Centrism and the struggle against the Zionist state and other imperialists

Yossi Schwartz ISL (The RCIT section in Israel /Occupied Palestine), 28.12.2023

The only correct position for revolutionary Marxists in the war of the Zionist apartheid state against the Gazan Palestinians is to give Hamas support in the war without giving it political support.

Supporting militarily and politically are not the same. When General Kornilov organized a coup against the popular front led by Kerensky in Russia, the Bolsheviks supported the government militarily without giving it any political support. When Franco, backed by the Nazis, fought against the popular front government in the civil war in Spain it was correct to be militarily on the side of the republic without giving it political support.

The same is true for the Ansar Allah (known as Houthis) who support Hamas and the Palestinians who have embarked on an offensive against maritime trade in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait of “all ships in the red sea headed for Israeli ports irrespective of the flag they fly, will become a target for our armed forces,” as Yahya Saree, spokesperson for the Houthi movement said already in November. The Ansar Allah a religious petit bourgeois movement who fought for years against the forces led by Saudi Arabia is the only Arab regime (except Hezbollah in Lebanon that keeps a partial front) that so far really acts and with bravery against the genocide of the Palestinians. The rest of the Arab states oppose verbally the genocide of the Palestinians but do nothing. They do not intervene militarily nor cut all relations with Israel. The U.S that claims that it cares for the Palestinian civilians provides the weapons to allow Israel to continue with the genocide. It has organized other countries to attack the Ansar Allah in order to stop the Houthis in the name of free trade that for the U.S is above the duty of preventing genocide.

Israel loves Alfred Thayer Mahan, US Navy Rear Admiral and former President of the Naval War College, who wrote in his book The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660–1783 that expresses the outlook of the imperialists that maritime strategy is ultimately about access. “This means ensuring that ports are safe from blockades, lines of communication remain open, maritime infrastructure remains open, and command of the sea for fleet positioning, strike, early warning, and intelligence gathering remains viable. Most importantly, it’s about secure commerce, a matter of national self-preservation” [1]

On December 19th the United States has announced the launch of a multinational force to protect trade in the Red Sea after attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels forced at least a dozen shipping lines to suspend operations Since then France, Italy, Spain Refuse to Fight the Houthis Under U.S. Command in the Red Sea due to the pressure of the masses. Even under the international law and the convention against genocide when the UNSC ignores genocide it is the duty of any state to act to prevent the genocide. In 2003, the governments of the US, Britain, and Spain proposed a resolution on Iraq, which they called the “eighteenth resolution”.” This proposed resolution was subsequently withdrawn when it became clear that several permanent members of the council would cast ‘no’ votes on the resolution, thereby vetoing it. In this case, it would have become even more difficult for the U.S and Britain to invade Iraq with the argument that the council had authorized the subsequent invasion. Regardless of the threatened or likely vetoes, it seems that the coalition at no time was assured any more than four affirmative votes in the Council—the US, Britain, Spain, and Bulgaria—well short of the requirement for nine affirmative votes. The U.S veto the resolution for a ceasefire and thus has prevented the UNSC from stopping the genocide by Israel.

The IMT, the right centrist led by Woods published an article that is not a bad description of the conflict of Israel and the U.S against Ansar Allah but written as an observer rather than taking a clear position for the military victory of Hamas and of Ansar Allah. It points to the lack of actions by the Arab states but it fails to raise the demands on these regimes to cut all economic and diplomatic ties with Israel and to enter the war on the side of Hamas and Ansar Allah if attacked by the imperialists.

Instead, they write: “The communists condemn all of the cynical maneuvering of the imperialists, and the degenerate, dictatorial capitalist regimes in the region. In the pursuit of their narrow interests, they are provoking endless chaos and conflict that spell misery for the masses of the Middle East and throughout the world

By putting on the same level the imperialists and the Arab semi colonies they blocked themselves from raising the required demands on the Arab regimes: Stop talking and begin acting by cutting all relationships with Israel and join Hamas in the war on Gaza. [2]

The ISA in their position writes: “The support for the Israeli Defense Forces’ brutal assault on Gaza by the Biden administration and US imperialism makes them complicit in the war crimes and mass ethnic cleansing being carried out and is completely in line with the longstanding position that Israel is the US’s key ally in the region to be backed at all costs” [3]

And then, to cover up they say that only a socialist revolution will end the war

“This nightmare will never end until the workers and poor of the world put a stop to a system that guarantees war and crisis, as the capitalist parasites scrabble to preserve their profits and defend their spheres of influence, trampling on the bones of countless innocents.”

Of course, the Arab revolution will end Israel but if Israel will win the war there will not be a socialist revolution in this time.

So far so good. However, like the IMT this right centrist fails to raise the demands on the Arab regimes: Break all ties with Israel. Join the war on the side of Hamas and instead they write: “It can be argued that it is not in the “rational interests” of the US and Israel or Iran and China to see the war in the Middle East widen, and that would be true. But outcomes in a world dominated by conflicting imperialist interests are often far from rational. The only force that can end the madness that is fueling wars and global conflict is the international working class, because it has the power to end capitalism which is the root of modern imperialism. The international mass movement against the assault on Gaza is a very positive step and is already having effects. Socialist Alternative (part of International Socialist Alternative) has a consistent opposition to all imperialism. Join us in the fight for a socialist future!”

They don’t deal with the need to support the Houthis militarily.

Socialist worker the organ of the British SWP correctly calls for more protests in Britian against the genocide. “Only greater and wider resistance will stop the killings in Gaza. Action must continue in Britain over the New Year. Over 1,000 people joined a protest organized by Sisters Uncut in London’s Oxford Street on 23 December. Other recent protests included marches and other actions in Cardiff, Huddersfield, Manchester, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Brighton, Abergavenny, Bristol, Birmingham, Derby, and Stratford and Wandsworth in London We need a return to huge numbers on the streets, more workplace action and greater militancy against the pro-Israel Tories and support for the slaughter from Labor” [4]

At the same time, they do not raise demands that advance the struggle like the military support for Hamas fighters, nor point out the need for a socialist revolution nor do they deal with the need to support the Houthis militarily.

Arab states stop talking, join the war on the side of Hamas!

Cut all ties with Israel!

Military victory for Hamas.

Down with the Zionist apartheid state!

For Palestine free from the river to the sea!


[1] https://twitter.com/i24NEWS_EN/status/1737216362349727975

[2] https://www.marxist.com/red-sea-attacks-imperialists-protect-profits-while-israel-pulverises-palestine.htm

[3] https://internationalsocialist.net/en/2023/12/new-cold-war

[4] https://socialistworker.co.uk/palestine-2023/israel-steps-up-massacres-in-gaza-backed-by-the-us-and-britain/

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