Palestine: UN recognition as a state observer is a great triumph for the Palestinian people, but there will be no solution without the end of the Zionist-imperialist state.
On November 29, the Assembly of the UN passed a resolution accepting the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) as “non-member observer state.” This status of “observer” is the same as the Vatican now. In other words, the state becomes member 194, but without the right to vote or propose resolutions. However, it can go to the International Court of Justice and denounce the crimes against humanity of Zionism.
Thousands and thousands of Palestinians held large celebrations in Gaza and the West Bank to celebrate this great political victory of their heroic struggle. Revolutionary socialists who always unconditionally support the Palestinian cause share this sense of victory.
We share this feeling even though we know it will not bring any solution to the conflict in the Middle East and the historical claim of the Palestinian people. To achieve true peace and the recovery of their lands and the right of return of millions of Palestinians expelled from their lands, there is no alternative but to continue the fight to end the Zionist state and the destruction of Israel. While achieving a single, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestinian state where all can live together.
Mahmud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO leadership, however, made the claim for recognition of this status in the UN as part of accepting the existence of Israel and the imperialist policy of the “two states” solution. And these sectors want to display this diplomatic triumph as part of that policy. Our international current rejects this position but it acknowledges that the UN resolution is a political triumph of the Palestinian people, a step, that reshapes its strategic struggle and that once again, weakens both Israel and U.S. imperialism.
The UN vote was a crushing political defeat for Israel and the U.S. It was voted by 138 votes in favor and only 9 against, including Israel, the U.S. and Canada.
To go deeper into the subject, its historical causes, and addressing the role of Palestinian leadership (PLO and Hamas), the policy of “two states” and the current position of our international current (UIT-CI), we reproduce parts of a piece by Mercedes Petit, in the magazine Correspondencia Internacional [International Correspondence] No. 31, November 2011.
“State 194” or Recovering Historical Palestine?
By Mercedes Petit – mpetit [at] izquierdasocialista.org.ar
We respect the democratic right of the Palestinian people to claim recognition as a state at the United Nations. These are steps that are taking place within a long struggle. But at the same time we have to make two points:
First, the past Palestinian leadership, embodied in Arafat, Abbas and the current president, gave legitimacy to the presence of the Zionist state of Israel, creating the expectation of “two states” (see insert). They have capitulated to pressure from the U.S. and other imperialist governments and the bourgeois governments of other Arab countries. The suffering Palestinian people survive in poor conditions (particularly in Gaza), with the crumbs which they receive from international funding, manipulated by the Palestinian ruling elite (ie: Arab governments and other institutions, NGOs and imperialism itself, particularly the US). The Islamic fundamentalist leadership of Hamas was gaining ground against Fatah’s capitulation against Israel, but neither has shown a clear solution for its people.
Second, over the years, the “two states” is being reaffirmed as non-viable solution to achieve peace in the region and the recovery of the rights of Palestinians. The successive failures of treaties and agreements (Camp David, Oslo, Road Map, ect.), which occur beyond the “good will” or capitulations of the Palestinian leadership, prove it. Briefly summarized so Marta Delgado, international observer program in the West Bank Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI): “Israel will not yield anything, because they do not want a Palestinian state., And with the U.S. veto, (Israel) will know that / … / (Israel) insists on considering everything you cannot control or do not like as “existential threats” and only thinks of when and how and with whom to start the next war. ” (Pagina 12, 24/09/11). This is because a invading state, sustained in its unbridled military power cannot coexist peacefully with an oppressed people, which has struggled steadily without rest to regain their land. This means that both Gaza and the West Bank are walled, and are constructing a third wall on the border with Sinai. The large Palestinian population that comes every day to work in Israel goes through all kinds of checkpoints and humiliations.
Take more examples. In the West Bank are implanted half a million settlers, who have their own security services and arms, in addition to being protected by army troops. United States has provided ultrasonic weapons to both silently destroy eardrums, so that Palestinian children will put their hands to their ears and stop attacking them with stones.
As recently as September, the Zionists burned three mosques in the north and entered the largest university in the territories, in Birzeit, next to Ramallah, painting graffiti that read “Death to Arabs” and “Muhammad pig.” In Gilo, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem which is supposedly Palestinian, 1,100 new homes for the Zionist invaders are being built.
The Basis of the Zionist State is Crumbling
In the heat of the growing resistance of the Palestinians, The unstoppable crisis and the lowered prestige of Israel (while not diminishing its aggressiveness), and successive failures of the negotiations toward “two states” solution that are almost 20 years old, is creating a momentum for a movement advocating the solution of “one secular democratic state.” These are minority voices for now, but they are gaining strength in Palestinian society. For example, the choreographer and intellectual Palestinian Omar Barghouti, who has a graduate degree at the University of Tel Aviv, and heads the committee for the boycott of Israel along with many other intellectuals said: “The historic land of Palestine belongs to all who live in it and those who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status. ‘
Khalid Amayreh published in the weekly Al Ahram Weekly in Cairo similar positions from Fatah leader Ziad Abu Ein, as well as a symposium held in Ramallah *. Hamas growth in sectors of Palestinian society is also linked to that, albeit inconsistent and wrapped in a misguided religious fundamentalism, has risen rejecting Israel’s existence.
Within the Zionist state in recent years researchers have begun to emerge and intellectuals, as the “new historians” who with comprehensive documentation are exposing the lies of the Zionist colonization of Palestine.
Historian Ilan Pappé, for example, has documented that Ben Gurion led a planned and systematic ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in 1948-49. With the arrival of hundreds of thousands of protesters in Palestine, although they have not broken with Zionism, they are aggravating the crisis facing Israel.
Solidarity with Palestinians
To achieve peace in the region, and the recovery of their lands and the right of return of millions of Palestinians living as second class citizens in Israel, as outcasts in the “autonomous” territories West Bank and Gaza or exiled in other Arab countries in the region, there is no way that the defeat of the Zionist state, the destruction of Israel, the military apparatus and colonizing begun in 1948. The region must achieve a single Palestinian state, secular, democratic and non-racist. It would be a good step forward if Israel lost its seat in the UN General Assembly.
As anti-imperialist and revolutionary fighters, we should make our solidarity known with the Palestinian people. We should promote measures to boycott Israel, denounce the blockade of Gaza, block the expansion of settlers, denounce all human rights violations and demand the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Zionist jails. An emergency measure would be to demand the world’s governments that voted for the recognition of “state 194”, amongst them the Arab governments in the region and those who call themselves progressive in Latin America, to immediately break diplomatic relations with Israel.
* Quoted in Palestine, history of colonization. Ediciones Socialistas, 2008.
The “Two States” Solution Long Announced as a Failure
For hundreds of years in Palestine, Arab Muslim, Christian, and Jewish minorities lived peacefully. But the twentieth century saw a Zionist invasion, culminating in the defeat of the Palestinian people.
The UN in 1947 adopted the imperialist-Zionist plan to legitimize Israel’s existence, and voted a “partition” of Palestinian territory, giving birth to “two states”. At a stroke an expropriation of 55% of the land of its ancestral inhabitants was legalized. But even that did not satisfy the Zionist greed. In a withering war invaders swept the projected “Palestinian state” and seized almost the entire territory (except the West Bank, negotiated with the Jordanian monarchy). The founding of Israel settled in genocide against the traditional Arab population expelled a million between 1948 and 1949 *.
In a world impacted by the Nazi persecution of the Jews, Zionism succeeded and established a basic lie: “a people without a land for a land without people.” The founder, Ben Gurion, in his diary wrote about controlling villages by razing them in broad daylight. Soon after, his successor Golda Meir announced in international gatherings asked that holocaust survivors be allowed to settle in a territory that was supposedly “empty”. The voice of the Palestinians had been silenced. They were the real “people without a land”
A artificial settlement began in the Middle East, the “state of Israel”, which from then on was a thorn driven into the side of the Palestinian people so that imperialist powers could control and subjugate them.
In the sixties the Palestinian resistance began to be heard, with the PLO (Organization for the Liberation of Palestine) and its leader Arafat. Israel and their mentors called them terrorists, denied any recognition, to the extent that they denounced the illegitimacy of Israel and demanded their destruction. His central claim was the ” secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine” throughout its historical territory, was slowly gaining adherents in the world.
But in the ’70s, as the resistance grew, Arab leaders capitulated to Zionism and imperialism. First it was Egypt, the agreements of 1978 Camp David. And then there was the PLO. In 1988 he accepted tacitly recognizing Israel. In 1993, Arafat finally abandoned historic flags and the PLO signed the “mutual recognition” in Oslo (Norway). Thus, the accord was a Trojan horse, signaled the dead end of “two states”.
Years pass and that plan do not work, as in 1947, because the Israeli state has to militarily crush the oppressed Palestinians to maintain its territorial expropriation. That is the background to the so-called “security” of Israel. The oppressors are portrayed as false victims of the alleged “aggression” and the “terrorism” of the oppressed people, who resist them. The unworkable utopia that Abbas calls into question is just 22% of the expropriated land more than sixty years ago.
* Ilan Pappe: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Ed Crítica, 2008
English translation by Socialist Core