The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 10th February 2017

Justice for Palestine

IT’S ONE THING for a British premier to grovel to the leader of US imperialism — after all they’ve all being doing it since the Second World War. It’s another to crawl to the leader of Israel, who stopped over in London for talks before meeting his new master in Washington.

Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu, who met the Prime Minister on Monday before flying on to meet President Donald Trump, used the occasion to lecture Theresa May on the supposed Iranian nuclear threat. Ms May made clear that her top priority was strengthening trade and investment links with Israel. Both politicians like to strut the world stage — Ms May eager for any diversion from the divisive issue of Brexit within her own Tory ranks, whilst Netanyahu is once again having to fend off corruption charges levelled by his political enemies at home. Only last month he was questioned twice by Israel’s national police anti-fraud unit over his alleged acceptance of tens of thousands of dollars in gifts — cigars, suits, and the like — from wealthy businessmen.

At the end of the day, whatever Ms May or Benyamin Netanyahu say count for nothing in the great scale of things as far as US imperialism is concerned. The British government has little or no influence in the Arab world these days, whereas Israel is totally dependent on US military and economic assistance, and is essentially an American protectorate.

Netanyahu may well be answerable to the White House for his actions, but the British premier is answerable to Parliament and British public opinion.

There are three immediate demands: Britain must review all the Government’s financial relationships with the illegal Zionist settlements in the occupied West Bank and exclude all Zionist settlement goods from British markets; end any talk of a British trade deal with Israel unless Israel complies with international law; and suspend military relations with Israel. British arms exports to Israel clearly violate the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Israel still clings to the dream of dominating the Middle East and colonising Palestine. But its petty ambitions and dreams are not the driving force of Anglo-American imperialism.

The tail does not wag the dog, and Israel and the American “Zionist lobby” do not dictate American foreign policy — they serve it. They provide Anglo-American imperialism with a convenient alibi to play the role of “honest broker” in the Middle East. They enable the feudal Arab oil princes, whose thrones are propped up by imperialist bayonets, to claim that the Arabs’ enemy is not imperialism as such but Israel and the supposedly all-powerful “Zionist lobby”, which pulls the strings in the United States.

In a slightly more sophisticated way, Israel’s ruling circles play the same game, claiming to serve a mythical Zionist ideal as a bulwark against persecution. In reality they simply provide imperialism with cannon fodder for the strategic aims of Anglo-American imperialism. Far from being a Zionist paradise, Israel today is one of the worst places for Jews to live, racked by continuing conflict with Palestinians and economic hardship because of its isolation and total dependency on the USA.

We call for the immediate and unconditional end to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and for a comprehensive peace treaty to end the conflict in the Middle East based on past United Nations (UN) resolutions.

The UN resolutions have provided the basis for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. First of all Israel must withdraw totally from all the occupied territories seized in 1967, including Arab East Jerusalem and Syria’s Golan Heights. The Palestinians must be allowed to establish a state of their own on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinian refugees whose homes are now in Israel must be allowed to return or, if they so wish, be paid appropriate compensation in exchange. All states in the region, including Israel, should have internationally agreed and recognised frontiers guaranteed by all the Great Powers.

A lasting solution must be based on the right of return of refugees and an independent Palestinian state, with Israel giving up all territories seized since 1967.