Palestine Must Live

Revolutionary Worker #1147, April 21, 2002, posted at

Twisted metal, city blocks turned to dust, houses ransacked, Palestinian families driven from their homes. Tanks tearing up roads, destroying water and electricity lines, Israeli soldiers everywhere, arrogant occupiers on a rampage, rounding up thousands, murdering hundreds, humiliating, brutalizing: occupation.

In the face of this serious challenge to their survival as a people, the Palestinian people refuse to be conquered. Their cause is the cause of oppressed people everywhere.

Despite the attempts of the Israeli army to hide their atrocities from the world and the criminal distortions of the U.S. media, the whole world can see the essence of this conflict.

We see a major military power--armed to the teeth and acting with the economic and diplomatic support of the U.S. superpower --against a poor people, poorly armed, under a brutal occupation.

We see the occupiers: an army that acts with no justice, carrying out collective punishment against a whole people, hell-bent on crushing any resistance.

We see the occupied people: driven from their lands by the Zionist Israeli state more than 50 years ago; driven to Jordan, attacked by the Jordan government in 1970, with U.S. and Israeli backing; driven to Lebanon, attacked by the Israeli army in Lebanon in 1982; resisting occupation in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967--refusing to be denied, resisting, re-asserting their cause.

The Israeli government declares itself to be on a mission of self-defense provoked by suicide bombings. But the reality of the situation--for those willing to see--is that the Israeli armed forces are on a mission to wreck Palestinian society on the West Bank and deliver a message that Israel and the U.S. hold the fate of the Palestinians in their hands.

In the midst of this, we are told that the biggest oppressors on the planet are the only ones who can bring peace. But the current U.S. "peace mission" has nothing to do with justice for the Palestinians. As protests erupt in the Arab capitals, the crisis in Palestine now threatens to disrupt U.S. plans for a major war in the Middle East against Iraq.

The U.S. has arrogantly accused the Palestinians of "missing an opportunity" for peace, but the U.S.-sponsored peace accords are plans for keeping the Palestinians locked up in a ghetto--bits and pieces of their homeland entirely at the mercy of Israeli power--with Yasser Arafat as the warden.

Even this kind of Palestinian state and leadership is threatening to some in the Israeli ruling class. In September 2000, Ariel Sharon went to Haram al-Sharif in the historic Palestinian capital of East Jerusalem, with a thousand Israeli soldiers, to deliver a message of contempt for the peace process.

After seven years of bitterly disappointed hopes, the Palestinians rose up in resistance to this provocation. In response, the Israeli army gunned down youth throwing stones and sent tanks, combat helicopters and missiles to strike the Palestinian areas -- over and over and over again. They have bombed refugee camps, destroyed the structure of the Palestinian Authority, locked up the Palestinian president, and subjected the people to a reign of terror.

A whole generation of Palestinian youth have seen occupying troops gun down kids, bulldoze people's homes and uproot orchards in retaliation for acts of resistance. Living under occupation has kindled a desperate determination to fight against the occupiers. Without a real revolutionary strategy for taking on and defeating the occupiers, many youth have turned to suicide missions as a way of hitting back.

Now many eyes have been opened by the actions of the Israeli armed forces. But all who oppose the occupation need to look deeper.

Why is it that Israeli "security" is based on subjugating the Palestinian people? It is because this Israeli state--founded as an exclusive Zionist state to serve the interests of western imperialism in the region--was built on driving out the Palestinian Arab people from their lands. For 50 years the state of Israel has been riding roughshod over the Palestinians and the people of the region. And still they know no peace--because where there is oppression there is resistance.

The brutal occupation of the West Bank has made it painfully clear that there can never be peace or justice in Palestine until the terms of things are dramatically changed--until the Israeli military juggernaut is defeated and a whole new society is forged through revolutionary struggle. Though it seems like a dream, through revolutionary struggle we can envision a red Palestine, a secular democratic state in which all the masses of Palestine have equal rights and together exercise genuine power.

This may seem unrealistic, but the Palestinian youth who are willing to give their lives deserve a real revolutionary strategy and a real liberating struggle. And the reality of the "two state solution"--where one state is Zionist Israel, acting in accord with the biggest oppressors on the planet, and the other is a Palestinian ghetto --can be seen in the death and destruction on the West Bank.

As we rise in outrage at the horrors perpetrated by the Israeli army, we can dare to dream of a different future.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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