MS Statement on the Intifada

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxx at xxxxxx.xx
Sat Feb 17 20:09:52 MST 2001

Nestor Gorojovsky" <Gorojovsky at> wrote

> Only the military defeat of the Israeli bourgeoisie can bring "genuine peace".
> Thus, it is not the "working class" in abstraction of the concrete relation
> between the Israeli and the Palestinian working class who will defeat "the
> capitalists". Ma'avak Sozialisti puts in the same place the Israeli
> bourgeoisie
> and the Palestinian bourgeoisie, which is a strategic mistake.

In his next email, Nestor draws an analogy between Israel and Northern
Ireland. Let's apply that analogy here for a moment. Would it be true to say
that "only the military defeat of the Unionist bourgeoisie can being
'genuine peace' in Northern Ireland?" That it is necessary for the Republic
of Ireland to invade and conquer Ulster in order to bring peace? Or would it
be more accurate to say that a revolution in Ulster is necessary and for
that revolution to occur it's necessary for the Protestant and Catholic
working class to work together to overthrow the bourgeoisie... only then can
the question of uniting Ireland be raised? The Nationalist minority in
Northern Ireland does not have the capability to militarily defeat the state
on its own, the only way this can be done is through the intervention of the
bourgeois Republic of Ireland. Is this the solution you advocate?

Similarly, the Palestinian population of Israel and the Palestinian
Authority do not have the capability to militarily overthrow the Israeli
Jewish majority. The only way this could occur is through the military
intervention of Egypt and Syria with the backing of the Gulf States. The
government they would install would not be a socialist one to say the least.

>> After all the blood that has been needlessly spilled in the last days,
>> we stand today facing the danger of an even more unnecessary regional
>> war, that will multiply the number of victims of the idiotic policy of
>> solving political problems by military means.
> This kind of unprincipled pacifism makes me sick. "Needlessly" spilled blood
> has been a strong force in showing the Palestinians their determination to
> exist. And which are the "necessary" regional wars? Those between both Israeli
> and Palestinian workers against their bourgeoisies, I assume. Every battle
> waged against national oppression of Palestine is necessary. That the
> bourgeois
> leadership of Palestine may make this war a bloody defeat is a completely
> different matter.
> I am particularly disgusted at what follows:
>> And the political
>> problems are clear to everyone who looks at the situation with open
>> eyes: Barak and his government did not even try to solve even one of
>> the social and economic problems that brought them to power, that hurt
>> both Jews and Arabs, and Barak's promises to bring and end to the
>> national dispute sound today like a sad joke. On the other hand,
>> Arafat and his partners who lead the Palestinian Authority used their
>> leadership in order to line their own pockets, and those of their
>> cronies, and to base the Palestinian Authority on a repressive,
>> corrupt regime.
> First of all, it looks as if the Palestinian Authority and its evolution had
> nothing to do with Israeli abiding presence in the area. And, second, who are
> these Israeli Jewish leftists to lecture their Palestinian counterparts on the
> qualities of their own leadership. This is outrageous.

I don't think this is what MS is saying at all while I agree that Israeli
occupation of the Palestinian territory is oppressive I don't think it
follows that this is the sole cause of repression and corruption by the PA.
>> Events of the last days prove beyond doubt that it is impossible to
>> genuinely solve the national question under capitalism, by way of
>> discussion between two leaderships, whose narrow political and social
>> base continues to be reduced on a daily basis, and by means of the
>> peace accords that serve only a small minority of capitalists on both
>> sides, and US imperialism. Arafats weakness is revealed in the fact
>> that he was forced to include the Hamas in government, and allow them
>> to appear in the Palestinian media, and release Hamas prisoners.
> So that Hamas is a problem? Oh, but this is exactly what one would expect to
> hear from Galley Tza'hal, the official radio station of the Israeli army. Not
> from a Leftist group.

I suspect leftist Palestinians would also see Hamas as a problem, at least
the ones I know do.
>> Arafat was forced to do all this in order to stay in power. In Israel,
>> Baraks government has never been weaker, and is based as it is on only
>> a quarter of members of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). Barak, who
>> disappointed his voters in every possible way, will perhaps succeed in
>> including the Likud under Ariel Sharons leadership in a national unity
>> govrenment, under cover of the noise of war drums, but such a step
>> will only prove the governments weakness, and will not flow from the
>> national interest.
> One can, of course, miss the target when predicting. But these guys of MS
> have,
> in my own opinion, aimed at the priest while hitting the bell tower.
>> Only the Israeli working class and the Palestinian
>> masses can show the way forward to bring genuine peace
> No peace can be genuine without the _previous_ dissolution of the State
> of Israel. The existence of that state, even of a socialist Israel, spells
> war.
> So that when MS states that the acquisition of full statehood by
> Palestinians without "overthrowing Arafats rotten

It's not possible to have a socialist Israel without first overthrowing the
existing state. This is a given which you don't acknowledge.

>> capitalist regime, will not release the
>> Palestinians from the political and economic oppression of their own
>> capitalists and from continued economic exploitation by Israeli
>> capitalism, [which] will not amount to genuine independence. "
> They are looking at the neighbour's dirty linen without realizing that this
> linen has been stained, basically, by the Israelis _as a whole_ (it is not the
> bourgeoisie, it is _also_ the working class while it does stick to the
> bourgeois rule).

Is MS not calling on the Israeli working class to rise up against their
bourgeoisie as well?
> Failing to see this implies that Palestinians are requested
> to
> struggle against Arafat, which can be done, instead of fighting against Barak
> or Sharon in an "unnecessary" war. It is obvious that

Not at all since a  paragraph (omitted in your email) reads
 "A genuine, grass-roots socialist leadership in the West Bank and Gaza
   could demand the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian areas,
   the overthrow of Arafats corrupt regime and the establishment of an
   independent, socialist Palestine. Instead of fanning national and
   religious hatred, such a leadership could explain who the real enemy
   is the capitalist class that rules on both sides, and the corrupt
   politicians that serve them. At the same time, a class socialist
   leadership of Israeli Palestinians could make an appeal to Jewish
   workers to struggle together with them in order to overthrow the hated
   Barak government, and for the overthrow of the corrupt capitalist
   system, to be replaced with a socialist workers government, that would
   serve the real interests of the Jewish and Arab masses."

You imply that MS is saying fighting Barak and Sharon is "unnecessary"...
this is hardly the case since they are calling upon Palestinians and Jewish
workers to "struggle together" to overthrow Barak.

MS is also not calling upon the Palestinians to cease the uprising but " a
   leadership with a clear programme, strategy and a set of demands, able
   to link up with Israeli workers based on a class appeal, and channel
   this energy and sacrifice into positive gains."

Clearly, what is outlined as an alternative is Jewish and Palestinian
workers uniting to overthrow capital.

>> An
>> independent capitalist state will not fulfill Palestinian hopes to
>> genuine freedom from oppression, and the elimination of poverty,
>> unemployment and exploitation,
> but for reasons very different than those imagined by MS. Because their
> condescension towards the Palestinians makes them reduce "their struggle for
> genuine independence" to the above chart of economic, social, rights. Genuine
> independence, for the Palestinians, includes FIRST AND FOREMOST their right to
> to establish their own kind of social justice,

On the contrary, I think you are demonstrating a liberal condescension by
arguing that Palestinians have a different type of social justice from
everyone else. This is the same sort of thinking that excuses the oppression
of women in certain countries on the grounds of cultural identity.
Socialists don't believe in the social justice of the international working
class and do not condescend or pander to cultural differences by implying
that, somehow, Palestinians or Hindus or First Nations are somehow
culturally programmed to except their "own kind" of justice.

 and a state that will ensure
> their ability to militarily defeat Israel. Of course, this cannot be done by
> the Palestinians alone, which is the second part of MS's mistakes: they don't
> even hint that the struggle for revolution in Israel and Palestina is a
> constitutive part of the struggle for the national Arab revolution.
> National independence, for these great nation socialists, is reduced to a
> progressive kind of "developmentism". And this is proclaimed in the name of
> a Committee for a Workers' International!!!!!

Well, it's interesting that you call MS, who raise the call for Palestinian
and Jewish working class unity against capitalism "great nation socialists"
when you revert to a call for narrow ethnic nationalism with your call
insistance that only a national Arab revolution (by your context, I assume
you mean a Pan-Arab nationalist revolution) can liberate the Palestinians.
Your argument that a Marxist has no right to criticise the leadership of
other groups smacks of this same liberal condescension as well as the US
SWP/USFI syndrome of "uncritical support" for whoever happens to be leading
a given national struggle, no matter how rotten the leadership. This has led
the USFI and SWP to simply tail the IRA, PLO, ANC etc. You're making the
same unMarxist error. The Israeli and Palestinian economies are greatly
integrated as are Arab and Jewish populations. It's far more realistic to
call for these two working classes to unite and overthrow their bourgeois
leadership then it is to expect the Palestinian working class to wait until
the working class (to the extent that it exists) of the rest of the Arab
world to become revolutionary and link up with a Palestinian working class
they are largely disengaged from.

> Well, this is all I have to say on this kind of Tzahal Socialism.
> Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
> gorojovsky at


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