Workers World Party expresses its utmost solidarity with the people of Palestine, who are facing an increased onslaught of U.S.-Israeli aggression.
The Jan. 28 “Peace to Prosperity” plan jointly announced by Israel and the U.S. — after not even the pretense of discussion with the Palestinians — would essentially seize much of what little land is left to Palestinians and continue Israeli military control over an even-more-fragmented Palestine. It would deny the right of return to those driven from their homes and land during the violence of the Nakba in the 1948 formation of Israel.
In 1967, when Israel went to war and seized the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, WWP mounted an outraged and continuing protest of that aggression and affirmed unbending solidarity with Palestine.
Now in 2020, Palestinians are fiercely united in opposition to the Trump-Netanyahu plan, and WWP unites with them in that opposition. (See article titled “ ‘Steal of the century’: Palestinians reject U.S. colonial plan” in this issue.)
The fascistic proposal marks the end of the Oslo Accord pretense of 1993 that it would allow a Palestinian state with any form of independence. The plan is a blatant move to try to end forever the Palestinian struggle for national liberation.
Trump described the plan as the “deal of the century.” But it is more accurately dubbed the “steal of the century” — a blatant land grab in order to create “business opportunities” and a captive workforce to make profits for a flailing and failing capitalist system. As Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network notes, the U.S.-Israeli plan “repeatedly demands of its envisioned Palestinian bantustans that they must be ‘business-friendly,’ welcoming to ‘multinational corporations’ and ‘foreign direct investment.’” (tinyurl.com/wvl4lgh)
Samidoun also notes: “This ‘deal’ blatantly enshrines settler colonialism and Zionism without even a facade of concern for allegedly universal principles of justice, sovereignty, self-determination and international law from which Palestinians are systematically excluded.”
Palestinians are living in apartheid-like confined areas of land, linked only by heavily militarized and fortified Israeli roads and checkpoints. They are frequently deprived of food, water and electricity by Israeli authorities. They are subjected to arbitrary imprisonment, interrogation and execution for defending their right to their homeland — their right to existence.
Palestinian children are shot for throwing stones, their only weapons, at Israeli soldiers armed with bullpup assault rifles that can be fired at will in semi-automatic or full-automatic mode.
Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishment is considered a war crime. But whole Palestinian neighborhoods and communities are collectively punished — homes and olive orchards bulldozed — even if only one person becomes a leader and acts against Israeli occupation.
This new land grab follows the pattern of centuries of capitalist/imperialist crime: settler-colonial occupation and theft of Indigenous lands, genocidal killing of peoples and obliteration of independent nations, exploitation of stolen resources, and building industries for profit with captured or enforced labor.
This has been the death-dealing path of U.S. “Manifest Destiny,” now in league with Israel’s Zionism — both state powers using far-right religion as an excuse to justify crimes against humanity for profit.
For over a hundred years, the Palestinian people have struggled to keep and remain in their homeland — ever since the 1917 Balfour Declaration by the British began the settler-colonial push to take their land.
The situation of the Palestinians became even worse after World War II. The U.S. and other Allies refused to welcome desperate Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe. Instead those countries gave support to a “solution” that pushed Jewish survivors of the Holocaust to settle in what by 1948 would become Israel — at the expense of the Palestinian people who had been living there for generations.
This Jan. 31, as news of the Trump-Netanyahu plan spread through the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in a “Friday of Rage.” And, once more, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at unarmed protesters. Now solidarity actions with Palestine have been happening worldwide and throughout the U.S. from Los Angeles to Boston, Columbia, S.C., to Columbus, Ohio.
Palestinians, united in outrage, have emphasized that solidarity actions should include support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and freedom for Palestinian political prisoners, who are leaders of the liberation movement.
Those of us living inside the U.S. witness and experience every day the horrific impact of an economic and social system built on settler-colonial genocide against Indigenous peoples and theft of their lands as well as enslavement and forced labor of African peoples.
The same vile system is at work this very minute against the Palestinian people. As we struggle for Indigenous sovereignty and Black liberation, as we denounce continued colonization from the Philippines to Puerto Rico, as we fight to support freedom from imperialist austerity in Latin America and paths toward socialism in Cuba and Venezuela, as we fight against the predations of capitalism everywhere — with that same dedication we are in solidarity with the Palestinian people.