The Spark

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

60 Years Ago:
Israel founded on the blood of Palestine

Apr 28, 2008

May 15th will mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. The official history, repeated year after year at this time claims that Israel was founded in Palestine, “a land without a people, for a people without a land.”

At the end of World War II, the Jews certainly were “a people without land.” European bourgeois society had turned on the Jews, making them the scapegoats for the decay of capitalism. The German ruling class went the furthest, employing anti-Semitism to turn the anger and the despair of the population away from a revolt against its rule. The Jews were blamed for everything negative in the society, as 6 million were marched off to the concentration camps and then the gas-chambers during the Holocaust.

When the war came to an end, bourgeois society again demonstrated its bankruptcy. It had no place for the Jews, and no interest in stopping the anti-Semitism it had itself developed. Jews were refused by governments around the world, including in the United States. President Roosevelt had turned a blind eye to the mass murders as they took place in Germany during the war. Jews trying to escape the Holocaust by boat were turned away from the shores of the United States, making it clear that immigration into the U.S., even after the war, was not an accepted solution.

Instead, so-called “Western democracies” pushed for the establishment of a separate Jewish state. They proposed to funnel the Jews out of the ghettoes scattered throughout Europe into a new, single ghetto in the deserts of the Middle East.

According to all reports at the end of World War II, the vast majority of Jews seeking to flee Europe did not want to go to the Middle East. But they had little choice. In the end they either had to face the ongoing anti-Semitism where they were, or join the Zionist movement and head off to Palestine to regroup, and to build up their own state and military in hopes of defending themselves against further attack.

There was, however, an enormous impediment to the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine: Palestine was NOT a “land without people” as the slogan pretends. At the time, there were at least a million Palestinians living there, with their roots going back centuries.

It might have been possible at the end of World War II to find a peaceful solution between the Jewish and Palestinian populations. As late as November of 1947, when the United Nation’s resolution called for partitioning the former British colony of Palestine into two separate states, only 30% of the population was Jewish and only six% of the land was Jewish-owned.

The imperialist powers, however, all came to support the establishment of a single Jewish state, a client-state dependent on them, a state which could be used to defend imperialism’s interest against the Arab peoples in this oil-rich region. The imperialist powers poured in money; tanks, planes and artillery in support of the right-wing Zionists whose goal was to create a clear Jewish majority in Palestine.

The means used were terrorism, aimed at driving the Palestinians off their land. A 50,000 man Zionist paramilitary group, the Haganah, set out against the Palestinians. The Palestinians were poorly armed, forbidden under penalty of death to own weapons ever since the anti-colonial uprising against British rule in 1936. The Zionists now did to the Palestinians what had been done to the Jews. Massacre followed massacre, first in Deir Yassin, then Haifa and then in dozens more towns and villages. By May 15, 1948, when Israel’s independence was declared, over 300,000 Palestinians had been driven from their homes into exile. By the end of that year, the number climbed to 750,000. Three out of every four Palestinians were forced to flee as Zionist troops confiscated land, homes and livestock.

By the end of 1948, Zionist troops occupied 80% of Palestine. The other 20% was taken in 1967 when the Israeli military invaded Gaza and the West Bank.

The modern Israeli state was founded on the blood of the Palestinians – which is why, despite all the might of imperialism which stands behind it, Israel to this day has been unable to defeat the Palestinians. The stones of the Intifada in the hands of young children is the demonstration of what the Jews should know from their own history: the human will can be greater than any number of weapons.