A new round of negotiations between the Israeli regime and representatives of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas has begun. Under current conditions, a foundation for a way forward can only be built on an agreement that includes:
❖ Recognition of a Palestinian state, as it is today, as a stepping stone to fight for a single, viable geographical homeland for the Palestinian people.
❖ Recognition of Israel, as it is today, both a Jewish and increasingly multinational secular state. This includes the right of return for the Jews, which will become increasingly relevant as the world crisis of capitalism kindles Jew hatred as a reactionary bludgeon against fighting labor.
These are essential immediate demands working people should back today to break the cycle of wars and bloodshed. A course of struggle on this basis would boost the self-confidence of the Palestinian masses and open the door to a renewal of their involvement as the motor force of the Palestinian struggle. It would open space to fight the balkanization of Palestine, for jobs for the unemployed, for land and water rights and for Palestinians’ freedom to travel, including the right to cross the border into Israel to work. It would provide stronger footing for economic and social development in Gaza and the West Bank. And it would create political space for the class struggle and the advancement of working-class solidarity in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, as well as in Lebanon, Jordan and elsewhere across the Middle East.
Any course that does not bring an end to the recurring retaliatory conflicts will only perpetuate the useless sacrifice of Palestinian lives. It will only continue to drive Jewish working people in Israel to support Tel Aviv’s wars, suppressing class consciousness and class-struggle activity in Israel. And it will maximize pressure on Palestinian toilers and their backers to remain silent about, or seek to rationalize, the deadly anti-working-class strategy of Hamas.
Hamas’ course has increased not only its own unpopularity, but the isolation of the Palestinian national struggle. For the first time, virtually no Arab government has felt enough pressure even to feign support for the Palestinian cause. And Hamas is becoming increasingly unpopular in Gaza, the West Bank and throughout the Middle East, as it violently suppresses political opposition to its rule and time and again hurls missiles and builds tunnels into Israel with full expectation that its actions will precipitate an Israeli military response whose only result will be death and destruction in Gaza. Its only “strategy” is to appeal to bourgeois public opinion at the cost of Palestinian lives and limbs taken by Israeli attacks, hoping to push Washington and other imperialist powers to withhold military aid from Tel Aviv and exert diplomatic pressure on it.
Israel has existed for 66 years. Revolutionary-minded working people have ceased some time ago being able to effectively set Israel apart from every other country on earth. The Palestinian and other Arab masses, too, will pay a big price for continuing to do so — and they recognize this fact more than ever before and are willing to act on it, if a leadership steps forth to lead the political fight.
A strategy that can advance the Palestinian cause and the interests of working people must also start with the class struggle and growing social contradictions in Israel itself. It must reach out to and seek sympathy and support among workers and their allies of Jewish, Arab, and other backgrounds in Israel and relate to new stirrings of working-class resistance — from union battles and street mobilizations against government policies, to struggles of immigrant workers, fights against police brutality and other social protests.
A Palestinian leadership championing and fighting for this overall course would attract the attention of working people across the Arab and Muslim world, have a powerful impact on workers in Israel, and win support among workers and farmers in the U.S. and other imperialist countries. It would inspire workers in struggle, from port truck drivers fighting to organize a union, to protesters against the cop killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and fast-food workers fighting for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
Talks follow pullback by Israeli forces in Gaza
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home