Yossi Schwartz, the ISL (RCIT in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 11.08.2021
Meretz is considered in Israel a very left-wing party. In this party Mossi Raz is considered the left of the left. Yet this party joined the government of Bennett, an ultra–nationalist. In April this year the leader of this party stated that Meretz will not join a right-wing government (read: he will join).
“The leader of the left-wing Meretz party, Nitzan Horowitz, rules out joining a right-wing government led by Yamina leader Naftali Bennett. In an interview with Channel 12, Horowitz says: Bennett will have to drop his demand that a government formed by parties in the anti-Netanyahu bloc be politically right-wing. “We will not form a government in which the right rules. We want partnership, not a takeover,” says Horowitz.” (1)
Then on August 8, Meretz Palestinian female, citizen of Israel, MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, said that in case Israel will decide to act military, Meretz will topple the government. Immediately she was attacked by MK Mossi Raz.
“MK Mossi Raz (Meretz) was interviewed on Monday morning on 103FM. Raz was asked to respond to his party member MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi’s claim on Sunday, that if Israel begins a military campaign Mertez and Ra’am will topple the government.” She may be speaking in her own name, but I do not accept what she said. We want to strengthen the government, not topple it,” Raz said. “We obviously want all of Israel’s citizens to be safe, and they will not be threatened,” He added….”Raz addressed the option that the government might at some point become embroiled in a military conflict and claimed, “Even though we should avoid military conflict when it is necessary the government must respond. We did this two days ago [in response to Hezbollah rocket attack], and it was a proper response to an unnecessary provocation.” (2)
Another Arab MK of Mertz Issawi Frej who acts as Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister said on Tuesday August 7, that Israel works with the Gulf States to confront Iran. “When it comes to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, there’s direct communication and understandings” regarding how to confront Iran, Frej said in an interview with Al-Hurra, an Arabic-language channel funded by the US government.” (3)
Thus, unlike Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, who suffers from political delusion, he is a simple servant of the Zionist apartheid state. The colonialists have always found servants who helped them to repress the native people. In the colonialists’ literature they were the good natives while those who opposed the colonialists were the evil characters. Think about Gunga Din of Rudyard Kipling, Winnetou of Karl May and think about Issawi Frej.
An old joke about Israel is the following: A left wing European visitor to Israel heard on the radio a speech of a left-wing Zionists. He tells his Israeli friend “Do not be worried we also have in Europe extreme right wingers.”
Meretz was formed in 1992 by the merger of Ratz, Mapam and Shinui, and reached its peak between 1992 and 1996 when it had 12 seats in the racist Zionist parliament. Mapam was a Zionist pro-Russian Stalinist party that stole Arab lands in 1948. It was based on the Kibbutz, that some idiots and hypocrites claimed that they were examples of a real democratic socialism. Of twelve new settlements created during May and June 1948 in the lands allocated for an Arab state in the partition plan, six were Mapam-related groups. It promised to keep the lands for the Palestinian refugees, but at the same time opposed the right of return of the Palestinian refugees on the ground that only after a peace accord between Israel and the Arab states the refugees will be permitted to return. Ratz, which was led by Shulamit Aloni, was considered in Israel a Civil Rights Movement. In 1965 she joined the Alignment (Labor Zionists party) and was a leading member of this party in the 1967 war. The Zionist feminist movement that Aloni was a leading member of, supported the Zionist reactionary wars of 1948 and of 1973.
Zionist feminists are very proud of the military role Zionist women had in the war of 1948 that was in reality an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. “The same women who led the Jewish Resistance Movement served in key roles, including combat positions, during the earliest stages of Israel’s War of Independence. Once the IDF was established, those visionaries created the Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces––a Corps in which women served in settlement defense, professional, administrative, and ancillary positions, but not in combat positions.” (4)
“Thus in 1973, women were excluded from the three major role systems of the war effort: the military leadership, the civilian administration, and war production. Many women reported a feeling of helplessness during the war. However, the feelings of anger and frustration were soon channeled into areas of activity that are considered legitimate for women: concern for the soldiers and helping to treat the wounded, the widows, and the orphans. Women baked and knitted for the men at the front, inundated the hospitals that cared for the wounded, and of course looked after family members who remained at home. The longer the hostilities persisted, the greater became the number of caring and integration roles that were added to female tasks.
As hostilities died down, the mobilized reservists began returning home. First to be released were those who held key positions in various sectors, so that the civilian economy could be revitalized. The war had been relatively short in terms of social change. Unlike World War II, which lasted for several years and in the aftermath of which many women entered the workforce, in Israel the war of 1973 only intensified the traditional role division between men and women. However, the war did have the effect of creating an awareness of what that role division meant in terms of women and their place in society and also in relation to society as a whole. The waste of human capital that occurs in a gender-stratified society was fully manifested in the first three weeks of full hostilities, before the cease-fire took effect.” (5)
Women and war
While we fight against all forms of discrimination and we support that, of course, all military roles will be open for women in just and revolutionary wars, we do not support military roles for women (or men) in imperialist wars to oppress the men and women of the oppressed nation or class. At the same time, we support the Proletarian Military Policy in so called democratic states, namely when the workers are called to serve in the army, we support the idea that workers choose their officers, trained under elected officers, have the right to organize to defend the rights of the soldiers, but not the imperialist war itself and we oppose the budget for such a war.
In the case of a settler colonial society, such as Israel, we oppose the enlisting of men and women to the army. It is a killing machine of the Palestinians. To clarify we give two examples: In the American civil war white women of the confederation supported the south and slavery. “In her book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, Jones-Rogers makes the case that white women were far from passive bystanders in the business of slavery, as previous historians have argued. Rather, they were active participants, shoring up their own economic power through ownership of the enslaved…. “ (6)
“The experience of running a household was put to good use for those elite women who lived on plantations. The absence of fathers, husbands, and sons left them in charge of all decisions regarding crops, slaves, and food and clothing supplies, not only for their families and slaves but also for the Confederate soldiers. Women actively participated and organized groups that made clothing, tents, flags, and food which supported their army. Mary Jones of Savannah, Georgia, held a fair in May 1861 through which she raised several thousand dollars. Thread and cloth were purchased so that she and her wealthy friends made three hundred uniforms in one week. As the need for more assistance arose, Southern ladies abandoned their respectable sphere to meet the needs of the Rebel soldiers. Felicia G. Porter in Nashville, Tennessee founded the Women’s Relief Society. She also served as president of the organization as it grew to encompass the entire Confederacy. Her relief work filled the need for a profusion of medical supplies, including artificial limbs for disabled veterans. Mrs. Porter was honored at her death with a burial in the shadow of the Confederate Monument in Nashville.” (7)
In that case we oppose the support given by the white women of the South to the army of the South.
When women supporting the counter revolution during the Bolshevik revolution served in the death battalions, it was necessary to fight against them. Women were enlisted to the Red Army during the civil war. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of material dealing with the heroic role of workers and peasant women as fighters during this period. However, it is clear that women fought the imperialist invasion in support of the Reds in spite of the male comrade’s bias.
“The writer Boris Lavrenyov described in his 1924 novel The Forty-first, described how Mariutka, a future machine-gunner, enlisted in the Red Army during the Civil War. When they announced, in the towns and the country, the recruitment of volunteers for what was still at the time the Red Guard, Mariutka planted her fish knife in the bench, got up in her stiff pants and went off to register among the Red Guards. At first, they sent her away, then, seeing that she had the firm intention of returning every day, they joked and accepted her as a Red Guard, with the same rights as the others, but they made her sign a paper renouncing a ‘woman-y’ way of life and among others, having a child, until the final victory of labor over capital.” (8)
Since the Israeli working class has privileges, when compared with the Palestinian workers, in the existing conditions it remains Zionist, namely racist, like most white workers in South Africa during the apartheid. However, these conditions can be changed either by a devastating military defeat of Israel and/or the victorious Arab revolution. For this reason, the labels “left Zionism” and “right Zionism” is misleading. The real difference is the phrases used, not an actual difference of policy and action. This was also the case of the South African labor party that was a racist to the core.
For a red free Palestine from the river to the sea
The Arab Palestinians who join a Zionist party and a Zionist government have illusions that doing so somehow will bring some real benefits and equal rights to the Palestinians. They put themselves in the same position of the Palestinians Authority that collaborates with the repression of the Palestinians. Today most Palestinians have reached the conclusion of Palestine free from the river to the sea and oppose the PA.
“Few still support a two-state solution. Ironically, while some attribute Palestinian rejection of Trump’s plan to its new limits on the traditional two-state paradigm, most Palestinian respondents now reject that model as well. Asked to choose “the top Palestinian national priority during the coming five years,” two-thirds (66%) of West Bankers in this poll pick “regaining all of historical Palestine for the Palestinians”; a mere 14% choose “ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, to achieve a two-state solution.” Gazan respondents, surprisingly, are a bit more moderate: 56% want all of Palestine, while 31% opt for the two-state solution…””These maximalist long-term aspirations are also reflected in responses to other survey questions. For example, when asked about next steps “if the Palestinian leadership is able to negotiate a two-state solution,” just 26% of West Bank respondents say that it “should end the conflict with Israel.” In Gaza, that figure climbs to 40%. Around 60% in both areas say “the conflict should not end, and resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated.” (9)
Most Palestinian activists who raise the slogan “Palestine free – from the river to the sea” are ready to live with the Israeli Jews as equals. Whether this will be the solution depends on the development of revolutionary working-class leadership that will lead to a socialist revolution and the possibility of a large section of the Jewish worker to break with Zionism.
The connecting thread between Meretz and the centrists
The centrists like the IMT and the ISA spread illusions about the Israeli workers that somehow will become revolutionary through economic struggles. They defend the right of the Zionists to self-determination and are an obstacle on the Arab revolutionary struggle and thus tails of the Zionists.
The ISA program states “that’s why ISA advocates an independent, equal socialist Palestine, with its capital in East Jerusalem, alongside a democratic, socialist Israel, with equality for all minorities, as the alternative to Israeli capitalism and Zionism.” (10)
Really? A Palestinian state in less than 20% of Palestine will be a Bantustan, not any form of socialism. Also, the name Israel implies a demographic Jewish majority. Will Palestinians have a right of return to all parts of historic Palestine? If so, how can Israel remain a democratic state? If not, who will enforce this, a “socialist” army? Those questions remain unanswered by the ISA.
The IMT of Alan Woods ignores the Palestinian popular demand: “free Palestine from the river to the sea!” and instead says: “What is needed in Israel-Palestine is a genuinely revolutionary Marxist organization that can offer a concrete perspective for the revolutionary overthrow of the Israeli capitalist state and the establishment of the Socialist Federation of the Middle East, within which both the Israeli Jews and the Palestinian people could live peacefully along with all the other peoples of the region. Such an organization has yet to be forged. Accomplishing this is the pressing task of the most progressive and radical workers and youth in the whole of historical Palestine.” (11)
A federation is based on states and the IMT avoids the question of what will be the national character of Palestine in the socialist federation. With the return of the Palestinian refugees, the majority in Palestine will be Arab Palestinian, like in South Africa the majority is Black Africans. While at the same time this vanguard accepts the fact that Israeli Jews will be accepted as people with equal rights.
Trotsky in a letter to comrades in South Africa wrote in support of the demand Black Republic: “Another possibility, which in practice could be connected with the first, is a revolution in Great Britain and her possessions. Three-quarters of the population of South Africa (almost six million of the almost eight million totals) is composed of non-Europeans. A victorious revolution is unthinkable without the awakening of the native masses. In its turn, that will give them what they are so lacking today – confidence in their strength, a heightened personal consciousness, a cultural growth. Under these conditions the South African Republic will emerge first of all as a “black” republic; this does not exclude, of course, either full equality for the whites, or brotherly relations between the two races – depending mainly on the conduct of the whites. But it is entirely obvious that the predominant majority of the population, liberated from slavish dependence, will put a certain imprint on the state.” (12)
But why should these pseudo-Trotskyists care about Trotsky’s position and method? The predecessor organization of the IMT (Ted Grant’s WIL), refused to join the Fourth International during Trotsky’s life because they considered the tactic of entryism (which they turned into a strategy) into the British Labor party more important than internationalism. This nationalist outlook led Ted Grant and Alan Woods (the historic leaders of the IMT) in 1982 to support British imperialism in the war of Malvinas against Argentina, a semi colony.
Today when there is a danger of imperialists attacking Iran, both organizations have not published their position on this question. Thus, there is a common thread between Merretz and these fake Trotskyists. They call themselves socialists but are no more than the tail of their capitalist masters.
Down with the right-wing government of Bennett-Mertz!
For the victory of the Arab Revolution!
For a socialist revolution of the Middle East!
For Palestine red and free!
Build the Fifth International!
Recent article of the RCIT on the Middle East:
RCIT: War Drums in the Middle East, Once Again, 5 August 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/war-drums-in-the-middle-east-once-again/
ISL: Defeat the Israeli Aggression against Iran! 05.08.2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defeat-the-israeli-aggression-against-iran/
Yossi Schwartz: From the NSO Group to Ben and Jerry: the Zionist State and its Supporters are on the Front Line of Reaction! 25.07.2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/from-nso-group-to-ben-and-jerry/
12) Leon Trotsky: Letter to South African Revolutionaries (April 1933)