Statement on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
London and South-east England Region of the Anarchist Federation
We extend our warmest wishes to our comrades in the class struggle in both Unity and Anarchists Against the Wall. We condemn the killing of several hundred working class Palestinians by the Israeli Defence Forces. We anticipate a future where free associations will collaborate in a society without any artificial distinctions. We regard the notion of two distinct ‘national identities’, both Palestinian and Israeli, as a myth designed to foster an alliance between a ruling elite and the mass of the peoples.
We reject the using of the global revulsion at the actions of the state of Israel as a method of persuading people to support Hamas. The resolution of the conflict will come about by a concerted effort of the working class of Palestine and Israel.
We applaud the direct action in impeding the ability of Israel to continue its campaign against Palestinians. We would like to draw attention to the repression of the Bedouin settlement in al-Araqeeb and express our solidarity with those trying to thrive there.
We whole-heartedly support the following statement of the anarchist-communism organisation that includes both Palestinians and Israelis. This is a slightly shortened version of the full statement.
Summary of the statement from Ahdut (Unity)
The State of Israel crushes Palestine with the support of the USA and its allies. The local people have been thrown out or concentrated in small areas. Even the Palestinians who became citizens of Israel suffer discrimination as part of their everyday lives, and the State of Israel is still trying to take away what little they have. The five-year Prawer Plan, began in 2011, will force 40-50,000 Negev Bedouin into State-approved townships. Meanwhile, Palestinians in the territories occupied in 1967 live under military rule, with even fewer rights than those in Israeli territory. Palestinians are a source of cheap labour for Israeli bosses, who profit from restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly.
Wherever they are, Palestinians resist being displaced, exploited and oppressed. Resistance takes many forms – protests, direct action, armed and unarmed struggle, with or without the support of sympathetic Israelis. Resistance has slowed down or curbed the excesses of the State of Israel. But it hasn’t managed to turn back the clock.
We do not share the illusion of some Palestinian and Israeli workers that a “two-state solution” is a practical option. Splitting Palestine into two states has been promoted for about a hundred years by world powers including Britain, France, the US and the former USSR. But carving up Palestine will not solve our economic and social problems. And it certainly won’t “terminate the conflict.” It would be a stitch-up between Israeli capital and their friends in the Palestinian Authority – and a license to continue and step up exploiting the Palestinian population.
True, Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967 might reduce the day-to-day confrontations on the West Bank and Gaza Strip – but at the price of legitimising the Israeli conquests of 1948 and the dispossession, displacement and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people. No-one profits from the continued existence of the State of Israel – Palestinian or Israeli. So long as the refugees have not returned, so long as the Israeli regime still exists, there will be no “termination of the conflict”.
What about the “one-state solution”? Wouldn’t this give equal rights to all citizens, and put an end to the State of Israel and Palestinian Authority, defying the wishes of the USA and other powers? At least this solution is based on a measure of hope.
However, this hope is misguided. Without the defeat of the ruling class of the State of Israel, the only single state we could have is the current one. States – all States, even democratic ones – are created and upheld by rulers to keep working people oppressed and exploited. In such a state, Palestinian and Israeli workers can look forward to living in a society like modern South Africa, where a small minority of white capitalists and their non-white junior partners own virtually everything, and multinational corporations do what they want.
The ruling class of the State of Israel will not be defeated by political change – not even by setting up a new state. We need a social revolution – a radical change in who owns and controls what we need to live our lives. This will need to involve more than the people of Palestine-Israel alone. Only change like this will make it possible to build a non-authoritarian society free from exploitation; in which liberty, equality and solidarity will really prevail; in which years of nationalist hostility can end.
Along with what has been said above, let us state the obvious: we shall participate, as an organization and individually, together with the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and with Israeli and other activists, in the daily struggle against all aspects of the occupation and oppression in the 1967 occupied territories; we shall support and cooperate to the best of our ability with the struggle of the inhabitants of Gaza against Israel’s aggression and the Israeli–Egyptian siege; and shall be active inside the 1948 borders against the discrimination, oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian workers with Israeli citizenship.
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