Jot Brar speaks following the London demonstration to oppose the latest atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in Gaza. More contributions from the CPGB-ML international solidarity meeting will follow.
Arguably there are no civilians in Israel. It is such a militarised armed camp for the oppression of the Palestinians and facilitating the looting of the Middle East by US, EU, NATO and UK imperialism. Israel has become integral to a colonial system in which the world is dominated by a handful of superrich countries, which have become wealthy by looting resources and exploiting people all over the world.
Britain, the first country to develop capitalism was also the first to grab a modern empire. In the early 20th century, vast oil deposits were discovered under the desert. Suddenly, the rush to secure plentiful and cheap supplies of ‘black gold’ became a key strategic imperative for all imperialists, leading to a cut-throat competition for control of the region.
Zionism and Palestine
Seeing their chance, the early zionists asked Britain’s rulers to let them set up a jewish state in Palestine in exchange for helping to keep the region under British domination.
With Arab nationalism on the rise, the imperialists accepted the offer, looking forward to the creation of a “loyal jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism”.
And, although British masters were later pushed aside by American ones, a ‘loyal jewish Ulster’ is exactly what Israel has remained to this day.
The zionist stooges who destroy Palestinian homes, drop bombs on Palestinian schools, plough up Palestinian crops and poison Palestinian water are bribed by US and British governments and corporations to do imperialism’s dirty work.
In return for helping corporations like BP and Texaco to carry on looting the oil and dominating the people of the whole Middle East, the zionists are given military support and hardware, financial aid, diplomatic immunity, and a campaign of lies and disinformation in the imperialist-controlled media.
Israel was established in an orgy of ethnic cleansing, and has been illegally occupying further Palestinian lands and displacing and wiping out Palestinian families ever since.
War crimes are a daily event in this, the most militarised state in the world. In fact, rather than viewing Israel as a state with a huge military, it is more helpful to realise that Israel is in fact a massive army base that also happens to have some schools. Israeli children are brought up to be Nazi-like stormtroopers, their heads filled with supremacist hatred of all Arab peoples.
The imperialists made one serious miscalculation, though. It was assumed that in the face of Israel’s might, Palestinians would accept underclass status or leave, but the days when colonialists could evict a people from their land and get away with it were over.
In a century of socialist revolution and national liberation, the racist dismissal of local peoples as ‘uncivilised barbarians’ or merely ‘irrelevant’ was no longer possible.
Instead of politely disappearing, the Palestinians stood their ground – refusing to submit no matter how barbarous their oppressors became. Instead of passively joining the long list of imperialist victims, the Palestinians became a beacon of resistance and an inspiration to oppressed people globally.
Gradually, the wellspring of sympathy that Israel shamelessly exploited following the Nazis’ mass extermination of jews in WW2 has run dry. It is now clear to all that it is the zionists, and not the Palestinians, who stand in the way of peace.
So brazen has its war machine become that, today, Israel is the number one creator of anti-jewish feeling in the world.
So what has all this got to do with workers in Britain?
We need to recognise that the same ruling class that is waging war on our living standards (trying to force us to pay the price of the economic crisis of capitalism) gains much of its power from looting the world. Since oil is such a vital resource, the British state is still one of Israel’s main backers.
It’s in our interest to support the Palestinians against imperialism and zionism. But if we want to give effective solidarity to their struggle, we need to learn from past experience.
A consumer boycott may embarrass to Israel, but British workers can do a lot more, if we are prepared to use our collective power over the country’s economy. British workers need to join this axis of resistance and give full support to all parts of it, taking their place in the unifying and indivisible struggle against imperialism.
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