Dear Editors

Will anything good come out of the war in Israel?

I remember dancing and singing Hava Nagila with my two Jewish roommates in our college dorm in 1978, when Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords. Time has shown how naïve we were to rejoice. Sadly, decades will pass again, and it will probably not matter whether or not the current fighting ended with the signing of a major ‘two-state’ accord.

The broad mass of the public is not galvanized either way by what is happening in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The weak and underprivileged, the working poor and the lower middle class aren’t taking sides. They know that the wars are taxing their pockets and that nothing positive can follow if they balloon into regional wars and the price of oil exceeds 150 dollars a barrel.

The ideological battle lines around the wars in Israel and Ukraine do not follow class lines. Most people on either side are white. This is an identity crisis at the top of society. These fissures and divides reflect the declining international strength of the United States and its inability to guarantee that Globalization 2 does not crumble and collapse. This is a conflict between those who support Palestinians against Israeli apartheid, and those who are attracted by Israel’s apartheid treatment of non-Europeans (never mind that most Israelis today are Mizrahi with origins in the Middle East and North Africa rather than Ashkenazi, or European Jews). Incidentally, the supporters of Palestine must be very careful around their new political bedfellows. A person carrying a Pride flag at a recent pro-Palestine rally in London was angrily chased away by other demonstrators.

Proponents of the idea of statehood for Palestine are drawn to the cause as one of ‘national liberation.’ They forget that the bourgeois revolutions ended in the mid-nineteenth century and that although numerous new nations emerged in the twentieth century, their significance was no longer a struggle against a pre-capitalist mode of production. The so-called ‘national liberation struggles’ and ‘anti-colonial’ or ‘anti-imperialist struggles’ of the twentieth century all turned out to be wars between capitalist powers. Every ‘liberation’ movement since the early 1920s has been harsh on all forms of democratic and autonomous groups, particularly among workers. And ‘liberation from imperialism’ always seems to involve subjugation to the imperialism of another superpower (in today’s world, that is the United States on the one hand, and China, Russia, and Iran, on the other).

The backers of Netanyahu’s Israel tend to be connected with the military industrial complex and traditional sectors of the economy. Among them are radical conservatives like Elon Musk and Donald Trump, who do not want to succumb to the authority of the politically correct supporters of Palestine. Also supporting Israel are far-right groups. Who would have thought this possible? Does this mean that anti-Semitism—racism in general—is a biproduct of the disease, and not the disease itself? Holocaust or no, right-wing fanatics around the world are openly voicing their support for Netanyahu’s government because they appreciate the harsh way it deals with non-whites. But doesn’t a class aspect usually lie behind any manifestation of racism? The Nazi hatred of the Jews, for instance, can be seen as a socio-psychological transformation and generalized expression of the fear the German middle class had for both large capital and labor.

What advantage can simple Palestinians derive from the existence of a homeland for themselves? The worst calamities befall simple people during periods of enforced national unity in war. What can they gain from the existence of a Palestinian state other than more war, death, and destruction? The champions of a two-state solution— which includes many liberal Jews, particularly in North America—are unwittingly supporting the freedom of simple Palestinians to be exploited by their Hamas masters or whatever replacement is found for them in the future.

Is a lasting peace in the Middle East possible? Theoretically speaking, yes. It’s a long shot, but it’s out of the box and obvious. It requires no war, no blood, no creation of a Palestinian state, and no Israel as we know it. Naturally, the starting point would have to be the ouster of the Netanyahu government in Jerusalem and the end of the rule of Hamas in Gaza. Peace will remain a pipe dream until the corrupt monster states in the region—and that includes Netanyahu’s government—fall and are replaced by something new and truly democratic. Only resistance by the people of the Middle East (and Eastern Europe) against their own governments can lead the way to permanent peace. It is impossible to predict what exact form this new ‘people power’ might take. Who knows? Perhaps it might be something along the lines of a unitary republic of workers’ councils. That might work.

Evel Economakis, Greece.

Reply: Yes, but only if we are talking about democratically elected popular councils on the basis of the common ownership of the means of living; which of course couldn’t exist just in one province of the former Ottoman Empire. Editors.

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