Following the UN resolution criticising Israel for its settler policy, the government there has called on people like you to defend the State of Israel. You are being asked to place your faith in the Zionist hope for a nationalist solution to the historic persecution of Jewish people. In precisely the same way, Arab workers and peasants are being urged to identify with the nationalist claims of the P.L.O. and the oil-rich sheiks of the Middle East. Both sides use flag-waving, anthem singing and brutal militarism to whip up support for their versions of nationalism. Each side accuses the other of committing criminal atrocities; each side claims to be standing for "justice".
Socialists are free of the blinkered nationalism and emotional
sloganising which characterises most of the popular debate about the
Middle East. We see the conflict between Israel and the Arab states as
part of a struggle over the ownership and control of markets,
territories, resources and strategic positions.
It is a struggle which
is of supreme importance to the small minority of capitalists who own
and control the world's means of wealth production and distribution, but
which is of no material interest to the majority of people, who possess
little more than their ability to work.
An Israeli worker has more in common with an Arab worker than they do
with any of the wealthy capitalists who own most of Israel. The homeless
Arabs who are forced to live in refugee camps have a joint interest
with the Israeli workers who are struggling to pay the rent in a
situation of inflation. They have absolutely nothing in common with the
parasitic oil sheiks who live in luxury at their expense. The real
division in the Middle East, as elsewhere, is not between nations, but
You own no country. You have little or no property to defend. So why express solidarity with an illusory "homeland"?
It was nationalism which led to the atrocious Nazi murder of millions of
Jews. It is the latest crisis of world capitalism which has led to a
recent intensification of racist and anti-Semitic rabble-rousing. So why
contribute to pro-nationalist and pro-capitalist propaganda ?
A secure future will arise from the ashes of all national boundaries
once the world and all of its resources are commonly owned and
democratically controlled by the whole community, without distinction of
race or sex, there will be a society of genuine peace. Instead of
crying out in favour of the divisiveness of national boundaries, join
in the urgent struggle to create a society where battles over oil wells
and pipelines will be confined to the history books and the weapons of
bloody war will belong in the museums.