Monday, March 12, 2018

Israel/Palestine: Capitalism Cannot Solve This Conflict. It Created It.

 Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired.

"We will never forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill their children" Golda Meir.

I listened to a couple of speeches today. One was from the Cambridge Union debate on a proposal to declare the two state solution dead. The other is this presentation by Gideon Levy to the Israel Lobby conference last week. Levy has in the past been a big supporter of the two state argument and is a courageous and decent individual. All working class people that are concerned not just about what is happening here in the US----what directly affects them----should listen to Levy's speech here. Mr. Levy  lays bare the brutal violent truth about Zionism and counters the lies and propaganda about Israel being a democracy, about Israel being the victim, about Jews being the chosen people and that colonizers of the land have the same legitimate right to it as the colonized.

But as in the debate at the Cambridge Union, there is no clear path to a solution. It is clear that among those that thought there would be some semblance of peace and stability have lost confidence if not completely lost hope that anything can be done.  In the Cambridge debate and in this powerful contribution by Mr. Levy who does use the term colonialism, we never hear mention of capitalism or imperialism or the term working class.  I believe Mr. Levy is sincere when he says that Jews and Palestinians can live together and him and many others want this. But the reality is that there are some things, some social crises to which there is no solution within the framework of capitalism.

The major issues of course are environmental pollution, climate change, the threat of nuclear war or partial nuclear war and the many consequences of these such as global warming,  changing weather patterns and what are falsely referred to as "natural disasters". These issues are placing the real destruction of life as we know it on the order of the day.

But there are also other issues such as the increased regional conflicts, collapse of nation states and failed states that can hardly be called states at all. The Israel/Palestine issue just like the Northern Ireland Catholic/Protestant one, or the Korean Peninsula problem are examples of this.

The crisis in the Middle East and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a part of it has its roots in the capitalist system and its imperialist phase in particular. These ongoing crises cannot be solved by the same forces that caused them no more than global hunger can be.

Gideon Levy is trying to find a solution where one doesn't exist. Elon Musk, wants to save the human species by colonizing Mars making a healthy profit in the process.. For Musk, like Gideon Levy but without the integrity and courage,  there is no alternative to capitalism, the working class doesn't exist as a force for change.

But the only force of change is the working class.  The Arab masses are a potentially powerful force we have seen this already. It is clear that what was missing in the Arab Spring was a revolutionary leadership.  The only solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict can be realized through a mass united working class in the Middle East and the world and the struggle to build a democratic socialist society, a world federation of democratic socialist states.

It is a radical thing to accept that only a socialist revolution and socialist transformation of society can not only resolve the Israel/Palestinian question but also prevent environmental catastrophe that is certain if capitalism is not overthrown. It is also for many, inconceivable that only the working class can achieve this. But the truth is concrete.  The consequence of non action, of not seeing that there is an alternative, that those whose collective labor power creates wealth can collectively own the means by which that wealth is created and allocated in society, is an end to life as we know it.

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