Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2887

Two states is not a solution for Palestine

Israeli plans for the future of Gaza means more misery and oppression, says Isabel Ringrose
Issue 2887
Palestine protests one state

Palestine protests outside Soas university (Picture: Guy Smallman)

Israel plans to tighten its grip on Gaza after its war is done. Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant set out plans last Thursday for the future governance of the strip.

He explained how Israel’s plans would further limit any semblance of Palestinian rule in Gaza and said that Hamas would no longer have any legislative control. 

And a multi-national force led by the United States would assist in security and take charge of rebuilding Gaza after the devastation caused by Israel’s bombing.

Gallant’s “four corner” plan includes the illusion that Palestinians would be “responsible” for running Gaza. But, like in the West Bank, this is a complete lie.

Israel says it would only provide “information to guide civilian operations”. In reality Gaza would still be reliant on Israel.

The plan also outlined how Israel won’t stop its military assaults on Gaza. 

Gallant said nothing on whether Gaza’s northern population would be allowed to return home.  

The US has called for the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is complicit with Israel in the West Bank, to take control, with talk of a new Palestinian state alongside Israel.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken also said last week that recently displaced Palestinians should be able to return home. 

But this will be impossible when Israel’s attacks have devastated the territory, flattened homes and destroyed infrastructure. It also will be impossible for as long as the Israeli state continues to murder Palestinians. 

In a trip to Lebanon last week European Union foreign police chief Joseph Borreell called for a two-state solution. “The only way is the creation of a Palestinian state,” he said, adding that this would offer a “horizon of hope” to Palestinians.

The idea of a Palestinian state emerging alongside Israel is a fantasy. A two-state solution was central to the Oslo Accord in 1993, which meant surrender for the Palestinians.

The deal led to the PA giving into Israel, which snatched more land and control over the next three decades.

And, a Palestinian state alongside Israel would not mean justice. It would not address the historic crimes that Israel was built on, and continues to carry out today.

It would also leave in place a racist, colonial state armed to the teeth by US imperialism. 

The only solution is one secular, democratic state built on the principle of equal rights for all citizens, including Jews.

But this won’t come about through armed struggle by Hamas alone or by relying on the Arab leaders who are wedded to the imperialist system. 

Palestinian movements involving protest, mass civil disobedience and strikes can threaten Israel’s existence. 

But Palestinian resistance from below has to be matched with an international revolt that challenges the system of imperialism in the Middle East.

That means Palestinians and other Arab working classes building independent revolutionary movements. And it means in the 

West, mass movements challenging imperialism in Britain and the US.


Build bigger and more radical demonstrations

Three months on from Hamas’ attack on Israel, the explosive action on the streets in Britain has set a new movement alight. 

National demonstrations of hundreds of thousands and up to one million show that despite the Tories’ and Labour’s backing of Israel’s slaughter will be resisted.

Local protests continue to grow in size, from Lancaster to Dundee, Cardiff and Dorset. Protests and rallies in some towns and cities have been the biggest ever seen. School students organising have also been part of the rage at Israel and its backers.

But, with the assault on Gaza continuing, the action in the streets has to be ramped up. Last weekend the cops cracked down on protesters in London.

The national demonstration on Saturday is crucial and should be as big, radical and angry as possible. It must show that Palestine is still the issue and can mobilise the masses. 

And local actions should continue to be called, with new initiatives to ramp up the militancy.

It’s positive that banks, arms factories and other companies complicit in the Gazan genocide are called to account. But occupations of buildings and strikes by workers can take the movement for Palestine to the next level. 

In any way possible, workers must try to show that the regular running of society cannot continue.  Israel’s violence won’t stop, and the West’s backing isn’t going anywhere. That means our response has to match up—and be willing to fight until the slaughter stops, and beyond.

Worldwide, the demonstrations for Palestine have lit a spark against imperialist rulers. 

It shows that ordinary people are willing to stand up against their rulers and link the issue of Palestine to the wider system.

In Britain, the workplace day of action called by Stop the War on 7 February is an opportunity to hold meetings, call walkouts and organise strikes in support of Palestine. 

So far there haven’t been workplace walkouts or strikes to defend Palestine.

More school walkouts, workers’ action and mass protests show the opportunity for revolt, not just over Palestine, but over every issue in society.


Arab protests must spread

Mass mobilisation in Egypt, Jordan and other states in the Middle East would be the biggest blow now to Zionism and imperialism.

Soon after 7 October people took to the streets for Palestine in many of these countries. Sometimes the local ruling classes encouraged these mobilisations. But on other occasions the demonstrations targeted not just Israel but the local regime 

as well for their failures to break from imperialism and their lukewarm support for Palestine.

And, particularly in Egypt, the government then moved to crush marchers that had linked opposition to Zionism with the actions of their rulers.

The Jordanian authorities recently prevented the organisation of a protest in front of the Fajr headquarters.

Hisham Bustani, a Jordanian writer and activist, said, “We demand complete disengagement with Israel and an end to the funnelling of billions of Jordanian taxpayers’ money to the Israeli war and occupation economy through gas deals.”

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