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April 2002 • Vol 2, No. 4 •

End Zionist Aggression and Occupation of Palestine!

Statement by the Coordinating Committee of the Movement for the Re-foundation of the Fourth International

The Movement for the Re-foundation of the Fourth International denounces the Zionist state terrorist war of aggression against the Palestinian people, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and its chairman Yasser Arafat waged by the Sharon-Peres government of war criminals with the full support of the greatest terrorist organization on earth: U.S. imperialism.

We demand the immediate withdrawal of all the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) troops and the lifting of the siege of all the Palestinian towns and of the Palestinian National Authority Headquarters in Ramallah, where Arafat himself is being held hostage and might be executed by Sharon’s murderers.

We call on the international working class, its organizations, the fighters in the movement against capitalist globalization, all the popular liberation movements of the oppressed nations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America, the exploited and oppressed all over the world, particularly the Jewish workers and poor, to mobilize in mass actions of solidarity both in Palestine and internationally in support of the heroic and martyred Palestinian people.

The Zionist State has invaded the West Bank using all the methods of mass terror: massacres of unprotected civilians, including the elderly, women and children, assassinations in cold blood, executions of unarmed prisoners, mass arrests and detention into camps under appalling conditions, use of women and children as “human shields” for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) troops, demolition of buildings, destruction of the electricity and water systems, of health and social facilities, etc. The expulsion of foreign journalists, medical teams, and international observers from the “anti-globalization” movement, workers’ organizations, parliamentarians, etc., has as a principal aim to prevent these war crimes from being known and condemned abroad.

This vast military operation was planned and prepared long before the suicide bombings in Israel during the Jewish Passover, that were used by Sharon as a pretext to implement his design for an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in the territories occupied in 1967, combined with the destruction of the PNA itself. The military plans were ready two years ago, in 2000, when still existed the “peace” euphoria of the Oslo Accords (Le Monde, 3/4/02). Sharon the Butcher has never hid his goal of giving a military “final solution” to the Palestinian Question.

Following the collapse of the Oslo agreement and the upsurge of the heroic Intifada of the Palestinian people, the main preoccupation of the Zionists is the smashing of the popular rebellion. The Intifada not only continues indomitably for 19 months already but during the last months it acquired more and more impetus, with the participation of the Palestinians in Israel and the development of guerrilla operations on a scale and with an efficiency that surprised the Zionist military.

What opened the road to Sharon’s insane war drive is George W. Bush Jr.’s and his bipartisan capitalist government’s imperialist “war on terror”—i.e., the aggression against Afghanistan, the preparations for a war against Iraq, the warmongering against the “Axis of Evil,” the insanity of the U.S. government’s “Nuclear Posture Review” on “the tactical use of nuclear weapons,” not only against countries in the Middle East and Asia (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, North Korea) but also against Russia and China.

U.S. imperialism sees Sharon’s invasion of the Territories as part of the larger war campaign that it is preparing in the Middle East. “The notion that peace in the Middle East runs through Jerusalem is an illusion,” the editorial of the Wall Street Journal stresses. “The path to a calmer Middle East now lies not through Jerusalem but through Baghdad.” (April 2, 2002)

George W. Bush declared his administration’s open support of “Israel’s right to self-defense against terrorists” the moment that the IDF tanks entered Ramallah and the West Bank. Even the American President’s belated, hypocritical and ambiguous call to Israel “to consider to start” the withdrawal of its troops from the West Bank is not a peace proposal but a fraud—which the besieged Arafat hastily accepted at face value. In reality Bush gave Sharon the license and the time to finish first his murderous operations and then, perhaps, to withdraw his hordes.

American and Zionist imperialism takes advantage of the cowardice and readiness to capitulate of the Arab ruling classes, which again and again betray the Palestinians and their peoples. The collapse of the Arab Summit in Beirut, on the eve of Sharon’s war, demonstrated their pathetic incapacity to confront imperialism once again. Saudi Arabia proposed to recognize the Zionist usurpation of Palestine in exchange for peace. Egypt and Jordan boycotted the Summit to challenge the protagonist role of the Saudis and to compete with the Syrians, Sharon in a provocative way prevented Arafat from going, and Lebanon, under orders from Syria, even forbade Arafat to address the Summit from Ramallah.

Our principled and unconditional defense of Arafat today against the Zionist siege and offensive on the PNA does not imply any political support to his bourgeois leadership and capitulation to the “Oslo spirit” and its disastrous consequences until now.

The Arab rulers are more afraid of the rebellion of their own popular masses than of the catastrophe imposed by imperialism and Zionism on Palestine and the whole region. The mass demonstrations in Cairo, Amman, Beirut, and all over the Arab world, often culminating in clashes with the local forces of state repression, clearly show that the heroic revolutionary resistance of the Palestinian people is the trigger of the revolution for national and social emancipation in the entire Middle East and beyond.

The barbaric Zionist aggression came out of the decomposition of Zionism itself in the present conditions of world crisis of capitalism in the epoch of imperialist decay, and it will further accelerate that decomposition. There cannot be any “military solution” to Zionism’s crisis, which can only hope to survive on an ocean of blood and horror. Sharon’s invasion in the West Bank can end the same way as his previous invasion in Lebanon: by defeat thanks to the resistance of the Arab popular masses and the revulsion of the Jewish population itself in the middle of a horror without an end.

Israel is undergoing its deepest economic crisis since 1948. Growing unemployment, the cutting of social budgets, the sinking of broad sectors of the Jewish and Arab population into poverty, and a great recession are the most outstanding elements of this situation. The ongoing war drive will hit even harder on the Jewish and Arab masses within the “Green Line,” as the announced cut of an additional 2 billion dollars from the government budget for military purposes clearly shows.

Already the prospect of a defeat and of its destabilizing effects in the entire region provokes the fears of sections of the bourgeoisie, particularly in Europe (See the Financial Times, April 3, 2002). The European Union, in the present crisis, has shamefully manifested both its utter political impotence and its imperialist complicity. The fact that Zionism treated its representatives with arrogant contempt is another proof that the European Union is, perhaps, an economic giant, but also a political pygmy. Nevertheless, the European Union countries are inseparable parts of the “Coalition against terror” built by the arch-terrorist Bush. And in that sense they are also accomplices of the present crimes perpetrated in the name of the “war on terror.”

There are voices calling for an “international intervention” by an “international peace-keeping force” that echo, to a great extent, the fears and the interests of sections of the ruling class, primarily in Europe but also in America. We must uncompromisingly oppose this policy, advocated not only by sections of the capitalists but also by the “soft” left Zionists and pacifists of Gush Shalom, the reformist wing within the movement against Capitalist Globalization, the Euro-Stalinists and circles of the so-called “far left,” first of all the misnamed “United Secretariat of the Fourth International.”

Congo, Cyprus, Korea, etc., in the past, and more recently Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia in the Balkans, demonstrated beyond any doubt the disastrous role of those international “peace-keeping forces,” either of the imperialist EU or of the UN countries, not to mention NATO. They are the task force of imperialism to impose its will and interests. The establishment of imperialist protectorates is a form of slavery, not of freedom and independence.

Pacifism, reformism, even the pseudo-left “radicalism” of those like the United Secretariat, paint the role of the United Nations and the European Union in rosy colors and spread illusions for a “solution” and for “peace” which will be brought by the bayonets and the cannons of imperialism’s troops. Thomas Friedman, the Democrat–Zionist columnist of The New York Times, the same person who in 1999 hailed the NATO bombings against Yugoslavia, in the war on Kosovo, now openly calls for “A Kosovo in the West Bank.” It is outrageous that this counter-revolutionary call is accepted and propagated by “radicals” in the West in the name of the “anti-globalization” movement and even of Trotskyism!

The emancipation of the oppressed is the task and the work of the oppressed themselves, first of all of the working class. It is the task of the Palestinian workers and fellahin themselves; but also it is the necessary duty of all Jews who refuse to accept the continuation of Zionism’s crimes, committed in their name by those who confiscated the history of the tragedies of the Jewish people, above all the Nazi Holocaust. Sharon can kill Arabs but he cannot save a single Jewish life.

The Zionist Sharon-Peres government has become the source of a new and most dangerous worldwide wave of anti-Semitism, as the reactionary attacks on synagogues and Jews in France and Belgium have shown. The Jewish people has to break from decomposing Zionism and take boldly and proudly, as it did many times already, its place among the ranks of the struggle for the world socialist revolution, the only way to put an end to anti-Semitism. First of all, they have to fully support their Palestinian brothers and sisters in the fight for an independent, secular and Socialist Palestine, where Palestinian Arabs and Jews could live peacefully together. This is the perspective raised by our comrades in Palestine, the Socialist Workers League, who are fighting to unite the vanguard among both the Palestinian Arabs and the Jewish workers and youth under the flag of the Fourth International, whose re-foundation is now more urgent than ever.

For the Palestinian masses and for all the oppressed and exploited in the Middle East, including the Jewish workers and poor, the only progressive solution is the destruction of this machine of war, terror and oppression which is the Zionist State, the expulsion of imperialism from the entire region, the establishment of a Secular Socialist Palestinian Republic in the whole historical territory of Palestine, and the unification of all the peoples in the area, Arabs, Kurds, Iranians, Berbers, Jews, etc., in a Socialist Federation of the Middle East.

We call on the organizations of the left and the workers in Israel to organize an immediate huge demonstration of Jews and Palestinians against the insane war drive of the government. We call on the Israeli soldiers to refuse to take part in this butchery and organize themselves against it. We call on the workers and left organizations of the Middle East and the world, including the Jewish ones, to form united front committees in solidarity with the Palestinian people, composed of socialists, Palestinians in exile, anti-war activists, unionists, etc., and to mobilize the masses of their own countries against the Israeli government and the US/EU support of the Zionist state, and in defense of the Palestinian uprising.

• Defeat Sharon’s war drive!

• The Israeli Army and settlers out of the Occupied Territories now!

• Defend the Palestinian People, the Palestinian National Authority and itsChairman Arafat from the Zionist aggressors!

• Victory to the Intifada! Down with Zionism!

• For the full implementation of the right of return of the Palestinian refugees!

• For a Secular, Democratic and Socialist Republic of Palestine in the entire Palestinian section of the Middle East!

• For a Socialist Federation of all the peoples of the Middle East!

• Forward with the World Socialist Revolution!

• For the Re-foundation of the Fourth International!


—The Coordinating Committee of the Movement for the Re-foundation of the Fourth International, 8 April 2002.





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