Middle East Watch
La revue de presse alternative pour un Moyen Orient libre

avril 2017


Palestine : A Century of Resistance against Globalized Settler Colonial Terror

How Class Factor Leads National Conflict

par Adel Samara


There are several important and decisive issues in the Arab -Zionist conflict which must be clarified for world popular and public opinion. Without this clarification, there will be no proper understanding of the conflict on the one hand, and the Palestinian/Arab rights and just struggle on the other. Moreover, these issues are necessary to explain, why this conflict is a prolonged one, and why Palestinians are so steadfast, especially when it is compared to many other conflicts that has been solved.

Without understanding these issues, many people of good will might fall into the trap of bourgeois media and even academia believing that Palestinian and Arab masses are war believers and therefore what has been applied in many conflicts cant apply to this one, i.e. solutions of that delay and postpone the important issues, solutions that solved are by international political “consensus”…etc, which is designed and imposed by the US hegemony. [1]

Following are some of the issues that I like to discuss :

- Zionist Jews in politics and academia, supported by non-Jewish, but Zionist bourgeois academics worldwide insist to approach the conflict on religious basis, i.e. Based on biblical claims, Old Testimony, in contradiction to the scientific approach or narrative, the historical narrative. Their approach is deliberately devoted to hide historical facts, scientific research and the real causes behind the creation of the Zionist Ashkenazi Regime (ZAR) in Palestine.

- The conflict in the region was never limited, as media deliberately distort, between Palestinians and Jewish colonial settler state, nor it is even between Arabs and Jews. It is a conflict between Arab/Palestinians as defenders of their Homeland, development and fate, on the one side and the imperialist aggression the regimes of Capitalist Core which created ZAR to protect their interests in the region, on the other. That is why the Capitalist Core has provided, and continues to, the needs of ZAR to occupy, colonize, destroy, demolish…etc. Moreover, when it is necessary, the Core will fight on behalf of the ZAR, as it was the case of destroying Iraq. [2] That is why ; the defeat of Palestinian and Arab regimes was caused as a result of the role of the Core more than Jewish “undefeatable army”.

- The interests of the Core in the region are, accordingly, class interests. The same goes for Jewish bourgeois despite its varied and multi-national origins, i.e. those settlers came from nearly 100 nations, and pretend that they are from one origin and one nation. Here, they utilized the function the religious narrative, using Jewish religion.

- Class interpretation is applied on the Arab/Palestinian case as well. Arab ruling classes are ruling Arab countries which have been fragmented by the British and French imperialisms in 1916, based on Skies-Picot Agreement. These imperialists appointed rulers over the fragmented Arab Homeland creating entities that are poor and backward, so they will remain dependent on the imperialist regimes for their survival. The rulers of Arab countries certainly realize that their fate is totally dependent on the support of these imperialists. That is why ; those Arab rulers do not enter into a real war against ZAR which is created by the same Core as well. In fact, they were more a direct and indirect protectors of the ZAR regime. That is why, as we see today, those Arab ruling classes recognize the legitimacy of ZAR at the cost of the Palestinian people and the Arab nation. Those regimes were never elected, and they maintain “special relations” with Core countries that maintain the latter’s interest in their own countries. Finally, those comprador regimes suppress the people to give up and compromise their national cause.

- The role of the Core countries in the conflict proves the analysis that it is a global conflict from its very beginning, i.e. one hundred years ago and before of the current era of globalization. It is a conflict among local, regional and international powers.

- While the formal factors in this conflict were and remained are the ruling classes as its main players, the last decade witnessed a new development which is demonstrations against war and globalization. This movement represents the popular masses in protest against the formal regimes on the world scale. As long as Zionism is a direct component of the world machine of war and globalization, this movement is, even if indirectly, against Zionism. This movement, albeit how radical it is, is a step of differentiation or split between the formal regimes and popular masses. It is a sign shows that peoples of the world are starting to reject the policies of their rulers, i.e. the capitalist classes whose interests is in harmony with that of Zionism.

- As for the conflict itself, it is important to re-emphasize that the core of the Palestinian struggle is the Right of Return (ROR) of the Palestinian people to their Homeland which was occupied, colonized in 1948. The defeated politics of Arab and Palestinian bourgeois which concentrates only on the restoration of the 1967 occupied territories of Palestine ignore the core of the people’s struggle for the liberation of the occupied Palestine in 1948 and ROR. It is now our duty to adjust this distortion that was deliberately done by the comprador bourgeois.

- Finally, it is important to note that a large part of world left failed to stand beside the oppressed, the Palestinian people, bought into the Zionist propaganda, failed to support the ROR, and still consider ZAR a “democratic” country/occupation. It is irony that many leftists all over the world choose radical positions towards most of world hot conflicts against imperialism and capital, with one exception : Palestine ! This left, whether consciously or not, has been zionized, since Zionism is a racist colonial ideology. Anyone who recognizes or supports ZAR is in fact a Zionist. Accordingly, Therefore, Zionists are not only Jews, they can be, and many are, Arabs, Palestinians, British Zionists…etc who recognize the ZAR.

The aforementioned issues drew a large perspective which enables popular classes, especially the resistance movement, to develop the mechanisms of resistance.

The long period of conflict in the region led to more class alliances, class re-ordering despite the fact that the conflict is a national one. On the Arab/Palestinian side, bourgeois comprador classes led by their interests including those of their survival, decided to compromise with the enemy before restoring the minimum Arab rights. Some of them recognize ZAR (such as Egypt, PLO, Jordan) and others kept their relations with the enemy secret, i.e. indirect normalization. Briefly speaking, the ruling Arab comprador gave its back to the struggle for the national cause. It now falls on the popular classes to continue the struggle.

What does this mean for the Palestinian refugees whose right is to return to their homes and land ?

The comprador answer is to settle them “were they are”. In other words, Arab comprador is suggesting that Palestinians wipe away their memory, cease to fight and consider places of shatat [3] as their permanent places of residence, i.e. to substitute the Homeland by a “place”, any place !

Oslo Accords : From struggle for the cause to compromising it

The Social Structure of the Oslo Accords

The above mentioned argument shows that Madrid negotiations and Oslo Accords (1991-93) have been a result of a long march of the comprador defeat and compromise.

The most catastrophic side of Oslo Accords might be the following :

  • The recognition of ZAR which practically means that the leadership “donated” its Homeland to its enemy.
  • It split the resistance movement into two :
    • a resistance camp
    • a compromise one.

This split did not happen accidentally. It is a result that is deduced by colonial powers from their colonial history to bring national liberation movements on their knees, even after colonial defeat. The case of Palestine is more difficult because the victory has never been achieved yet. To prove its “good will” towards Zionism and imperialism, PLO leadership declared the end of military struggle.

Accordingly, the colonial powers designed a semi- authority for the Palestinian Authority (PA), gave it power to extract surplus through its control over main companies, taxes and liquid money (cash) that is being donated by Westerns donors and they still call it : assistance for the Palestinian people while, in fact, it is “political money”. It is a rent for, or a price of a political compromise of the national cause, the Homeland. These donations are money paid to the leadership which signed Oslo Accords as a gift for them. That is why ; they used it in a corrupted manner, without transparency, and never invest even part of it in national development. In many corrupted regimes, i.e. South Korea , corruption steal money but invest at least some of it internally, in the case of the PA, however, corruption has not reached this level, lets call “national corruption”.

The PA was brought to the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBG) by an agreement with the ZAR, the US and EU, and not by liberating these areas, that is why the PA created a huge and multi-level security and repressive apparatus finally led by a US general, Keith Dayton.

These developments and privileges separated the resistance movement from the masses. In fact, it put that movement over the shoulders of the masses in terms of practicing power, collecting taxes, providing jobs in a corrupt manner, uprooting cells of armed militants…etc. In this case, the authority and those who benefited from its existence will stand against those refused to accept Oslo Accords.

To strengthen its popular basis, the PA provide jobs for approximately 200,000 persons, if each of them have a family of 5, then one million people are dependent on PA salaries, or nearly one third of the WBG Palestinians. Additionally, there are many Palestinians who are employed by and dependent on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and many other foreign and international organizations.

Moreover, Oslo social base was never limited to the organizations of the resistance movement or even those of its huge bureaucratic apparatus and NGOs dependents ; it has its own social structure, which is the main social structure of accumulation in the Palestinian autonomy. It is composed of :

- The bureaucratic capitalist faction of PLO leadership which accumulated wealth by taxing Palestinians working in Arab Gulf countries, and by accepting donations from Arab comprador regimes whose aim was to corrupt and contain the PLO.
- Local Palestinian capitalists (in WBG)who started sub-contract companies with Zionist capital.
- The Palestinian financial capitalists especially in the Shatat of the Gulf countries who are under the PA rule enjoying, after Oslo , the exploitation of the WBG economy.

These capitalist factions have been supported and encouraged by two other factions of “intellectual”, as their organic intellectuals :

- Liberal westernized elite
- And renegade communists.

The PA failed to design a development policy as a non- productive bourgeois. As this is the case, the PA never cared to adopt a development policy. It is a comprador bourgeois without a productive agricultural and industrial base. That is why it accepts a self -rule and does not demand on an independent state. It is only the productive nationalist bourgeois that will fight to control its national market and monopolize it for its products.

In fact, it is the other way around, the nature and the structure of the PA led it to more comprodarization : open market policy, provide access for surplus transfer abroad, all those are means for the termination of the productive structure/sectors of the economy to the extent that most of the society depends on the salaries of PA, NGOs and international employees to activate the market by the end of each month.

Here we grasp the trick which the donors have placed for the Palestinian society in. The donors pay the PA employees salaries, thus providing an alternative component of the GNP after the ZAR had minimized and even terminated the policy of employing Palestinians in its own economy. [4] Why it is a trick ? It is because the donors stopped paying salaries for Hamas’ government after it won the elections over Fateh in the last Palestinian elections.

Peace for Capital

The partner of the Palestinian bourgeois was Zionist capitalism which, like ZAR, plans to be the dominant economic force in the region, certainly beside its military one. That is why the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in ZAR reached $106 billion for the years 1991-2006.

Despite all gains that ZAR received from Oslo, its media machine continue repeating that there is no Palestinian partner in the “peace process”. This resulted in no foreign investments oriented to the PA areas. This ZAR policy of propaganda proves that “peace” in the eyes of occupation is another version of war.

In practice, Oslo Accords did not Palestinians their right to export/import, any person who wants to enter or depart PA areas is subjected to a permit from Israeli occupation authorities. Palestinian passports are not valid until they are registered in the Israeli occupation computers. There is neither central Palestinian bank nor currency. Most of the land in the WBG is under the control of occupation which made it available for the occupation to continue land confiscation. Based on Paris Economic Protocol (1995) between PLO and the ZAR, the PA areas were open for all Zionist agricultural and industrial products, while the PA main six agricultural products were forbidden from entering the Zionist market. It is a free trade for one side. As long as the source of goods and commodities is the same, prices in the WBG and the ZAP are relatively the same as well. But the difference is in wages. While the income per capita in the WBG is around $1200, it is in the ZAR around $26,000.

Sovereignty over the WBG is hold by the ZAR. The Zionist settlements/colonies have the “right” of so-called natural expansion, while they must be removed. Based on that, to define Oslo, it is not more than a permit issued by the central government in Tel Aviv to a political organization to practice Self-Rule in a Bantustan “I call it Oslostan”.

Democracy as a mine placed by the donors

It is in the case of Oslostan, elections took place under occupation. Liberal western democracy is always based on independence and sovereignty. But both are lacking in the WBG new regime of Oslostan.

It should be noted that the social structure of Oslo, the social structure of accumulation made the occupied territories look like an “independent country”. This is due to the absence of strong opposition to the “peace for capital”. One of the main reasons behind this is the fact that the part of PLO which signed Oslo put the masses in a situation of ‘mixed feelings’ to the extent that they failed to recognize its catastrophic results especially when there wasn’t a strong opposition to uncover the threat of Oslo Accord.

This situation led to deformed relationship with the occupation which is normalization with ZAR. The PA was, and still is, the bulldozer of this normalization through insisting on stopping boycott of Israeli products (which people started in first Intifada) ; maintain coordination with the occupation despite of land confiscation and closure, imprisonment of thousands of youths males and females, demolishing homes…etc.

At the same time, the organizations that practice military struggle did not consider the importance of boycotting and anti-normalization struggle.

As most of other organizations boycotted the first elections, Fateh the PA ruling party, received the vast majority of the Self- Rule Counsel which is falsely named by the PA as “legislative Counsel”.

The tough experience was the second elections (January 2006) when most of Palestinian organizations participated, a participation which switched the concentration from resistance to power, even if some organizations did not meant that deliberately.

I am still inclined to say that the US pressure on Arafat to go to the second elections and to allow Hamas to participate is aimed at putting Palestinians, as much as possible, in an environment of normalization. The US and the ZAR do not feel bad if Hamas wins the elections, as long as it is under the umbrella of Oslo. This might push Hamas and Fateh to compete for giving more compromise for the ZAR.

The immediately after and as a result of Hamas victory in the elections, the following problems appeared :

- The donors started the globalized coup by blocking money transfer to Hamas government, and stop paying salaries of the PA employees and other items of the budget.
- The competition between Fateh and Hamas concentrated in political gains, power, but not in resistance.

Finally, the armed conflict between Fateh and Hamas organizations resulted in a split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a development which puts the people and the solidarity groups in a parallel situation.

On the Zionist side, the same policies continued in all aspects especially the continuous building of the wall.

The Nature of Contradiction at the present time

The internal competition and conflict between Palestinian factions has deeply harmed the national cause. The division between Palestinians reaches the level of polarization between resistance and compromise, between those whose goal is a tiny state in the parts of the WBG and those who insist for the ROR.

The role of the Arab comprador regimes was on the side of the PA. This tightened the conflict and made the environment for resistance more difficult.

While the Palestinian and Arab comprador embarked on more compromise, the ZAR tightened its conditions to insist on a Palestinian recognition for a Jewish state, (i.e. Israel as a pure Jewish state), normalization of relations between Arab countries and ZAR, rejection of the ROR…etc.

This led to further deterioration of the situation at the Palestinian level. The Arab comprador compromise with the ZAR and the US, EU aggressive policies towards the Palestinians, and the world in general following the financial crisis, all of this encouraged the ZAR to be insisting on its conditions.

All throughout this long conflict, there were mainly three solutions :

- A permanent war ;
- A termination of the ZAR,

- Integration of the ZAR in the region through domination (ITD) [5], which is Arab comprador recognition of the ZAR, normalizing with it, termination of the ROR, resettle the refugees each where he/she is currently residing with some symbolic return of few thousands Palestinians, and a change in the name, not content, of the autonomy to a tiny Palestinian state.

Future Perspectives

The point of departure of analysis in this paper is that the Palestinian question is a globalized one, caused by the core capitalist countries which manufactured the ZAR to colonize Palestine and be an aggressive and watchdog in the Arab Homeland. From the perspective of defending Arab popular classes, it has a mixed national and class nature, but from the side of the imperialist regimes, it is of a class nature, i.e. the interests of capital. The betrayal of Arab comprador classes of the cause emphasizes that class interests is leading their positions in the conflict.

The same is for the ZAR ; it is the interest of the Zionist capital/regime, an interest which through hegemony tied the Zionist workers and poor who became part and repressive tool in the hands of the capitalists since the beginning of settler colonization of Palestine. For the ZAR as a whole, in terms of nationalism, the conflict is not nationalist, because there is no such nation called Jewish nation, and because as a settler colonial regime there is a joined class interest at the cost of the Palestinian Homeland. The differentiation between workers and capitalists in the ZAR, which is large, did not mean for the workers that they are a class for itself to practice class struggle against the bourgeois. The workers in the ZAR are part of the capitalist establishment, accordingly, hegemony there is deformed ! Class differentiation is not enough to cause and lead class conflict, especially when the class structure took place and is fed by colonization in which each class took a share of the stolen Palestine, each class according to its share in power. Briefly speaking there is no real class existence without a class struggle. Again, in the ZAR, there is a deep hegemony of the settler colonial bourgeois ideology over the rest social groups ; it is like a share holding project : each according to his shares. This environment is unable to breed Left, a reason that lies behind absence of real leftist organizations, or their short lasting age !

The deep and expected deeper fragmentations of Arab countries ended today in a vacuum in terms of Arab power/center to face the challenges of the era. On the top failures is the role of Arab comprador in liberating Palestine □ the situation is getting worst now, Arab comprador stands for the termination of the ROR, a decline which made the chance proper for the ZAR to evict Palestinians of the WBG to Jordan. Arab comprador competition for the recognition of the ZAR, their role in terminating resistance, and failure in exploiting the relative weakness of imperialist fist over the world, maintaining compradorization, dependency, repression…etc, has ended to a case that the state in Arab Homeland is the enemy of its own people. It is well known that those regimes launch a class war against popular classes.

At the same time, the imperialist camp is re-designing its policy in the region as to how to maintain its interests, not through alliance with the weak and dependent Arab regimes, but through re-dividing Arab Homeland between the nationalist productive bourgeois in Iran and Turkey and the ZAR which are looking (and competing for share) in regional markets. Wars in the region, Iraq, Sudan, Lebanon, Somalia, Gaza, and the provocation of internal ethnic issues in Egypt, are tools for weakening the current Arab order and accelerating the re-division of Arab Homeland. While the aforementioned wars were designed by imperialism and Zionism, war in Yemen is designed, to a large extent, by regional powers.

At the Palestinian level, beside the conflict between Fateh and Hamas, there is an absence of a Palestinian block that avoids the competition for power among other forces and embarks on the struggle for the social/national cause. We can’t ignore Hamas’ steadfastness against recognition of the ZAR, and its willingness for resistance, but in the present time it is sinking in the competition with other factions.

This makes the creation of a new current, Marxist-Leninist, urgent to bear the heavy burden of :

- Boycotting the ZAR products ;
- Challenge normalization with ZAR ;
- Adopt Development by Popular Protection,
- Refuse elections under the occupation ;
- Stand against corruption ;
- and Challenge the cultural campaign of NGOs.

It is an urgent need for a historical block, led by a Marxist-Leninist party that re-affirms and re-connects the Palestinian struggle with its Arabic depth considering the fact that the danger is against all and the fate is one.

For Solidarity Groups

As noted in the beginning, the new relative and even little change in popular classes all over the world against globalization and war, in addition to the current economic and financial crisis, led to a more divergence between the popular masses and the formal rulers on the world scale. This development is against Zionism as a direct component of the war and capitalism’s industry.

In parallel with tightening economic-financial crisis in the Capitalist Core and the rest of the world, solidarity groups must tighten their opposition against the regimes which support ZAR. They can protest in front of Zionist embassies, Arab comprador and PLO embassies, launch campaign against intellectuals who support ZAR, against feminists who advice Palestinian women not to participate in the national struggle, boycott Zionist products and the products of regimes which support it. As long as the media are dominated by counter-revolution, electronic bulletins for boycotting will be off great help.

Finally, Palestinians are facing the ultimate choice : to surrender their basic rights. This makes resistance the only choice, and resistance by all means.

P.-S.

(Kana’an eBulletin - Volume IX - Issue 2097)

Notes

[1It should be noted that the writer never believe in that consensus. This in addition to the fact that hegemony never was limited into the bourgeois project to domain popular classes. There are always two hegemonies ; the second is that of the popular classes which contradicts that of the bourgeois on the one hand and which give the class struggle its meaning on the other.

[2This does not mean that the US imperialism and its allies did not have other goals against Iraq, i.e. oil.

[3Shatat is an Arabic term that signifies one’s living outside of his/her homeland. In the context of this paper, shatat is used to indicate Palestinians who were forcefully expelled from their homeland - Palestine as a result of the Zionist occupation of Palestine in 1948 and the years that followed. These Palestinians reside, since 1948, in many Arab and other countries world-wide as Palestinian refugees.

[4This is a violation of Paris Protocol which stated that Israel will accept 100,000 Palestinians to work inside its economy. The author of this paper did not support this form of employment dependency.

[5Integration through Domination (ITD) : This term refers to Israeli attempts and efforts to forcefully integrate itself into the Arab Homeland, but on its own terms and conditions. It means that the Arab nation will accept Israel as a “normal” state in the region. Israeli products will be marketed freely and Israel will be the industrial and financial center of the region. It will have the upper hand in the military power as well. In other words, Israel will be accepted as a “center for the Arab periphery”.


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