Palestine: history and present of a heroic struggle – intervention by Alejandro Bodart

Mapa Palestina Israel

On May 29, 2021, an interesting international discussion organized by our current was held. We share below a summary of the intervention by Alejandro Bodart, coordinator of the ISL. On our YouTube channel you will find the interventions of Maher Khazaal of the Lebanese Youth Movement for Change and of Chaia Ahnmed Baba of the Saharawi resistance of Western Sahara.

Report by Alejandro Bodart

A few days ago, on May 7, Israel, the Zionist, genocidal State, definition which I will explain later, began a new series of provocations against the Palestinian people. It has been a long time since it had done so in such a crude manner and this has to do with the fact that Netanyahu’s government is in very bad shape. The processes for his dismissal in the Israeli Parliament had been initiated. This man, who represents the right wing of Zionism, as he always did, in order to try to strengthen himself a little, once again stirred up the nationalist spirit of Israel and wanted to take over an important mobilization of the Arab people at the beginning of Ramadan, which is one of the important dates for Muslims.

Zionists wanted to mobilize where the Arabs, mostly Palestinians, were congregating on the esplanade in front of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to celebrate the 1967 invasion that directly ended the colonization of the entire Palestinian territory. This was resisted by the Palestinians who were concentrated in the square. There were two or three days of clashes where obviously unarmed Palestinians faced one of the most powerful armies in the world. The Israelis could not finally defeat the Palestinians and after three or four days they had to accept  the fact that the march could not go through that place.

Then the Israelis made another provocation. They shot their way into the mosque itself, which is one of the three most important Islamic sites. In response to this, Hamas began to launch missiles from Gaza and resistance began in all the territories. Israel began bombing. Of course the combat was very unequal, you may have seen the tremendous images of what the Israeli bombardment implied, because there is no point of comparison between the two, of what the resistance of Gaza can be with what the Israeli army is, which has a missile umbrella that repels Hamas missiles. Only 1 or 2 percent of the missiles they send from Gaza are able to enter Israeli territory. The missiles that can come from Gaza are more symbolic than anything else. But Israel does have a tremendous, surgical destructive power and they ended up attacking the civilian population. This caused 254 Palestinian deaths in a few days, 66 of which were children. There is a permanent genocide of children by Israel against the Palestinian people, this must be known, in each of the incursions, dozens and dozens of children are the victims, in addition to the fact that most victims are civilians. This time there were also about 2,000 wounded Palestinians. On the other side of Israel, 13 people died, one of whom is a child, it must also be said, but in order to show the inequality in terms of what this aggression was. On May 20, that is to say, thirteen days after the Israeli provocation began, a cease-fire was signed and we must be clear that this cease-fire was a triumph of the Palestinian resistance as a whole because Israel’s intention was to continue attacking, but the resistance that developed was great, there was a historic general strike, as there had not been for many years, which united the Palestinians and the Arabs inside Israel with those in Gaza and the West Bank, something very important because it struck the core of the State of Israel and quickly forced imperialism and Zionism itself to give a cease-fire and try to stop the aggression, that is why those who celebrated this cease-fire were the Palestinians, aware that once again they stopped Zionism. And a resistance has developed again and will continue. At the end I am going to speak about this, which again shows that the Palestinian people is one of the most heroic people in the world. Above all, the youth, who permanently take the lead and fight for something that is completely fair: to recover their territory.

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I am going to briefly explain how the colonization process happened. To understand the conflict, you have to go back many years. Palestine was a territory where for centuries, with an overwhelming Arab majority, different ethnic groups and religions could coexist. The Jews were a very small minority, contrary to the myth that the Zionists have fed, they never became more than a small percentage, the bulk of the population was always Arab. They lived in complete peace. This is until the beginning of the 20th century or the end of the 19th century, when the colonization plan began. It was a plan armed and supported by the superpowers of the time, it even had the endorsement of Stalinism years later to succeed.

The colonization planned for Palestine has a distinctive characteristic. There have been two types of colonization. One by foreign forces entering a country with an army and colonizing it, but without expelling the population. In this particular case, the policy was to bring in a foreign population and displace the indigenous population, which was the Palestinians. That was the plan designed by Zionism for colonization. You should know that, for example, at the beginning, the colonization plan included the Patagonia Argentina region as a possibility, because what they were looking for was a territory to colonize. Later on, they chose Palestine due to several reasons.

It began at the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th century, at that time the Jewish population in Palestine was approximately 3%. The population was mostly Arab. Zionism -I am also going to tell you how and why it was formed- began to send Jewish settlers from different countries to Palestine. At that time of course there were few, but that’s how the plan began, they went with money they collected and bought land in Palestine until they were able to settle there. At the end of World War I, in 1918, when the British Mandate over Palestine began, they were only 5%. Jewish immigration accelerated in the 30’s and the final advance is given after World War II until completing it with the formal founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and the beginning of the ethnic cleansing of the territory to expel the Palestinian people (it actually began in late 47’ and on a large scale in 48’).

I am going to read a brief chronicle of the book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe, Jewish intellectual author of several works on this subject, to illustrate what we are talking about when we say ethnic cleansing. The information comes from the archives of the Zionist army of Israel and from one of the victims:

On April 9, 1948, Jewish troops occupied the village of Deir Yassin. It was located on a hill west of Jerusalem, eight hundred meters above sea level and near the Jewish neighborhood of Givat Shaul. The old village school now serves as a psychiatric hospital for the Jewish quarter that extended over the remains of the village.

Upon storming the village, the Jewish soldiers sprayed the houses with machine gun fire, which killed many of its inhabitants. After that, the remaining villagers were rounded up and murdered in cold blood, the corpses were brutalized and a number of women were raped before being killed.

Fahim Zaydan, who was twelve years old at the time, recalls how he saw his family murdered in front of his eyes: “They took us one after the other; they shot an old man and when one of his daughters screamed, they shot her too. Then they called my brother Muhammad, and they shot him in front of us, and when my mother, who was carrying my sister Hudra in her arms, as she was still breastfeeding, threw herself on him crying, they shot her too.”

The soldiers also shot Zaydan. They had lined him and other children up against a wall which they sprayed with bullets, “just for fun,” before leaving. He was lucky to survive his injuries.

In some villages, like this one, they directly killed the entire population. They dynamited the houses and then spread the news in the neighboring villages, so that the terror would make many flee and leave their territory and those who did not leave were brutally murdered, tortured and terrorized into doing so. Thus they went village by village. The result of the ethnic cleansing carried out by the Zionist militias, the Hagana, fully armed by imperialism and Stalinism caused the displacement of the majority of the population to neighboring countries. Today, there are five million Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, etc. In Gaza, which is a very reduced area, more than two million people live in an apartheid situation -very similar to the way the black population lived in South Africa- where even water is controlled by Israel and there is a wall of shame with several “check points” where authorization is required to leave and re-enter. Another 2.4 million Palestinians live in what is left of their territory in the West Bank, where the advance of colonization is incessant. And another 2 million live inside Israel, as second-class citizens, with practically no rights.

Ethnic cleansing has been an ongoing process for 70 years. I will talk about the beginning at the end of 1947 and during 1948, when the genocidal State of Israel was founded. Then Maher will talk about the other great Zionist offensive of 1967, where they finished annexing the rest of the historic territories of Palestine and even advanced on the lands of neighboring countries.

We revolutionaries have a very important mission. First of all to support the Palestinian resistance, but also to combat the lying discourse of Zionism, imperialism and their spokesmen. They lie shamelessly to make believe that the Palestinian territory was without inhabitants, that the Jewish settlers they artificially implanted were the old inhabitants of those lands and that they are victims of a group of Arab terrorists, when they are actually the aggressors and the Palestinians defend themselves as best they can. Imperialism supports the Israeli colonial enclave because it uses its existence to try to keep all the peoples of the region, and the entire Arab world, at bay while they take part in the enormous wealth of the region.

Zionism invented the fable that the Jews were a people without land and that Palestine was a land without people. This was totally false because Palestine was fully populated. To make the myth come true, they designed an ethnic cleansing plan that is perfectly documented. They designed a plan to remove the Palestinian people from their historical territory and to take it over. When, how and why did they design it? This is a very important point.

The Jews, over 2000 years ago, were a very small group in Palestine and the Middle East. They were merchants and were voluntarily emigrating in search of a better future to Central and Eastern Europe, as Africans do today towards Europe or Latin Americans towards the USA. They began to emigrate and settled in small communities in various countries. As in the Middle Ages, during feudalism, everything that was produced was consumed by the feudal lord or by the peasants who worked for the feudal lord, there was no surplus to be commercialized, the marginal tasks of commercialization began to be carried out by the Jews and due to money handling they also became small financiers, moneylenders, usurers.

For many centuries they enjoyed much respect and prosperity. Marxism has studied the development of Jews,  we can give away bibliography on the matter. Because of the task that these small communities of Jews developed, they were not integrated into the societies where they settled, but were transformed into a people-class. In the Middle Ages they were small merchants and usurers, a class distinct from that represented by the feudal lord and the peasants of the glebe. They are not the only people-class, without territory, that has existed. Gypsies are other people-class and there have been many more.

For centuries they lived in their own neighborhoods and prospered, many became quite wealthy. But when capitalism begins, the bourgeoisies of each country begin to concentrate the tasks of commerce, they begin to assimilate also the financial tasks and to see as a competitor this group of Jews that had not been assimilated to the native populations. This happens in all Eastern Europe, in Central Europe and there begins the stigmatization of Jews, the defamatory campaigns and the attacks. All this will be intensified over the years and from the middle of the 19th century onwards it accelerates, especially in periods of crisis. Prejudice towards Jews grew, similar to that which is currently being installed against immigrants, blaming them for the crisis, encouraging their role as usurers, and being persecuted and often victims of lynchings in almost all European countries. This was escalating and is what would give support years later to the genocidal barbarism carried out by the Nazis.

This process caused the Jews to become increasingly confined to their own communities, in ghettos. As a reaction to the oppression of which they were victims and all the mistreatment they received, they began to become politically radicalized and organized in associations. It is no coincidence that many Jews would end up strengthening the revolutionary parties of the time and that many of the leaders of these parties were Jews, such as Trotsky for example. In 1897 the Bund was formed, a Jewish socialist organization that would join the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party from its foundation the following year. The same year Theodor Herzl gave birth to Zionism and the idea of building a Jewish State somewhere began to be conceived. In a short time this movement gained the support of the wealthiest sectors of the Jewish community, who saw danger in that the majority of Jews would turn to revolutionary ideas. And also of the European bourgeoisies who saw in this plan the possibility of getting rid of this people-class that in addition to competing with their business was leftist.

Thus begins the myth, made up by Zionism, of the return to Palestine, from where they had supposedly been expelled. Palestine, after the negotiations of the victors of the First World War, became a British colony, in spite of the promises made to Zionism to hand it over to them. The new agreement with imperialism was that once the British withdrew, they would be allowed to settle there. This begins to materialize after the Second World War, England begins to withdraw from the colony and that is when Zionism takes action, beginning the invasion even before the withdrawal of Great Britain is completed. The first partition plan agreed with the powers in Yalta and Potsdam (USA, England and the USSR) is to give 30% of the Palestinian territory to Jews and the rest to constitute a Palestinian State. Finally, when the British withdrew and the State of Israel was founded in 1948, Jews kept 5% of the Palestinian territory.

A war is launched against the invader in which several Arab countries -Egypt, Syria, etc.- take part. The Zionists win the war supported by the Stalinist USSR and imperialism, which fully armed them. The most tragic thing is not only the armamental support given by the USSR, but the counterrevolutionary role is even more perfidious because it gives political cover to Zionism against the Arab resistance, which causes great confusion in the masses of the world since the USSR had just gained enormous prestige for having defeated Nazism. The Soviet Union would be the first country to acknowledge Israel.

At the same time, the myth that there were no settlers in Palestine began to crumble. Large-scale ethnic cleansing begins in order to get rid of the native population.

In the process of resistance, it must be said, the Palestinian people began a courageous struggle, under very unequal conditions, which had very important milestones such as the uprisings of 1929 and 1936. The successive intifadas of this new century, and so on. Combativity and heroism that has been maintained to this day.

What was the partition plan when the State of Israel was formed? The policy of imperialism, made explicit in UN Resolution 181, was to create two states. A strong one for Israel and a residual one for the Palestinians. This was not accepted by the Palestinians. And Zionism, it is all documented, tactically defined to take what was offered at the negotiating table and then go on advancing until it took over all the territories. That is why it always boycotted the formation of a Palestinian state. It never abandoned the colonization offensive on the territories that were supposedly for the Palestinians. Until, in 1967, another war was waged in order to keep everything for itself.  In this process of resistance, the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed, which brought together all the Arab parties and groups, many of them Marxist, in a great front against colonization. The PLO was founded in 1964 on the basis of a program that raised the need to fight until the destruction of the State of Israel, the repatriation of all exiles and the establishment of a single, secular and non-racist Palestine, where all peoples and religions could coexist in peace.

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This organization had a great worldwide support and allowed the Palestinian cause to spread all over the world. In 1974 it was recognized as the only legitimate representation of the Palestinian people. It would be many years before the majority leadership of the PLO, with Arafat at its head, would betray them.

This happened in 1993 with the shameful signing of the Oslo Accords, where the State of Israel was acknowledged and the two-state policy, which had always been rejected since 1948, was accepted. This claudication allowed Zionism to wash its face. From that moment on, a rupture began to take place with the Palestinian National Authority, which emerged from Oslo, and Hamas and the Islamist currents among the most militant sectors began to grow stronger. From this moment on, we will see several rebellions -intifadas- led by a youth that rebels and surpasses the historical directions.

What we have seen a few days ago is a new intifada that has once again overflowed all directions, including Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Palestine is thus putting itself in tune with the new world situation.

Palestine will not liberate itself. Although the rebellions and heroic resistance of this people have been preventing the Zionist state from living in peace and carrying out the total ethnic cleansing it would like, to defeat the beast, the support of the other Arab peoples of the Middle East is necessary.

The latest provocation was aimed at driving the Palestinians out of an important neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Because the Zionists intend to take over all of Jerusalem. Their line is to clean up, to clean up everything and there is a vanguard that knows it. That is why it gives its life to prevent it, without a consistent leadership at the front, a vanguard that fights and fights. But the liberation of Palestine will be linked to the unity of that vanguard with the Arab peoples who have been rebelling throughout the region against their own governments, which besides exploiting and repressing them, accompanied the betrayal of the PLO and are functional to Israel and Imperialism.

We want the destruction of this genocidal state. As long as it exists, no peace is possible. Israel knows that the only way to achieve the stability it craves is to physically liquidate all resistance and to achieve this it uses the same methods that the Nazis applied against the Jews. Something almost impossible to achieve without a defeat of the global ascendancy, which, far from weakening, is getting stronger and stronger. The other way out is the expulsion of the invader, which defeats the Zionists, supported by the advance of the revolution in the Middle East. That is why in addition to giving all our support to the Palestinian cause we must also support with all our strength the rebellion in Lebanon, in Iran, Iraq, Egypt and every country that rises up.

On the left there are important debates. Several sectors do not raise the destruction of Israel as a strategy. Others have also abandoned the historical slogan for a unique, secular and non-racist Palestine and oppose it to a Socialist Palestine. A similar debate we had in relation to the demand for independence for Catalonia. Our strategy is a socialist Middle East and a socialist Palestine. But revolutionaries are not going to win the support of the masses in the Middle East, nor above all in Palestine without being supporting the historic demand of the Palestinian people, of the Palestinian vanguard that starts to get rid of Israel, repatriate the refugees and conquer a free Palestine. We unconditionally defend the right of peoples to self-determination. They will be the ones to choose their future. We, of course, must explain that the only way to maintain that independent, secular and non-racist state, where peace can return, is via the world socialist revolution and advancing towards socialism. But we will not succeed in joining the best of the vanguard without being the the best in supporting the historical claim of those people who, without a consistent leadership, continue to struggle to recover their territory, to self-determine and decide their future.

Closing remarks by Alejandro Bodart

I will try to talk about some of the questions. This has been very interesting. I think that having Maher and Chaia here has given  this activity an outstanding richness. We have more comrades of the International Socialist League in the Middle East, for example, in Turkey which is another important subject in the region. Also we are initiating work in Algeria,Iran and Iraq, therefore the ISL is growing in the region and I think it has to do with the new moment we are living in, with the new world situation. Big changes are taking place and there is a search for new alternatives.

I am going to answer some more historical questions that were asked in the chat. Why did Stalinism support the creation of the State of Israel? For several reasons. Stalinism was the consequence of the triumphant counterrevolution in the Soviet Union. Part of its counterrevolutionary policy was the denial of self-determination to the peoples. The Soviet Union was itself a prison of peoples and nationalities. Supporting Palestinian self-determination meant going against what they themselves were doing within their own borders. This, on the one hand. On the other hand, they also wanted to get rid of the small Jewish populations as well as the European bourgeoisies. And perhaps most importantly because this was part of the give and take of the Yalta and Potsdam pacts at the end of World War II. In those meetings between the Soviet Union, England and the United States, the zones of influence at world level were divided. And Stalinism, in order to guarantee stability in the USSR and to be left alone in Eastern Europe, committed itself to allow the plans of imperialism and Zionism to advance in Palestine and not only that, it also became a fundamental support of the partition plan.

We have already said that the USSR was the first country to recognize the State of Israel and to cover up for Zionism. This is how Stalin’s representative intervened synically on May 12, 1948 at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council, when the Arab countries rose up against the invasion and genocide of the Palestinian people that had begun:

“The delegation of the Soviet Union cannot but express its horror at the position which the Arab countries adopted on the Palestine issue; we were all shocked to see those states, or at least some of them, resort to arms and indulge in military operations for the purpose of suppressing the liberation movement born in Palestine.”

The worst of Stalinism wasn’t the weapons and planes they sent to the Zionists to crush Arab resistance but the confusion they sowed in the rest of the world. They used the prestige gained by the Soviet Union having defeated the Nazis in World War II to cover up a Nazi-like atrocity.

Imperialism supported Zionism and became the main supporter of the State of Israel in order to have a guard and defender of its interests throughout the Middle East. It is located in a strategic place, rich in oil and water as well as being a bridge between Asia, Europe and Africa, as Maher well developed in his exposition.

Is Israel a democratic state? Not at all. It is a theocratic, racist and genocidal state where Palestinians and Arabs in general are oppressed. Those who have rights are the usurpers, not the original inhabitants. The resolutions are tremendous, I don’t have time, but every year they vote a new law to keep the Israeli Arabs more oppressed, who in addition live segregated like black people at the beginning of the century in the USA, as 3rd class citizens. While those who live in Gaza or the West Bank do so in a situation worse than South African apartheid. Israel is legally allowed to torture Arabs, not Israelis, of course.

Regarding the issue of the Palestinian leadership, which was also asked a lot. The PLO became the Palestinian National Authority after the OSLO agreements. Today it is completely discredited. The reaction of these last days on the part of the Palestinian masses was not only against Israel, but also against the PLO for its completely treacherous and sold-out role to imperialism. A new, young, militant vanguard is emerging and beginning to surpass all the treacherous leaderships.

The betrayal of the PLO in recognizing Israel and then those of the Palestinian National Authority, completely functional to Zionist interests, is what has allowed Hamas and radical Islamism to grow stronger. There are other organizations on the left, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which defines itself as Marxist and still does not recognize Israel. I had the opportunity to tour the refugee camps in Lebanon and meet with secular and left-wing organizations of both the PNA and Hamas.

The Palestinian liberation movement has always been secular and before the Israeli colonization in the territories, all ethnicities and religions lived together in peace, sharing in Jerusalem the holy places of the three great religions. It was Zionism that fostered the current division and then the betrayal of the PLO that strengthened Islamic religious sectarianism, which has now begun to weaken as well. This is a phenomenon that goes beyond Palestine.  

In Lebanon, Hezbollah (Party of God) was strengthened by being the force that was at the forefront of the expulsion of Israel from the occupied territories in Lebanon in 2000 and therefore still carries a lot of weight. But in the rebellion that took place in 2019, the Lebanese mass movement rose up against the regime that emerged from the civil war, where Hezbollah plays a central role. The erosion of the Islamist leaderships is linked to the fact that they are forces that administer capitalism, super-exploit their peoples, accumulate enormous privileges and are extremely repressive in order to remain in power.

That is why a vanguard arises that fights for a better and free life in Palestine and the rest of the Arab countries, which explains the emergence of new actors. Many of our comrades of Together for Change in Lebanon, who have been building themselves by participating in the several struggles taking place there, come from a breakage with the youth of the Communist Party. We joined with them and today they are the Lebanese section of the ISL. To join and build ourselves in other countries of the region is a real possibility and we have already begun to achieve it since there is a search for alternatives like the one we represent everywhere.

Of course, we support the Palestinian resistance in all its variants, comrades, because in the face of the oppressor all tactics are valid. I clarify this because although we have nothing to do with Hamas or Hezbollah, neither do we have any conflict with Israel being bombed. The oppressed peoples have the right to defend themselves as they can, beyond the fact that we would promote as a fundamental weapon the General Strike and the actions democratically resolved by the working people and the sectors that are in the front line. I explain this because we are not going to join the chorus of sectors that defend the theory of the two demons and put an equal sign between the bombings of Hamas and the terrorism of Israel. Because the only demon is called Israel, it is called Zionism, it is called Nazism and therefore the rest, mistaken or not in some actions or in others, is defending itself from that tremendous monster and is doing what it can. I insist again, if we were the leadership we would appeal to insurrectional methods and we would try to link ourselves to the proletariat inside Israel, having policies and orientations so that it joins the fight. I am referring fundamentally to the Israeli Arabs who are 20% of the population of Israel. Because we have to be aware that it is almost impossible to win the majority of Israeli Jews for the Palestinian cause, because they have benefited materially from the ethnic cleansing by taking the lands and properties of the millions of displaced people and that is the basis of support of that State and the policy of more and more colonization that Zionism continues to implement to benefit new settlers.

Keeping all this in mind is very important to face the current debates. Because after the re-emergence and evident failure of the two-State lies agreed in Oslo, the policy defended by the reformist left outside and inside Israel -and unfortunately some who call themselves Trotskyists as well- is to accept the existence of Israel as the only possible State and to fight for its democratization and allow the integration on equal terms of all Arabs and Palestinians. Something as utopian as asking Nazi Germany to give Jews the same rights as the SS.

There will never be real democracy for the Arabs as long as that state continues to exist. And neither for Israelis who defend the Palestinian cause. Professor Ilan Pappé, author of the book I mentioned on ethnic cleansing and many other works, was expelled from the university and had to go into exile in London, to prevent the death threats he received, which were protected by the government, from materializing.

In free Palestine it will be necessary to discuss democratically what to do with the Jewish population. The 5 million expelled Jews who will return together with the almost 5 million who live in the occupied territories and the 2 million Arabs who are inside the current Israel are the ones who have to decide everything, because they are the only ones who have the right to do so. Many Jews will surely integrate peacefully into the new Palestine if they accept the Palestinian right to self-determination. Others will have to return to where they lived before because they are encroaching on someone else’s territory.

Zionism continues ethnic cleansing because it knows that every Arab is an active or potential enemy of the genocidal and artificial state.  And that as long as there is a single Arab in the territories of Palestine there will continue to be resistance and intifadas.

The Palestinians who are in neighboring countries will continue to demand to return to their homes and the Arab youth throughout the Middle East will continue to support Palestine and will fight against Israel because they know that without the destruction of Israel there will be no possibility of liberating themselves from the yoke that suffocates them, not only of imperialism but also of their own governments which also  continue to exploit their peoples with brutal repression.

Therefore, there is a unique process. I will finish with this because there was an interesting question, what are the tasks of the revolutionaries? Maher went ahead. First the Palestinian cause has to be taken forward, just as the Saharawi cause has to be the cause of every revolutionary. There cannot be a revolutionary who does not support these causes, because we cannot tolerate that in the 21st century forms of apartheid, of colonization, of mistreatment, of state terrorism continue to exist.

But the support to the Palestinian cause goes through promoting the revolution in the rest of the Arab countries. Because the Palestinian cause can be won on the basis that the entire Middle East rises up, overthrows the puppet governments of the empire and begins the road to its liberation.

We support the revolution in the Middle East, we fight for socialism and workers’ governments in Palestine and in the whole region, but unlike some comrades on the road, who do not defend as a principle the right to self-determination of the peoples, we believe that it will not be possible to reach socialism if we do not support with all our strength the right to decide of the Palestinian people and of every oppressed people.

There is a Transitional Program to reach socialism in the region, some skip it and believe that by making propaganda of socialism, of a socialist Palestine, we are going to achieve it. No, we are not going to reach socialism if we socialists are not the first defenders of the right to self-determination of the oppressed peoples. And if the peoples do not decide to be socialists, we must also support them because socialism cannot be oppressive. That is Stalinism, the counter-face of socialism. We socialists support the self-determination of the peoples, which implies what the peoples want, not only what we want, and we will battle within those societies to show them what socialism is, but only when the masses are democratically convinced that this is the road to their real liberation will we be able to advance. The opposite is the caricature in which Stalinism ended up, which transformed the USSR into a prison of peoples. These are all the reasons why we continue to defend the right to a unique, secular and non-racist Palestine, which today continues to be the majority sentiment of the Palestinians.

The task of revolutionaries is very complex and that is why we have to fight for the revolution in each of our countries and build national revolutionary organizations like the ones that each of you are building. And if there are comrades who are watching us we invite you to get to know us in your country and also our international organization to fight together. As we always say, this has just begun and this cause will continue until Palestine is free, until the whole Middle East is free, and until the Middle East and the world becomes socialist, thank you all very much.