Statement on Palestine

Submitted by Juan Conatz on June 29, 2014

Palestine Must Be Free!
Everyday Palestinians recognize that the US and Israel can’t be fair arbiters of peace across the bargaining table of historical oppression. Now after Sept. 11, the entire Palestinian mass movement called the Second Intifada is being criminalized as “terrorist” by both the US and Israel. It is our wish that true friends stand now and embrace the Palestinian people’s courage. What we are seeing now is a War of National Liberation and We Must Support the Freedom Fighters!!

We reject US imperialism and its support of the colonial settler state of Israel. It is true that Israel can only be maintained by US tax dollars, that Israel has executed many human rights violations, that Ariel Sharon is a butcher and that Benjamin Netanyahu is a comedian of the modern political world for lecturing anyone on how to fight terrorism. But empire is not smashed by lobbying its ruling class, documenting immoralities, or having a charitable attitude toward Palestinians as “victims” from a place of privilege. We must take responsibility for the social relations in our own country.

In response to the character assassination of the Palestinians as terrorists, we say the following. All criticism of the political and military practices of the Palestinians should be seen within the framework of the paramount desperation of their struggle with an emphasis on what methods will bring about the autonomy of the rank and file. While we maintain and defend that all agents of the state of Israel are expendable in this war (high level politicians, military, police, and judicial officials), the policy of suicide bombings is a failure for many reasons. It trains Palestinian young people to be expendable at the call of political elites when they should be convinced of fighting to survive for a just and attainable future without them. It helps create an environment where new popular association and discussion can not flourish, including the creation of non-violent direct action civil disobedience campaigns, alliances with anti-racist Israelis and it largely contains the political participation of women, elderly and youth. We recognize that a national liberation struggle needs to be an armed liberation struggle—but this is one of many tactics which can bring the Zionist state to its knees. We are sympathetic to the jeopardy Israeli citizens face but their security will only begin to be maintained by them organizing a mass movement within Israel to oppose the Zionist state and ruling class. We are in solidarity with those which have already begun this difficult task.

Israel = White Supremacy!
We believe a free Palestine is one of a popular self-managed society where economic, military, and judicial affairs are administered through direct democracy. We believe the ultimate goal in Palestine (and elsewhere) should be a society of equal rights for all peoples and religions, without a state or ruling class. But in our view a society such as this can not be achieved by just wishing for it or by refusing to work with others struggling for their own democratic goals. We see most advocates of the two state solution as selling out the “right of return” and the commitment to smash the Zionist state and ruling class altogether—which can happen democratically through a movement for civil rights, birth rates, and mass migration. This is only extreme if one believes in long term co-existence not with Jews of good will, but with the Zionist oppressors. Advocates of two states are most often really advocates of one. They just see the Zionists and the US, not a mass direct action movement, as the best partners for granting sovereignty to a Palestinian ruling class.

We want a broad popular front in the Middle East, and in America, where secular and religious can work together, where official leadership is held accountable and if necessary discarded. With the help of the CIA and the Mossad, Arafat and the Palestinian Authority have suppressed independent political, trade union, journalistic, and (not suprisingly) militia type activity. They have killed and put folk in prison when it is politically expedient, which amounts to the whims of the Israeli and U.S. states. They attempt to use Arafat and the PA as a tool in the maintenance of Palestinian oppression—even by labeling Arafat as a terrorist and worthy of death they prop up his legitimacy.

While being touted as "the Jewish Homeland," the state of Israel actually undermines the effort for a sustainable Jewish future by sacrificing Jewish lives, ethics, culture and history in their quest for imperial domination. They sacrifice lives by creating such a desperate situation for Palestinians that extreme groups feel forced to attack public places in order to gain attention for their struggle. Ordinary Israeli civilians live in fear of random violence on a daily basis, making the supposed safe haven one of the most dangerous places in the world for a Jew to live today. Israel sacrifices Jewish ethics, which urges consideration for all members of a society including the most disenfranchised. By massacring Palestinian men, women and children, the state is rejecting millennia-old religious and legal codes of respect and survival. Israel is sacrificing Jewish history. Palestinian struggles are eerily similar to those Jewish people have faced historically in terms of displacement, imprisonment, subjection to brutal military and police forces, and of course genocide or "ethnic cleansing". It is critical for conscious Jewish people to reject the Zionist vision in favor of a just one.

Smash the U.S. and Zionist Empire
Many still think it possible to lobby the likes of Bush or Sharon in order to obtain a just peace. These so-called "leaders" discourage participation in the creation of a mass movement that demands justice in Palestine and fights the bankrupt ruling classes of the entire Middle Eastern region. We stand in solidarity with the democratic aspirations of the Arab and Muslim people who reject the notion of pleading for their freedom in favor of seizing it. It is time for a mass direct action movement that is uncompromising in defense of the Palestinians and which will bring Muslim and Arab Americans home from prison where they have been unjustly detained.