Over the last decade, under the pretext of fighting "terrorism," Washington has militarized U.S. borders; encroached on privacy rights; curtailed the presumption of innocence; increased the powers of cop agencies; and stepped up use of arbitrary searches and arrests, as well as secret trials and secret evidence.
There can and will be no long-term peace with the dispossessed Palestinian people on that basis. Or on any other basis that forcibly seeks to guarantee a permanent, large Jewish majority in Palestine. The Israeli rulers aren't pulling back from their "right" to demolish the family homes of Palestinians accused of bombings or other attacks, let alone their "obligation" to "execute" members and leaders of Palestinian organizations they hold responsible for "terrorism."
Nor will this be a smooth process within the Israeli ruling class itself. Factionalism is on the rise in bourgeois politics there, too… .
Whatever party or coalition of parties comes out on top, this overall direction in bourgeois politics in Israel is irreversible.
As all this unfolds, the stakes continue to mount for the Palestinian people in forging a leadership adequate to the tasks before them, which remains the fight for a democratic secular Palestine. The bourgeoisification and political retreat of the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, described in "The Opening Guns of World War III" [in New International magazine No. 6] some fifteen years ago, has proceeded apace. The PLO long ago exhausted its capacity to lead forward the Palestinian toilers in fighting for national liberation.
The bourgeois-nationalist opposition, Hamas, with its origins in the Muslim Brotherhood, neither has any alternative program or strategy to advance the struggle, nor offers more space to the proletariat to organize and act in the interests of the toiling majority of the Palestinian people.
A road forward
A road forward out of this political morass can only—and will—come out of the response of new generations of working people and youth as the struggle continues on many fronts: fights for land; for water rights; for freedom of movement, freedom to travel; for jobs, decent wages, and union protection; for the release of political prisoners; for women's equality; against the brutal operations of Tel Aviv's cops, troops, and commandos; against war threats and mounting prospects for devastating military blows against sections of Israel itself; and many others. Neither we nor anyone else has a script or a timetable of how the forging of such a leadership, a communist leadership, will unfold in Palestine, or anywhere else in the world.
As for Israel itself, a revolutionary leadership that is proletarian internationalist to its core must be built there too—a secular, multinational leadership, with a substantial Jewish component in its makeup. This is a difficult task under the social, political, and military conditions prevailing in Israel. It won't happen rapidly. And the Palestinian people will not wait, and cannot be asked to wait, for class divisions and conflicts to deepen enough inside Israel for such a process to take place.
Once again, no timetables. A communist leadership of Jewish and Arab workers and farmers—dedicated to the fight for a democratic secular Palestine, and for socialist revolution—can and will be built, however. It will be built as growing numbers of toilers come to understand that if this task is not achieved in time, there will be little left of that part of the world.