Workers Vanguard No. 1054

17 October 2014


SYC at CCNY Rally: Defend the Palestinians!

(Young Spartacus pages)

On September 30, a rally was held at the City College of New York (CCNY) in opposition to the Zionist state’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. The Spartacus Youth Club attended in solidarity with the besieged Palestinian population as well as to oppose our “own” rulers—the U.S. imperialists who arm Israel to the teeth. Called by the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Maoist Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC), the rally platform was festooned with Palestinian flags and the speeches filled with vicarious nationalism, captured in a July 10 joint statement issued by the SJP and RSCC entitled: “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free!”

As the SYC speaker pointed out, behind this oh-so-militant-sounding nationalism are the liberal politics of appealing to various imperialist powers and their respective institutions to rein Israel in—through boycotts, divestment and sanctions. The SJP-RSCC statement was quite clear, insisting that the imperialists “cannot even turn a blind eye to the blatantly genocidal attacks anymore—various European governments are calling for divestment and even the US government cannot help but warn Israel that it is going too far.”

The RSCC & Co. call for Zionist prime minister Netanyahu to be tried for war crimes. But to whom is this directed—the even more bloodsoaked war criminals of the “democratic” imperialist powers? The United Nations—which is covering for U.S. imperialism’s bombing of ISIS in Iraq and Syria? In contrast to both this hapless liberalism and cheap enthusing from afar over Palestinian nationalism, our speaker raised the internationalist, proletarian, revolutionary program necessary to smash the Zionist state as well as to emancipate the Palestinian people from the deathtrap of bourgeois nationalism. His remarks are printed below.

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We are here to denounce the Zionist bloodbath in Gaza, in which over 2,000 Palestinians have been killed, many of them children. Gaza lies in ruin. To Zionist Israel, the attacks on Gaza are just “mowing the grass,” i.e., standard procedure. Israel is a garrison state founded on the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. We say: Defend the Palestinians!

The SYCs stand for the defense of the Palestinian people against Zionist state terror. We oppose all U.S. aid to Israel and Egypt. We demand the withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers from the Occupied Territories and call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

We take a side militarily with Hamas against the Zionist terror campaign, while giving not the least political support to these Islamic reactionaries or to Palestinian nationalism.

Behind the Israeli terror stands the far more powerful and deadly terror machine of U.S. imperialism. As we speak, the U.S. rulers and their allies are raining death upon Iraq and Syria. We say: Down with the imperialist onslaught against the ISIS reactionaries under Obama’s “humanitarian” and “anti-terror” pretexts. Obama is the Commander-in-Chief of bloody U.S. imperialism.

The Students for Justice in Palestine and the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign [BDS] which aims to pressure the imperialists and private corporations to bring about change in Israel. In contrast, our starting point is the need for international working-class solidarity with the Palestinians. This includes time-limited labor boycotts, like refusing to handle Israeli cargo. BDS appeals to the UN to enforce “international law” and reinforces dangerous illusions in this imperialist den of thieves and their victims. While we disagree with the liberal politics of BDS, we oppose all attempts to limit its supporters’ freedom to express their views. We say: Hands off BDS supporters! Reinstate Professor Salaita!

We fight to bring the class axis to the fore. National emancipation for the Palestinians requires the proletarian overthrow of the Israeli capitalist rulers and also those of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, which are home to millions of Palestinians. The Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab populations are interpenetrated peoples, laying rival claims to the same territory. Under capitalism, the exercise of the national rights of one necessarily comes at the expense of the national rights of the other. Unlike the RSCC, we oppose reversing the terms of oppression by disenfranchising the Israeli Jews. Only in a socialist federation of the Near East can conflicting claims over land and resources be equitably resolved.

Israel is a class-divided society, with workers exploited by the capitalist ruling class. It is only the working class of Israel that has the capacity and historic interest to destroy the Zionist state from within. It is the false consciousness of Zionist nationalism, religion and racism that binds the Israeli proletariat to its class enemy. The fact that Israel is surrounded by anti-Jewish bigotry in the Arab countries allows the Israeli rulers to more easily sell the lie that the Zionist state “protects” Israeli Jews. What must be done is to forge revolutionary Marxist parties in Israel/Palestine and throughout the Near East, in opposition to all forms of nationalism and religious fundamentalism and committed to the struggle for socialist revolution on a world scale. Defend the Palestinians! U.S. get your bloody hands off the world!