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The Militant, 7 September 1946

The Editors

Only Road for Arab-Jewish Masses

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 36, 7 September 1946, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


What is the real solution for the Arab-Jewish problem in Palestine?

The problem is essentially one of freeing that unhappy land from the cruel grip of British imperialism. British colonial rule is maintained in Palestine, as throughout the rest of the Empire, by the methods of force and violence.

During centuries of colonial conquest and domination, the British imperialists have acquired a diabolical skill in inciting bloody fratricidal war among their colonial slaves, thus dividing them and insuring their continued subjection.

They set Moslems against Hindus, Arabs against Jews, and then point hypocritically to the terrible consequences that ensue as justification for continued British rule. These colonial peoples, you see, are not fit for self-rule. They need the protection of British arms. They need the wisdom and the “guiding hand” of the benevolent British “arbiter” who impartially oppresses and exploits all the nationalities and religious groupings of the vast Empire.

The London conference called for September 9 to deal with the Palestine problem is the latest move of the British overlords to perpetuate their rule in Palestine. Those invited to the conference – the Arab League and the Jewish Agency for Palestine (Zionists) – are playing out their role like well-rehearsed actors in a somber tragedy.

The Arab League, which is the federal body of the British puppet governments in all the Arab states, declared that it will not sit in conference with the Zionists. It is prepared to meet with the imperialist oppressors of the Arab people, but not with the Zionists. The Arab leaders thus make it appear that the Zionists are the main enemy of the Arab people.

The Jewish Agency for Palestine has intimated that it will reject the British invitation to the London conference because of “British insistence on making a discussion of the Morrison plan for federated Palestine the first item on the agenda.” The Zionists are concerned above all else with unrestricted Jewish immigration into Palestine, but try to achieve it by flouting the wishes of the Arab masses and by agreement with the imperialists. They continue the bankrupt policy of allying themselves with the imperialists against the Arab masses, in the illusory hope that they will be able by this means to establish Jewish sovereignty in Palestine.

Reporting directly from Palestine, the Trotskyist writer, T. Cliff, makes the following pointed observation on the role of Zionism:

“In the incitement of national hatred imperialism is fully assisted by the Zionist movement, despite the friction between them. Thus, for instance, in these very days, a picket of some scores of Zionists is posted at the entrance to the Arab market beside Tel Aviv to prevent Jews from buying Arab products. The beating of Arabs, throwing of petrol on the products of fellaheen (peasants) who dare to offer their wares to Jewish customers and similar acts are everyday occurrences. The demand of the Zionists for a Jewish state is but fuel on the fire of imperialist provocation.” (Fourth International, September 1946.)

The anti-Jewish chauvinism of the Arab League thus has its counterpart in the anti-Arab chauvinism of the Zionists. The British imperialists lord it over both and direct their violence alternately against the Arabs and the Jews. In 1936-39, for example, the British waged a major war against the Arabs. They killed thousands, imprisoned tens of thousands. “Every fifth or sixth adult spent some time behind bars in those days. Whole villages were wiped out entirely in bombardments,” Cliff reports.

Today the British are waging war against the Jews. Today they are “protecting” the Arabs against Jewish infiltration into Palestine. Just as in India, they are fomenting communal conflicts as a cold-blooded tactic to preserve their own domination over both the Jewish and Arab peoples. Everything and everybody is fair game for the profit-hungry coupon clippers in London. Heedless of the number of victims, they hold to their bloody imperialist course.

Whether or not the London conference actually takes place, and regardless of Arab of Jewish participation if it does, one thing is abundantly clear: There can be no solution to the Palestine problem so long as the country is ruled by the British overlords.

All sorts of politicians, from President Truman down, have shed crocodile tears over the bitter plight of the European Jews, just as the members of the present British “Labor” Government did before they took over the running of the British Empire. The plight of the Jewish people is indeed tragic. They suffered indescribably during the war. It is estimated that a total of six to eight million Jews were exterminated in Europe. The fascist scum who spread the propaganda that World War II was fought by the “democratic” imperialist powers in behalf of the Jews, now have the satisfaction of seeing the pitiful remnants of the Jewish people held in camps for “displaced persons” in Europe or dumped into British concentration camps on the island of Cyprus.

Anyone who offers Palestine as the solution for the plight of the Jews without recognizing that the first task in Palestine, and throughout the Near East, is to break the despotic grip of British imperialism, is offering no solution at all. What is needed – and nothing short of it will suffice – is an implacable struggle to oust the imperialist slavedrivers, a joint struggle of both the Arab and Jewish masses against a common enemy in a common cause.

The Jewish people and the Arabs have a common interest in expelling a common oppressor and this furnishes a basis for unity of their forces. The cry of the Zionists for free Jewish immigration into Palestine must be viewed in the light of this pressing need. Jewish immigration into Palestine by sanction of the British imperialists, and under their control, will only strengthen the hand of these violators and plunderers.

By addressing to the British Government the demand that Palestine be thrown open to Jewish immigration, the Zionists continue to recognize and endorse British imperialist rule over the country and demonstrate once more that they are willing to serve the British as tools in the imperialist oppression of both the Arab and Jewish masses. By this action, too, they exacerbate Arab hatred of the Jews and render all the more difficult a solution in the interests of both.

The imperative need is to rally both Arabs and Jews around the slogans of ‘‘Self-determination for Palestine!” “Withdraw the British Troops!” “Let the Arab and Jewish Masses Decide Their Own Destiny!”

United, the Arab and Jewish masses can expel the imperialist violators. In this struggle an unbreakable unity would be forged, racial and national passions would be dissolved. Jewish immigration into a FREE PALESTINE would benefit both Jews and Arabs and could be peacefully arranged by mutual agreement.

That Arab-Jewish unity is possible has been demonstrated in the united strike struggles of Arab and Jewish workers and by the emergence in the Near East of a socialist, anti-imperialist workers’ movement. Just as in this country the Negro people and the national minorities must look to the working class, and to the unity between them that is forged in the fire of the class struggle, as the solution to Jim Crow and racial discrimination, so in Palestine the solution lies in the unity of the Jewish and Arab workers and peasants – DIRECTED AGAINST BRITISH IMPERIALISM.

Since both the Zionist movement and the Arab League are the native bourgeois tools of British imperialism, the masses must break from these treacherous organizations and forge a new fighting instrument, a new revolutionary. Marxist party that will unite them politically for a fight to the finish against all their class enemies.

To save the many thousands of Jews now forced to migrate, we repeat what we have said many times before in our editorial columns: OPEN THE DOORS OF AMERICA TO THE HOMELESS JEWS! This demand must be taken up and pressed by organized labor in America. Workers in other lands must likewise demand that these homeless people be admitted to their countries.

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