by Yossi Schwartz,
Internationalist Socialist League
RCIT-Section in Israel/Occupied Palestine)
www.thecommunists.net and www.the-isleague.com
The military coup in Egypt is not only a setback for the Egyptian revolution but for the Palestinians struggle as well. As Fox News has reported:
“Egypt’s new government has imposed the toughest border restrictions on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in years, sealing smuggling tunnels, blocking most passenger traffic and causing millions of dollars in economic losses. Some in Hamas fear the movement is being swept up in the same Egyptian military campaign that earlier this month toppled the country’s democratically elected Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi — like the Gaza rulers part of the region’s Muslim Brotherhood.” (1)
This coup was organized by the US and was aimed at re-establishing a government fully-controlled by the army and by the real masters of the Egyptian military, US imperialism. (2) The coup is supported by the Palestinian authority which sees it as a move that weakens Hamas. It is not a big surprise that, following the coup in Egypt, the American administration arranged for a new round of so-called peace talks between a Palestinian Authority lacking any democratic legitimacy, as it doesn’t dare hold elections, and Israel.
The Palestinian Authority, which has relinquished the right of self determination for the Palestinian people in all of Palestine, would like to see: Israel’s withdrawal to the 1949 armistice borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War; the return of East Jerusalem (Al Quds) so that it can made the capital of a mini-Palestinian state; an end to the construction of Israeli colonial settlement in the territories occupied in1967; lip service paid to the right of return for millions Palestinians evicted from their homeland, starting with the violent inception of Israel in 1948; and the release of up to 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Israel is not prepared to budge on the question of settlements on Arab lands occupied in 1967, as their continued presence prevents the territorial contiguity that would make a mini-Palestinian state viable and she’s certainly not ready to accept the right of return of the Palestinian refugees. Her best offer was to release 104 Palestinian political prisoners.
Even the mass media in Israel understands that nothing can be expected from these so-called peace negotiations. As Jean-Luc Renaudie has written:
“Hanan Cristal of public television disagreed that Netanyahu was putting in the minimum necessary effort. “He’s more ready than ever to plunge in headfirst,” he said…[ ] Cristal warned that when it came to bigger issues, such as giving up Israeli settlements in the West Bank, opposition in the cabinet could be too great.
[Israel’s chief negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi] Livni also recognised that disagreements within Israel’s right-leaning governing coalition could pose an obstacle to any deal. “There are ministers who don’t want an agreement,” she acknowledged.
Hardline ministers have openly opposed the creation of a Palestinian state and have pledged to continue building Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
Deputy foreign minister Zeev Elkin, a hawkish member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, told public radio ‘any change (following a peace agreement) is not necessarily positive for Israel’s security, and could make it worse.’” (3)
In addition Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon insists that Netanyahu does not compromise on so-called security issues during the peace process. He urges him to maintain a full military presence in the Jordan Valley, deep inside the West Bank. This of course would completely encircle a Bantustan-like Palestinian “state” by the Israeli military.
This, of course, is not negotiations – it is a cover for the continued, unlimited colonization of Arab lands from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea under the Israeli apartheid state. Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have been very clear on this. For them, the “peace process” is a just a cover to buy time so that they can establish more facts on the ground, that is, steal more and more Palestinian territory.
Calculations of US imperialism
So the obvious question is, for what purpose is the Obama administration backing this empty diplomatic exercise at this stage in time?
Newsweek’s Middle East editor Christopher Dickey writes in a piece called “In Search of the Obama Doctrine”:
“During desperately dangerous times, solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the last best chance for the U.S. to influence events in the region.” Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a letter to Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Once we take action,” said Dempsey, “we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid. The wiser course, Dempsey suggested, is “to isolate the conflict to prevent regional destabilization,” which brings us back, in fact, to the peace process…”
In other words, the military coup in Egypt as well the latest round of the so-called peace process is part of US policy to regain full control over the Middle East, control that has been severely compromised during the last two and a half years since the outbreak of the Arab revolutions. Like the military coup in Egypt, the aim is to force the workers, the urban poor and the Fallahins (peasants) in the region to be subordinated to American imperialism and give up the struggle for social and political liberation, from the theft of lands, and from oppression, and super-exploitation.
Continue and Deepen the Struggle against Zionism, Imperialism and Arab Bourgeoisie!
We of the ISL (RCIT section in Occupied Palestine/Israel) oppose the so called “peace talks” as much as we oppose the military coup in Egypt. US imperialism is neither an honest or dishonest peace broker. Rather, it is the main enemy of the masses who demand bread and authentic democracy. For the masses to win, the control of the imperialists over the region must be broken. The Egyptian army and the Palestinian Authority are on the same side, serving the same imperialist masters. The Palestinian Authority does not represent the interests of the Palestinian working poor and peasants, but rather those of a tiny layer of rich and corrupted officials.
For this reason, we call on the left in Egypt to break with policies that give any support to the army, and to instead act to split the Egyptian military along class lines. For the very same reason, we claim that, for the Palestinians and for the Jews who support the Palestinians, the most urgent task is the struggle for a revolutionary workers party that will unite the Palestinians citizens of Israel with the Palestinians masses from the West-Bank and Gaza and those in exile.
We believe that the only solution to the more than hundred year old conflict in Palestine, is a single democratic state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and that this can only be realized as a workers’ state supported by the peasants. (5) Nevertheless, as revolutionaries, we will be ready to defend even a mini-Palestinian state won by the Palestinian struggle against the Zionist aggression. However, the outcome of the so-called “peace process” now taking place will not be even a mini-Palestinian state, but rather the continuation of the Israeli occupation, its oppression of the Palestinians, and yet more Jewish colonial settlements in the territories occupied in 1967.
In contrast to the Zionist apartheid state, we say that the only solution is a Free, Red Palestine!
* Down with the military coup in Egypt!
* Down with the phony negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that can only lead to the detriment of the Palestinian masses!
* For a workers’ and Falahin government in the whole of historic Palestine!
* For a multi-national workers’ state supported by the Fallahins from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea!
(2) Since the coup took place the RCIT has analyzed this crucial event in detail in a number of articles and statements and will continue to do so. See Yossi Schwartz: Egypt: Mobilize Resistance against the reactionary military regime!, 27.7.2013; RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in Egypt (Editorial for RevCom#12), 22.7.2013; Michael Pröbsting: The Military’s Coup d’État in Egypt: Assessment and Tactics, 17.7.2013; Yossi Schwartz: Egypt: The U.S. Support for the Military Coup and the Left’s ignorance. Notes on the role of US imperialism in the military’s coup d’état and the failure of the Egypt left, 11.7.2013; RCIT: Egypt: Down with the Military Coup d’État! Prepare Mass Resistance! 8.7.2013; RCIT: Tasks of the Revolution in Egypt, 2.7.2013. All articles except the latest one have been published in the RCIT’s international journal Revolutionary Communism No. 12 (July/august 2013).
(5) We have elaborated our historic analysis of Israel as a Zionist Apartheid state and the revolutionary programme for the Palestinian liberation struggle in numerous documents and articles. See e.g. Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, in: Revolutionary Communism, Special Issue on Palestine, No. 10, June 2013; Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s Six-Day War of 1967. On the Character of the War, the Marxist Analysis and the Position of the Israeli Left, in: Revolutionary Communism, No. 12, July/august 2013; Michael Pröbsting: On some Questions of the Zionist Oppression and the Permanent Revolution in Palestine, in: Revolutionary Communism, Special Issue on Palestine, No. 10, June 2013, pp. 26-28.