23-10-2015 – As we go to press, the military forces of the Zionist Israeli state have confronted, killed or injured heroic Palestinians rising once again to resist the criminal occupation of their land for 17 consecutive days. Many of those who have perished have been aged under 20 years. Since 1948, ongoing crimes against humanity have been committed by an Israeli state backed militarily and politically by the world’s strongest imperialist powers – principally the US. None of this has dented the will of the Palestinians to defy, even at the cost of their lives. Without necessarily endorsing the strategy or tactics of the resistance, workers internationally need to stand unequivocally on the side of the struggle for Palestinian liberation.
This time, the “Third Intifada”, the latest uprising, is taking place under very different circumstances to the innumerable previous actions. The hideous oppression of Palestine by the Zionist state of Israel since 1948 could not have taken place without the full political and military backing of US led imperialism. US annual military “aid” to Israel, to the tune of around 3 billion per year, was the mainstay of the horrific war crimes against Palestine, which were openly or tacitly supported by Western imperialist allies including the UK and France, and from a distance, Australia. The US rulers kept up this murderous support, as the practice assisted US domination of the Middle East.
However, in the space of a few weeks, the game has changed. At the invitation of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russia has begun a military offensive against the US/Saudi/Israeli armed and backed genocidal head-choppers of ISIS. Almost with one stroke, Russia has exposed the aims of the US in Syria and the region, as well as the so-called “war on terror”. Russia’s actions in neighbouring Syria have had the immediate effect of shifting the balance of power in the Middle East away from US imperialism and towards the workers and the oppressed of the world via the conduit of an anti-imperialist axis. This anti-imperialist axis is largely composed of Russia, Iran and China – but it is joined in the immediate struggle by Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah and the Houthi fighters in Yemen. Due to the fact that the result of this contest has a direct bearing of the situation of the oppressed Palestinians, workers of the world would do well to defend the blows against the US Empire dealt by the anti-imperialist bloc. Without necessarily endorsing the political outlook of the respective leaderships of the anti-imperialist bloc, any setback for US imperialism in the Middle East can only help ease the suffering of the Palestinians – as well as the Syrians and Yemenis, who are also fighting US backed proxy forces on their soil.
From this distance, it appears as if the Palestinian resistance has sensed the opening provided by the weakening of US domination as a result of the Russian strikes against their proxy ISIS forces. They appear to have correctly capitalised on the crack in the wall of US domination provided by Russia, and to an extent by Iran and China. They may have seen an opportunity to press Russian President’s earlier statements that Russia would support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Whatever the precise reason for the outbreak of an uprising now, it is taking place at a time when the US empire, and, as a flow on, Israel and Saudi Arabia, stand at the weakest point they have been in decades. For once they have been challenged – this time by Russia, Iran and China. The Palestinians, ever eager to press home any advantage they may have against the fourth largest military in the world, have stepped forward. All workers and supporters of Palestine also need to step up.
If Syria was to be overthrown by US/Saudi/Turkish/Israeli backed jihadists, Palestine would barely stand a chance. The US/Saudi/Turkish/Israeli war on Syria, therefore, cannot be separated from the struggle in Palestine. Yet this is what some nominally left parties have been doing for the past four and a half years. Organisations such as Socialist Alternative, Socialist Alliance and Solidarity have in practice backed the war on Syria, claiming that “rebels” were fighting a “dictator”. These same “rebels” – in reality US/Saudi/Turkish armed mercenaries – were backed by the Zionist Israeli state. In fact, genocidal Al-Nusra fighters were treated in Israeli hospitals for free, and the Israeli Defence Forces maintained radio contact with Al-Qaeda. Moreover, Israel has bombed Syria, yet these left parties who loudly proclaim their support for Palestine, stood silent. In backing the war on Syria, these left parties have driven themselves into the arms of the same Zionist Israeli state they claim to oppose.
The Palestinian resistance, not just the left, has also been split over the war on Syria. Many Palestinians strongly support the Syrian state for its, albeit inconsistent, support for Palestine. Other Palestinians have followed the treacherous Hamas leadership, which joined the US assault on Syria, and thus found themselves on the side of their immediate oppressor – the Israeli state. Such are the limitations of an Islamist-based leadership, which at crucial times leads it to support the very imperial power which is the source of its travails.
Liberation for Palestine can only be won with the final defeat of imperialism. Imperialism, due to the faltering state of its capitalist economies, has been lashing out like a wounded beast for the last five years. The US-led wars on Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan – not to mention Ukraine – have wrought unprecedented damage. However, Russia appears to have finally realised that if it does not act to halt a rampaging US empire in Syria, the guns will very soon be turned against their own doors. The interests of the oppressed Palestinians, the world’s workers, and the anti-imperialist axis (Russia, Iran, China, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah etc.) are thus temporarily coinciding. By helping the anti-imperialist axis strike blows against US imperialism, workers here will not only aid the Palestinian cause, but their own as well. An emboldened Australian working class will be in a stronger position to resist the attacks of recession-ravaged Australian capital. It will also be able to demand the withdrawal of Australian troops from the Middle East (currently in Iraq and Syria), further isolating the US and further weakening their ISIS proxies. The time to press our advantage is now.
LIBERATION FOR PALESTINE! AUST TROOPS: OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST!
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