New Communist Party of Britain
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 who would prolong their occupation of Palestine indefinitely. They helped British colonialism crush the Palestine Revolt in 1936. But in the immediate post-World War II situation 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. On that day the first Arab-Israeli war began. It has never ended.
The first war led to the expulsion of 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 in the Middle East that has led to five full-scale wars and continuing simmering conflicts.
Israel is economically and politically entirely dependent on American imperialism and successive Israeli governments have existed 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.
Anglo-American imperialism is currently promoting a “two-state solution” that would leave Arab Jerusalem and large swathes of occupied Palestinian West Bank territory under Israeli occupation in exchange for largely underdeveloped land around the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian refugees are offered nothing beyond a reunification of families deal, that was first tabled by Israel in the 1950s, and would only apply to 100,000 Palestinians. At the same time Israel refuses to recognise the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, whose forces control the Gaza Strip or accept a fully independent Palestinian state
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 this 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 due to its isolation and total dependency on the United States.
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 resolutions.
The UN resolutions have provided the basis for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. First of all Israel must totally withdraw 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.
Anglo-American imperialism believes it can call all the shots in the Middle East today. The imperialists believe that all resistance can be crushed by brute force and they hope to find willing Arab tools to do their bidding, hoist up the white flag and sign a surrender peace.
In the Middle East 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 began in 1948 as a regional war, to a conflict that now spans the whole 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.