In an article published in Black Dwarf (June 14, 1969), signed by our comrades A. Said [Jabra Nicola] and Moshe Machover, the authors adopt a critical attitude towards the idea of a Palestinian State (“If one is thinking of a bi-national state, this will be an artificial creation, separating the Palestinian Arabs from the rest of the Arab world and from the revolutionary process taking place in it”), yet in ISRAC No. 1 of May, 1969, an article signed by our comrades Machover and Eli Lobel puts forward a Judeo-Arab solution within a common country (“The creation of a Democratic Palestine, without ethnic or religious discrimination, whatever ethnic element is in the majority, is the only solution giving free expression to the rights of both people”).
This apparent inconsistency results from our constant daily need to combat two types of illusion. One is that a solution to the Palestinian problem can be found independently, and in isolation, from the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle of the whole region. At the same time we must fight its opposite, i.e. the belief that Socialism in the Middle East will automatically solve all its problems, insofar as such belief implies that the struggle should be adjourned until there can be a concerted effort throughout the whole region. Neither of these attitudes takes into account the Middle East realities and the dynamics of the struggle.
At the present moment, the analysis must be deepened, points of principle must be affirmed, and the general perspectives of the revolutionary struggle in the Middle East must be traced, rather than a detailed solution put forward. The exact form of the solution can only be determined by the struggle itself. This implies that our whole effort must be directed towards the emergence of a joint revolutionary force. This force, while fighting against all forms of national oppression, should at the same time transcend the national level and become a revolutionary factor in the whole region. Such a development is particularly necessary insofar as it corresponds to the conditions of the Middle East, where imperialist forces permanently intervene to maintain their domination, and where, in consequence, the achievement of the national and social liberties of the peoples living there cannot be realized in isolation from each other.
It is with the reality of the whole of the Middle East in mind that we put forward our analysis, perspectives, and principles as follows.
- The Israeli-Arab conflict is not primarily a confrontation between Arab states and the state of Israel; it is the struggle of a whole people, plundered and deprived of its rights and liberties by the Zionist colonization. The denial of the Palestinian Arabs’ rights to national liberties preceded the creation of the state of Israel. This was inherent in Zionist colonization from the beginning, and could only take place in collusion with the dominant imperialism in the region.
At present, imperialism’s continued domination over the region, with the USA in the lead, presupposes the maintenance of a global status-quo, open to slight but not to basic modifications. In particular this implies continuing the national oppression of the Palestinian Arabs and the maintaining of the partnership between the US imperialism and the Zionist regime, despite some temporary friction.
- The role of the Arab states after the creation of the state of Israel was, among other things, that of containing the Palestinian people, of making it accept the status quo. This was in line with their own state-interests, as it was with those of Zionism and imperialism with whom they were friendly enemies. The Arab states’ failure on this point became evident the moment the Palestinian people created its own organizations of national struggle, which the existing Arab regimes tried and still try to curb at every stage of their development. Moreover, because of the expansionism inherent in Zionism and of its role of maintaining imperialist domination over the region, the clash between the Zionist regime and the whole of the Arab world became ever more profound.
Under these circumstances the Palestinian people’s fight against national oppression and its resistance to Israeli occupation will increasingly dispel illusions of petit bourgois and bureaucratic nature. It rapidly becomes a popular struggle, thereby constituting a threat to the established Arab regimes. The Palestinian struggle contains a revolutionary potential for the whole of the Middle East, for whilst it is an implacable enemy of the Zionist establishment and of imperialism it also reveals the opportunism of the various Arab regimes – even of the most radical ones – their collusion with imperialism, or the limitations of the anti-imperialist struggle waged by some of them. At the same time it indicates to the oppressed masses of the Arab countries the path of revolution, i.e. of popular mass struggle.
The mobilization of the Palestinian people, with its vast revolutionary significance for the whole of the region, cannot take place in an abstract way but on the basis of their own immediate objectives.
- The Palestinian Arabs are fighting for the cessation of the state of occupation under which they live, the affirmation of their national liberties and the overthrow of the oppressive Zionist regime. It is the task of us all, revolutionaries from Israel and from the Arab countries, to put the Palestinian conflict in its context of the Middle East and of the anti-imperialist and socialist struggle. This has to be done together with the Palestinian revolutionaries and in line with their own ends.
- As Israeli revolutionaries we support the rights of the Palestinian Arabs to resist occupation and to fight against national oppression. We consider it essential that the struggle should be conducted jointly by the revolutionary forces of both peoples. In order to achieve this it is necessary to dispel any suspicion that the aim is merely to turn the tables and replace the existing national oppression by a new one.
The fact that the Israeli people was formed through a process of colonization does not alter the fact that it now constitutes a national entity.
While there are differences in our committee on the possible intermediate stages, we all share the belief that the final goal is the creation of a socialist revolutionary Middle East. It is within this larger framework that the national conflicts will find their solution on an internationalist basis. As to the intermediary stages, whatever they are, they ought already to be the foreshadowing of the long term objective, comprising the whole region.
- It is the task of us all, revolutionaries of the whole region, to work for the formation of a revolutionary vanguard. Such a force will be the instrument for the mobilization of the masses of all the people of the region, in a revolutionary direction. In this way the national level of the struggle can be transcended.