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How can Palestinians beat Israel and imperialism?

Heroic armed struggle can only go so far without the backing of a mass workers movement across the Middle East
Issue 2876
Freedom for Palestine placards on a demo to show solidarity with Palestinians fighting back

On the emergency Palestine solidarity protest outside the Israeli Embassy in London on Monday (Picture: Guy Smallman)

The magnificent Palestinian resistance now faces the might of Western-backed Israeli vengeance.

How can the Palestinians win against a force that will stop at nothing, that does not hesitate to boast of destroying civilian areas in Gaza?

How does it deal with those such as Israel’s defence minister Yoav Gallant who called Palestinian fighters “human animals”?

There will be no salvation from the great powers or institutions such as the United Nations. They have instructed Palestinians to compromise and be calm in the face of massacres and dispossession.

The result was contempt from the Israelis. The “moderate” Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestine Authority recognised the Israeli state. They gained nothing—Israel has not even negotiated with them since 2014.

The Arab regimes, that oppress and exploit their own people, will not effectively aid a Palestinian struggle that raises so sharply issues of inequality, democracy and freedom.

The Iranian regime, for example, that kills women for demanding their rights is no liberator. 

For 75 years the Arab regimes have spoken of siding with the Palestinians, only to betray them. They have played into Israeli’s strategy to “normalise” relations in order to isolate the  Palestinians.

Nor will the solution come from inside Israel. For over a year the media was saturated with reports of splits and tensions inside the government.

But as soon as Palestinian resistance triggered a crisis of Zionism, all the talk has been of a national unity government and the “opposition” lining up with the chief butcher Binyamin Netanyahu.

Heroic armed struggle has repeatedly confronted Israel. Palestinians have the right to resist by any means necessary. But facing F-16s and the latest technology of death, heroism is not enough.

There has to be a revolutionary socialist challenge to Zionism and imperialism.

That involves a movement of workers and the poor separate from all shades of ruling classes.

From the mass nationalist movement that came from Lebanese and Jordanian refugee camps in the 1960s and 1970s to the First Intifada of 1987 and the 2021 general strike, all the major waves of the Palestinian struggle have been driven by the interaction between social injustice and national oppression.

And it must grow over from a revolt by Palestinians to one that inspires the masses across the Arab world and wider.

The uprisings and revolutions of 2010 and 2011, the revolt by the Sudanese people and the movement in Algeria give a glimpse of the potential to win. It involves workers and all the exploited acting in their own class interests.

Such a revolution would shake imperialism, Zionism and all the dictators and kings. It would be another lesson in resistance from Palestine to the whole world.

It’s more than media bias

Bias is too weak a word to describe the British media’s treatment of what is happening in Palestine. It is not just a slight tilt to one view, it’s systematic propaganda for the Israeli state and its imperialist backers.

Palestinians reportedly “die” while Israelis are “killed”. Palestinians “invade” their own stolen land, while Israel “secures” its colonial borders. Palestinians and their supporters are “terrorists” while Israelis and their backers are “victims”.

But this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Israel is the West’s imperial project in the Middle East.

British media, whether right wing or supposedly “left”, will sometimes wring its hands on the scale of the murders carried out by Israel. But there is no questioning of the whole project.

At key moments the media always serves the interests of capitalism, imperialism and the politicians who serve them.

From workers’ strikes to war in Ukraine, killer cops and climate protesters, the media is skewed in favour of defending the system.

But there is also a contest about the truth. Protests, mass demonstrations, collective action, campaigning and our own media can confront the consensus that runs from the Daily Mail to The  Guardian via the BBC.

Socialist Worker, a revolutionary newspaper, stands with those who have with no interest in defending capitalism or imperialism.

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