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What more can we do for Palestine?
Issued by: CPGB-ML
Issued on: 21 January 2017
What more can we do for Palestine?The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is an effective campaigner in support of the Palestinian people, who have been robbed of their country, land, homes and wellbeing; and who have either been reduced to the status of second-class non-citizens within apartheid Israel and the Occupied Territories or subjected to a state of permanent siege in Gaza, where they are regularly subjected to bombing raids; and who in Israel and the West Bank are regularly subjected to land seizures for building settlements that are illegal even by the standards of the UN, benign though it is in its dealings with fascist Israel; and who are also routinely subjected to collective punishments that are illegal under international law. 

The PSC brings all these atrocities to public attention, so that it is becoming more and more difficult to turn a blind eye to the plight of the Palestinian people. It also supports action of various kinds, especially the BDS campaign, which has riled the Israeli fascists to such an extent that they have mobilised their supporters all over the world to criminalise the organisation of boycotts and to persecute those involved in them.

Silencing the truth

Israel’s imperialist backers in the US and Europe are now seeking to criminalise as ‘hate speech’ any support for the human rights and just demands of the Palestinian people, and so all criticism of Israel is being labelled as ‘antisemitism’. 

Many prominent supporters of justice for the Palestinians have been branded as racist antisemites because they criticised Israel, the concept of zionism, the idea that jewish people have the right to a ‘homeland’ on Palestinian territory, or only because they mention crimes being committed by the Israeli state on a daily basis against the Palestinian people.

But the fact is that if decent-minded people had a duty to denounce the crimes committed by the Nazis against jewish people, then they have an equal duty to denounce the crimes being committed by the Israeli fascists against the Palestinians, which are only tolerated by the jewish-Israeli population because they are fed an incessant diet of rabid anti-Arabism by the zionist media. 

Such is the hold of this reactionary ideology on a significant section of jews in Israel that only recently massive demonstrations were held in support of a soldier who had been convicted of manslaughter (not even murder!) for shooting dead a 21-year-old Palestinian who was lying disarmed, wounded and helpless on the ground.

Despite his conviction, the soldier was filmed outside the court looking mightily pleased with himself. Israel may not put Palestinians in concentration camps or gas chambers as the Nazis did with the jews, but the Palestinians in Israel, the Occupied Territories and Gaza still suffer horrendous oppression designed to force as many as possible to emigrate, including mass incarceration in inhuman conditions without trial.

It is hard in imperialist Britain to stand up against the crimes of Israel, and it’s going to get harder. Israel’s founding was supported by British imperialists as a way to introduce into the oil-rich middle east a large population that would serve their interests against those of the local Arab population.

Although US imperialism has stepped into Britain’s shoes as the zionists’ main patron, Israel is still the most ardent defender of imperialism’s oil interests – which include securing reliable supplies, being able to cut off supplies to rivals, and controlling oil pipeline and shipping routes.

Any effective popular opposition to Israel is thus a serious threat to imperialist interests.

Closing down all dissent by force is a fairly recent development. The ruling classes of the imperialist countries, being only a very tiny minority, generally prefer to rule by the active or passive consent of the masses, which is usually brought about through imperialism’s propaganda mechanisms: the media, academia, literature, schools etc.

This is backed up by the use of blacklisting organisations to blight the career and employment prospects of those who do not tow the imperialist line. As a result, those who are ‘successful’ in bourgeois politics, academia or the union bureaucracies tend to be those who do not oppose imperialism in any meaningful sense.

When such people agree to ally with progressive organisations they can be valuable in spreading their message to a wide audience, but they will tend to act as a brake on any activity that really threatens imperialist interests.

What can we do?

There is much that British workers have the power to do in support of Palestine that for the moment is not even being asked of them, often because of the insistence of influential people whose careers depend on not rocking the imperialist boat.

Such people must not be allowed to prevent British workers rising to perform their proletarian internationalist and humanitarian duty.

British imperialism supports the fascist state of Israel by: (a) giving it an almost exclusively favourable press – although it sometimes reports Israeli criminal actions against the Palestinians, it tends to blame the Palestinians for resisting and it always plays down the illegality and severity of what has been done; (b) supplying it with every kind of military hardware; (c) trade and investment; and (d) collaborating with it for the dissemination of information.

The BDS movement has successfully challenged some of this, but we are not only consumers but workers. All those whose work in any way supports the Israeli fascist state need support to help them end their participation in Israel’s war crimes and human rights abuses.

It is essential for all those who honestly abhor Israel’s crimes to redouble their efforts on the streets, in workplaces, schools, colleges and trade unions to organise a truly mass movement of non-cooperation with Israeli war crimes.

All parts of the war machine need to be actively stopped from functioning.

Media workers should refuse to write war propaganda or to publish or broadcast it. They should be reminded that taking any part in creating such propaganda makes them war criminals too, according to principles established at Nuremberg.

Those who are making munitions for Israel need the backing of their unions so that they can collectively refuse to continue with such work. 

Those who provide any goods or services to Israel and to the settlements need to be organised en masse to withdraw their labour-power from such work and explain exactly why they are doing so to the rest of the British public.

Supermarket workers should feel empowered to refuse to put Israeli products on the shelves.

Transport workers should be organised to refuse to carry anything to or from Israel, especially armaments.

Let the imperialists discover the truth of the slogan raised by workers all over the world: “In our thousands in our millions, we are all Palestinians!”

No cooperation with Israeli war crimes or human rights violations!
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