October ISO Statement on 1969 General Elections
The right-wing parties promise peace through further conquest. They talk about the “Land of Israel in its historical boundaries from the Euphrates to the Nile.” These parties deny the existence of the Palestinian national entity.
The ruling party, as well as Mapam which tail-ends it, promise peace through perpetuation of the recent conquest. They do not recognize the” fundamental rights of the Palestinian people and claim that the solutions to its problems will be found in the Arab states.
Maki [the pro-Zionist Communist Party] and Ha’olam Hazeh [Uri Avnery’s party] promulgate many peace plans, all of which are based on the continuation of the occupation until peace arrives. These parties are willing to recognize the existence of the Palestinian people, and they preach an Israeli solution to its problems – without consulting the Palestinians.
This is indeed a broad coalition of peace seekers in which all the Zionist trends are represented: maximalists and minimalists, extremists and moderates, hawks and doves, and even shamefaced Zionists like Uri Avnery and Maki leader Moshe Sneh.
If you support the existing policy lines, the choice is easy. There is a wide variety. Many parties, many platforms, many promises, many illusions. If you oppose the present policy and want to protest it by means of the ballot, you are faced with a dilemma. Who should you support? Who should get your vote?
If you want to protest, don’t give your vote to Sneh or Avnery. They claim to be in opposition to the regime and its policies, but you should remind them of their positions at the moment of truth in May and June 1967. Remember Sneh’s total justification of Israeli policy, using “revolution” and “communism” as a cover-up; remember Avnery’s cry “Take Over Damascus,” 1 and his vote for the annexation of East Jerusalem.
This Tweedledum-Tweedledee couple of Avnery and Sneh always applauds every Israeli show of force, whether it is war or a “limited action”; they support the continuation of the occupation; they justify the arrests, deportations and demolition of homes. In between, they talk peace. This pair took another task upon themselves: to attack us, to distort our position and to agitate against us because of our demand for immediate and unconditional withdrawal from all the occupied territories. They call us “traitors,” “agents of the enemy” and “enemies of the people.”
Who, then, to support in this election? There is only one party that stands outside the ruling camp and its followers, and it deserves support. That party is the New Communist Party in Israel – Rakah.
Under the present circumstances, a vote for Rakah is by no means a vote of identification with this party and all of its ideas. It is rather a protest vote against the present policy line.
This is the only possible way to vote against the occupation, if for no other reason than simply because none of the other parties even utters the words “occupation” and “occur pied territories.” These terms and phrases do not exist in their vocabularies. Rakah, on the other hand, is not only against the occupation; it is also the only parliamentary party which unites Jews and Arabs as members, it is the only one that fights against the oppression of the Israeli Arabs and it is the only one that is persecuted by the regime since it fights against repressive measures in the occupied territories.
We have sharp and deep disagreements with Rakah on both international and domestic questions. These disagreements concern day-to-day as well as ideological matters. And Rakah sometimes calls us “anti-Soviet” and “adventurist” Rakah fully supports Soviet policies, in particular, the policy of “peaceful coexistence” between the USSR and American imperialism. We oppose this policy as anti-revolutionary.
Rakah habitually praises every regime that maintains friendly relations with the Soviet Union. Our judgment of regimes, however, is based on their class character and their participation in the world anti-imperialist struggle, not on their relations with the Soviet Union.
Rakah holds that peace can be achieved on the basis of the regimes existing currently in the area and that it is possible to resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute on the basis of the continued existence of the Zionist regime and of the petit-bourgeois and reactionary regimes in the Arab world. We regard this as a dangerous illusion that hampers the anti-imperialist struggle of all the peoples of the Middle East.
Rakah maintains that it is possible to solve the Arab-Israeli problem by agreements between the big powers, agreements which would be accepted by the existing governments in the area at some later time. We think that this approach is in conflict with the interests of the people of the area, that it misleads the masses and that it undermines the struggle against the pro-imperialist regimes – the Zionist regime in Israel and the reactionary regimes in the Arab world.
In our view, the Arab-Israeli dispute can be solved only through a victorious socialist revolution in the entire region. Such a revolution is the only guarantee for the solution of the problems of the various nationalities who Eve in the Arab world, the Israeli Jews as well as the Kurds and the South Sudanese.
Rakah does not share this view. But such questions cannot be resolved by parliamentary elections and they are not going to be decided at this moment. The question that confronts you now is a different one: How to protest the present policies by means of the ballot?
In our opinion, there is only one way: Vote for the New Communist Party.
- A headline from Daf (Avnery’s daily newspaper) which became very popular during the ‘67 war. ↩