Socialist Workers League


All Power to the Popular Committees!

(July 2001)

This statement is published here in solidarity with those struggling against Zionism in Israel/Occupied Palestine.
Transcribed by Daniel Rubinstein.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for REDS – Die Roten.

While Israel’s criminal closure of the Palestinian villages and towns enters its eleventh month, Sharon is waiting for a suitable moment to declare war. Apparently he still has not received green light from his imperialist patrons in the United States and Europe. The United States fears that a war will topple the client Arab regimes, but it will stand behind its regional cop, the Zionist state, the moment a war is declared. The aim of this war will be to stabilize Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by destroying the Palestinian Authority, which in the opinion of the dominant current of the Israeli establishment is not efficient enough as an instrument for the repression of the Palestinian uprising. This current of opponents to the Oslo Agreements, whose most prominent representatives are Ehud Barak (who voted against the Agreements in the government, and in Camp David demanded from Arafat to officially renounce the right of return of the refugees in order to blow up the whole process and prepare the ground for a new war), Shaoul Mofaz (who declared before the Security and Foreign Affairs Committee of the Knesset that the Palestinian Authority is a “terrorist entity”), general Moshe Ayalon, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and of course the settlers, do not believe in the remote-control occupation of the territories sponsored by Rabin-Peres-Beilin. They have for several years already been preparing the ground for a new war in order to impose a new “cantonal” order in the Territories, in which they will deal with many local cooperators depending directly on Israel. In the process they will carry out a long-hoped-for series of war crimes, such as the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from areas close to the “settlement blocks”.

The “Oslo” wing of the Israeli establishment, led by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, continues to see in Arafat a partner to the repression of the Intifada and the control of the Palestinian people by Zionism. This current is supported by a large section of the Israeli bourgeoisie, interested in penetrating the Arab markets, represented by the Ha’aretz daily, and by the pro-imperialist Israeli “left”, which calls for the United States to exert pressure on Israel in order to return to the “discussion table”, arguing that a new war will endanger American control of the region. In fact, the aim of the Oslo supporters is to bring the Palestinians to their knees through starvation, house destruction and the assassination of political activists. Then, the Zionist “doves” hope, they will be ready to return to the “Oslo model” – i.e. the creation of Palestinian Bantustans subordinated to Israel, which will enable the expansion of the settlements, the exploitation of the cheap Palestinian labor force in industrial parks, and the transformation of Israel into the dominant economic power of the region.

While full-scale war waits for the suitable opportunity, Sharon enables the Oslo wing to continue their efforts to bring about the capitulation of the Palestinian Authority – efforts which have a high propagandistic value as a way of convincing the Israeli public that the war was only a “last resort” step, taken only after prolonged “negotiations” and “restraint”.

The Palestinian Authority leadership, anxious about its own future, cooperates with Israel. Meetings are taking place at Tel Aviv between an Israeli team headed by the chief of the Special Security Services, Avi Dichter, and their Palestinian counterparts. As a result of these meetings, the PA demands from the leaders of the different Palestinian factions to respect the “cease fire” of June 13th, and employs force in order to repress the uprising. Palestinian activists have lately been arrested and even wounded by PA officers. This has increased the tension between the Arafat regime and the Popular Committees, in which all the organizations are represented, including the Fatah. Clearly a situation of double power is developing in the areas under control of the PA: Arafat himself has declared that he will not allow “the existence of a government within the government”.

The struggle against the continuation of occupation and repression requires that, in a situation of double power, only one force will determine the activity of the masses. This power is represented by the Popular Committees, who are against the cooperation of the PA with Israel and imperialism. In order for this force to win, it is necessary to develop and expand the Popular Committees, turn them into elected councils of representatives of the Palestinian workers, peasants and soldiers opposed to occupation, and coordinate their activities at the national level. This national council will have the political and moral authority necessary to conduct the mass uprising and turn to the masses of the region, including the Jewish workers, with the call: Let us fight together against imperialism, Zionism, and the client regimes from Egypt to Saudi Arabia! Let us build our own social regime: the socialist society of the workers, peasants and refugees!


Socialist Workers League

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Last updated on 20.8.2001