From the CORIM

Condemn the Israeli Occupiers and
Support the Just Struggle of the Palestinian People!

Revolutionary Worker #1076, October 29, 2000,

--Statement by the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement

Since September 28 the Israeli hoodlums have been firing rubber bullets, lead bullets, armour-piercing rounds and helicopter gunship missiles at Palestinian youth and children. More than 100 were killed within a few weeks and thousands more wounded. Israeli troops have been shooting at Red Crescent ambulance drivers to make sure that the injured die. And yet the American godfathers of this settler state are condemning the Palestinians and holding them responsible for this cold-blooded bestiality. With the backing of his U.S. masters, Israeli Prime Minister barking Barak arrogantly threatens to bring down a million times more firepower on the youth of Palestine.

Already, hundreds of thousands of the masses in Arab countries and the Middle East have gone into the streets in support of the just struggle of the Palestinian people. We join with them and call upon the proletariat and masses of the world to resolutely condemn and oppose the aggression of Israel's criminal army and secret police against the Palestinians. Let us once again be clear that it is the U.S. that arms and finances the Zionist state of Israel whose very existence is based on the illegitimate occupation of Palestine. Israel is a dog on an American leash. Its job is to lash out violently against the masses of Palestine as well as the neighbouring countries and the whole region in order to protect U.S. imperialist interests.

As much as the Israeli show of force against rock-throwing youth is ugly, the fearless struggle of the Palestinian people is inspiring. It powerfully demonstrates the great truth that Mao Tsetung always emphasised, that wherever there is oppression there is resistance. Just as these events reveal that the U.S.-sponsored talks and promises about the "peace process" and "a lasting solution" are nothing but lies meant to gain stability for its Middle Eastern gendarme, the struggle of the Palestinian masses proves once again that they will not allow their homeland to be taken away from them by such cynical deal-making.

In the U.S. imperialists' dreams of a "new world order," the Palestinian people were supposed to meekly submit and accept Israel's oppressive existence and its role in the region. And Arafat, in his dreams, was expecting the U.S. to help him get a Palestinian mini-state. Arafat argued that the state of Israel had to be accepted. He declared that his capitulation to the imperialist "peace process" was the only "realistic" solution for the Palestinians. He argued that it would be impossible to fight to overthrow the state of Israel through a revolutionary war of the masses and replace it with a secular (non-religious) democratic state for all the people of Palestine regardless of their religious beliefs. But life itself has made it clear just how unrealistic this so-called realism really is. This road has led only to more and more betrayal. The reality is that the Palestinian national question cannot be solved by the imperialists. The reality is that for more than 50 years the existence of the state of Israel in occupied Palestine has been the lynchpin of the imperialist order in the Middle East--this is why the U.S. subsidises Israel to the tune of billions of dollars a year. The Palestinian national question cannot be solved by recognising the legitimacy of the occupiers. And since this is exactly the centrepiece of what Arafat proposes to do by embracing the "peace process," this plan offers no solution at all. The occupation is unjust and the Palestinians are absolutely right to fight it. The people of the whole world must support their just struggle. To succeed, the Palestinian people need to understand the comprador-feudal and pro-imperialist nature of Arafat and the Fatah leadership, which can only lead to repeated betrayal.

The Islamic group Hamas offers no more of a solution than Arafat. Hamas was founded and boosted by the reactionary powers during the 1970s and 1980s, when the U.S. imperialists were building up Islamic forces in opposition to the national liberation movements and as a wall against Soviet influence. Hamas criticises the most obvious features of Arafat's capitulationist programme in order to win the support of the masses and move up the ladder of power itself, yet at the same time, spewing Islamic obscurantist demagogy, it says that the liberation of Palestine must await some future holy "resurrection". In short, Hamas is willing to live with the Israeli occupation if this group is given the status and privileges it seeks. The Islamic Republic of Iran, which backs Hamas and other Islamic forces, is itself a reactionary, oppressive state. During its 20 years of rule it has never hesitated to gun down protesting workers, students, Kurds, etc. Moreover, it is notorious for working with the Israeli army in arms deals and in other ways. The Hamas goal of a theocratic state is a reactionary programme. An Islamic theocratic state is as reactionary as a Jewish theocratic state. The minimum programme for revolutionary change in Palestine can only be the formation of a secular, democratic state for all the people of Palestine regardless of religious belief.

We Maoists (revolutionary communists) call for the establishment of such a state throughout the territory of Palestine. That is the only possible realistic solution and it is still the goal. All other programmes are fakes. To make revolution in Palestine and the other Arab and non-Arab countries of the Middle East will in fact be a protracted and difficult task. But the programmes offered by Arafat and Hamas can only lead to betraying and dashing the hopes of the masses and wasting their heroic sacrifices. It is time to end the bitter cycle of rising up and being betrayed by misleaders and reactionary and capitulationist programmes. Often we revolutionary communists are told that our ideas may be correct in "theory" but that "in practice" there is no choice but to bend these truths to the expediency of the moment. This is a wrong view of this ugly and oppressive world and what has to be done to change it. In fact, this is the outlook behind bargaining away the just struggle of the Palestinian masses to the imperialist New World Order. In every way and every day the enemy demonstrates that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." Without a people's war, it is impossible to liberate the masses of Palestine and the neighbouring countries from the clutches of Israel and the reactionary Arab states propped up by U.S. imperialism. People's war is the only possible path to victory and only a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party can lead the masses on this road. Now more than ever the people need their own revolutionary force in the field. The first and immediate step is to lay the foundations of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organisation in Palestine and the neighbouring countries that can work to defend the independent interests of the proletariat and the oppressed and start the process of building genuine vanguard parties that can lead the people in making revolution. We urge all those who want to play a role in this process to get in touch with the RIM, the embryonic centre of the world's Maoists, and join your experience and struggle with that of proletarian fighters all over the world.

The formation of such a party and its intervention in the Palestinian struggle will mark a watershed in the advance of genuine revolution in the whole region, just as the advance of the proletarian revolution throughout the region is inextricably linked to the new democratic revolution in Palestine. With the leadership of such a party, the masses can come out of every round of battles--despite an unfavourable balance of forces and even temporary setbacks--with a sharper focus on how to battle the enemy, discovering the enemy's strength and weaknesses and developing a strategy that can win. The formation of such a party in Palestine would greatly influence the revolutionaries in the neighbouring Arab countries and other countries in the Middle East. The internationalist unity of the revolutionaries and masses of all these countries would add enormous strength to their struggles and help create a situation in which Israel would be encircled and opposed from all sides, including within.

People all over the world are filled with rage at Israel's crimes--and equally filled with admiration and hope by the Palestinian youth. The Palestinian cause was supposed to be as dead as a cold fire. The imperialists had already celebrated and the Zionist regime thought it could just throw on a few last shovels of dirt. Once again the Palestinian masses have proven that the fires of liberation and revolution can smoulder deep underground but, sooner or later, no matter what, the flames will shoot into the air.

16 October 2000

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