The International Socialist League (ISL) is a revolutionary Bolshevik group working in Israel / Occupied Palestine, struggling to build a revolutionary workers’ party and for a world socialist revolution.
We are Internationalists and anti-Zionists, participating in struggles against Zionist apartheid, for a multi-national workers’ state from the river to the sea, and for the right of return. Ex-Israeli Jews who would wish to live as equals in this state would be able to, and the Jewish part of the working class which will join the revolutionary struggle will become part of the new ruling class in the transitional society to socialism, in which classes will gradually disappear until they eventually do under communism, the highest stage of socialism.
We struggle against the entire range of Zionist attempts to expropriate and expatriate the Palestinians, including: land theft, gentrification, “Judaisation,” the siege over Gaza, and, obviously, any direct attacks by the army and settlers in the West Bank.
However, our involvement in these democratic struggles does not come at the expense of the revolutionary politics of the conscious working class. We recognize that in this epoch, the epoch of world capitalist decay, the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie cannot take a consistent anti-imperialist position, as the betrayals by the PLO and Hamas in the struggle against Zionism show. While the Palestinian Authority today serves openly as a police force for Zionism in the West Bank, Hamas periodically signals its willingness to accept this role, but the Zionists, as of yet, would not allow the organization to do so.
While we welcome any victory of the anti-imperialist struggle, we stress that even genuine national liberation – part of the democratic revolution – cannot be achieved without a revolutionary victory of the working class, opening the way to a socialist society.
We reject the reformist theory of two-stage revolution, first democratic and then socialist. Our program is based on the theory of Permanent Revolution, formulated by Trotsky and adopted by Lenin in 1917. The Russian revolution was a proletarian revolution and did not establish a democratic dictatorship of workers and peasants like Lenin thought up to 1917. Counter-revolutionary Stalinism is the force which destroyed the October Revolution and established itself as a bureaucratic centrist obstacle to socialism from 1928 onwards. Until 1935, it was possible to overcome Stalinism without a political revolution. However, in that year, as the Popular Front policy showed, Stalinism became counterrevolutionary, and from then on, a revolution was necessary to remove it and save the first workers’ state in history.
As mentioned above our goal is to build a vanguard party of the most politically advanced layers of the working class – the revolutionary party. However, this cannot be done without revolutionary theory. Therefore, one of our major tasks is the resurrection of authentic Marxism. Yet the study of Marxist theory cannot be abstract and merely academic – it must be a guide to action. Using Marxist theory properly as a guide to action cannot be done without properly laying the philosophical foundations of Marxism, i.e., Historical and Dialectical Materialism.
In order to intervene in reality and build ourselves as an organization, we must be involved in every movement of the workers and oppressed against the rotten capitalist system which threatens humanity with war, environmental destruction and annihilation. These include struggles for women’s liberation, for the unemployed, for foreign workers and even the lower middle class.
To this end, we use the tactic of the united front: we fight for common causes with all organizations for even partial gains for the working class and the masses, and call for joint actions with those who engage even in partial struggles. In this way, we advance the struggle in which the workers have an interest, and at the same time expose leaders claiming to be revolutionaries and/or anti-imperialists but whom in practice serve the class enemy.
This is how we struggle against reformist, centrist and nationalist leaders who disorient and disarm movements. In these struggles we use the transitional program – the bridge between working class consciousness today and the socialist revolutionary consciousness, necessary to emerge victorious out of the class struggle. We do this at all times without hiding our full program for a socialist revolution.