End the Genocide Against Palestine! End the Settler-Colonial Occupation!
End the Genocide Against Palestine! End the Settler-Colonial Occupation!
by Michael Novick, Anti-Racist Action-Los Angeles/People Against Racist Terror (ARA-LA/PART)
War crimes and crimes against humanity are being carried out daily by Israel, not only in Gaza, but in denying the right to return to those displaced in 1948 and in 1967, and in the West Bank, where land theft and settler violence, supported and reinforced by the Israeli military, is taking place. The Zionist apartheid Israeli state occupies not only all the territory of historic Palestine “from the river to the sea”, but has occupied and claims to have incorporated into Israel part of the territory of Syria (an illegal action recognized by the US under Trump).
Israeli government officials in the ultra-right Netanyahu regime have openly called for the absorption by “greater Israel” of not only the West Bank and Gaza, but also Jordan and Lebanon as well. They have sought the expulsion of all Palestinians from Gaza into the Sinai desert peninsula that is part of Egypt (which Israel had at one point invaded and conquered but eventually returned to Egypt as part of a ‘peace’ settlement that incorporated Egypt’s autocratic government into a US-led effort to control and contain the Palestinian struggle). Israel has previously invaded (but withdrawn from) Lebanon as well as Egypt (twice; the first time jointly with England and France to try to seize the Suez Canal).
Anti-Zionism is NOT antisemitism, as Israel and its pro-Zionist supporters in the US and other Western imperialist governments and countries loudly and forcefully proclaim. Rather, as the naked realities of Israel’s genocidal attacks and cut-off of food, water and medicine to Gaza make clear, anti-Zionism is the only principled position to take. It is a position of de-colonization as a path toward human liberation, justice and equality for all, including Jewish people residing in Palestine. Historically, in fact, there is abundant evidence that it is Zionism that is antisemitic and contrary to Jewish values, teachings and ethics.
It is Zionists who hate and oppress Jews who do not accept their ideology, Zionists who collaborated with the Nazi regime to try to populate Palestine, Zionists who labeled European or other Jews as weak and blamed them for their oppression, Zionists who claim falsely to speak for all Jews or the Jewish people. It’s Christian Zionists who support Israel as a step towards the conversion all Jews into worshipers of Jesus Christ as god. Zionism is not the “national liberation movement of the Jewish people,” but a settler colonial project allied to and integrated within capitalist Western imperialism led by the US. Israel was created by stealing a land already fertile and filled with people struggling for independence in a perverse effort at settler-colonial “nation-building.” That’s why white nationalists who hate Jews and see them as alien threats to their racial purity perversely support Israel as an example of the kind of ethno-state they want to build.
The UN-sanctioned “partition” of Palestine that led to the Nakba, the catastrophe of massacres and expulsions of Palestinians, was part of the post-WWII Cold War division of societies globally designed to contain the threat of anti-colonial and other revolutionary struggles through the age-old tactic of “divide and conquer”. East Germany and South Vietnam are no more, but imperialism has made the division of India between Hindus and Muslims stick, just like the division between Muslims and Jews in historic Palestine. US imperialism has since used the same techniques to turn socialist Yugoslavia into warring ethnic mini-states by dividing Catholic Croats, Orthodox Serbs and Muslim Bosnians or Kosovans.
The creation of Western-oriented Israel is in the tradition of the European division and map creation in North and Sub-Saharan Africa based on the colonizers’ needs or areas over which they held sway, like Anglophone or Francophone colonies, or so-called “German South West Africa” or the “Belgian Congo” where earlier displacements and genocides of Indigenous peoples took place. The creation and steady diminution of the “occupied territories” is similar to the genocidal US creation of “reservations” for Indigenous peoples and nations, or the South African creation of “Bantustans” to confine the Black African population during the days of apartheid. Israel is no more legitimate than the claim that Algeria was a part of France, or that Puerto Rico “belongs to but is not part of” the United States.
We must oppose US arms, financial aid and other support to Israel, including the training of US police forces in colonial control of populations. We must oppose Israeli arms sales, surveillance and espionage tech, and training for various reactionary regimes (including for Azerbaijan’s recent genocidal attack on Armenians in Artsakh (AKA Nagorno-Karabakh). We must also halt US arms sales to and support for reactionary Arab regimes that oppress their own people and collaborate with Zionist Israel.
This includes Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Palestinian Authority, which has become an enforcer for the Israeli occupation. It’s no wonder that many Palestinians turned to Hamas — especially since part of Israel’s (and the US) divide and conquer strategy was always to promote and support Hamas and similar formations like Iran’s mullahs, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, or reactionary and militarist Muslim forces in Indonesia.
Israel and the US ran the risk of “blowback,” of the anti-socialist political Islamist forces they backed “biting the hand that fed them”, and that has come true in Palestine as it did in Iran and Afghanistan. If there have been atrocities committed by those forces, part of the blame lies with the US and Israeli officials like Netanyahu and the late unlamented Henry Kissinger or Zbigniew Brzezinski, who funded and encouraged their formation to block social liberatory and/or Islamic “liberation theology” forces.
ARA-LA/PART advocates for, not a one-state or a two-state solution, but a “no-state” solution — a revolutionary inter-communal direct democratic alliance of anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist Christians, Jews, Muslims, those of other or no faiths and humanists into a joint effort at decolonization. We must strive to create an egalitarian multicultural secular society based on solidarity and the free association of the working people and land and water protectors regardless of religion, ethnicity or language.
This will require Jews of conscience within current Israel and globally to abandon the goal of a “Jewish state” based on ethnic cleansing and apartheid. It means ending the state imposed and enforced barriers to the right of return and the free migration of people. It means ending US support for Zionism and for dictatorial, reactionary Arab or Muslim regimes. Ultimately it is a step towards the dismantling of the settler colonial US empire state itself. This is the true meaning and example of the Intifada — Uprising — of the indomitable Palestinian people, and the lesson and example they provide for all oppressed, colonized, exploited and struggling people and people of conscience in the US and elsewhere.
Responses and feedback on this, as all of PART’s Perspectives, is welcome. Email [email protected]. We hope to print further dialogue on these issues, and on how to build the growing direct action resistance to the US-back Israeli war crimes. Free, free Palestine! Free us all!