In reality, Israel never considered, not even hypothetically, the possibility of renouncing racism and seeking understanding with a people seeking self-determination in its own land; and neither the possibility of acknowledging any international law that hinders their interests.
This November marks the hundredth anniversary of the Balfour declaration: a formal letter from the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom announcing the establishment of a national homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. This Declaration was ingrained in the framework of the French-British agreements of Sykes-Picot of the previous year, which allowed for a division of the region among the European powers after WWI and the defeat of the Ottoman empire- this provision was itself a betrayal of the agreements reached with the Arabs who had fought with the allies. On the other hand, the Balfour promise, proclaimed by British imperialism over a land over which they had no rights, was of great importance in the posterior process of massacre, pillage and theft of Palestinian land and resources, the deliberate destruction of the social and physical structures of the Palestinian people, whose national rights were never recognised. In the following decades, British colonial politics began to lay the foundations of the Zionist state through the British Mandate for Palestine, while facing the continuous resistance of the Palestinian people. An example of this resistance, and a foundational event for the resistance, is the revolution of 1936-1939.
The creation of the State of Israel after WWII constituted the most important imperialist advance in that region of the world, with tragic consequences, including genocide, which endure even today, due to the state’s functionality for the main global powers, its formal and rhetoric only consideration of the rights of the peoples, human rights and international law, and the resulting negative correlation of forces in the national, regional and global context. The 1947 181 UN resolution foresaw the partition between an Arab state, a Jewish state and an international area. The plan, however, which was only accepted by the Zionists and rejected by the Palestinians and the Arab states, resulted in the unilateral proclamation of the State of Israel on the following year, and on its quick military victory over an Arab coalition. The Nakba (catastrophe) expelled most of the Arab population from their lands and forced 700.000 Palestinians to become refugees in neighbouring countries. Systematic and planned massacres of Palestinians were organized, before and after independence, by the Zionist army and paramilitaries. This was an authentic ethnic cleansing operation and an unanswered crime against humanity. With the Six Days War in 1967, Israel began the military occupation of the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip from Egypt, and Eastern Jerusalem (also from Jordan, although it was a UN-designated international space), as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai. This provoked a new exodus of 200.000 Palestinians. After the war Israel began the establishment of colonial settlements in the recently occupied territories in order to settle more than half a million Israelis in the West Bank, Eastern Jerusalem and Gaza, the only place where they retreated from, in August 2005.
As a result, all Palestinians that did not go into exile live nowadays in occupied land, forced into permanent confrontation and submission to a State of great military power which is also allied with the world’s major powers, and which contemplates no other option than the unconditional surrender of a whole people which it treats as an enemy and which it continuously submits to violence, occupation and apartheid, denying its very right to existence, name, identity, and a history from which it wants them forever gone.
Israel designed all kinds of attempts to neutralize Palestinian resistance. After four decades of massacres and ethnic cleansing, the State of Israel applied openly racist politics of segregation and oppression. The first Intifada of 1987 led Israel to enhance the physical and demographic separation of the Palestinian population, while it maintained direct control of the economy and natural resources. The so-called “peace process” which was interpreted as an international diplomatic success actually reinforced the Palestinian population’s dependence, as it was used as an excuse to extend the settlements programme, land confiscations, and economic decline, poverty and unemployment in Gaza and the West Bank. These lands were divided into territorial units which remind of Apartheid South Africa’s Bantustans, over which Israel limits the freedom of movement, further undermining Palestinian unity and social cohesion. This framework of apartheid and discrimination did not prevent Israel from renewing its offensive in more recent years, as evidenced by the aggressions of 2008, 2012 and 2014 in the Gaza strip. Finally, the day to day reality of everywhere in Palestine is that of systematic, genocidal oppression: that of the millions of refugees forbidden from returning to their homes, the thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails, the torture and impunity of the occupation armies; that of destroyed homes, crops and industries and the giant walls that divide entire populations; that of structural unemployment, poverty, hunger and misery of a dependent people who are not in control of their resources or economy.
In reality, Israel never considered, not even hypothetically, the possibility of renouncing racism and seeking understanding with a people seeking self determination in its own land; and neither the possibility of acknowledging any international law that hinders their interests. Each and every one of their non-negotiable conditions -opposition to Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem, opposition to the refugees’ right of return, opposition to a return to the 1967 borders, opposition to the dismantling of settlements- stand directly against the immediate and urgent needs of Palestinians, as well as infringing a large number of UN resolutions, such as 181, 194, 242 and more. Neither Israel nor its main patron, the United States, have any interest in acknowledging a legislation that is powerless to enforce itself. On the contrary, the use of force is Israel’s main resource; inasmuch as the people of Palestine resist and do not forever forfeit their freedom.
In the meantime, the old Zionist slogan “a land without a people for a people without a land” stands in stark contrast not only with the existence, but also with the continued resistance of the Palestinian national and popular movement. Despite all manner of difficulty, due to the power of the enemy as well as historic internal faction disputes (themselves fed and encouraged by Israel), this is a heroic struggle for national liberation which lives on despite the enormous initial disadvantage of forces, the absence of whatsoever human rights concerns on the enemy side, and the subsequent enormous human sacrifice it implies, including death, torture and decades long imprisonments.
In this context, the Galician Movement for Socialism wants to use the shameful anniversary of the Balfour declaration to make the following considerations on the subject of the Palestinian national liberation struggle:
— We reaffirm our permanent solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people, which we also define as the heart of all national liberation struggles in the Arab region, against the reactionary regional regimes as well as against imperial interests in a central space of global geopolitics. The weakening and ultimate defeat of NATO-Zionist hegemony in the region represent a common goal for all the revolutionaries of the world.
— We support and reclaim for the people of Palestine their right to exert self-determination and build their own unitary state in all historical Palestinian land, we consider this an inalienable right which would furthermore fully achieve the aspirations of freedom, independence and return of the refugees. Nevertheless, we also denounce the infringement of the UN resolutions which would allow to create a sovereign, independent state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as a capital and without the forfeiting of the right of return.
— We denounce the alliance of the capitalist powers with Israel, namely, the United States of America, NATO, the State of Spain, the European Union and their regional allies. Far from meaning any support for the Palestinian cause, these powers are complicit with Israel and are necessary agents in the perpetuation of occupation and apartheid. The hundred year old crimes are deeply intertwined with imperialist interest and imperialist political, economic and military strategy.
— We recognize the legitimacy of any and all means of resistance employed by the Palestinian people to achieve liberty for as long as the occupation lasts We strongly condemn the attempt by the imperialist powers to impose false agreements that disregard the right to self-determination and avoid putting and end of occupation and impunity.
— We would most earnestly show our solidarity with all of the prisoners who continue the anti-imperialist struggle for national liberation from within Israeli prison, and with all of the refugees, within or without UNRWA facilities, who aspire to return to the lands and homes from which they have been banished.
— We commit to reinforce this solidarity and anti-imperialist action, by improving our knowledge of the principles, strategies and initiatives of the Palestinian resistance. We also want to call on the Galizan people to spread and to strengthen the traditional bonds of friendship and solidarity with the Palestinian people as well as to reinforce the anti-imperialist organizations and movements that stand in solidarity with the Palestinian cause and with the rights of the peoples of the world against the NATO-Zionist hegemony, namely the international Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which enables to weaken the normalization of a racist, genocidal regime based on ethnic cleansing.