SWP Statement

For recognition of Palestinian state, Israel

June 7, 2021

The following is based on excerpts from a December 2017 statement by Jack Barnes, Socialist Workers Party national secretary.

Pressing for the Israeli and Arab governments and leaderships of Palestinian organizations to begin immediate talks to recognize both Israel and an independent Palestinian state is a burning political necessity today. Such an agreement must recognize the right of Jews everywhere to take refuge in Israel in face of the global rise of Jew-hatred and anti-Semitic violence, as well as the unconditional right of the dispossessed Palestinian people to a contiguous, sovereign homeland on territory — including East Jerusalem — conquered and occupied by the Israeli government during the 1967 war.

If such talks are to succeed, there is no question that the Palestinian representatives would insist on East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Nor can there be any doubt that the Israeli delegation would need to agree to West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. …

It is along this road that working people of all national backgrounds, religious beliefs and political allegiances in Israel and Palestine can use and defend their space to speak, organize and begin redressing the blood-drenched legacy of imperialist domination and capitalist exploitation. These historic outrages include ruthless colonial and national oppression across the Arab and Muslim countries, as well as the genocidal crimes of the Holocaust, the murderous pogroms preceding it across Eastern and Central Europe and Russia, and the enduring reality of Jew-hatred in today’s crises-ridden capitalist world.

Prospects for sustained and effective struggle led by working people in Palestine or elsewhere in the Middle East against Washington’s policies, and against their own local exploiting classes, are hobbled by political exhaustion in face of decades of setbacks and defeats due to anti-working-class misleadership, whether Stalinist, bourgeois nationalist or Islamist.

In the United States and other imperialist countries, organizations of middle class radicals claiming to be communist or socialist explicitly disavow any course to advance class solidarity among Palestinian, Jewish and other working people, often raising the reactionary cry, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” This course to drive Jews out of the region disqualifies such groups from any moral or political legitimacy to speak as what Bolshevik leader V.I. Lenin more than a century ago called “tribune[s] of the people … able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects.”

In opposition to Washington, to bourgeois governments and political organizations across the Middle East, and to the middle class left here in the United States, the Socialist Workers Party has a different starting point: the class interests and solidarity of workers and toiling farmers across the Middle East — be they Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, Kurdish, Turkish, Persian or otherwise, and whatever their religious or other beliefs — as well as working people in the United States and around the world.

We are for whatever helps working people organize and act together to advance our demands and struggles against the capitalist governments and ruling classes that exploit and oppress us and their petty bourgeois political servants and media apologists.

We are for whatever renews our class solidarity and self-confidence, advancing us along a revolutionary course toward a united struggle for workers power.

This is the proletarian internationalist course of action, part of our communist program, that members and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party are discussing with workers as we campaign door to door in their neighborhoods, with co-workers on the job and their friends and family members, and with those we join in protests against Washington’s anti-working-class policies at home and abroad.