On Saturday, September 26th [1970], a conference of the Israeli Socialist Organization (“Matzpen”) took place in a village near Jerusalem.

In this conference the differences between three political tendencies within the I.S.O. came to a head. The split which has been expected for some months finally took place.

Two breaking-away groups left the organization in diametrically opposed directions. One group consists of adherents of the Lambertist-S.L.L. tendency. They argue that Israel is, on the whole, a normal capitalist country, and that the revolutionary activity must be directed predominantly towards the Israeli working class and base itself on the normal class demands of the proletariat in capitalist society. They consider the struggle against Zionism as of secondary importance.

The other group consists of what could be described as “third worldists with Maoite strands”. They insist that revolutionary activity must be centred on the Palestinian struggle and that the internal conflicts within the Israeli society are of secondary significance.

The comrades who left Matzpen in these two directions are mostly people who joined after the June 1967 war. The main body of Matzpen, including all those who founded the organization in 1962, are united around the original Matzpen policy of a principled struggle against Zionism within Israeli society as the dominant strategy.

This strategy differs from those of the break-away tendencies in two respects:

  1. It considers its main role to be within Israeli society;
  2. It subordinates its policies on all issues within Israel to the struggle against Zionism.

Although split conferences are never very amicable it is to be hoped that under the difficult conditions of the Israeli reality it will still be possible to cooperate on limited issues on which all groups agree.

The Israeli Socialist Organization (“Matzpen”)

October 10, 1970