The much hyped “peace pacts” that the United States power-brokered between apartheid Israel and Middle East Arab police states deliver abundant profits, but zilch for justice. What they will not produce is regional peace or legitimate sovereignty and human rights for the Palestinian people.
Since August 2020, four Arab League countries — Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sudan and Morocco — have signed agreements establishing diplomatic and economic ties with Zionist Israel. The December 2020 deal with the Kingdom of Morocco exposes how destructive these agreements are to Middle Eastern and North African peoples. The U.S. quickly recognized Morocco’s dictatorship over Western Sahara, a military occupation long disputed by the Polisario, a liberation group recognized by the U.N. The USA secured a profitable sale of four aerial drone weapons to Morocco, and a multibillion-dollar arms deal from the UAE agreement. Sudan got a billion-dollar loan from the U.S. to pay off its debt to the World Bank.
Palestine and Western Sahara are the two major military occupations of indigenous people in the Arab world. Significantly, the majority of Moroccans oppose “normalization” and support the Palestinian struggle. Israeli efforts to co-opt African countries received a major setback on Feb. 6, when the 34th African Union Summit of leaders condemned its illegal settlements and the normalization deals.
The USA’s ruling-class support for Israel as a proxy power in the oil-rich, volatile Middle East grew steadily after World War II. The United States has been the largest arms seller to the region for over two decades. The Biden White House is changing nothing. The normalization pacts will reinsure massive profit to U.S. big business.
Meanwhile, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu pretends to represent all Jews. Actually, he protects Israeli capitalists from Jewish and Palestinian worker protest.
Disgust with both governments. Jewish citizen fury rocked Jerusalem in 2020 over Netanyahu’s corruption, austerity, 20% unemployment and climbing Covid-19 rates. During the largest protests ever seen, tens of thousands of working-class Jews shouted their rage at Netanyahu’s dictatorship. Groups of revolutionary youth flew Communist red flags. Thousands still show up every week all over Israel. Their demands range from forming a new party with a majority female participation, to addressing the climate crisis, to economic and social equality, to a different system. Police attack them with water cannons, horses, clubs and arrests, treatment usually reserved for Palestinians. Upcoming March 23 elections offer no real change. Dissidents’ only hope is to unite with Palestinians.
Palestinians too are outraged. Murder and brutality against them in the open-air prison of Gaza rages on. In the West Bank they are killed daily or imprisoned, and their property is stolen by illegal Israeli settlers, homes are regularly demolished, people displaced, children jailed. In Gaza, 97% of drinking water is unfit for human consumption. Netanyahu overtly discriminates against Palestinians in withholding Covid-19 relief.
Demonstrations across the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and in Gaza, denounced “normalization” as the “ultimate betrayal.” Arab states gave lip service for decades to those hundreds of thousands driven from their homeland in 1948 by Zionist terrorists, but did little, and now openly turn against them. Today, Palestinian refugees eligible for U.N. relief number five-million human beings.
Decades of failed Palestinian leadership is responsible for the lack of organized response to the peace pacts. The Palestinian Authority or Fatah in the West Bank collaborated with Israel to uphold the dead-end two-state solution.
In May 2020, Palestinian youth and student organizations called for a rejection of the Palestinian Authority and a return to the path of liberation, resistance and intifada. Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip advocates armed resistance, but is dictatorial to impoverished residents, and brutalizes and imprisons the Left and activist youth.
International solidarity builds. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a grassroots movement, has built massive worldwide support by shining a bright international spotlight on Israeli crimes. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of people boycott Israeli products and corporations. Major financial foundations have been pressured to divest from companies involved in offenses against Palestinians. Artists, filmmakers, and universities have supported the Academic and Cultural Boycott and refused to work with or in Israel. But Biden officials have pledged to oppose BDS.
Unified opposition among Jews and Palestinians in Israel is still only a glimmer. The capitalist ruling class in every country uses the tactic of divide-and conquer to keep the working class from uniting — across race, ethnicity, religion, gender, caste. From an early age Israelis are taught Jewish supremacy and that you cannot trust a Palestinian. That if “you turn your back they will knife you and drive our society into the sea.”
A joint struggle requires new revolutionary leadership. One that forms a powerful united front to create a quality life in a socialist state. One that forges alliances with the roiling rebellions in the Middle East and an end to capitalism.
Arabs and Jews allied can build a shared and liberated Palestine, from the river to the sea.
The author is Jewish American and an anti-fascist activist. Send feedback to Adrienne.firstname.lastname@example.org.