We have to admit there is something wrong in the Middle East. Israel was created by Western imperialism and maintained by Western fire power. We support the Palestinians' just struggle for liberation one hundred percent. We will go on doing this and we would like for all of the progressive people of the world to join our ranks in order to make a world in which all people can live.
-Huey P. Newton, Black Panther Party (1970).
On October 7th, Hamas and a number of other Palestinian militant groups initiated “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” a large-scale attack on Israel launched from Gaza which took the Israeli state by total surprise. After coming down from the shock and mobilizing a defense, the Israeli state forged its citizens' shock into hate to justify a brutal bombing campaign against Gaza. Centered mainly around the initial attack on October 7th, 1,405 Israelis have died and 5,431 have been injured1. Between the 7th and the 23rd, 5,087 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed and 15,273 wounded in Israeli airstrikes while 95 Palestinians have been killed and 1,650 injured in the West Bank.2
The number of casualties in these past weeks gestures to the real dynamics at play not just in this so-called “Israel-Gaza War,” but also in the larger Israel-Palestine conflict. This is not a struggle between equal forces. The most large-scale attack by Palestinian militants in a generation comes nowhere near the scale of Palestinians massacred in Israel’s latest bombing campaign. The reality is that Israel is a colonial power with the backing of the strongest empires in the world, most notably the United States. Palestinians who still live in historic-Palestine on the other hand are functionally stateless, occupied, subject to daily violence and an Apartheid regime, and exist as refugees and prisoners in their own land.
The current situation is yet another exposure of the sick joke known as the “Peace Process” initiated by the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel in 1993. The Oslo Accords promised to initiate a peace-process which would resolve decades of intermittent war and perpetual violence by pursuing a “two-state solution” which would give Palestinians and Israelis their own separate states. These promises have been exposed time and time again to be lies. Oslo created the “Palestinian Authority,” which ostensibly created self-rule for Palestinians in the West Bank. In reality the Palestinian Authority is a collaborationist regime which serves the interests of Israel. The PA has refused to resist Israeli occupation, settler seizures of Palestinian land, IDF murders of civilians, and the dystopian system of checkpoints in the Palestinians’ “state' in the name of preserving this sham peace-process. After decades of the Oslo Accords reality, Palestinians are no closer to having real self-determination — even in the restricted borders of the West Bank and Gaza which were promised to them. More and more Palestinians have shown that they are done with this fake peace process and searching for new means to struggle against the hell Israel has put them in.
One of the key ways in which Israel legitimizes itself and its crimes on the international plane is through its claim to representation of Jewish people and Jewishness in general. The ruling class of Israel tries to equate its interests with the interests of Jews as a whole and thus claims the right to self-determination (and thus defense) and attacks its critics as anti-semites. This whole logic is rich.
As revolutionary socialists, we fight today, and have fought for generations, to destroy anti-semitism. We look to the history of Jewish socialists and communists in organizations like the Jewish Labor Bund in Eastern Europe which pinpointed the reactionary nature of Zionism from its earliest days. Jewish radicals fought for liberation against anti-semitism in their societies and held out for a vision of real equality and liberation for all on the basis of the interests of the international working class. On the other hand, Zionism is inextricably linked with colonial oppression. The ideological founders of Zionism like Theodore Herzl aimed to convince European imperialist powers to allow them self-determination as settler-colonists in lands occupied by the imperialists. The ideological inheritors of Hertzl got to try out their project with the backing of most of the world when Israel was recognized in 1948. The unfortunate truth is that Israel has no real interest in fighting anti-semitism. Their project is for the creation of a reactionary ethno-nationalist state predicated on colonial occupation. We stand, like the Bund did before us, for the total destruction of anti-semitism through doing away with class society and all its vile consequences. Zionism stands in the way of this struggle for socialism and real equality.
Central Ohio Revolutionary Socialists offers our unconditional support to the Palestinian struggle for liberation by any means necessary. We support the Palestinian struggle 100% because we believe no people should have to live under colonial rule or as exiles from their homeland. The existence of Israel in its current form requires the subjugation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. But we do not only support Palestinians when they are the victims of this criminal apartheid regime. We call on all progressive people to support Palestinians when they resist by whatever means they deem necessary. Palestinians are killed and their murders justified whether they resist “nonviolently” or otherwise. To truly stand for self-determination means recognizing Palestinians’ right to fight for their own liberation.
As working-class radicals in the United States, we feel a special responsibility to Palestinians and their struggle. For most of its existence, Israel has functioned as an outpost of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. The United States props up Israel with billions of dollars a year to create more weapons for the oppression of the Palestinians. As socialists in the belly of the beast of empire, we are specially placed to mobilize and fight back against U.S. imperialism. We have worked and will continue to work to construct a mass anti-imperialist movement in this country which can force our ruling class to stop propping up Israel and ultimately do away with American imperialism in general. The greatest service Americans can render to the world is to bring down this empire and pull the boot off the neck of millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.
The path to equality and liberation for all people living in historic-Palestine is through the Palestinian struggle. Israel’s existence as a settler-colonial state creates dynamics which distort its internal political dynamics. Like in South African apartheid, the immediate prospects for unity between progressive people of both the oppressor and the oppressed identity are marginal. Apartheid invests even the workers of the oppressor identity with a real immediate interest in the preservation of the current state of things. It is only through the elimination of the apartheid system and the privileges it engenders by the oppressed that unity between workers across identities can be secured.
We believe in one secular and socialist state in historic-Palestine which guarantees the rights and freedoms of people of all backgrounds. We will continue fighting against U.S. imperialism until not a single cent more is going to oppress the Palestinians and eventually imperialism as a whole is toppled. We stand in solidarity with Palestinians for the granting of all their fundamental rights, including true self-determination and the right to return for all Palestinian refugees displaced from their homes since the Zionist movement began to dispossess them through violence. No matter how invincible the established order seems now, as long as the system depends on oppression and exploitation it will breed resistance. So long as Palestinians are in chains, none of us are free.
We have nothing to lose but our chains! The struggle continues — until final victory!