Meeting on Israel and the people of Palestine

Members and supporters of the Communist Ghadar Party of India met in Delhi on 22nd October to discuss the politics of the conflict between the Palestinian people and the state of Israel.

The meeting began with a detailed presentation of the history of the conflict over the past 106 years since the Balfour Declaration of 1917. This was followed by a lively discussion. The meeting was chaired by Comrade Prakash Rao, spokesperson of the party.

On November 2, 1917, during the First World War, British Foreign Secretary Balfour declared that Britain would work to create a “national home for Jews” in Palestine after the War. This declaration was made with the approval of the US and France. At the end of the First World War, Britain established its rule over Palestine, which was earlier under the rule of the Turkish Empire. It began encouraging migration of Jews from Europe into Palestine.

In 1947, the United Nations came up with the plan of Partition of Palestine into two states — the state of Israel and the state of Palestine. In May 1948, the state of Israel came into being. Israel launched a war against the Palestinian people to expand its territory, forcing Palestinians to flee their homeland.

During the discussion it was clarified that the real motive underlying the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 was not to provide a national home for the persecuted Jewish people. That was the false impression spread by the Anglo-American imperialists. The real motive was to advance the interests of imperialism in West Asia. It had nothing to do with the religious sentiments of any people.

At a time when the old colonial system was coming to an end, the Anglo-American imperialists were interested in maintaining and strengthening their control over the oil rich and strategically located region in West Asia, which they referred to as the “Middle East”.  They developed and implemented a plan to keep Arab nations and peoples divided and subjugated. The creation of a highly militarised state in Palestine, called Israel, was a central component of this plan.

In the course of the discussion it was repeatedly emphasized that the struggle of the Palestinian people for their own homeland, is a just struggle of an oppressed people against imperialism. It is not a struggle between two religions. That is why it enjoys the support of anti imperialist, democratic minded people of all countries, including those of the US and Britain. Over the past two weeks, lakhs of people have come out onto the streets to demand an end to the bombing of Gaza by Israel, its siege of Gaza, and for the creation of Palestine in accordance with UN resolutions. They are condemning the role played by the US in defending the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people. It is significant that Jews in the US and many countries of the world, have come onto the streets with these same demands. Within Israel too, people are questioning the path pursued by the rulers.

The discussion also dwelt on the rationale for the “two-state solution” to the conflict between Israel and the people of Palestine.  Many Arab states initially refused to recognise the state of Israel, because its creation was at the expense of the Palestinian people and their right to their homeland. However, the Jewish people who migrated to Israel had done so to escape persecution elsewhere.  They were victims who had nowhere else to go.

After the Arab – Israeli wars in 1967 and 1973, in which Israel occupied all of Palestine, Arab states came around to the position that the solution to the problem facing the Palestinian people was the establishment of a state of Palestine alongside of the state of Israel. In 1974, a UN resolution on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” called for two States, Israel and Palestine, side by side within secure and recognized borders. That resolution stipulated that the borders of the state of Palestine would be based on the pre-1967 situation, that is, prior to the forcible seizure and occupation of additional Palestinian lands by Israel.

In 1988, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized Israel’s right to exist. However, over the past 35 years, Israel has not recognized the right of the Palestinians to their own state. On the contrary, it has aggressively continued on the course of colonising the territories it occupied after the 1967 war by establishing settlements in Palestinian land. Israel has violated with impunity, all the resolutions of the United Nations on the question of Palestine.

During the discussion it was repeatedly clarified that the United States and its policy has been and remains the biggest stumbling block to a peaceful resolution.  The US has consistently supported the aggressive and racist policies of the Israeli state. It has vetoed every resolution that has been presented in the UN Security Council towards a peaceful settlement.

Some of the participants highlighted the fact that prolonging the violent conflict in this region not only serves the geo-political aims of US imperialism but also the economic interests of international finance capital. It serves the interests of the monopoly companies of the American military-industrial complex which reap enormous profits from the production and sale of weapons of mass destruction.

Responding to the question of what we can do in this situation, Comrade Prakash Rao explained that it is important to expose the truth to the people and combat the disinformation being spread by the western imperialist media and many channels of the Indian media. The heroic resistance struggle of the Palestinian people is being portrayed as terrorism while the terroristic acts of the Israeli state are portrayed as “self-defence”. He stressed the importance of strengthening the mass protests which are taking place all over the world in support of the rights of Palestinians to their homeland, against the genocide being unleashed by the state of Israel in the name of fighting terrorism.

The meeting concluded with participants expressing their determination to unite with all progressive and democratic forces and fight to stay the hands of Israel and its supporters, headed by the USA.

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