What solution in Palestine?

Joseph Daher argues that the liberation of Palestine requires dismantling the apartheid state of Israel, establishing a democratic and secular state in historic Palestine, allowing the right of return for all refugees, and ultimately incorporating this new state into a regional socialist federation.


We support as a solution to the Palestinian question and the Jewish question first and foremost: 1) the dismantling of the colonial, apartheid and occupation state of Israel, which has brought nothing but suffering to the Palestinian population and has never allowed security for the Jewish population of Israel and elsewhere as its false propaganda says, quite the contrary, and 2) the establishment of a democratic, social and secular state in historic Palestine of 1948 for all (Israelis and Palestinians) without any form of discrimination and in which every Palestinian, whether internal refugee or refugee in foreign countries, has the right to return to their original land and home from which they were displaced by force in 1948, 1967 and after.

At the same time the liberation of Palestine must be a reconstruction of Palestine. It requires an agrarian revolution, allowing Palestinians who wish to do so to recover their land, without causing current agriculture to regress and reducing those who work it to poverty. It requires economic and human planning, allowing refugees to free themselves socially without expelling millions of Jews. This too is part of the structural changes that colonialism brought about. More generally, this must also include a comprehensive economic development and reconstruction project to guarantee Palestinians their social and economic rights. Any attempt to ignore them would not only be reactionary, but also doomed to failure.

From an internationalist point of view, any progressive solution to the question of Palestine requires recognition of the right to national self-determination of the Palestinian people, the right of refugees to reintegrate their homeland and to integrate the latter into a regional socialist federal framework. .

Trotsky said the Jewish question will not be resolved by Zionism or the creation of a Jewish state.

The question of a binational state in Palestine, that is to say the recognition of autonomous rights of Israeli Jews or recognition of Israeli Jews as a national entity, can only be done when all Zionist institutions have disappeared.

Defending, today, the right to self-determination of Israeli Jews is either reactionary or absurd: reactionary because it amounts to recognising the legitimacy of Zionist colonialism; absurd insofar as such a defence would be presented as a demand, while the Jews are in a position not only to achieve their self-determination, but also to refuse that of the Palestinians.

As members of the far-left Israeli party Matzpen in Israel said , “This is not about the right to self-determination of Jewish-Israelis in the current context. What we are discussing here is the right to self-determination within the framework of the socialist revolution…”. In other words, it is about the right to self-determination of Israeli Jews once Zionism is defeated and the Jewish state is destroyed. But they add: “The right to self-determination of Israeli Jews cannot limit the right of return of Palestinians.”

But it is only through this regional revolutionary strategy that we can envisage this solution, which involves the establishment of a democratic, socialist and secular state in historic Palestine, with equal rights for the Palestinian and Jewish people, within a socialist federation across MENA.

To implement this strategy, Palestinians must forge a new political leadership committed to self-organisation from below within historic Palestine and the region. They cannot do it alone, but must do it collaborating with socialists from Egypt to Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Algeria and all other countries.

The most important task for those outside the region is to win over the left, unions, progressive groups and movements to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The BDS campaign puts the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people at the centre of the concerns of the Palestine solidarity movement:

1. Ending its occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognising the fundamental rights of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to absolute equality;

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”]]. By imposing this on the institutions and businesses of the imperialist powers, especially the United States, we will help block their support for Israel and other despotic regimes and weaken their hold in the region.

The liberation of Palestine therefore requires the liberation of all people living under the tyrants of Damascus, Riyadh, Doha, Tehran, Ankara, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Amman, and all the others. As a Syrian revolutionary wrote from the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights in the summer of 2014, “freedom, a common destiny for Gaza, Yarmouk and the Golan.” This slogan carries the hope of a regional revolutionary transformation, the only realistic strategy for liberation.

This is an extract from a longer work.

Source >> International Viewpoint

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Joseph Daher is a Swiss-Syrian left-wing activist and scholar. His is author of Hezbollah: The Political Economy of the Party of God and Syria After the Uprisings, The Political Economy of State Resilience.

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