Sunday, October 02, 2016

Erase Israel (and Palestine)

Israel is something of a hot potato in the Labour Party these days, with accusations of anti-semitism being bandied about for being the least bit critical of Israel even though the Israeli government has just approved the construction of nearly 100 new housing units with an additional 200 units slated to be approved by the authority at a later date in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh to compensate homeowners of the nearby outpost of Amona ahead of its court-ordered evacuation and demolition. The Supreme Court has on several occasions ordered Amona built illegally on private Palestinian land to be dismantled. However, the government has repeatedly put off razing the community, despite court-ordered deadlines.

The Socialist Party wishes to state for the record that we stand for the abolition of Israel and wiping its borders from the map.

Before the cries of protest that we are anti-semitic, may we also point out that we do not support the creation of a Palestinian state, nor endorse the One-state/Two state solution. We also support the abolition of the UK, Ireland, Canada and every other damn country in the world. We choose the No-State alternative

We are “One-World Socialists” who are opposed to nationalism and national “liberation”.  Consequently, we are not singling out the Israeli nation-state for any specific opposition, but maintaining our consistent approach to refuting the idea that national independence is of benefit to oppressed groups.

We take the class line. That in the end, a nation state is a unit of property, and that Jewish people do not own Israel, Jewish capitalists do, the rest remaining wage slaves who are exploited by them as own and control the state. Changing national boundaries just means a change in ownership and management, the wage slaves remain wages slaves nonetheless. Hitching a ride with the new owners does not guarantee any safety for these wage-slaves, no extra protection, merely the opportunity to be dragooned into the defense of their masters’ property. Only the struggle for common and democratic ownership of the world by the human race can alleviate the suffering caused by oppression and power. In any conflict, we are on the side of the workers. Thus, in Israel and Palestine, the cause of the working class, is diminished by every worker slain by a suicide bomber or bomber jet. Every child blown up, every person killed by a rocket attack or missile strike, are losses to the army of socialism.

War itself is a noxious evil for the workers, an anti-democratic machine that saps our productive strength and our capacity to work together and co-operate - a fact learnt in every workplace. Hence why we take the position, of peace at any price. Capitalist peace, that is, when the organised slaughter is suspended, and the workers have the opportunity to organise and build consciously and directly to take power, peacefully, in their own interest. Better an 'unjust' peace, with one bunch of capitalists screwed over by the other, with the boundary drawn in the wrong place, with the military position emasculated, than to fight in the capitalists' wars. The position is to oppose the conflict in Israel/Palestine as such, and figure the workers' movement as a world-wide force, as the only thing capable of bringing a 'just' resolution, one in which the interests and divisions of capitalist conflict are eradicated.

Workers have no country and it is senseless that Palestinian and Israeli workers continue to butcher one another in a senseless round of tit-for-tat atrocities. Many on the Left will argue that Palestinian nationalism is somehow progressive and different to Israeli nationalism and should therefore be supported. As socialists,  we say that this is a dangerous poison that is being spread by the Left and that no side engaged in such conflict can either speak for the working class as a whole or be an example to it.

History is replete with minorities in existing states using terrorist methods so that a new state may be formed or territory transferred from the “ownership” of one state to another. The working class is never in a position to benefit from this process; it is only in a position to suffer. The working class – by definition the class that does not possess any significant titles to land or private property, including capital – has quite literally nothing to gain from a situation where one group of rulers and owners is replaced by another group.

In the 19th century, when the modern capitalist system was expanding across the globe, national “liberation” struggles, typically led by a local growing capitalist class against the old autocratic empires, were part of the process which swept away the old political arrangements and opened the way forward for liberal democracy and the development of capitalist methods of production. It was often argued that it was in the interests of the working class during this time to take the side of the capitalists against the old autocracies like the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, etc. It was said that this process would open the way up for working class organisation and for the development of an advanced industrial system which is a prerequisite for a socialist society of abundance and free access to available wealth.

Since then, the capitalist system has become a world system. The alleged justification for the working class taking sides in 'national liberation' struggles has now gone if ever it existed and today all such struggles are just deadly battles between sections of the capitalist class, even though it is the workers – imbued with nationalist poison – that naturally enough end up doing the fighting and dying.

The goal of the socialist movement is not to assist in the creation of even more states and more nationalities, but to establish a real world community without frontiers where all states as they currently exist will be destroyed. In a socialist society, communities, towns and cities will have the opportunity to thrive – and people will no doubt feel an attachment to places that are real and tangible – but the 'imagined communities' that are nation states will be consigned to the history books where they belong.

Bill Martin/John Bissett

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