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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

The old remember…

…the young people wait. The 15th May is Nakba Day. On that day in 1948 the first ArabIsraeli war began. It has never ended. But the tragedy of the Palestinian Arabs began when British imperialism first occupied their land in 1918 and encouraged Zionist immigration through the Balfour doctrine. British imperialism sought to create a community of Zionist settlers that would prolong their occupation of Palestine indefinitely. The Zionists helped British colonialism crush the Palestine Revolt in 1936. But following the defeat of the Axis in 1945 the Zionists seized the opportunity to push for a separate state of their own. In 1948 the British colonial mandate ended and the State of Israel was proclaimed.

The first war led to the expulsion of around a million Palestinian Arabs from their homes by the Zionist regime. Those refugees and their descendants have never given up their right to return to their land. And this is the heart of the crisis that has led to five fullscale conflicts, endless confrontation and the current war in Gaza.

The Zionists originally wanted the entire Middle East “from the Nile to the Euphrates” and Israel’s ruling cliques still cling to the dream of turning the whole of Palestine into a “Greater Israel”. They claim 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 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 due to its isolation and total dependency on American imperialism.

Israel is economically and politically entirely dependent on American arms and economic assistance and successive Israeli governments exist simply to serve the needs of American imperialism in the region. And those needs are to weaken and divide the Arabs to ensure that the big oil corporations can continue their exploitation and plunder of Arab oil until it eventually runs out.

At the end of the day Israel is an American protectorate that can do nothing without the say-so of Washington. The tail does not wag the dog and Israel and the American “Zionist lobby” do not dictate American foreign policy. They serve it.

The Americans say they want a “twostate solution” that would leave Arab Jerusalem and large swathes of occupied Palestinian West Bank territory under Israeli occupation in exchange for largely under-developed land around the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians get a powerless, puppet regime in what’s left of the West Bank and the refugees, now millions strong, get nothing. And even these crumbs are too much for the current Israeli government, which wants to keep all the occupied territories open for continued Zionist settlement.

The Americans think they call all the shots in the Middle East today. They believe that all resistance can be crushed and they hope to find willing Arab tools to do their bidding, hoist up the white flag and sign a surrender peace.

But imperialist violence always leads to an equally violent resistance. Imperialism’s refusal to recognise this has led to the spiral of violence and terror that triggered the first Arab-Israeli war that has now spread across the entire world. 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.