By Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 19 May 2021, http://the-isleague.com
The Zionist state takes pride in the number of the Palestinians in Gaza it has killed including more than 60 children. It is very proud of the number of buildings it destroyed and if it will be able to, it would like to double and triple these figures. Like in all of its wars it wants to roll back the Palestinians and Arabs living conditions back to the stone age. We have seen it time and again in Lebanon and in Gaza. There is a name for such behavior and it is barbarism.
“The Zionist police has detained 1,700 Palestinians since April 13, according to a Palestinian NGO. In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoner Society said more than 400 people were arrested in occupied East Jerusalem and 450 others in other areas across the occupied West Bank. According to the statement, more than 850 Palestinian Israelis were arrested by Israeli police since May 9.” (1)
As these lines are written all the Palestinians including in the West Bank and Israel are participating in a political general strike against the Zionist repressions and war crimes. At the same time under the pressure of a group of 25 U.S. Democratic senators who signed a public letter to Biden during the weekend calling for an immediate ceasefire he was forced to issue a statement on Monday, the White House said “expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed US engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end”. (2)
It is clear that the majority of people, workers, poor peasants and the urban poor around the world support the Palestinians. Gone are the days when Israel managed to present itself as a victim of aggression. Gone are the days it was able to use the Jewish Holocausts to justify its war crimes. The nature of Israel as a brutal beast and an apartheid state has been exposed. It still enjoys the support of other imperialists and right-wing nationalists but even growing number of American Jews distance themselves from the Zionist state.
Contrary to his statement from Monday, Biden has blocked three times a resolution calling for an immediate cease fire. Not only this but Biden has approved a $735m weapons sale to Israel including Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), which are used to turn bombs into precision-guided missiles to be used against the Gaza Strip and to allow Israel to continue with its massacres.
Stalinists: Nothing Learnt, Nothing Forgotten
Now all of these parties and groups that claim they are Marxists or socialists who supported Biden during the elections are likely to say that they are dismayed by the conduct of the president they called to vote for as the lesser evil. What a bunch of useless idiotic pretenders to socialism!
C J Atkin, managing editor of People’s World and CPUSA national board member, explained why the Stalinist Party CPUSA called to vote for Biden; it “proceeds from the “popular front” strategy first elaborated by Dimitrov in 1935. US society is complex, with many different classes and social forces in struggle, but right now the main question is “which side are you on?” In the current moment, there are two opposite political tendencies in the US. Lined up on one side with Trump are the most backward, reactionary and fascist elements. On the other side are all those who want to preserve bourgeois democracy — however imperfect it is.” (3)
In the real world the struggle in defense of bourgeois democracy is very important these days when the capitalist classes try to install Bonapartist regimes. However, to defend bourgeois democracy it is necessary to struggle using the method of the working class: Organize the unorganized workers, strikes, demonstrations, organize a workers’ party in the USA, not by supporting the class enemy and the Democratic party that is an imperialist party, the enemy of the working class.
The history of the popular fronts is a history of disasters for the working class and the oppressed. The Popular Front in France in the 1930s led to the victory of Marshal Philippe Pétain, at the head of the French government of the pro-Nazi Vichy. The policy of the popular front in Spain led to the victory of Franco. The policy of the popular front in Indonesia led to the victory of Suharto and the massacre of over one million workers and peasants in 1965. The popular front in Chile led to the victory of Augusto Pinochet and the massacre of the left. The policy of class collaboration and the subordination of the working class to the class enemy in the name of fighting fascism is a betrayal of the working class and the oppressed.
Eugene Debs: An Authentic Socialist
Sanders and the left wing of the Democratic party are used as a fig leaf for the crimes of this imperialist party. Sanders claims that he follows the footsteps of Eugene Debs. But Eugene Debs opposed the two parties of the capitalist class and organize a socialist party. Debs said:
“We are today entering upon a national campaign of the profoundest interest to the working class and the country. In this campaign there are but two parties and but one issue. There is no longer even the pretense of difference between the so-called Republican and Democratic parties. They are substantially one in what they stand for. They are opposed to each other on no question of principle but purely in a contest for the spoils of office. To the workers of the country these two parties in name are one in fact. They, or rather it, stands for capitalism, for the private ownership of the means of subsistence, for the exploitation of the workers, and for wage-slavery…. The baseness, hypocrisy and corruption of these twin political agencies of Wail street and the ruling class cannot be expressed in words. The imagination is taxed in contemplating their crimes. There is no depth of dishonor to which they have not descended-no depth of depravity they have not sounded.” (4)
He also said: “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords; the barons of Wall Street go to war. The feudal barons of the Middle Ages, the economic predecessors of the capitalists of our day, declared all wars. And their miserable serfs fought all the battles. The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another’s throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose—especially their lives.” (5)
Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and DSA serve Biden
Sanders and other US liberals say that Netanyahu wants to stay in power through an alliance with the far-right. In a New York Times opinion piece, Sanders wrote that Netanyahu has “cultivated an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism” and ended with the line: “Palestinian lives matter.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the progressive Democrats, is calling for actions against Israeli “apartheid.” She said “The president and many other figures this week stated that Israel has a right to self-defense. But do Palestinians have a right to survive? Do we believe that? And if so, we have a responsibility to that.” (6)
Nice words but the question we must ask them is what to hell are you doing in the Democratic party rather than organize an independent worker’s party?!
In an article Eric Blanc and Neal Meyer, prominent leaders in Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), wrote on the eve of the presidential elections: “Socialists cannot stop this nightmare on our own. But we can and should be part of the broader movement that does. Yes, unfortunately that means voting for Joe Biden and doing our best to convince our friends, family, coworkers, comrades, and neighbors to do so as well — and to do so regardless of where you live.”
These are words of social-imperialists that echo the line of the Stalinists counter revolutionaries not the words of fighters for socialism.
Solidarity, an organization originating from the now dissolved Shachtmanite International Socialists and which today is affiliated with the Mandelite “Fourth International”, wrote: “Just to be clear: everything said about Biden by those who argue against voting for him is true. These truths, however, at this moment, don’t carry the day, if you believe, as I do, that Trump has to be stopped in his tracks, repudiated, to decisively interrupt the downward spiral toward a white supremacist autocracy. And a strategic vote for Biden makes sense since his administration will be forced to bargain with “progressive” Democrats in the Congress, and it should be possible to win significant programs, call them non-reformist or revolutionary reforms.” (8)
This is the same typical reformist position that throws sand in the eyes of the working class and the oppressed. Reformists that have learned nothing from Lenin and Trotsky and have not forgotten all the opportunist policies of the “International Socialists”.
The last act of the League for a Revolutionary Party on the eve of the presidential elections was to call to vote for Biden. This was their last statement since then they have disappeared together with the Spartacists and buried in the trash can of history. A destiny awaiting others who say they are revolutionaries but act as typical counter revolutionary reformists. Their best members will leave them looking for the revolutionary road, the other will disappear from history.
Support the general strike!
Release all Palestinians political detainees and prisoners!
Organize self-defense against the police and the fascists!
Military victory for Hamas and the Islamic Jihad!
For the Arab revolution!
For Red Democratic Palestine from the river to the sea!
4) Eugene V. Debs: This Is Our Year but Two Parties and But One Issue (1912), https://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1912/twoparties.htm
5) E. V. Debs: The Canton, Ohio Speech, Anti-War Speech (1918), https://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1918/canton.htm
6) See on this e.g. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/rep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-speaks-on-palestine-using-anadolu-agency-photo/2241005; https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210517-biden-backs-israel-but-criticism-rises-in-us
7) Neal Meyer & Eric Blanc: This Time Is Different: Socialists and the Lesser Evil, October 26, 2020, https://socialistcall.com/2020/10/26/this-time-is-different-socialists-and-the-lesser-evil/
8) Bill Resnick: Dump Trump, Fight and Force Biden: An Electoral Strategy for the Left, October 2, 2020 https://solidarity-us.org/dump_trump_fight_biden/
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We refer reader to a special sub-page on the RCIT website where we have compiled all our documents on the Fourth Gaza War: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-fourth-gaza-war/