A new leap in the Palestine National Liberation War- K. Murali (Ajith)

All organisations which stand for the liberation of Palestine, all those that wage armed struggle against Zionist occupation, are participants in this war. A forceful reminder to the people of the world that they can overcome even the most sophisticated ultra modern technology and surveillance systems of the oppressors and hammer them — this is another distinctive feature of this war. The new leap in the Palestine liberation war has created a lot of alarm among the Jewish colonisers, particularly in the new settlements. This is the third distinct feature of the present war. The solid unity of the Jewish population exhibited in the past is not seen now. This too is a significant factor. The more the war drags on, the more its impact will be on its conduct.

This is not the first time the Palestinian people have launched attacks on the Zionist State. However the present offensive has some distinct features. They differentiate it from the earlier ones. All organisations which stand for the liberation of Palestine, all those that wage armed struggle against Zionist occupation, are participants in this war. Joint Operational Centres in which they are present are giving directions to the combatants. This unity started taking form at the time of the 2021 Intifada. Following that, armed groups with participants from various organisations, such as the Lion’s Den and the Jenin Brigade, emerged. They have been continuously launching attacks against the occupier. The numbers of such attacks have been steadily increasing.

The Hamas is guided by an Islamist ideology. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) upholds Marxism-Leninism. Various other national liberation forces of Palestine, including other Marxist-Leninist forces, the Hezbolla in Lebanon, Palestinian refugees in surrounding countries — all of them are participants in this war, directly or indirectly. Therefore, to characterise this war as one between Israel and Hamas or between Israel and Gaza is wrong. It is a new episode, a new phase in the national liberation war of the Palestinian people against Zionist colonial rule.

The participant organisations differ in their ideological views. But a common stand unites them. All of them reject the two nation solution. According to this plan, promoted by the US, there will be a country ruled by the Zionists, and another country allowing some territory for the Palestinians. This is not acceptable to those Palestinian organisations arrayed in battle. This imperialist scheme was accepted by the Palestine Liberation organisation (PLO) under Yasser Arafat’s leadership. The Palestinians were granted some amount of self-rule under the control of the Zionist state as a step towards that. Though the Palestinian Authority has its own flag and membership in the UN, in effect it is nothing more than Municipal rule. Its police has often been used to attack the fighting organisations and lock up their leaders and activists in prison. Even now this is what it is doing.

In opposition to this the organisations involved in the present upsurge stand for the complete liberation of Palestine. This is clearly stated in their slogan, “Free the nation, from the river to the sea”. This means from its western border along the Jordan river all the way up to the east, the Mediterranean sea. It means the complete destruction of the settler colonial state known as Israel. That is the declared position of these organisations.

The US imperialist-led camp claims that this will amount to a repetition of the genocide of Jews carried out by the Nazis. Hamas is the major participant in this united struggle. Since it upholds an Islamist ideology, there are some who think that this would be the inevitable outcome. What does the Hamas say?

Its document on general principles and policy, adopted in 2018, clarifies that its conflict is with the Zionist project and not with the Jews because of their religion. It states that the Hamas does not wage struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine. In points out that it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their colonial project and illegal occupation. It reminds that the Jewish problem, anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are phenomena fundamentally linked to European history and not to the history of the Arabs and the Muslims or to their heritage. It declares that Palestine will always be a model of coexistence, tolerance and civilisational innovation.

The PFLP does not accept the Israel state. It too holds the view that a single Palestinian state is the only solution. It declares that its aim is the creation of a people’s democratic Palestine where Arabs and Jews would live without discrimination, a state without classes and national oppression, a state which allows Arabs and Jews to develop their national culture. The other organisations in this unity have positions similar to those held by these two prominent ones. None of them have the view that the Jews should be eliminated wholesale or driven away from that land. But they all insist that the colonial Zionist state be completely destroyed.

On the other hand, the ruling class of that country has tried its best to drive away all Arabs, right from the very foundation of their State. Whether it be the matter of human rights or of resources like agricultural land and water, they have always had the policy of discriminating against the Palestinians. They have repeatedly violated international agreements and continuously expanded Zionist settlements. They trample on the Palestinian’s cultural practices and religious beliefs. They continuously implement racist, apartheid policies. No matter which political party is in government this has been going on for decades. The Basic Law of that country clearly declares that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. Furthermore, the right of national self-determination in Israel is stated to be unique to the Jewish people. On the one side, a racist, apartheid colonial ruling class. Its State. Its army. Imperialist powers support it by all means. (American imperialism contributes 300 crore dollars per annum to the Israeli State.) On the other hand, forces struggling to establish a liberated Palestine where all citizens can live without discrimination or oppression regardless of their religious beliefs. This is the political content of this war. Which side should someone standing for democracy and justice, standing for the liberation of the people, choose? The answer is quite clear.

A forceful reminder to the people of the world that they can overcome even the most sophisticated ultra modern technology and surveillance systems of the oppressors and hammer them — this is another distinctive feature of this war. Gaza is completely surrounded by barbed wire ‘smart’ fences, watchtowers and sensors to detect underground activity. There is total surveillance of all telephone communications and electronic signals. The Palestine liberation fighters overcame each one of them, broke through the border and delivered a powerful blow.

In the final analysis, victory is not decided by technology but by the determination of the people to fight and win. “Dare to struggle, Dare to win.” These words of Mao Tsetung have once again been validated in the valiant actions of the Palestinian fighters.

The world had already seen this during the Vietnam war and many other liberation wars. It is now seeing it in the ongoing people’s wars. There is no technology in the world that cannot be defeated by the determination and creativity of the masses. If someone thinks that the people cannot stand up to the sophisticated technology of the enemy, this is mere cowardice, defeatist thinking. Moreover, technology is not that insurmountable or unattainable today. The people can master it. TV shots of some Palestinian rocket launchers, seen during the initial stages of this offensive, are proof of this. They were something anyone could manufacture with material bought from a hardware store and a welding machine. The most advanced technology was overcome with some very basic stuff. Moreover it was made mass based. The backwardness in quality was overcome with quantity.

The Zionists were bragging about their ‘iron dome’, capable of tackling any missile attack. It would detect the launch of any missile coming towards Israel. A counter missile would be immediately launched and the incoming missile would be destroyed in the air itself. Yes, it had succeeded in doing this in the past. But this time what they faced was thousands of missiles. It was impossible to tackle all of them. Quite a number of them breached the ‘iron dome’ and hit their targets. How did the Palestinian liberation forces succeed in amassing this huge inventory of missiles? They didn’t have, couldn’t run, large armament factories. Neither did they have the resources. What they had was the masses. The impossible was made possible by the participation of the masses and their creativity. When this scattered potential was organised and centralised it became a massive force capable of breaching the enemy’s structure. Under its cover thousands of combatants succeeded in sweeping into territory held by the occupier and launching successful attacks. The fact that they were able to stay on there and continue the fight for some more days is noteworthy. They must have been reinforced with ammunition and fighters to replace those who died or got wounded in action.

After a day or two, stories started appearing in the Western press claiming that the Zionists knew about an impending attack but were intentionally keeping quiet. It is said that an Egyptian intelligence officer had informed the Israeli government that something big was cooking up in Gaza. They let it happen so that it could be used as a pretext for launching an all-out attack to destroy the Hamas completely. At a first look this appears to be an attempt to deny any creativity or potential to the oppressed; to cover up the abject failure of the oppressor’s technology. But let’s assume that this is true. Even then there is something basic here. All exploiting classes, everywhere and always, had and have the arrogant thinking that the oppressed do not have the capacity to launch a big attack against them. That is why, more often than not, they fail to prevent it from happening, even when they have some prior information. This is a weakness that stems from their class character.

The new leap in the Palestine liberation war has created a lot of alarm among the Jewish colonisers, particularly in the new settlements. This is the third distinct feature of the present war. This was becoming evident for some time. There is now a large surge in it. The numbers of Jews leaving the country have gone up in a very notable manner. The Zionist chief Netanyahu had said that the present war would change the face of West Asia forever. That it will certainly do. The scenes from the Tel Aviv airport that were telecast quite clearly proved that. The settlers have come from various countries. A large number of them have dual citizenship. In the wake of the new offensive of the Palestinian liberation forces the demand for passports of other countries has shot up. Those with dual citizenship are desperately relying on that to get out.

The Zionist State was all along claiming that Israel has been established as a refuge for the Jews from all over the world. In actual fact, the privileging of European Jews and discrimination against those from Asian and African countries is intrinsic to the Zionist State. Many of those who migrated there were starting to realise that the country was not actually ‘the’ promised land. And this was not only due to the Palestine national liberation struggle. Israel is one of the most unequal countries. The concentration of wealth in Israel is extremely high. For all the capitalist polish, economic control is overwhelmingly in the hands of some twenty Jewish families. They account for nearly 60 per cent of the country’s revenues. As with any other ruling class that finds itself in a trying situation, the Zionist ruling class has been encouraging extremely conservative religious forces. Netanyahu is an accused in a corruption case. He has formed his government by relying on these forces, hoping to wriggle out of the case against him. Legislation meant to to control and block any intervention by the Supreme Court have been moved with their support. These steps taken by the present rulers has led to a lot of discontent. A strong protest had emerged from among the Jews. Many Jewish youth had declared that they were not willing to serve as reservists in the army, as mandated by law. Dissatisfaction and disunity among the Jews were at a high level before the new offensive of the Palestinian liberation war was launched.

Netanyahu has attempted to use the offensive to overcome this difficult situation. He gave a call for an Emergency war cabinet in which all political parties would participate in a show of ‘national unity’. The Palestinian offensive has created an extremely tense situation within Israel. A broad unity has come up among Jews in reaction to it. Yet, despite all this he has not succeed as he wished. The largest opposition party has refused to join the war cabinet. It made it clear that it will not participate until orthodox religious parties are removed from it. Just a day after the Palestinian offensive, the editorial of Haaretz, the third largest circulated newspaper of Israel, declared that Netanyahu alone was responsible for the war. It argued that it was the direct result of the way he, along with his orthodox religious political friends, have been provoking the Palestinians. This indicates that the disunity persists. It also points to the depth of the divisions within the Zionist ruling class. It is quite possible that this has some links with differences some of the European imperialist powers like France have with the US. The offensive launched by the Palestine liberation forces has certainly strengthened Jewish public opinion in favour of defending Zionist colonial rule at all costs. On the other hand, the solid unity of the Jewish population exhibited in the past is not seen now. This too is a significant factor. The more the war drags on, the more its impact will be on its conduct.

The current Palestinian offensive has upset US’s West Asian policies. This is an important fallout, with extensive ramifications. For some years now, the US imperialists have been trying to get Arab countries to cosy up with the Zionist State. This was being promoted so that the US could reduce its presence in this region, in order to focus on containing China and Russia. During Trump’s presidentship the UAE and Bahrain were roped in through the Abrahams Accord. Under Biden Saudi Arabia was being pushed towards a similar pact. Biden’s move was also aimed at preventing the consolidation of the new-founded Saudi-Iranian ties, achieved under the aegis of China. The Saudis were on the verge of signing on. But the Palestinian offensive brought about a drastic change in the situation. Saudi Arabia’s rulers had to back out. More, they had to publicly denounce the Zionists as the instigators and cause of the war. The continuous bombing of Gaza and specifically on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital has forcefully shut the door to any pact with the Zionists in the near future.

This setback to US interests is the primary reason behind its deployment of a large naval and marine force along the Gazan coast. It was the main motivation behind the statement made by Biden in the immediate aftermath of the Palestinian offensive, where he threatened that ‘nobody’ should think of using ‘this situation’. Though the apparent ‘somebodies’ were Iran, Russia and China, his words were also directed against the Arab States. It was a warning against any thinking on their part of moving towards closer ties with the imperialist camp forming up under China and Russia. But the present strengths of these countries make the going rather complicated for the US imperialists. China has the capital and technological capacity sufficient to satisfy present West Asian needs. Russia has demonstrated that it can withstand the combined war effort of the US imperialist camp.

World anger exploded after the dastardly bombing on the Gaza hospital. Yet Biden took special care to save the Zionist State from blame. While the US goes all out to defend its Zionist watch-dog, it must also block the moves of contending imperialist camps in West Asia. It must manoeuvre to retain the allegiance of the comprador regimes in that region. Therefore, six days after the murderous bombing of Gaza started, US officials and others in the US camp started talking about ‘humanitarian’ concerns! Biden now claims that he has ‘convinced’ Netanyahu to allow relief material into Gaza from Egypt. That is twenty trucks for two million people! And all the while the rain of bombs continues. bombs containing the banned chemical substance, white phosphorus, have been used on a number of occasions. The Zionists are flouting all international laws on war conduct in such a brazen manner that even pro-US international bodies like the WHO are openly protesting. But the US imperialist camp is still restricting itself to appeals to the Zionist State and its army to be ‘professional’ in their actions. Meanwhile, in their own countries, they have unleashed their guard-dogs to attack all those who come out on the streets denouncing Zionist genocide of Palestinians and their occupation.

There are some progressive forces who support the liberation of Palestine. But they hesitate to take a stand on the ongoing war. This is because the Hamas, as well as some other organisations participating in it, uphold Islamic ideology. They are wrong. They are not giving prime position to the politics of the war. War is a continuation of politics. We must judge whether a war is just or unjust on the basis of its politics. This is the only scientific method to decide whether it is just or unjust and who is waging a just war. Of course, one must also consider the nature of the forces participating in a just war. But that is secondary when taking a position on that war. Even if a participant in a just war has violated some of the laws of war conduct, that will not change the nature of that war. If at all such violations have taken place they should be criticised after taking a stand supporting the just side. Otherwise, it will lead to passiveness, and worse, to an indirect support for the unjust side in the war.

Immediately after the offensive started, reports had come in the Western imperialist media about Palestinian combatants raping Jewish women and beheading children. Biden repeated this. Yet, soon enough a White House spokesperson had to admit that there is no such exact news. Whether it be the matter of rape or beheading children, media persons trying to trace the source of the story could not find anything. Apart from hearing that somebody had heard somebody hearing somebody else hearing etc. there was no witness about where exactly it happened and when. It is very clear that the story was consciously planted as part of the Zionist psychological warfare. The intention is to stir up hatred against the Palestinian liberation forces and, specifically, win over or neutralise the masses in Europe and America. The ongoing cover up of the inhuman massacre at the Gaza hospital is another example. It has now been clarified by <altnews.in> that the visual presented by the Zionists to ‘prove’ that they were not responsible was actually a manufactured visual from 2022! Visuals have been put out by the Palestinian liberation forces of some of their combatants mistreating Zionist prisoners of war. This is wrong. No crime of the Zionists can condone it. While criticising such deeds we must also keep in mind that this was not the general approach and this is not the official approach of the organisations participating in the war.

As for the matter of the attack on Jewish settlements we must first know the true nature of those centres. They are Zionist outposts. The settlers living there were not ordinary civilians. They are an armed population. All Jewish youth have to undergo compulsory military training. People living in the settlements have the right to bear arms and use them. They have used them to drive out Palestinians from their land and water sources. They have even killed them. In view of all these facts one simply cannot consider them as innocent civilians. They were and are an inseparable part of the Zionist State’s colonisation operations. They were getting all the benefits and privileges this gave. That is how they were living there. They were (and are) soldiers of the Zionist State in plain-clothes, not unarmed civilians. Therefore, they are legitimate targets of the Palestine national liberation war. Attacking them, terrifying them to drive them out, is a legitimate act of that war.

The majority of those who have died in Gaza were killed by Zionist bombs. International law on war conduct is very clear that the people of an occupied territory have the right to fight with arms in hand for their self determination. This is very clearly stated in the first protocol added to the Fourth Geneva convention.

At the same time the occupying force has the responsibility to ensure that the occupied people have access to food, water, healthcare and proper habitat. They have the right to be protected against violence and enjoy basic human rights. The siege imposed by the Zionists on the people of Gaza, denying them drinking water, food, fuel and even healthcare essentials, is a clear violation of this international law. The justification given by them and their imperialist mentors is that Palestinian forces are launching rockets from civilian houses and they are using civilians as cover. They have to counter this and that is why civilians get hurt. Even if this is accepted as a fact it is still a violation of international law. The law states that the presence of an armed force in a building, or the doubt that members of an armed force are hiding in a building, is not a justification for launching an attack on that building.

What we see in all these instances is an open, recorded, violation of international law. On the contrary, the charges against the Palestinian combatants have either been disproved or remain unsubstantiated. The Zionists had issued orders demanding that all those in the northern part of Gaza should shift over to the south. This was first supposed to be done in 24 hours. The sheer impossibility of such a move triggered of worldwide criticism. The Zionists had to relax their deadline. But whether 24 hours or more this forced exodus still remains an impossibility. The biggest hospitals in Gaza are in the north. They are overflowing with the wounded, some quite critical. Even the WHO had to declare that their relocation to the south would amount to a death sentence. But then that is what the Zionists want. The more dead Palestinians, the better for them. They who pounce on anyone who even remotely suggests that the Holocaust figures are doubtful. And they have been consistently applying all the lessons they learnt first-hand from Hitler’s Nazi hordes, all the while hollering about the horrors they had to suffer. Gaza has become the present day Warsaw Ghetto.

The Palestine issue is a creation of imperialism. The import of Jews from the European countries to Palestine was carried out under the aegis of British imperialism. This region was inhabited by Arabs since centuries. There was a small Jewish population, mostly restricted to towns. As an outcome of the pogroms against Jews during the late 19th century and early 20th century in Czarist Russia and other European countries, many people migrated. But even then the Jewish population in Palestine never came to even one tenth of the total population. It is estimated that only 3% of the Jews of that wave of migrations reached Palestine. Nearly 24 lakh Jews had left Europe during this period. Of them the overwhelming numbers went to the US, nearly 20 lakhs. Later the Jewish population in Palestine started increasing. The main reason for this was the machinations of British imperialism.

Palestine was under the Turkish Ottoman Empire which was allied with Germany during the First World War. In order to get the Jews on their side the British made a promise known as the Balfour Declaration. It stated that the Jews would be allowed to settle down in Palestine. Simultaneously, the British were also aiding and guiding the guerilla war of Arabs against the Ottoman forces. They too were promised an independent country. Meanwhile, in secret negotiations with the French the British drew up a scheme to divide Ottoman controlled territories between themselves, once the war was over. Thus Palestine came under British control after the war was over. They adopted a policy of allowing Jewish migration at times and preventing it on other occasions, instigating conflicts between the Arabs and the Jews, and using them to strengthen their grip in that region.

The Nazi regime’s genocidal attack on the Jews created worldwide sympathy for their plight. The Zionist movement that had taken form in the inter-war years took advantage of this. It actively promoted the migration of Jews from Europe into Palestine. They went on to declare the establishment of Israel as a Jewish nation. Israel was established in 1948. The US and the Soviet Union led by Stalin supported this in view of the suffering the Jews had undergone under the Nazi regime and earlier pogroms. This was a mistake. The Soviet Union soon corrected it and began to give support to the Palestinian cause. But the harm caused by that mistake remained. The United Nations came forward with a proposal to divide the territory into two. But the majority of that land would have come under Jewish control. Quite naturally this was not acceptable to the Palestinians. Ever since then the Zionist State has expanded the area under its control, through wars with neighbouring Arab countries and through driving out Palestinians from their lands. Those remaining in Palestine have been forced into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The Modi government came out with a declaration of support for the Zionist state immediately after the Palestinian offensive. It condemned that offensive as a ‘terrorist’ attack done by the Hamas, a ‘terrorist’ organisation. A few days later, mindful hat this support for the Israel state wouldn’t go well with Arab countries, a statement was issued by the External Affairs ministry which clarified that India’s support for the establishment of an ‘independent Palestinian country’ (ie. the two-nation solution) remains. This was a formal statement without any significance. Following the collapse of the Soviet social imperialist state the Indian ruling classes had started tilting towards the American camp. From that time onward they have been openly consorting with the Zionist State. Diplomatic relations were established with it during Congress rule. Narasimha Rao was the prime minister. This relation has been steadily strengthening since then. Under the Sangh Parivar rule through Modi it has become even more strong. The Zionist State continuously attacks the Palestinians over there. And here, with the support and protection of the Sanghi government, Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis are being attacked by Brahmanical Hindutva fascist goons spawned by the RSS. The similarity is not at all coincidental. Both of them are racist. Their ideologies of Zionism and Brahmanism are racist. The Zionist State has always been in the American camp. The Indian ruling classes are increasingly getting closer to it. This is also an important reason for both of them coming together. And let us not forget that while the Zionists are bombing civilians in Gaza, the Modi government was doing exactly the same thing here. It has bombed Adivasi peasants in Chhattisgarh thrice in this year itself.

All preparations are being made by the Zionists for an all out ground invasion of Gaza. They calculate that they will be able to carry it out and achieve the aim of totally destroying the Hamas. As a subsidiary aim, they would also try to push out a huge section of Palestinians into Egypt. But that’s not how things are going to happen. Hamas has already demonstrated its capacity to persist in the face of continuous ground attacks for days together. It does this by relying on an extensive network of tunnels. Since the struggle is now a united one with all fighting forces involved, the resistance power of the liberation forces will be even more hardy than before. The continuing missile attacks from Gaza, even after so many days, demonstrate its capacities and resilence. It will definitely try to prolong the war. Fighting in urban ruins always gives the defenders the upper hand as compared to an attacking force. It is clear that the Zionists will have to pay a huge price. As the days pass this will intensify the political differences among them. Moreover, the transformation of skirmishes along the Lebanon and Syrian borders into full-fledged war fronts can be expected. There are reports of missile and drone attacks on US bases in Syria. Iran has already declared that it will not remain on the sidelines while the Palestinian people are being butchered. There is every likelihood of the war turning into a major regional war involving various forces. The possibility of its turning into a wider world-level war also cannot be ruled out.

All the imperialist powers and bigger Third world countries are preparing for war. Yet none of them are interested in getting into a war right now. We can judge that from what is happening in Ukraine. But things always don’t go according to their calculations. The dynamics of world level contradictions can upset them. The massive offensive of the Palestinian liberation forces, smashing through the Zionist’s defences, has immensely enthused the oppressed all over the world. If the Zionists and their imperialist masters were to suffer heavy losses during the ground operation, what would be its impact in West Asia and throughout the world? It would be happening in a context of intensifying contention among two imperialist camps and in a world where exploitation, inequalities and oppression have reached extreme levels. The people’s forces, specifically the Maoist vanguards, are still weak. But the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism is still strong and principal. The play of this contradiction is seen in the events unfolding in the Sahel region of Africa. Corrupt rulers propped up by French imperialism were toppled in a series of coups. Russian imperialism has played a role in this. But it would be foolish to reduce this to a matter of inter-imperialist contention. The overwhelming response of the masses to those coups reveal the popular groundswell utilised by the Russian imperialists in their manoeuvrers. One can expect something similar if the possibility outlined above were to actually become real. And if either Chinese or Russian imperialism were to make a significant gain in West Asia with its immense oil resources, can the US imperialist camp accommodate this?

What would be course of the Ukraine war if the Palestine liberation forces succeed in prolonging their struggle? How long can the Western imperialist powers continue to replenish both the Ukraine and Zionist armies? Between them, the Zionist State is strategically more important for the US imperialist camp. If waging two proxy wars becomes too strenuous one can well imagine a scene where Ukraine’s rulers are forced by their mentors to accept a ceasefire. A scale back on NATO’s planned expansion incorporating Ukraine is also quite possible. What would be the impact of this among the Ukrainian people? Among European peoples? The realisation that they were pawns in a bigger game, the exposure of the hollowness of imperialist declarations on defending Ukraine’s sovereignty at any cost, the realisation that the final arbiter is the interest of the most powerful imperialist and not the people — what would be the repercussions of all of this among the people?

Evidently the new phase of the Palestine national liberation war has ramifications extending far beyond the borders of Palestine. The task before the people’s forces is to keep this potential in mind. As Mao pointed out, “Either revolution will prevent war, or war will lead to revolution”. In either case the revolutionary forces have the task of taking the initiative and pushing ahead, fully confident of the immensely potent power of the people. If anything, the recent offensive in the Palestinian national liberation war convincingly demonstrates that this tremendous capacity continues to exist in the present world, awaiting to be unleashed in all its revolutionary splendour.

Posted by Ajith at: https://ajithspage.medium.com/a-new-leap-in-the-palestine-national-liberation-war-14707a9bce6b

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