Socialist Worker

Can the United Nations liberate Palestine?

Issue No. 2270

The United Nations (UN) was set to vote on official recognition for a state of Palestine this week.

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, wants the vote as he believes the UN can grant Palestine statehood and independence.

The US looks likely to use its veto to block it—but a majority vote of the countries at the UN’s 193‑member General Assembly could win Palestine status as an observer.

That would be a small defeat for the US, Israel and the right. But it won’t bring freedom for Palestine.

The UN is no friend of the Palestinians.

It drew up the plan to partition historic Palestine in 1947, giving a small group of Zionist settlers 55 percent of the land.

Just last week the UN put out a whitewashing report into Israel’s murderous attack on the aid flotilla to Gaza last year.

It says Israel’s blockade of Gaza is “a legitimate security measure” and the flotilla “acted recklessly” in trying to breach it.

Imperialist powers have used the UN time and time again to interfere more “legitimately” around the world.

The UN isn’t a force for freedom. It is run by imperialists—and they don’t want to see a free Palestine.

Israel was created to be a loyal “watchdog” in the region for those imperialist powers—then led by Britain, now by the US.

Then in 1948, Zionist militias launched a campaign of terror, ethnically cleansing 750,000 Palestinians and grabbing 80 percent of the land.

Israel consolidated its control over historic Palestine in 1967, when it beat the Arab states in the Six-Day War.

The recognition plan ignores the key question of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

The millions who fled Israel’s terror have long campaigned for the right to go back to their villages.

But Palestinian campaigner Omar Barghouti says the plan “runs the risk of surrendering the right of return”.

“Ignoring the will of the people and potentially sacrificing their basic rights in order to secure some illusory advantages at the ‘negotiations’ table hurts Palestinian interests and endangers the great advances our popular and civil struggle has achieved,” he added.

The only solution is a one-state solution—a multi-ethnic state covering the whole of historic Palestine.

Jews and Palestinians are able to live together in one state.

Divisions between them are relatively new, encouraged by imperialist powers.

But the two groups lived side by side for centuries—and they can again.

Even today, most Palestinian villages in territory controlled by Israel lie empty. It is simply a question of letting Palestinians return to their homes.

But Israel does not want this because it is based on the racist ideology of Zionism, which has always been about creating a

Jewish-only state. Today it relies on the US for its survival.

Zionist politicians call any state in which Palestinians could become the majority a “demographic threat”.

This racist state is the main obstacle to any solution. It needs to be dismantled—and the UN cannot do that.

The sheer difficulty of life in Palestine has led leaders there to look to outside solutions.

This has meant relying on the imperialist powers—even though they caused the problems in the first place.

But if they can’t free Palestine, who can?

There is a better kind of “outside help” on offer.

The revolutions across the Middle East have proved that workers are capable of driving out even decades-old regimes.

Solidarity with Palestine has been a central plank of the Egyptian revolution in particular.

The revolutionaries have demanded an end to Egypt’s links with Israel.

This is already starting to shift the situation—and increase Israel’s isolation.

Imperialism is on the back foot in the region. That’s one reason why Israel is so nervous about the UN vote.

But the road to liberation for the Palestinians does not run through the UN. It runs through Cairo.


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News
Tue 20 Sep 2011, 18:04 BST
Issue No. 2270
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