By any means necessary, end the Israeli genocidal invasion and occupation of Gaza
For massive international humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza now.
Condemn all US, European, and Chinese imperialist support for Israel’s genocidal occupation of Gaza – including phoney, “pacifist”, look-the-other-way policies.
The people of Gaza have the right to stay in their homes and defend the right of existence of a Palestinian state
Egypt must open its border with Gaza NOW
Stop the genocide: bombing, starving, invading Gaza is ethnic-cleansing and a war crime
The Biden administration and every government in the world should demand Israel withdraw all its military forces and stop the invasion of Gaza now
The aim of the Netanyahu regime is the suppression of all Palestinian rights in Gaza and the West Bank and the suppression of democracy in Israel for the Arab and Jewish population of Israel opposed to Netanyahu’s authoritarianism, racism, and genocidal policies-in reality, the majority of the people of Israel.
Because there can be no democracy in Israel and no peace in the Middle East as long as the Netanyahu regime remains in power:
- Bring down the Netanyahu government or any other government like it by any means necessary!
- For the alliance of the progressive workers and oppressed of the Middle East
- For the alliance of the mass Israeli Jewish movement defending democracy and peace with the Palestinian struggle against Netanyahu’s neo-fascist coalition and its attack on democracy and all human rights
- Condemn and end all the Israeli government’s genocidal policies in the name of Zionism
- Condemn and end all genocidal, racist, and authoritarian policies wrapped up in the slogan and symbols of Zionism
- Condemn and end all use of Zionism to defend the oppressors against the oppressed
- Zionists must either stand with the oppressed and defenders of democracy, or be recognized as oppressors and enemies of democracy
Renew the Palestinian intifada!
Victory to the Palestinian youth fighting West Bank ethnic-cleansing and the Israeli settler movement
For a new Arab Spring to overthrow the Arab and Middle Eastern allies of US imperialism and the Netanyahu regime
For a new, international, independent movement of the progressive forces of the workers, oppressed, and youth against imperialism, genocide, and war to defeat the global rise of fascism and the united front of the capitalist powers against socialism, equality, and democracy
15 October 2023
The alarm bells are ringing louder and the warning lights are flashing. War criminals are on the loose and committing genocide in Gaza. An unstable world has become even more dangerous – the result of the cynical, racist divide-and-conquer policies that American and the Western imperialists played historically to divide and dominate the Middle East and the Arab world.
This is the State of Israel’s deepest crisis since its foundation in 1948. It is a crisis within Israeli Jewish society and it’s an intensified crisis in the oppression and subjugation of the Palestinian Arab population by the Zionist state. Israel was facing that crisis BEFORE the military forces of Hamas broke out of the Gaza Strip on 7th October. The attacks by Hamas were a response to that crisis – an essentially defensive reaction, in part based on past experience, against the growing Israeli attacks on Palestinians wherever they were, and the all too clear threat that the consolidation of a fascist dictatorship in Israel posed to a continued Arab presence in Palestine.
The imperialists, who are the world’s greatest oppressors and exploiters, did not create and arm Israel out of sympathy for Jewish victims of anti-semitism – Britain in particular had denied entry to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. They exploited the plight of the Jews and exploited the horror of the Holocaust to trap one oppressed people (the Jews) in the role of oppressing another (the Palestinian Arabs). The Arab population has an absolute right to resist that oppression and to call on the Arab people across the Middle East and North Africa to rise up in their support.
The imperialists’ cynical policy is unravelling. That is the cause of the crisis in Palestine/Israel and it is a crisis for the imperialists themselves, one which they can’t resolve. Without a solution Biden, Sunak, Starmer, the leaders of the EU and the Pope can only repeat the mantra “Israel has a right to defend itself” – regardless of Israel’s 75 year history of US & British backed repression, dispossession, and slaughter of Palestinians, and despite the obvious fact that if prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the dictator of some poor country in Africa or South America, Britain or the EU would have got an international arrest warrant out by now and he would be on his way to the Hague to be put on trial for war crimes.
The roots of Israel’s crisis
From the time Israel was created, there were two different Zionist visions of what Israel should be that seemed not to be mutually exclusive. Progressive Zionists believed that Israel should be based on socialist principles and could be a vanguard of democracy in the Middle East. Right-wing Zionists believed that Israel should be a colonial settler state dependent on the US for its survival and therefore prepared to be the consistent supporter and agent of US domination of the Middle East. The Zionist supporters of building a socialist society believed they should and could live in peace with their Arab neighbors. The Zionists tied to US imperialism preferred the expansion of Israel at the expense of their Arab neighbors and an Israeli policy of exploiting the workers and resources of the Arab peoples around them. For a time, Israel had elements of both visions. But inevitably it could not be both. Today the survival of Israel as a settler state require the crushing of democracy in Israel and the genocide of the Palestinian people.
Right-wing Israeli Zionist leaders are facing mounting problems to maintain the goal of a Jewish state on the land of Palestine and thereby maintain their usefulness to Western imperialism. The State of Israel was established with an ostensible right of return for all Jews who wanted to settle there. Following World War II, Israel saw a continuing increase in its Jewish population, driven mainly by a desperate hope for safety more than by Zionist ideology. Over the following period, there have been periodic waves of Jewish immigration from other countries including countries in the Middle east and North Africa, and later a wave of Jewish refugees from the collapsing Soviet Union.
In reality, however, there has always been a problem of sustaining a relatively large Jewish population in Israel, while the Israeli capitalist economy has required maintaining an ever-growing, second-class, underpaid and super-exploited Palestinian Arab labor force. Since the establishment of the Palestinian authorities on the West Bank and in Gaza, the Israeli capitalist economy has treated the Palestinian Arab populations of those territories as a constant source of low paid labor, in reality, essential to the profitability of Israeli capitalism.
Since the 1990s, however, Jewish right-of-return migration to Israel has declined and remains at a very low level. There are no likely sources for a significant wave of new Jewish immigrants, while the political and military situation in the Middle East makes that an unattractive prospect for all but the most zealous Zionists.
At the same time the Arab population is increasing, not just in Gaza and the occupied West Bank but within the borders of Israel. Palestinian Arabs who have Israeli citizenship under a 1950 law now amount to 25% of the citizen population and, despite their second-class status, still have the right to vote.
Moreover, recently the Zionist aim of creating a Jewish economy for the Jewish state has led to a policy of attempting to drastically reduce the use of Arab labor, but without more Jewish immigration, that means relying on short-term migrant labor from non-Arab & non-Muslim countries. In addition, Israel’s geographic position has made it a natural route for growing numbers of refugees, mostly from Africa. Like most countries in today’s world, Israel is becoming increasingly multi-national. Under the circumstances, of course, right-wing Zionism has become more and more openly racist.
Fascist rule in Palestine/Israel
Fascism is a response to the growing contradictions that Zionism faces, which have led to a general move to the right, increased divisions in Israeli Jewish society and greater political instability. There were five general elections in the four years 2019 to 2022. Netanyahu returned to power following the last general election in November 2022. He created a government essentially dominated by its most fascistic elements, including certain of the most fanatical parties of the ‘religious right.’ Many of Netanyahu’s current ministers are disciples of the notorious fascist Rabbi Kahane, whose Kach party was actually banned by the Israeli government in 1988.
We describe the present Israeli government as fascist for objective reasons, not as empty name-calling or just because of the background of its members but based on its policies and actions.
1. Netanyahu’s current government has used its control of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) to change the constitution and take control of the law courts, ending the independence of judges who not infrequently had been a restraining influence on the extreme policies of governments. Netanyahu imposed this policy despite massive protests by Israeli Jews who believe that their state should be a democracy.
2. The government is intensifying the current state of war. Netanyahu has even issued a ‘declaration of war’ against Hamas. They are using this to complete the creation of their dictatorship and silence any Jewish dissent. They have brought Benny Gantz (a former general who leads the ‘opposition’ National Unity alliance) into the ‘war cabinet.’ That move strengthens the fascists’ hold on power and undermines Gantz’s independence.
3. The current Israeli government holds that Palestinian Arabs – including those who currently have Israeli citizenship – have no place in Israel and should have no right to vote. They have stated that the whole historic land of Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan (and perhaps beyond) must be part of Israel and exclude Arabs.
4. The principal base of these Israeli fascists is the huge armed force of Israeli citizens living in the settlements in the occupied West Bank region. These settlements have repeatedly been declared illegal in international law but successive Israeli governments have continued to support them, and successive US, British, and EU governments have done nothing to stop them. This armed force is the agent of genocide and expulsion on the West Bank, launching increasing attacks on the Arab populations, destroying homes, communities, farms, businesses etc. It is officially separate from the state and the actual army, though it is inextricably connected to them.
The most important, extensive and effective Palestinian resistance to this fascist regime is precisely there, in the Israeli occupied West Bank. The so-called ‘Palestinian Authority’ of Mahmoud Abbas has no authority and no democratic mandate – Abbas lost the last election, in 2006, but Israel and the Western powers ignored that and there hasn’t been another one since. It is hated and despised by the great majority of Palestinians as a corrupt tool of the Israeli government. It is the Palestinian youth who are acting independently to organize fighting units in towns and villages, to defend their communities from Zionist settler attacks and take the fight to the enemy.
Liberal Zionists in Israel and their supporters in Europe and North America like to describe that state as the only democracy in the Middle East. They can’t say that now, but the liberal Zionists declare that is their aim and demonstrated their commitment on the streets, in mass protests against the dictatorship’s control of the courts.
The Kahanists say bluntly that a Jewish state in Palestine cannot be democratic. Israel’s history indicates that is true in the existing context, though not entirely for their reasons. The ‘social-democratic’ reputation of Israel in the 1950s could only be maintained once the Zionist militias had used very undemocratic methods to take the Palestinian population and their destroyed homes out of the picture.
In 1993 and 1995, the Oslo Accords 1 and 2 were entered into by the Israeli government, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the US. A United Nations resolution accompanied those Accords calling for Israel to withdraw back to the 1967 borders. Those Accords led to the creation of Gaza and the West Bank as an independent Palestinian mini-state. Today, the Palestinian people are defending their right to maintain and build on that supposedly guaranteed promise. We support the struggle of the Palestinians to defend their fundamental right to self-determination. That right should be defended.
Every progressive force in the world should support the Palestinian struggle to defend the Palestinian state. The Palestinian leadership in both Gaza and the West Bank, together with the Palestinians living in Israel should declare the independence of the Palestinian state and demand the recognition of this Palestinian state by every government in the Middle East and every other government in the world, placing a demand on the international community to keep its promises to the Palestinian people made at the time of the original Oslo Accords. For the Biden Administration, the European governments, China, and the other governments of the world, to either support the current Israeli actions or to do nothing to reverse them is for the entire international community to break their promise to the Palestinian people, and in reality , to the entire peoples of the Middle East. That is, and should be, universally regarded as a profound moral and political crisis of the entire international community and a de facto declaration by the US and other governments that they have no capacity to keep even their most important and “sacred” promises.
We call for the Israeli Jewish movement in defense of democracy and peace to defend the full implementation of the promises made to the Palestinian people to defend their right to create a nation. It is only on this basis that it is possible for a perspective of democracy and peace in the Middle East to survive. It is only on this basis for any notion that Zionism is anything other than a force for oppression to survive this moment in history.
Bitter conflicts fostered by the imperialists’ divide-and-rule strategy over the last 75 years have inevitably built up deep, dehumanizing animosities. We are seeing with the Netanyahu regime how quickly that can become genocidal. It is, in fact, essential to oppose the genocidal messages sent out by certain extremist leaderships on both sides.
Bitter conflicts are not easily erased. Nevertheless, the only feasible road to democracy and equality starts with the defeat and removal of Israel’s fascist regime. Then the promise to the Palestinian people of an independent state of their own must be kept, and the right of the Palestinian people to defend and build that state must be recognized. This is only a first step in the direction of a solution to the historic crisis of the Middle East. But it is essential for a movement uniting the two peoples to fight for the full victory of this limited first step for there to be any real hope of a genuine solution to that crisis.
On the basis of this historic alliance and its determination to fight to win, the struggle for a genuine solution would become a real possibility. The two peoples would then be in a position to create, on the basis of mutual respect, a single bi-national state with freedom of religion, equal political and economic rights, equal language status and guaranteed protections for both communities. The necessity of genuine economic rights and opportunities in that state would require a government of the workers and oppressed and the transition to a socialist economy.
A previous draft in this leaflet contained important political mistakes which have been corrected in this 15 October 2023 final statement. As this text says, the organizations issuing this leaflet unequivocally reject and condemn all messages expressing or implying racism or genocide coming from any side.
15 October 2023
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BAMN – Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights, and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (United States) (855) ASK–BAMN [855.275.2266] firstname.lastname@example.org – bamn.com – IG: @joinbamn Tiktok: @joinbamn
International Trotskyist Committee for the Political
Regeneration of the Fourth International (ITC)
Revolutionary Workers League (U.S.)
Revolutionary Internationalist League (U.K.)