Operation “Molten Lead”
Today we commemorate one year to the Israeli war on the people of Gaza. The Zionists are calling this war “Operation Molten Lead.” On December 27th 2008 the Israeli Army attacked the city of Gaza in an attempt to overthrow the elected government of the Palestinian people led by Hamas and break the people’s resistance to the continued occupation and oppression. After 22 days of massacre in which the State of Israel murdered around 1400 residents of the besieged Gaza and caused serious damage to the social and economic infrastructure (including mosques, schools and ambulances), Israel was forced to declare a unilateral ceasefire. In the same manner as it did in the 2006 Lebanon War, Israel has failed in achieving its political goals.
During this war the Internationalist Socialist League issued leaflets through which it explained that the interests of the Palestinian people and the interests of the world working class lies in a military defeat to Israel being an imperialist state.
The name “Molten Lead” was taken out of a Zionist song written by the nationalist and racist poet,Haim N. Bialik, as a Hanukkah song. This holiday stands for the victory of religious fanatics over the Greek rule which resulted in a theocratic regime that invited the Romans to rule Palestine.
The excuse for the Gaza massacre was the Palestinian retaliation attacks, using the primitive Qassam rockets, which caused very little Israeli casualties, against the Israeli attacks on the residents of Gaza using sophisticated weaponry.
The abduction of Gilad Shalit and the prisoner exchange deal
On June 25th 2006, Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees’ guerillas attacked an Israeli military post near ‘Sufa’ crossing. As a result of this attack two Israeli soldiers were killed and a third, Corporal Gilad Shalit was taken prisoner. These soldiers were besieging 1.5 million Palestinian residents of Gaza who practically live in a ghetto. The last thing that can be said about Shalit is that he was innocent. If he was innocent, then the troops who guarded the Warsaw Ghetto were innocent to. We reject this claim of innocence. The State of Israel is the last one who has the right, taking into account its abduction policy which includes Palestinian MPs and Lebanese citizens, to complain about the abduction of soldiers engaging in oppression.
Two years before this massacre another massacre took place under the name “Summer Rains” that began on June 28th 2006 and ended on November 26th that year. During this operation Israel has murdered 394 Palestinian residents of the Gaza strip.
Even prior to three years ago Shalit could have been released for about one thousand Palestinian POWs out of twelve thousand Palestinian prisoners rotting away in Israeli prisons. Some were taken in without trial and some were sentenced by martial courthouses of the oppressor. However, Israel refuses the prisoners exchange deal offered by Hamas. It opposes the release of key prisoners such as Ibrahim Hamed, Abdallah Baraghuti, Abbas A-Sayyid, Hasan Salameh, Jamal Abu El-Hijla, the Fatah official, Marwan Baraghuti, and the secretary-general of the PFLP, Ahmed Sa’adat. Israel insists that about one hundred of the prisoners, if release, would be exiled, and refuses to commit itself to not trying to assassinate them after their release.
We ask what would have been the response of the Israelis if Hamas had insisted that Shalit should be exiled to Europe as a part of the deal? How loud would the screams have been for the cruelty towards his family? As if the Palestinian prisoners don’t have families of their own.
Israel screams that it won’t release any prisoners with “blood on their hands.” However, if all the Israelis with blood on their hands were sentenced to jail, a large portion of the Israeli population would have been locked up behind bars to this very day. Israel has committed more then 100 massacres against Palestinians, Lebanese and Egyptian POWs after the massacre of 1947-8. Who were PMs Ben Gurion, Rabin, Shamir and Sharon other then killers with blood on their hands?
The Internationalist Socialist League demands the release of all political prisoners. We do not support the killing of Israeli citizens since it does not promote the Palestinian people’s struggle for national and social freedom. It only gives the Zionists the excuse to engage in further massacres. However, the Palestinian political prisoners are rotting away in jail because they dared to fight against the oppression of the Palestinian people which started from the first moment of the Zionist colonization of Palestine. Therefore, we support not only the breaking of the siege over Gaza, but also the release of all the political prisoners.
The solutions offered by the Left
While Israel uses self-defense as an excuse for its murderous behavior, we do not recognize the right to self-determination of a society of colonialist settlers who managed to establish an imperialist state on a land they robbed from the Palestinian people driving most of it into exile. All of Israel is occupied territory. In the same manner we do not recognize the claims of the white colonialists in South Africa, the French in Algeria, the Europeans in Rhodesia, or the Protestants in N. Ireland to the right of self determination.
This is why we reject the reformist idea put forth by the Communist Party and Hadash which rely on imperialism and not the revolutionary mass struggle to bring an end to the conflict. Their solution is called “Two States for Two Peoples”, which means one imperialist state on most of historic Palestine, and another state, a Palestinian Bantustan, on parts of the West Bank and Gaza. This program negates in practice the possibility of the return of the refugees to their land.
Israel was established by imperialism as a mean to block the development of a democratic revolution in the area. The roles of this revolution include achieving independence of imperialist rule and the unification of the region. Not only the British and the American imperialists stood behind the Partition Plan, but also the USSR that became an imperialist state already in the eve of World War 2. Through the Communist Party of Israel it provided weapons to the Zionists which they used to expel the Palestinian masses from their land. All of these elements were acting to suppress the revolutionary wave of the workers all over the world after the great massacre of the second imperialist world war, the continuation of the first.
History teaches us that the roles of the democratic revolution could not be achieved by the monarchist movement (the Hashemites), the Arab bourgeoisie (Mubarak’s Egypt), or the petty-bourgeois (the Nasserites, Ba’athists, and Fatah). These misleaderships, which received mass support due to the masses’ illusions in them, sought and still seek a solution within the confines of the imperialist order and that is why they are willing to use this or the other imperialist against the masses.
Not only the imperialist, including Israel, are responsible for the crimes against the Palestinian people, but also their junior associates. We reject the solution put forth by the leftist popular fronts which include a two-stage revolution – first a democratic revolution, and in the next historical stage, the formation of a socialist society. This road leads to subjugating the masses to the Arab bourgeoisie. The results of such a path can be seen in South Africa where the capitalists continue their rule through the ANC and the Communist Party of South Africa while the masses continue to suffer.
Our position regarding the Islamist elements
Hamas, despite its anti-imperialist rhetoric, will establish, in the case of its victory, a theocratic state very similar to the one in Iran, which exploits the working class, oppresses women and the Arab national minority. The theocratic capitalist Iranian state was established to prevent a socialist revolution. That is why its establishment cannot be called a revolution but a counterrevolution. The French imperialists who supported Humeini are not the only element responsible for it, but also the reformist movements and parties in Iran such as the Tudeh and the Mujahidin Khalq, as well as other groups who assumed the title ‘Marxist’ but in practice subjugated the working class and the masses to the clerical reactionary misleadership.
Iran is a 3rd world country, and that is why we oppose any sanctions imposed on it by the imperialist states. Iran has the right to develop nuclear weapons in a world in which imperialist countries, including Israel, have already obtained such weapons and are using it as a threat against 3rd world nations. In the same time we do not support the Iranian regime and advocate its overthrow through a workers’ revolution.
We understand the motives which lie behind the international movement to boycott Israel. We support boycotting the Israeli military industry, the goods produced by Zionist settlers and the diamond industry which supports them. Our position is that the way to impose an effective boycott is through independent actions by the world working class by preventing the shipping and receiving of such products.
We do not support a blanket boycott of all Israelis since it will harm not only the Palestinian workers who still work for Jewish employers, but also the Palestinian students who study in Israel. It will become a collective punishment against all Israelis whether they were supporters or in opposition to Zionism or the occupation. Such a boycott will certainly be used by the Israeli rulers.
We live in the epoch of capitalist decay, when only the working class can lead the masses and the oppressed to fulfill the roles of the democratic revolution and then continue to take power and establish workers’ states on the path to the emergence of the socialist society. There are countries such as China, in which peasant-based anti-proletarian misleaderships have managed to carry through partial democratic revolutions. However, this resulted in a working class that is being super-exploited by the large capitalists while the communist party serves as a policing force for the imperialists. The working class does not need a society like those in China, South Africa or Iran.
We support the Palestinian mass struggle, even when it is led by reactionary elements. In the struggle between imperialist Israel and Hamas and other resistance organizations, the world working class’s interests stand with the defeat of Israel. However, we do not support any petty-bourgeois or bourgeois party or movement politically, since they are unable to unite the masses and overthrow the imperialist rule. Their fear of the masses gaining control prevents the victory of the mass struggle.
Our proposed solution
The only solution which will enable the refugees to return to their land while the Jews who live in Palestine will enjoy peace and security is a socialist revolution that will establish a Palestinian workers’ state from the sea to the river as a part of a socialist federation of the Middle East.
Only the super-exploited working class in this region can bring about such a revolutionary solution. This super-exploited working class does not include most of the Jewish workers who support the State of Israel to ensure their privileges, much like the South African white workers. We certainly do hope that a portion of the Jewish working class will understand that only through standing boldly with the workers of the neighboring countries and the Palestinian workers in a revolutionary struggle, will it be able to break free from the decaying capitalist system.
In order to win the working class needs a revolutionary leadership that only it can establish out of the experience it obtains through its struggles against the ruling classes and their minions. Currently there is no such revolutionary leadership organized in a revolutionary party. The Second “Socialist” International serves the bourgeoisie since 1914. The Third “Communist” International has been destroyed as a revolutionary party by the Stalinists in the 1930s. The Fourth International has betrayed the workers’ revolution in the 1950s, but the program upon which it was established is still relevant today.
We understand that the mass struggle will begin through partial democratic demands. That is why we call for the establishment of a constituent assembly in which all the Palestinian refugees and all of those who reside in Palestine (from the river to the sea) will participate.
We are prepared to engage in temporary action fronts (strikes and demonstrations) with any political element that supports the following demands:
Break the Siege on Gaza!
Release All the Political Prisoners!
All the Refugees Should Have the Right to Return!
Our propaganda slogans are:
For a Constituent Assembly!
For a Palestinian Workers’ State from the River to the Sea as a Part of a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
Re-Create the Fourth International!