Statement of the Internationalist Socialist League (ISL), supported by the RCIT
Note from the Editorial Board: This is a statement of the Internationalist Socialist League (ISL) in Israel/Occupied Palestine. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) fully supports the statement from our comrades. We share their analysis and perspectives.
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March 30th – Land Day, has become a symbol of struggle for the Palestinian masses, citizens of the Zionist apartheid state, against expropriation and oppression. Now, we must think of a way to turn a symbolic struggle into a real mass struggle converging into the entire Palestinian people’s struggle in the entire territory currently ruled by an apartheid state spanning from the river Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.
While we commemorate this day in relative comfort in Nazareth, the Palestinian youth of the West Bank is risking lives in a struggle against oppression by Israeli soldiers and settlers. This heroic struggle faces the massive military power of Israel, supported by Obama as well as other imperialists. Even the collaboration of the Palestinian Authority can no longer prevent the eruption of a new popular intifada. The PA isn’t any different from the despotic regimes of Mubarak and Bin Ali, which explains its fear of a “Palestinian Revolution”.
The third intifada will be victorious only should it implement the lessons of the previous two – it must include all the oppressed sections of the Palestinian society: workers, peasants, small business owners, women and youth, unemployed and also Jewish supporters, who understand that the only way out of the Zionist hell-on-earth (with the Palestinian bourgeoisie as its accomplice) is through a revolutionary Palestinian struggle.
Inside Israel we must call upon the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and say: “Stop sitting on your bottoms and settle for a symbolic protest, mobilize the masses in a real struggle!” What is a real struggle? One that begins from a regional standpoint and ties the Palestinian struggle to the Arab revolution, while acknowledging the working class as the only social element that can lead it to victory.
The lessons of the Arab Revolution
The Arab Revolution erupted as a result of the 2008 crisis, the deepest capitalist global crisis since 1929. This crisis is a direct consequence of the stranglehold capitalist monopolies have over the bourgeois controlled means of production. These monopolies employ a massive social labor force, while the ownership of capital is concentrated in the hands of a small bunch of ruling families. The inability of the capitalists in imperialist countries to develop the means of production, as a result of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, forces the bourgeoisie to cover loses by extracting funds from the pockets of its working masses, lower middle class and poor.
Instead of investing in the development of the means of production, the capitalists spent their massive profits on wasteful consumption, gambling in the stock-market, and of course, highly developed military means of oppression. Additionally, an attempt at maintaining profits is done through military campaigns against oppressed nations which happen to sit upon natural resources the imperialists covet, such as Afghanistan and Mali. In places they cannot afford to launch such campaigns, warmongering threats are used (especially against North Korea and Iran) expecting these governments to fold and consent to replenish out of their own pockets, and on the expense of their own masses, the empty debt-ridden bank accounts of the imperialists.
Against this attack stand the working masses and oppressed of different countries: the working class, peasants and lower middle class of the Arab countries; India, 100 million workers went on strike last month for the third time; Greece, Britain and other European countries; and also the very recent revolutionary struggle which erupted in Bulgaria.
This attack by the capitalists and the retaliation of the rising tide of struggle by the workers and oppressed masses reveals the reality of our epoch – an epoch of revolutions, counter-revolutions and imperialist wars. A socialist revolution is not only possible in such an epoch, but essential. Failing to accomplish such a revolution would result in bloody repressive regimes and even fascist regimes which would put at risk the very existence of mankind through devastating wars and environmental destruction.
The Arab revolution erupted in 2011 in the form of mass democratic struggles against pro-imperialist despotic regimes in Tunisia and Libya, and from there it has spread to Egypt until finally reaching Syria on March 15th that year. In recent months the revolution entered its second phase. The first phase contained naive illusions in the role of opposition parties which took power through general elections, such as alNahda in Tunisia and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Now, the second phase contains the accumulated experience and realization that these parties are in fact pro-imperialist leaderships which block the masses’ road to democracy.
A victorious Arab Revolution requires a distinctly different leadership. Experience shows that petty-bourgeois or bourgeois leaderships, whether secular or religious, are unable to successfully stand up to imperialist control. A victorious struggle for democratic rights, in this epoch requires a victorious revolutionary socialist one. Only under revolutionary working class leadership it is possible to unite the masses from all ethnic and religious backgrounds: to unite peasants, small business owners, women and youth who suffer from oppression, especially under capitalism, in support of the working class, the consistent revolutionary class, the only one that can bring about an alternative to the decaying capitalist mode of production.
This alternative will begin with the transformation of the economy into production for the needs of the masses instead of the profit interests of the capitalist. This economy will be controlled democratically by the workers themselves. This transformation is conditioned by the victory of the working class at the head of the armed masses who will overthrow the oppressive mechanisms of the bourgeoisie (military, police, prisons and courts) and establish a mechanism ruled by the workers and their allies in a real majority rule. This mechanism will take the form of local councils (soviets) of workers and peasants which vote and elect representatives to regional councils and so on – while the executive committee of the highest council will serve as the government. The rule of the councils will be defended by the armed forces of the masses themselves instead of the standing army of the bourgeois tradition.
Our Position on Syria
As revolutionaries we support the armed struggle against Assad’s regime, even while being controlled by the Islamists. We do so without giving them – pro-capitalists behind an Islamic veil – even a single ounce of political support. To us, only the working class can bring about a solution. Unfortunately for the masses in Syria, while the workers participate in the revolution against Assad’s bloody dictatorial regime as individuals the working class as a class is still held captive by the Baath party through the state-controlled trade-unions. This situation is the fault of the Stalinists of both communist parties in Syria that continue to support the Baathist front instead of the independence of the working class. A revolutionary organization must be established in Syria for victory to be achieved. Independence of the working class from the ruling class on a revolutionary program should take first priority.
The Struggle for Democratic Rights and the Perspective of the Permanent Revolution
In Palestine the struggle for democratic rights can be victorious only when the Palestinian working class, joined by some of the Jewish workers who will disconnect themselves from Zionism, as well as immigrant workers, will stand at the head of the mass struggle for the democratic rights, which would only be implemented through a victorious socialist revolution. This is the perspective of the Permanent Revolution of Leon Trotsky. The struggle for a Palestinian republic, in terms of its national character, from the river to the sea, can only be victorious when consciously transforming into a struggle for a workers’ and peasants’ state from the river to the sea. It can only come out victorious when linked to the revolutionary struggle in the entire region.
We are willing to unite in action (while maintaining full freedom of speech and criticism) with any organization or individual who supports one or more of the following demands:
* Free all the Palestinian Political Prisoners!
* Down with the Trial against the Shfa’amr Youths!
* Down with Forced Judaisation of Palestinian Neighborhoods, House Demolitions and Ethnic Cleansing!
* Down with All 60 Racist Laws Published by Adalah Center!
* For the Complete Right of Return to All Palestinian Refugees to their Homeland!
* For a Network of Defense Committees to defend Palestinians and Immigrants against Pogroms and Zionist Lynch Mobs!
* For a Network of Democratic Action Committees in the Neighborhoods, Cities, Villages, Workplaces and Institutions of Education!
* For a Democratic State from the River to the Sea!
* For a Workers and Peasants Government from the River to the Sea!
* For a Palestinian Workers’ State from the River to the Sea!
* For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
* For a New Communist International – the 5th International!
ISL: Who Are We?
The Internationalist Socialist League is a communist organization established in the revolutionary tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. We are active in Occupied Palestine (The State of Israel) with the goal of establishing a revolutionary workers’ party that will serve as an alternative leadership to all of the struggles mentioned above, and lead them to victory, for a change. If you are in full support of this statement – you belong with us! Join us and you would be able to be a part of the revolutionary struggle and the revolutionary leadership the masses in this country need to win! Our organization has years of tradition of openness to criticism which prevents mental fixation and assists in the evolution of our thought and action patterns. If you have such criticism to share with us, as well as any advice, suggestions or questions that might be useful for our development – our e-mail address is open to you: firstname.lastname@example.org