From the Right of Return to One State Raja’a Omari and Yehuda
Kupferman will argue that the bloody conflict which has split the
country since 1948 will end only if its cause – the nakba
– is addressed, and the right of the refugees and the expellees
to return is recognized. Implementation of the right of return will
reunite the Palestinian people in their land, and point the way to its
reunification. This will lay the foundation for a state whose members
will not be defined by their ethnic identification, but simply as
citizens. Raja’a Omari is active in "Abnaa al-Balad (The sons of
the Land), the Committee for a Secular Democratic Republic, the Haifa
Conference Forum and "Ajras al-Awda" (Bells of Return). Yehuda
Kupferman is active in the Committee for a Secular Democratic Republic
and the Haifa Conference Forum. Tuesday, 7 October 2008, at 20:00.
Zochrot Information Center
61 Ibn Gvirol St., Tel Aviv-Yafo
(entrance from 13 Mane Street)Telephone :
Dr. Adel Samara, a Palestinian researcher and expert of economics. Dr. Yehuda Kupferman, Tel Aviv University, Department of French and Dr. Tikva Honig-Parnass is co-editor of Between the Lines, Jerusalem.
A Quarterly Review www.kanaanonline.org
- 1 -
Kana’an – The e-Bulletin
20 September 2008
Volume VIII – Issue1664
The debate continues:
Why the Socialist Solution in Palestine!
• A Contribution to the One- State Debate: A reply to Yehuda Kupferman,
by Tikva Honig-Parnass.
• A rejoinder to Adel Samara, by Yehuda Kupferman.
A Note from Kana’an:
As the debate about the socialist state in Palestine continues, in today’s issue we
publish two contributions:
• Part I: A Contribution to the One- State Debate: A reply to Yehuda
Kupferman, by Tikva Honig-Parnass.
This is Tikva’s second contribution to this debate as she responds to comments
made by Yehuda Kupferman (see Part II below) to the original article of Adel
Samara of 11 July 2008.
• Part II: A rejoinder to Adel Samara, by Yehuda Kupferman as he presents a
rebuttal of several issues in Adel’s article..
On 11 July 2008, Adel Samara wrote an article entitled: “Why the Socialist Solution
in Palestine! And why the Secular Democratic State will serve the Zionist and
Arab Comprador Solution!”. The article can be found on:
- 2 -
On 30 August 2008, several friends made some comments that were followed by a
reply from Adel Samara. This debate can be found on:
On 6 September 2008, Tikva Honig-Parnass made her first contribution to this debate
entitled:” The Socialist Approach to Solution in Palestine: An Urgent Task to
Fight the New Palestinian "One State" Surrender. Her article can be found on:
A Contribution to the One- State Debate
A rejoinder to Yehuda Kupferman's Rejoinder to Adel Samara
By Tikva Honig-Parnass
My contribution is addressed mainly to supporters of the Committee for a Secular and
Democratic Republic in all Palestine whose position is represented in Yehuda
Kupferman's rejoinder to Adel Samara. Hence my attempt to refute Kupferman's
criticism of what seems to me the essence of Samara's approach is directed to all those
who belong to the anti-Imperialist and Socialist camp whose political analysis and
activity is guided by Marxist theory and praxis. My own thinking regarding the "onestate
solution" is based precisely on this political and theoretical framework that we
share. We agree that it should guide our analysis of the current stage in the
development of World Capitalist Imperialism and its manifestation in the Arab East
including Palestine. It also should direct our understanding of the adaptation made
in the role of the Zionist state role in order to meet the necessities raised in the
current phase of the imperialist project. That is, increasing its participation in lounging
the "War against terror" which threatens to set the entire Arab East on fire.
This brings us to the use of this shared analysis as the yardstick for depicting both, the
root cause of the "Israeli-Palestinian" conflict and the motives for the Israeli/ US
interest in objecting fiercely any real "solution" to it. By the same token this
perspective should serve as a guideline for articulating the "transitory program" to
socialism and the nature of the "democratic struggle" we are supposed to lead with
other forces of resistance against the Imperialist/Zionist enemy .
It has to be emphasized that it is not the democratic one state as a vision which is
rejected. What is criticized is the interpretation which sees this vision as the central
goal of current struggle for Palestine based on the enclosed "Israeli-Palestinian box"
and misleadingly defined as the Democratic Program for liberating Palestine. Mazpen
- 3 -
since early 60 (and later elaborated by Mosh´e Machover in Israelis and Palestinians:
Conflict and Resolution, Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust Annual Lecture 30
November 2006 as well as other socialists like Adel Samara in many of his articles,
have systematically emphasized that the "solution" of the "conflict" can be attained
only in the framework of a socialist Arab East, free of the control of Capitalist
Imperialism and the hegemony of the Zionist state.
The Current Nature of Imperialist offensive in the Arab region- Paced
Adherence to the limited “Israeli-Palestinian" perspective, breeds the claim made by
Kupferman that “the partition of Palestine is the core issue of the Palestinian national
question" and his accusation of Adel Samara for not addressing it is shallow and poor.
Indeed he admits that the partition of Palestine was and is "an expression of the
partition of the world into dominated spheres between the Soviet bureaucratic regime
and the imperialist powers" and that it is administered by imperialism and its direct
link in the chain, the Zionist settlement enterprise." However, recognizing the
partition of Palestine and the ethnic nature the Zionist state as the implementation of
Imperialist strategy does not imply necessarily the recommended "solution" of one
state, as argued. Moreover, it is the 'one state' presumption which blocks the
recognition that the 'regionalization' of the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict" was
embedded in Western Imperialist project from it's onset due to the role attributed to
Zionist colonial movement and later to the state of Israel in serving imperialism and
its agendas for exploitation and domination of the region. (See Moshe Machover).
Moreover, the new stage in the offensive lounged by American Imperialism in the
region has exposed more than ever the futility of concentrating on a 'solution" for
Palestine alone. I refer here to the escalating pace of re- fragmenting the "old" client
states which were curved up by the Western - British and French - imperialist Powers
to which Yehuda Kupferman relates. However he overlooks the global urgent need of
imperialism to reshape the relatively stabilized political geography and the ways it is
applied in the Arab region. Here the fragmentation and reshaping processes are not
aimed only at tearing the old state structures to "ethnic" religious or geographical
entities, but they consist of fragmenting the states into even smaller units of clan and
family units or into small enclaves of villages or towns like in the West bank. This
strategy of desolation is motivated by the belief that it is the only way to eliminate the
active resistance forces and to abolish any bud of potential opposition be it secular or
religious ( See Surmounting Sectarianism in the Middle East: An Interview with
Hisham Bustani by As'ad al-Azzouni, Monthly Review 28/10/2007)
The enormous brutalization of the Imperialist campaign in the Arab world is a
reaction to the actual emergence of organized resistance in places like Iraq, Lebanon
- 4 -
and Palestine- especially in Gaza .It is also a reaction to the growing understanding
and opposition among Arab masses of the Imperialist schemes and the central role of
the Zionist state in their implementation. Not less growing is the recognition of the
aid provided by their corrupt regimes in paving the way for their fragmentation and
destruction . This is due to the fact that, by now the alliance between these different
oppressive forces aimed at liquidating the resisting forces through the Arab region
and in Palestine is carried on openly -all beneath the declared war against terror or
"fanatic" Islam .
A case on hand is the pride expressed by the president of the Palestinian Authority
(PA) Abu Mazen in the acknowledgement of the Israeli security authorities of his
"bringing back order to the West Bank and his promise to do away with any one who
attempts to damage security and stability whether he is a Hamas or Islamic Jihad and
even Fatah". (Akiva Eldar and Avi Isascharov, 12 September 2008).
Intensification of the regionalization of the conflict
However, admitting that Abu Mazen indeed has been delivering the goods has not
and will not advance the process claimed to lead to a “Peace settlement". Israeli
seniors in the security establishment repeat time and again that Iran and not the
Palestinian resistance is the strategic threat to Israel. Hence the media's failure to
highlight the “Positive” changes in the activities of the PA. "The Palestinian issue no
longer interests the general public, [since] the greater strategic threat posed by Iran is
pushing it off the public agenda. (Avi Issacharoff, “There's a Partner, But Who Cares,
Haaretz 15 September 2008).
Israel's active involvement in executing the Imperialist devastating policies in the
region is accepted by wide strata of Jews here and abroad including the Zionist Left. It
is justified by the pretext of an existential threat which previously had been attributed
to the Palestinian national movement. Thus the ongoing heroic resistance in the Gaza
Strip is depicted as sustained by Iran as part in the service of its quest for regional
destabilization and change of balance of powers in the region. The Palestinian essence
of the fighting carried on by Hamas has been removed completely from Israeli
prevailing discourse in accord with its main concern with its hegemony in the region
at large - far away from the limited framework of the "Israeli-Palestinian" conflict.
Surely, the politics behind the different suggested “solutions" to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict by Western Imperialism was never disconnected from it’s the regional strategy
and global capitalist interests, despite Israel's and US official position. However, since
the 2006 bloody assault on Lebanon, Israel has been visibly moving to play its main
role in the Arab region (and for this matter serving Imperialist interests in controlling
fragmentized states outside the region - like in Georgia). Now more than ever in the
- 5 -
past, the issues regarding the balance of forces in the Arab East and the determined
attack on the resistance forces which threaten it, have advanced to the center of
official and public awareness of the Zionist state. The primacy of regional interests
was openly admitted, may be for the first time, in the articulation of the political aim
of the onslaught of Lebanon in 2006. Namely, the joint US-Israeli interest to change
the structure of government in Lebanon and transform it into an obedient neighbor
to Israel and a member in the US-oriented alliances in the region. This aim was
acknowledged through public declarations of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,
who claimed that Israel's catastrophic assault on Lebanon embodied the "birth pangs
of the new Middle East". It indicated a departure from past strategy whereby the US
used to hide its fingerprints that marked the dirty jobs Israel would commit in the
service of its imperial master, and upon whose control Israel's colonial interests have
been dependent. What has changed in Israel, as well, is the emergence of a widened
version of "a new Middle East", which seeks to include in its strategy and rhetoric of
the war against the Palestinians, as part of the joint US-Israeli war whose aims are
external to the "Palestinian-Israeli box". Namely, to deliver a debilitating blow to the
resistance, as an obstacle to America's bid for complete control of the Arab region.
"The needs of the masses"
Certainly the current developments in the US-Zionist enterprise in the region
highlights the absurdity of remaining within the blocked up "Israel -Palestine" box
even more than in the past. The attempt to justify it on the grounds that it is based on
the "needs of the masses" lays bar the systematic attempt to harness distorted facts in
order to justify the one-state position.
In this context the false accusation of Adel Samara for presumably disregarding the
suffering and needs of the Palestinian masses is a challenge of his commitment to the
basic role expected of non-sectarian Marxist. That is, to respond to the desires and
requires of the masses and their level of consciousness in any point of time and to
design accordingly the "transitory program" on the way to Socialism. However, it is
Kupferman who is deaf to the loud voices of the masses and their meaning - all in the
service of proving the one state as the inevitable solution and of wrongly depicting it
as the democratic assignment which we have to undertake.
What we in fact are confronting is a systematic disregard of the raised political
awareness among Arab and Palestinian masses of US/Zionist Imperialism policies, as
well as of the aid provided by their corrupt regimes in paving the way for their
fragmentation and destruction. Within this context, the national solidarity of Arab
masses throughout the region with their fellow Arabs in Palestine is still alive despite
the unrelenting efforts of Western imperialism to do away with the initiatives to
reunite under different projects of Pan Arabism.
- 6 -
Ignoring organized resistance
Particularly significant is Kupferman’s refrain from elaborating on the emerging
developments of organized resistance in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine to the current
stage in the process of oppressing the Arab nation by Imperialism. Ignoring their
being, both an expression of the masses beliefs and an agency for their mobilization is
in line with the reluctance to step out of the narrow box of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
and see the real needs of the masses. Unfortunately these forces are by now mainly
religious Islamists (See Hisham Bustani on the Arab Left). However, they are the only
forces which, at present, fight against Imperialism and Zionism as well as their
collaborators among the Arab states. The secular left has been dormant for long and
in many cases, like in Palestine, even supported the betraying PA.
The Hezbollah defeat of the Zionist/US onslaught of Lebanon which, as mentioned
above, aimed to be the "birth pangs of a new Middle East," has significantly
intensified the "Arab dimension” in Palestinian nationality. Thus, the identification
both, among '67 and '48 Palestinians- secular and religious alike- with Hezbollah and
its leader is not confined only to its struggle against Israel. Their solidarity with the
resistance extends to its determined position in the internal politics in Lebanon as
well, which is understood to be a battle aimed at preventing Lebanon from joining the
orbit of submitting to the American-Israeli hegemony in the region. It is sufficient to
watch the enthusiastically daily watch at Al Manar Television station and the attentive
listening to Nassarallah speeches in order to depict the "real needs" of the
Palestinian masses from which Samara is claimed to be” alienated”.
Teaching Samara the urgency of fighting against the '67 occupation is ridiculous, to
say the least. What is justly rejected by him is the deceiving message it carries, namely
that it is able to bring about the one-state solution which is portrayed as the goal of
the struggle. Nor can the wrapping of this approach in the Marxist praxis of a
"transient program", conceal the fact of its far lagging behind the understanding of
the masses. Their escalated aspiration for abolishing the imperialist/Zionist
fragmenting scheme and unite their resistance forces should serve as the basis for
designing a democratic program.
Mocking Adel Samara for calling to preach socialism in Palestinian villages as a proof
of his alienation from the "needs" of the masses is not only false. On a daily basis,
they face exploitation by the neo-liberal economy which benefits their own
bourgeoisie supported both, by the policies of the occupier and the PA. Ridiculing the
socialist dimension in Adel Samara's position reveals a position which sees the role of
democratic struggle as disconnected from the requirement to keep educating the
- 7 -
masses to understand that only socialism can answer their democratic aspirations and
Remaining in the “one-state capsule” instead of putting emphasis on the unity of
struggle in the Arab Homeland, is not only lagging behind the "needs" as articulated
by the masses and the essence of anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist, anti-Arab regimes
which underlies the Islamic organized resistance. It overlooks even the genuine
efforts made by secular Arab radical leftists- many of whom are socialists - to reorganize
around a platform which steps out of the Qutriyeh1 corner adopted by the
left in the region and by large parts of even revolutionary Left it in the West, namely,
the platform of the confinement of liberation effort to the borders of the fabricated
state. Although only in initial formation , these are genuine attempts to lay out a base
for building a unified resisting Arab peoples movement which sees the struggle for
Palestine national rights including the Palestinian Right of return (ROR) as a
collective Arab right and a part of the Arab liberation project . (See for example
Appendix: The Strategic Basis of the Resistant Arab People's Alliance in the report of
the Founding Conference of the Resistant Arab People's Alliance - Cairo, March 27-
The paramount need to incorporate the struggle for Palestine in the regional
resistance to imperialism through building the Left unity in building a pan-Arab, desectarianized
movement of principled resistance to imperialism is absent from
Kupferman's one state. However these are the real democratic assignments which
Marxist Left should confront.
A rejoinder to Adel Samara
By Yehuda Kupferman
I have read with great attention your docume'nt, and I want to present here a rebuttal
of its different points.
At first, this rejoinder will draw up a critical appraisal of your positions concerning the
one-state perspective, and more generally regarding the place of the burning
democratic tasks regarding the Palestinian masses, then it will present a defense of the
Qutri or Qutriyeh in Arabic is an adjective of qutr which means ‘a country or a part of a county’,
a district, or province. However, in modern Arabic political discourse it signifies an area (such as
Syria or Iraq) that was artificially severed from the rest of the Arab Homeland as a result of
occupation by European colonial powers (Britain and France) then became politically and
geographically ‘independent’ and isolated from the collective of Arab Homeland.. The term also
refers to the underlying fragmentation of the Arab Homeland into aqtar (plural of qutor).
- 8 -
platform held by our Committee for a Secular and Democratic Republic of all-
Palestine. These two parts will converge into a demonstration that shows that, in
contrary to your alleged support of a program of 'Socialist secular and democratic
state in Palestine', your support of a two-state formula is a negation of the secular and
democratic perspective, and therefore of the socialist one, in Palestine. I will end with
putting forward a program of practical tasks, which are the acid test for any principles
that are advocated.
1. The very existence of the settler state is contradictory with any solution of
the Palestinian national question.
1.1 Isolated categories instead of forces in movement.
Your methodology leads you to shake abstract labels one with/against the others:
ZAR. SDS, OSS, etc, without trying to give them concrete contents. So, these labels
appear to be hollow tags.
Therefore, the whole of your documen't seems to be an intellectual play for people
sitting in some isolated room, far away from the real battles waged by the masses, and
trying to win over the game. The game goes in the following manner: the two parties
hold in their hands a finite number of cards bearing once for ever the abovementioned
tags. But one of the adversaries, for the sake of that game: you, decides -
instead of the other players - what content have their labelled cards. Moreover, this
partner doesn't disclose at any time the content of his own cards, especially what is
mean by 'Socialism'. In the real world, we are not card players gathered into a small
room, but activists who are dedicated to the real struggle waged by the masses.
In that play you have decided to set between us, there is precisely a great absent: the
masses, the large masses of millions of people, which were ousted from the
Palestinian motherland and are denied their natural right to come back to it, into '48
territories, which in the '67 territories are suffering under the yoke of their fiercest
enemy, which are segregated in '48 areas, which, as a whole, are denied the right to be
free citizens and sovereign in their own country. They wage their struggle for
overcoming this reactionary order: what have you to tell to them?
1.2 Where is the partition of the country? Where is its direct consequence:
Your docume'nt doesn't address the core issue in the Palestinian national question, i.e.
the partition, managed by imperialism and its direct relay in the area, the Zionist
settling enterprise, of the country and the native population according to ethnic, racial,
- 9 -
religious, boundaries, leading to permanent cleansing operations. The partition of the
country was and is lead by the imperialist powers, beginning with the Balfour
Declaration (2 11 1917), ending with Bush's recurrent advocacy for "a Palestinian state
alongside Israel". We know that the Balfour Declaration and the Peel commission
(1937) intended to build an apparatus that will be incorporated into the British
We also know that the Partition Resolution on Palestine taken at the U N brigand
cave on 29 11 47 was an expression of the partition of the world into dominated
spheres between the Soviet bureaucratic regime and the imperialist powers. This
partition of the world was laid down at the Yalta and Postdam conferences at the end
of WWII. So a settler, and therefore an ethnic, state was set up in Palestine at the
expense of the autochtonous population. This state was intended to be the keystone
of the imperialist order in the whole of the region.
So, the masses in struggle for freedom, for independence, for sovereignty have no
other option than sweeping away the reactionary order in their country.
1.3 The settler system has to be swept away.
The settler state is the estate keeper of the order in the region on behalf of
imperialism. See its role, among others, as impeding the establishing Palestine as an
independent state, even as a shadow of a state in 1948 – because it would escape the
order which was laid down after WWI and which was based on the monarchies. See
its role in the anti-Egyptian wars in 1956 and 1967. See its role in the CIA-backed
attempt of destabilizing Iraq after the 1958 revolution.
See its role as the intimate protector of that pure imperialist product, the Jordanian
Hashemite monarchy since 1948, and especially during the confrontation and the
mass massacres of Palestinians in the course of black September 1970.
See its major role during the 1975-9 Lebanese civil war on the fascist Phalangist Party
side. In 1982, it acted as the most useful instrument of imperialism against the o
organized force of the national Palestinian movement in Lebanon, in helping it to
draw out PLO from the country.
See its role as the major effective and active support of the Shah regime in Iran after
the CIA coup in 1953. Its military officers and its political police torturers trained
their Iranian colleagues, the generals of the Shah and the Savak agents, and it was well
rewarded by the exclusive and benefiting position of the Iranian regime as oil supplier
- 10 -
So, the role of the settler state as the keystone of the pro-imperialist order in the
region appears in full light. All the regimes in the area are deeply interested in keeping
in place and maintaining it. Also against the interests of their own peoples.
These typical examples are enough to show that the state of Israel is not some other
semi-colonial country led by a compradore social strata. It is a compradore state as
such. It is as a whole, as an institution, an instrument of the imperialist order in the
This specific nature of its stems from his historic constituting as a settler state. It was
formed as an entity that was originally destinated first by the British colonialism, then,
in 1948, by the world order, the imperialism and the Stalinist bureaucracy, to absorb
settlers on the expense of the indigenous population. That world order has to
calculate permanently where stands the necessary equilibrium between the needs of
the compradore state and the compradore strata in the Arab countries.
1.4 The settler state is an ethnic state (based on religion definitions).
The definition of the settler state is a result of this history as an ethnic-ruling society.
Namely, it had to be a 'Jewish state'.
From these it stems the state of Israel defines itself as a ghetto-state inside the area.
This ghetto, having, like every ghetto, no roots in the region has to rely entirely on
that element of the world order which is the most powerful imperialist power that
dominates the region.
Therefore, this entity is only a machine of war directed against its environment. It is
not a state that has an army; it is an army that has a state.
As a whole, the ethnic nature of the settler state is doomed to trigger time after time
waves of ethnic cleansing in the space between the river and the sea. This innate way
of being is fully backed by the imperialist powers, by the compradore strata in the
area, since the days they have sit next to its birthbed. Again, that historic mission has
been entrusted to the settler state: preventing the creation of a Palestinian national
sovereignty which would escape the regional order set up in 1922. And, by the
creation of this state instead of a state for the inhabitants of the country – which
would be the natural, democratic way, the Palestinians people has become one people
too much for the regional order. It could be said that, in some sense, if we would take
a European metaphora, they are the Jewish people in the area. Drawn away from their
motherland and from everywhere, massacred everywhere.
- 11 -
Such is, since the outset, the nature of the settler state. It is a construction aimed as a
whole at the coming into existence of the Palestinian independence, and more
generally, it is aimed at the aspirations of the masses, in the entire region, for
sovereignty. It is unam'endable in whichever way.
The sub-ethnic differences inside the Jewish population are rather on a secondary
level relatively to the settler nature of the state. The line of separation lies between the
imported population, which serves as a social basis for the ethnic domination on the
Therefore, your label "the Zionist Ashkenazi Regime" ("ZAR") is lacking in content.
You have taken sides with the two-state option. And you have joined to it a 'socialist'
label. (For that sake, you stand together with the 'Communist' parties, and some
outfits of them.
2. The one-state perspective: the only reasonable solution for the
Palestinian people in all its components?
2.1 The '48 component of the Palestinian people.
On your way on, you defend the right of self-determination for the 1948 Palestinian
population. Obviously, there could not be any discussion with you on that ground.
Whoever doesn't ascribe this basic right to the framework of his activity is a scoundrel
that takes side with the Bushes, Gordons, Sarkozis, the Olmerts, the Abdallahs, the
Mubaraks, etc. Remember that precisely this right was denied from the Palestinians in
the UN General Assembly resolution at 29.11.47 But we know also that the right of
national self-determination means : up to and including the right of separation. It is
the sense you give to it, meaning the possibility for the '48 Palestinian population to
secede from the territory dominated by the Zionist state. And that is an utterly false
First, and again - the settler state cannot be amended as to licensing the reducing of
the territory which was recognized for him by the imperialist powers, the Stalinist
bureaucracy with the 242-338 UN resolutions, by the PLO with the PNC resolution at
15.11.88, and the Oslo agreements in 09.93. The resolving of the Palestinian national
problem requires that all this system be nullified. The settler state, by its own essence,
can exist only as an ever colonizing entity, ever maintaining and deepening its yoke on
its alleged geo-political basis – from the river up to the sea. Its regime (your "ZAR")
cannot be – in your words - "dismantled". It has to be erased and replaced. In some
- 12 -
strange way, you seem to support a solution akin to the present regime in South-
Africa, which has preserved the essential tenets of the apartheid regime.
Second, a secession of the '48 Palestinian Arab population has no sense. The two
populations are tightly interlocked, we have mixed cities: Akka, Haifa, Tel-Aviv Yaffa,
Ramleh, Lod, Nazareth, etc, and mixed areas.
Especially worrying is your argument based on the Kosovo and Kurdish cases. Here
we have examples of brutal interference of imperialism in the fate of the peoples. In
the first one, European imperialist powers, and then US, intervene in the fatal
processes triggered by the disintegration of the Titoist bureaucracy. The Yugoslavian
federation was brought to an explosive point, leading to fierce wars – the most
atrocious being the civilian war in Bosnia, but the Kosovar situation had also its
sharing of massacres. The second one was a direct consequence of the American
invasion in Iraq. The unity of the country was torn away, and the national entity of
Iraq split into hostile communities. This wanted consequence of the imperialist policy,
bringing back countries to stages they have passed a long time ago, can only remind
us the old warning by Lenin that "Imperialism is reaction all over the line".
But, in a typical way, you choose to lean on this reactionary course in order to justify
your support to an utopic secession from 1948 occupied Palestine. Secession would
be as reactionary as were the precedents in Bosnia and in Iraq. But, the mere
geographic situation of the '48 Palestinian Arab population would prevent such a step.
Your position is also reminiscent, in our context, of that holf by the Israeli and
Jordanian CPs, which advocated till 1967 an Israeli withdrawal from the territories
that stood beyond the UN 1947 resolution regarding the demarcation line.
More recently, the ultra-racist Israeli politician A. Liberman put forward a proposition
aiming at cutting off the Little Triangle region from the Israeli territory and giving it
up to the Palestinian Authority in the perspective of a "Palestinian state". This
suggestion arouses a general opposition inside the '48 Palestinian population. It was
interpreted as a rejecting them into a status opposed to the right direction: the
population of "67 has to be drawn up to the level of a modern country, and not the
'48 territories are also Palestine. With its whole population, Palestinian of both
components, Jews and Arabs, it should be included in the whole of one-state
- 13 -
The right of self-determination will find its materialization inside historic Palestine,
with the return of the refugees to their cities and villages, by its re-unification, by its
coming up to national sovereignty.
To conclude this issue, there is no way to escape the necessity of defining a solution
for the '48 Palestinian Arab population in a framework other than in a one-state
2.2 The component in exile
Your text presents a crucial blank in a central issue: the right of return. You don't
really address the question, which was essential in the Haifa conference debates. We
know that at the Camp David conference (07.00) they reached an unofficial
agreement stating that the bulk of the refugees would be allowed to set inside the
'Palestinian state', while a symbolic number of them (something like 50 000 people)
would be authorized to come back into the '48 territory. Is that your position? Are
you siding with imperialism and its agencies in the enterprise of liquidating, in such a
way, the refugee question? Of liquidating the right of return?
Does there exist any other political framework for the returning to the cities and the
villages than the one-state one?
2.3 The component residing in the '67 occupied territories.
You smear at our face scandalous charges: we would accept '67 occupation. To sum
up your general conclusion, we would be a left cover for
Zionist expansionism. There lies the gist of your lack of understanding concerning the
program of a secular and democratic state in all Palestine solution.
People in our Committee for a secular and democratic republic of all Palestine took
part in the first demonstration initiated inside the '67 borders in February 1968 against
the Israeli taking into control of the newly occupied territories. This militant gathering
was held in front of the Knesset after a woman was killed in a demonstration in
Rafah. We soon adopted the watchword "Down with the occupation". Then, the
Israeli CP refused to take part in that demonstration, arguing that it was an
"adventurous" move. Their perspective was still of an agreement between the
Jordanian monarchy and Israel.
Since then, we participated in innumerable demonstrations in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem,
Ramallah, Hebron, where, more than once, we confronted with the army, demanding
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Israel's withdrawal from the '67 occupied territories. That position of ours has
remained unchanged. See our declaration of principles in the attached doc'ument.
Self-evidently, any idea of annexation of the '67 territories by the settler state, which
would pretend to be a (strange) version of the one-state solution, and that you put in
our moth, is totally irrelevant to us. Our fight against the '67 occupation is unshakable,
as is our support for the one-state solution, which includes the right of the refugees to
return to the Palestinian homeland.
But, the request for the withdrawing of the Israeli army from the '67 occupied
territories became largely insufficient after the PNC decision of 15th November 1988,
and especially after the Oslo agreements. The recognition by the imperialist powers
and by their Israeli agency of the 2 State solution means that, under certain
circumstances and with some conditions, they support a withdrawal of the Israeli
army from these territories. We well know their plan of transforming these last ones
into a string of ghettoized enclaves inside an area dominated by the settler state. See
the terrible and atrocious precedent of the Gaza Strip. The siege of the area by earth,
air, see, the organized lack in food, in medicines, of medical care, in economic
relationship with the outside world, has made this area a hell for its inhabitants. Don't
doubt about it: if Israel will have to withdraw from the West Bank, such would be the
fate of its inhabitants!
Therefore, the specific and necessary struggle for the army's withdrawal from the '67
occupied territories must be intertwined with a struggle for the total disappearance of
the oppressive power.
2.4 The Jewish component of the Palestinian people.
As emphasized in the Haifa conference docume'nts, only their integration in a onestate,
secular and democratic, re-construction of the country will remove from the
presence of the Jewish population its colonial character. Then, it will be able to
integrate, retaining all its cultural rights, the new Palestinian entity. This Jewish
population may be addressed to as the Hebrew-speaking component of the people of
3 The way to dignity, to freedom, to equality: the transitory program to
3.1 Towards the masses!
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The major defect in your methodology is a blatant conservatism. In short, you mean
that what was is what will be. You figure static categories, and not situations in their
proper movement, where one phase in the movement of the masses is transformed in
another, and superior, one. As I have underlined before, the masses are totally absent
in your argumentation. The masses, with their hate of the cruel oppression they are
suffering, with their aspirations for freedom, their movement forward for liberation,
their political confrontations with their enemies and the inner obstacles (which have
been set up by the Oslo process), their striving, in spite of the tremendous difficulties,
to build on the spot authentic organizations: they are our auditors/speakers.
For that reason, you pass over the intresic movement which may only transform the
struggle against the savage occupation of the Israeli army into a struggle for the return
to the 1948 occupied territories, and therefore for the re-unification of the Palestinian
people on its historic land.
Our position in the Committee is clear: there is no possibility for a secular and
democratic Palestinian state if not on the whole territory of historic Palestine. And no
Palestinian one-state solution is possible which would not be secular and democratic.
The disappearance of the ethnical definition of the citizen (= secularism of the state),
leading to democracy (=equality between the citizens) are tied together in an
The movement of the masses for the destruction of the '67 occupation will not stop
in the middle of the road. It will bring them up to the destroying of the whole ethnical
construction that has been laid down in Palestine in 1948.
3.2 The socialist perspective: we are no more in the rising capitalism era.
In that central issue you show the same use of static and dried up categories that was
stressed above. Your position is that secularism and democracy of the state are
tantamount to a feud-bourgeois regime, which, naturally, has a compradore content in
a semi-colonial country. Therefore, according to your logics, advocating secularism
and democracy would stem from perspective different from the socialist one.
All that would be true, had we discuss under the conditions of the rising, progressive
period of capitalism. Then, socialism was not on the order of the day, but a far-off
perspective. The working-class fought for enabling better economic and political
conditions. Such were the tasks of the period, which lead to the formation of the
historic international working-class movement.
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But this era is unavoidly over. And the semi-colonial countries have been attracted
into the world capitalist economy and into its world market, and therefore into the
world class struggle. All of the peoples now live in the "period of wars and
revolutions". Capitalism, in its financially-based structure, has exhausted its
progressive potential. It is nevertheless reactionary.
Does it mean that democratic issues are past? Not at all! On the contrary : the
imperialist pressure on semi-colonial countries, and more generally on less developed
ones, leads to wars, to unprecedented scales of national oppression, to bloody military
dictatorships. Democratic tasks stand more than ever on the order of the day.
The toiling masses, exploited and oppressed, find in their struggle for national and
social emancipation the obstacle, not only of imperialism, but also of its feudbourgeois
local agency. The masses have to overcome this double obstacle. They arm
themselves with the democratic program, which appears to them as being most
Only the toiling masses in struggle, and for sure when they will hold power are able to
fight for the full implementation of the democratic program.
The same movement of the masses that arouses them and leads them into the struggle
for implementing their immediate democratic aspirations will bring them into fighting
for socialist demands, which, in their turn, are, that is our opinion in the Committee,
the sole framework in which may be materialized the right of return, the re-unification
of the country, the national independence, political democracy. The government of
the toiling masses that will come into power on democratic demands will pass onto
the first socialist transformations.
Our case in Palestine integrates itself in a development of this type of the revolution
in the semi-colonial countries. Please, go to Jebalia, Ayn el Hilweh, Nahar el-Bared,
the Yarmuk camp, Deheishe, etc., and try to deliver a speech before the residents
there, calling for nationalization of the means of production (= socialism). The people
would be sure that you just fell from the Moon, and that you are some alien that
doesn't know where he is standing right now. They will ignore you.
But speak with them on united organization for fighting for the return, for the
reconstitution of the Palestinian people unity in its historic and re-unified country, for
real democracy, for a non racial state in all Palestine: they will understand you. Then,
you have a real possibility to help the masses to organize on the larger scale.
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I would say: let's go and strive for building popular committees on this program, in
the '67 territories, in the '48 territories, in the refugee camps abroad.
Please, think about it: is this not the road for a historic putting right of the nakba, for
freedom, for equality, in Palestine. Such may be the outset of the struggle of the
popular masses. Further on, on their road to gain the secular and democratic state in
all-Palestine, the fighting masses will unavoidly enter into the way of setting their
The planning and the settling of the return of the refugees in all Palestine, the building
of a non-ethnic and of an egalitarian-citizenship structure of state, will require a
tremendous organization that no capitalist economy is able to provide. So, their own
experience will demonstrate to the masses that socialist measures have to be
introduced by their government.
Socialism is not some panacea to be imposed from above, but a vital necessity
stemming from the very struggle of the popular masses for their democratic demands.
As a conclusion: your using of the 'Socialism' label helps you not to confront the deep
political, democratic, tasks that the largest masses, and with them their vanguard, have
to arm themselves with.
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