The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Popular Revolt and the Obstacles It Encounters

May 24, 2021

The following four articles are reprinted from Lutte Ouvrière, the paper of the revolutionary group active in France.

Since the expropriation of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and the exile of a whole part of them during the war which followed the proclamation of the State of Israel, a wall of hostility rose between this despoiled population and the hundreds of thousands of Jews who thought they would find a land of refuge there.

The Zionist leaders have locked their people in a dead end, choosing to make their state play the role of guardian of order in the region, to have the unwavering support of imperialism. They have thus transformed the Israeli population into guardians of this order.

The Six-Day War was started in 1967 by Israel, under the pretext of the nationalist rants of Arab rulers like Nasser in Egypt, the King of Jordan and the rulers of Syria. In particular, it led to Israel’s conquest of the West Bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem.

It was then that the Palestinian resistance movement became a popular force, shining thanks to its radical, even revolutionary image. It saw the entry of women on an equal footing in the struggle. Some of its political branches proclaimed themselves Marxist-Revolutionaries. This momentum, which also had repercussions in Israel, was squandered by the Palestinian leaders, who preferred to sacrifice this mobilization of their people to the alignment behind the Arab leaders.

It was the Palestinian people, and especially their youth, who sought to break the deadlock into which their leaders had thrown them by triggering in the West Bank, occupied by the Israeli army, the “war of stones", the Intifada (the “uprising” in Arabic), from 1987 to 1991. It was a massive uprising of hundreds of thousands of young people who faced bullets from soldiers for four years. This popular uprising, outside the traditional control of the Arab rulers, worried the Zionist rulers of the State of Israel, as well as the Palestinian leaders. And to regain control of the Palestinian masses, the Oslo accords of 1993 promised the creation of a Palestinian state. But this was limited to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in part of the West Bank, under the surveillance of the ever-present Israeli army.

As part of this pseudo-normalization, carried out under the aegis of American imperialism, the colonization of the Palestinian territories has continued, encouraged by the Israeli governments. It has fostered the development of a nationalist and religious far right.

This development has had its counterpart on the Palestinian side, with the rise of the reactionary Islamist current. The growing disregard of the Palestinian Authority allowed Hamas to seize power in Gaza and install a religious and police regime there.

In this month of May 2021, the spontaneous uprising of part of the Palestinian youth was the response to the attempt to expel Palestinians from East Jerusalem to replace them with Israeli Jewish families. This frequent practice this time caused an explosion. This popular uprising could worry the Israeli leaders, but also those of Hamas, who above all fear the popular initiative. It can indeed call into question their power and their dream of extending it to the entire Palestinian population.

The Hamas leaders therefore launched their rockets at Israel, claiming to come to the aid of Palestinian youth. In reality, it is attempting to use events by presenting itself as the spokespersons of the revolt. It is also wanting to shift the popular revolt toward a disproportionate military confrontation, of which Hamas knows the consequences.

This situation risks further strengthening the most reactionary currents both in Israel and on the Arab side. Part of the Israeli population ends up feeling hostage to what it calls “the fascists of the settlements of the Occupied Territories". This extreme right is asserting itself more and more openly in Israel itself, which has resulted in the lynching live on television of an Arab pulled out of his car.

At the moment when the revolt is once again born out of injustice, oppression and exploitation, the absence of a proletarian revolutionary communist policy is sorely felt. It is the only one, if it finds the ear of the masses, which can make it possible to overcome the oppositions knowingly maintained for decades by imperialism.