Excerpted from a talk given by Monica Moorehead, a Workers World newspaper managing editor and editor of “Marxism, Reparations and the Black Freedom Struggle,” at a panel she chaired on “Voices and Defenders of the Palestinian Resistance” during the International Assembly against Imperialism in Solidarity with Palestine. It was held on Jan. 21 in New York City at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.
I am so proud to be chairing this session on the voices and supporters of the heroic Palestinian resistance at this anti-imperialist assembly honoring the centennial death of the legendary leader of the great Bolshevik Revolution, Vladimir Lenin.
And as a Black communist, I think one of Lenin’s greatest theoretical contributions that is still omnipresent has to do with national oppression and the right to self-determination for oppressed nations rooted in imperialism, regardless of geographical location or historical experience, which is the driving force for the billionaire ruling class to garner superprofits.
Lenin’s theory has influenced not only our party but other revolutionaries and revolutionary movements. For instance, the great Malcolm X, who took his last breath in this historic venue almost 60 years ago, once said in his 1964 essay, “Zionist Logic,” that “The ever-scheming European imperialists wisely placed Israel where she could geographically divide the Arab world.”
In 1966, Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton wrote: “Israel was created by Western imperialism and is maintained by Western firepower.”
Our party understood the significance of the Palestinian anti-colonialist, national liberation struggle when, just eight years after our founding in 1959, we organized the first left demonstration in the U.S. in solidarity with Palestine, which was physically attacked by the pro-Zionist Jewish Defense League.
Fourteen years later, following the election of Ronald Reagan, our party helped to organize a march of 100,000 against the Pentagon war on El Salvador where, for the first time, a Palestinian was invited to speak at a major U.S. anti-war rally.
From the First Intifida in the late 1980s to today, notwithstanding the unspeakable genocide taking place today in Gaza and the West Bank, Palestine has taken center stage in the world struggle against imperialism. Not only has this anti-imperialist struggle been galvanized by the unity of Palestinian resistance forces, but this unity has helped forge unity amongst movements across borders, despite any ideological differences. And this growing unity and solidarity is scaring the imperialists to death.
This solidarity spanning globally will help deepen anti-imperialist class consciousness, the epitome of Leninism, that will impact not only the workers in the Global South but also in the Global North to reflect that the struggle knows no borders.
The South Africa complaint that put Israeli genocide on trial worldwide helped to deepen this class consciousness, but it won’t stop there, because now South Africa, with the backing of almost 80 governments, has announced plans to take the U.S. and Britain to the world court for their war crimes of being complicit with this genocide of the Palestinian people. The governments of Indonesia, Chile and Mexico are filing their own complaints against Israeli genocide.
Even if these legal complaints are politically symbolic, they are important barometers that reflect the millions of outraged masses over the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and will further isolate Israel and its main backers — Western imperialism, led by the U.S. And not only must those of us inside the belly of the beast defend the resistance inside of Palestine, but beyond Palestine.
We all know that Yemen has shown solidarity with Palestine, not only in words, but in action — with literally millions in the streets. And their Naval Forces have prevented numerous Israeli cargo ships from enjoying safe passage through the Red Sea until direly needed humanitarian aid is allowed into Gaza. And since then, Yemen has faced ruthless bombing from both the U.S. and its junior partner Britain against its civilian population as punishment for its principled stance.