EDITORIAL STATEMENT: Who speaks for the Palestinian people?

The savage Zionist onslaught on Gaza was yet another step towards Israel’s ultimate aim of destroying the Palestinian people. The issue was never Hamas rocket attacks, it was to complete the subjugation of the Gazan population. In this the Zionists failed. The Palestinian struggle for national liberation is one that communists and anti-imperialists throughout the world must support, for whilst the Palestinian people resist, imperialist control of the Middle East will always be under threat.

As the Zionists launched wave after wave of bombs and missiles on 27 December, the bourgeois media, where they did not immediately parrot Israeli lies about ‘terrorism’ and ‘self-defence’, presented an equivalence between the Israeli onslaught and Hamas rocket attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon. Never did they tell the truth: that Israel is a racist, colonial-settler, expansionist state; and that the Palestinians are engaged in a struggle for national liberation, for without such a struggle they would be obliterated as a people. Sderot and Ashkelon were Palestinian villages before their populations were expelled by Israeli forces in 1948; their descendants live today in dire poverty in Gaza whilst the settler population of those villages lives in relative prosperity.

In 1991, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism, summarising the experience of the first Palestinian Intifada which had started in 1987, stated that:
‘Zionism cannot and will never recognise Palestinian self-determination. Despite the myths, it did not even accept the 1948 UN plan which divided Palestine into a Jewish and a Palestinian state. Israel’s first Prime Minister, Ben Gurion, then stated: “...after the formation of a large army in the wake of the establishment of the state, we will abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine”
The history of Zionism is the bloody story of this colonial expansion. Today, more than ever in the past, the Israeli ruling class is being driven towards its “Greater Israel”.’
(FRFI 104, December 1991/ January 1992)

Israel is a racist, settler-colonial, expansionist state. In the lead-up to the Oslo peace accords in 1993, we wrote that the purpose of Zionist settlement policies was ‘to utterly fragment Palestinian demographic continuity and thus forever destroy the foundation for any Palestinian state – either a democratic secular state across the whole of Palestine or even the two-state solution advanced by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) bourgeois trend.’ (FRFI 113, June/July 1993).

Events since then have proved this point over and over again. The vast expansion of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, an increase in the settler population from 110,000 in 1993 to 285,000 today, with an increase of 200,000 in the number of settlers in Jerusalem; the construction of the Apartheid Wall; the sealing off of Gaza; the targeting of civilians and children by the Zionist army; all this is to destroy the Palestinian people as a nation. The Oslo peace accords, an attempt by the Palestinian bourgeoisie to come to an accommodation with the Zionist colonialists, proved disastrous for the mass of the Palestinian population. As the record showed, there was never any intention by the Zionists to agree to a two-state solution. Given the unbearable conditions they faced, there was no alternative for the Palestinian people but to rise up again to fight for their national rights – hence the second Intifada which started more than eight years ago in September 2000.
Despite its isolation, despite the ferocious attempts of the Zionists and their imperialist allies, the struggle of the Palestinian people remains undefeated. Hamas plays a vital part in that struggle. Whilst imperialism in the persons of Hillary Clinton or Gordon Brown speaks for the Zionists, anti-imperialists must speak up for the Palestinian people and demand an end to occupation, an end to settlements and an end to the terror.

Victory to the Palestinian Resistance! Isolate the racist Israeli state!

End British support for Israel! Boycott Israeli Goods!
FRFI 207 February / March 2009


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