the Arab world that serves as the spearhead of imperialism's fight against the Arab revolution."

As the imperialists encouraged Jewish immigration to Palestine with the goal of having the settlers establish a colonialist outpost, the Palestinian people became the principle victims of the assault. Driven from their homes, expelled from the region, or put in refugee camps, the Palestinians refused to be obliterated as a nation or to submit to the rule of the capitalist regime. From the start the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination has taken the form of a battle to destroy the Israeli state. As the unfolding resistance today shows, this struggle will quickly draw in Jordan, which has a majority Palestinian population. As the revolutionary struggle deepens to replace the Israeli state with a democratic, secular Palestine, it will pose the battle to address the needs of working people for land, jobs, health care, housing, and education. It will demand the right of return for all Palestinians pushed out at the point of a gun, and pose the rebuilding of uprooted farms and shattered cities. Such a struggle can help point the road forward for working people who are Jewish, currently caught in the death trap of the Israeli state.

There will be many demonstrations, teach-ins, and picket lines in the United States in the coming weeks. A national action April 20 in Washington will draw thousands who want to join this fight, and two days later another solidarity action is being built in the nation's capital. Helping to get Pathfinder titles, such as Israel and the Arab Revolution, How Can the Jews Survive? and The Jewish Question, along with Capitalism's World Disorder, Cuba and the Coming American Revolution, and New International no. 7, into the hands of working people and youth is another important contribution to this battle. They not only explain the historic roots of the conflict and the role of imperialism, but point to the possibility of a revolutionary resolution of the brutality and murderous assaults generated by the capitalist system.
Related articles:
Mass protests greet Powell in Mideast
U.S. protests demand 'end the occupation!'
Palestinian struggle for self-determination

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