Zionism and Terrorism

Yossi Schwartz, ISL the RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 12.20.2021

The Zionist Bonaparte’s government of Bennett is as bad if not worse than the government of Netanyahu.  It has the left cover by the Labor Zionist party Meretz and also the Ra’am that speak somewhat differently than the right parties of this government, but when it comes to action the right-wing parties decide. This government seeks war with Iran, attacks time and time again targets in Syria, accelerates the counter-revolutionary policy of closures for the economic and political interest of the ruling class, and expands settlements in the West Bank. The violent actions of the more extreme settlers in the West Bank have increased by 50% this year. The settlers in the West Bank know that the government is behind them. Following the discussion of public security minister (Minister of police) Omer Bar-Lev with US under-secretary about the settlers’ violence, the Prime Minister of Israel has stated: 

Settlers in Judea and Samaria have suffered daily from violence and terrorism for decades. They serve as a protective wall for all of us and we must protect them in word and a deed“. [i]

This statement by Bennett reveals the role of the settlers as an informal Zionist army and indeed they are all armed and guarded by the Zionist army. They act as shock troopers terrorizing the Palestinian civilians shooting them, beating them burning fields and houses.

October and November every year are the season of the olive harvest for the Palestinians; however, it is also the high season for the settlers’ terror to prevent the harvest of the olives. This terror aims to force the Palestinian to leave Palestine and it is the continuation of the ethnic cleansing of 1947-8.

 The Israeli Human right Belem writes on this question:

“Since occupying the West Bank in 1967, Israel has misappropriated more than two million dunams of land (200,000 hectares) throughout the West Bank. Israel uses this land for its purposes, including building new settlements, expanding the territory they control – including farmland and industrial zones – and paving roads that mainly serve the settler population.

West Bank settlements dominate hundreds of thousands of dunams [1 dunam = 1,000 square meters] to which Palestinians have limited access or none at all. Israel has taken over some of these areas using official means: issuing military orders, declaring the area “state land,” a “firing zone” or a “nature reserve,” and expropriating land. Other areas have been effectively taken over by settlers through daily acts of violence, including attacks on Palestinians and their property.

The two tracks appear unrelated: The state takes over land openly, using official methods sanctioned by legal advisors and judges, while the settlers, who are also interested in taking over land to further their agenda, initiate violence against Palestinians for their reasons. Yet in truth, there is only one track: Settler violence against Palestinians is part of the strategy employed by Israel’s apartheid regime, which seeks to take over more and more West Bank land. The state fully supports and assists these acts of violence, and its agents sometimes participate in them directly. As such, settler violence is a form of government policy, aided and abetted by official state authorities with their active participation. The state legitimizes this reality in two complementary ways.” [ii]

The liberal pro-Zionists say that we should differentiate between the majority of the settlers who are not violent and the small minority “the bad apples” that exist in every society. We leave it to the Liberals to differentiate between the majority of the settlers who are armed thieves and the violent settlers who are armed robbers.

According to the Arab Center Washington DC:

“Israeli settler terrorists are emboldened to attack Palestinians regularly for three primary reasons: absence of Palestinian capacity for self-defense; lack of accountability for criminal violence against Palestinians; and the backing and participation of the Israeli military.” [iii]

This statement is not accurate as the Palestinians have the capacity for self-defense; what they lack is an organization representing the interest of the workers and the poor farmers. With such leadership, the Palestinians will show their capacity for self-defense.

In response to the settlers’ terror and the lack of revolutionary working-class leadership, we see a growing number of individual Palestinian attacks on the Zionist police, army, and settlers. The more known recent cases are the killing of the South African parachutist, who was killed in East-Jerusalem last month, and the far-right settler an active member of the far-right movement that build outposts on Palestinian private land that according to the Zionist official line are illegal and yet there exist about 170 such outposts in the West Bank.

Palestinian Individual actions reflect the determination and courage to fight oppression but it is not a very effective way. It allows the real terrorists the Zionist state and its agents to pretend that they fight terrorism and take more oppressive measures against the Palestinian people.

To fight the Zionist terror, it is necessary to organize self-defence in every village and neighbourhood.

These terrorist Zionist settlers are not different from the “Black hundreds” that carried out pogroms against the Jews and others in Tsarist Russia. To fight these pogroms the best Russian workers armed with hammers, pistols, knives repelled the terrorist attacks organized by the Tsar. The following is part of a leaflet of the advanced workers in 1905:

We have reason to expect also in Borisoglebsk pogroms against the Jews, against the workers, and the intellectuals; therefore, in preparation for a proper resistance to the ’illegal measures’ which the government has adopted to suppress the revolutionary movement, the Borisoglebsk group is starting a subscription for the organization of armed self-defense, and invites all those whose sympathies do not lie with the government and the Black Hundreds to help in the organization of self-defense groups with money and arms.” [iv]

And here are Lenin’s remarks:

We read that in Ekaterinoslav (see Proletary, No. 13) an agreement was concluded between the Bolsheviks, the Mensheviks, and the Bund in anticipation of violence (a pogrom by the Black Hundreds was expected! Is there a city or village in Russia today that is not expecting something of that kind?). “Joint collection of money for the purchase of arms, a joint plan of action, etc.” What kind of plan this was is evidenced by the fact that at the Bryansk Works, for instance, the Social Democrats, at a meeting of five hundred workers, called for the organization of resistance. “Then in the evening the organized workers of the Bryansk Works were quartered in various houses; patrols were stationed, a headquarters was appointed, etc. — in short, we were in complete fighting trim” [v]

Thus, to fight and win against the terror of the Zionists an armed revolution by the workers and the poor peasants is needed.  Individual action is not a replacement for mass organized uprising-popular Intifada.

The following is what Trotsky wrote in 1939 on individual actions against the tyranny of the oppressors. He wrote it in response to a Jewish young man by the name of Grynszpan who killed a Nazi diplomat.

We Marxists consider the tactic of individual terror inexpedient in the tasks of the liberating struggle of the proletariat as well as oppressed nationalities. A single isolated hero cannot replace the masses. But we understand only too clearly the inevitability of such convulsive acts of despair and vengeance. All our emotions, all our sympathies are with the self-sacrificing avengers even though they have been unable to discover the correct road… 

In the moral sense, although not for his mode of action, Grynszpan may serve as an example for every young revolutionist. Our open moral solidarity with Grynszpan gives us an added right to say to all the other would-be Grynszpans, to all those capable of self-sacrifice in the struggle against despotism and bestiality: Seek another road! Not the lone avenger but only a great revolutionary mass movement can free the oppressed, a movement that will leave no remnant of the entire structure of class exploitation, national oppression, and racial persecution. It is necessary to set in motion millions, tens, and hundreds of millions of the oppressed throughout the whole world and lead them in the assault upon the strongholds of the old society. Only the overthrow of all forms of slavery, only the complete destruction of fascism, only the people sitting in merciless judgment over the contemporary bandits and gangsters can provide real satisfaction to the indignation of the people.” [vi]

Down with Zionist terror!

Organize Palestinian self defence!

Down with the Zionist apartheid state!

For a Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!


[i] https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/politics-and-diplomacy/bar-lev-under-attack-for-speaking-of-setter-violence-with-us-official-688673

[ii] https://www.btselem.org/settler_violence

[iii] https://arabcenterdc.org/resource/the-tip-of-the-spear-israeli-settler-terror/

[iv] https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/aug/29b.htm

[v] Ibid

[vi] https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1939/xx/grnszpan.htm

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