Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The Militant, 3 August 1946

Dan Shelton

Lessons for Jews in Fight
on British Rule of Palestine

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 31, 3 August 1946, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The various investigations and committees on Palestine can be correctly understood only in terms of England’s long-term imperialist policy, an integral part of which is England’s need and desire to appease the Arab world. While the Jews have become weaker than ever, carrying virtually no weight in the game of power politics, the Arab states with their vast oil regions, their strategic location, their budding nationalism, are a force to be reckoned with.

“Explorations” of the Jewish Refugee Problem began in 1933 with the League of Nations Commission and are still going strong in 1946. The only difference is that the plight of some 8 to 10 million Jews no longer need be “explored” inasmuch as they are already dead. These hypocritical “investigations” continued all through Hitler’s regime.

In 1942 thirty-two governments came together at Evian to “explore.” In 1943 they converged again at the Bermuda resorts, and arrived at “secret decisions” which up to the present have not been divulged!

Harrison Report

In 1945, President Truman found it necessary to obtain still another report on Jewry’s fate. Surprising enough, this Harrison report demanded action. “Action” came in the shape of an Anglo-American Committee on Palestine, instructed to explore the situation, with a three-month deadline.

Today, nine months after the creation of said committee, exactly nothing has been done, although even this hand-picked committee, shocked by the Jewry’s plight, was forced to recommend immediate immigration of 100,000 Jews into Palestine. The English government (under the Laborites!) refuses to abide by the decisions of its own committee, continuing to stall. While investigations continue, so does the decimation of world Jewry.

What should Jewry’s program be in the face of this unparalleled catastrophe and the criminal policies of “its” Allied friends?

Slogans for Struggle

Today more than ever, it is clear that salvation lies only in the Jewry’s coupling their struggle with that of the world working class.

In Europe, the Jews must fight shoulder to shoulder with the workers against the decayed capitalist system which is no longer able to offer even the elementary needs of life.

In Palestine, the Jews must unite with the Arabs in a truly anti-imperialist struggle. “Drive the British out of Palestine!” and “For a Free Palestine!” – these are the slogans of the hour.

Any struggle in Palestine is doomed to defeat beforehand unless it is a struggle to the end against imperialist overlords. Episodic raids and battles with the English troops count for nothing, in the absence of an integrated, all-embracing fight for the independence of Palestine. The untapped and tremendous reservoir of Arab’peasants and workers must become an integral part of the anti-imperialist struggle. Without it, failure is unavoidable; with it, success is bound to come.

But to gain the Arabs’ support in an anti-imperialist struggle, the Jewish workers must first cleanse their ranks of the chauvinist and class collaborationist Zionist policies and slogans – these proponents of the “pure” Jewish state, with its program of dominance over the Arabs. They must implacably fight against racial unions, closed to the Arabs, against the concept of a “closed” Jewish economy and all the rest of this Jewish “master-race” poison.

They must approach the Arab workers as equals and allies, fighting together in the same unions and unified organisations for common aims. Jewish labor should demand the convocation of a Constituent Assembly, where Jews and Arabs would democratically determine their own fate. Their goal must be the creation of an independent Socialist Palestine as part, of the Near-Eastern Socialist Federation.

Tasks Today

It is necessary to fight for this program within the Hagana, in order to win over the Jewish masses inside the Hagana to a genuine militant program that will “drive the British out of Palestine.” Inside this mass organization, predominantly composed of workers and commune farmers, it is necessary to expose the Hagana’s reactionary leadership and its self-defeating politics of compromise and appeasement of the imperialist rulers.

There is undoubtedly growing dissatisfaction of the rank and file inside the Hagana with the false policies of the leadership. The task is to break this rank and file from the Zionist program and tie it to a truly anti-chauvinist, anti-imperialist program.

Main Militant Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 26 June 2021