Trump and other imperialist leaders on Israel’s side against the Palestinians

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
11 December 2017

 As arrogant and overbearing as ever, Trump has announced his intention to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump probably indulged in his mad antics for domestic political reasons in order to please his anti-Arab, anti-Muslim base. But that's no excuse.

Jerusalem has forever been considered by Palestinian people as the capital of a future independent state. With his announcement, Trump made it clear that such a claim is completely out of the question for the USA. His declaration also officially endorsed the annexation of East Jerusalem by Israeli forces in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. However “democratic” it claims to be, the USA has for decades supported the State of Israel and its violation of Palestinians" rights.

The State of Israel was founded after World War II to alleviate British colonial presence in the Middle East. The desire to establish an independent Jewish State was a legitimate aspiration of the men and women who had survived persecution and the Nazi genocide. However,  there was no obligation to set up a state that would be hostile to Palestinian people, whose right to their own state was just as legitimate. Israelis and Palestinians could have lived together on the same land—as is the case in many countries around the world. Yet, since the very beginning, the founders of the State of Israel chose to oppress the Palestinians, expelling them and putting them in refugee camps in their own country.

As a consequence, the Palestinians don't have a state of their own, but two separate territories which have become smaller and smaller with the application of Israel's "colonization" policy. The territories are now divided by impenetrable walls and strictly controlled borders. They are nothing but open-air prisons under the control of the Israeli military, with no possibility for economic development or freedom of movement.

Trump’s decision has been rejected by the Secretary of the United Nations as well as by Macron and other European leaders. They are all full blown hypocrites! The only reason the small State of Israel has been able to impose its domination over the Palestinian people is because Israel has been backed for decades by the major imperialist powers. Israel's annexations, its colonization of the “occupied territories” and its victimization of Palestinians have all been condemned by UN resolutions. But Israeli leaders couldn’t care less since they have the support of the major imperialist states.

Imperialists view the Middle East as a huge oil field, a territory that they used to exploit through colonial rule and where they have vested interests. The role ascribed to Israel and to other Middle-Eastern states (like Saudi Arabia) is merely to defend imperialist interests in the area. Every now and again, Western states will shed crocodile tears over the fate of Palestinian people. They will even point an accusing finger at their Israeli watchdog—on the condition that business goes on as usual.

Last Sunday, Macron played host to Israel’s prime minister—for yet another visit. Netanyahou knows he can count on Western states, no matter what he does in the ongoing war he’s waging against Palestinians.

The leaders of the various Arab states are no less hypocritical. Throughout history they have treated Palestinians as if they were enemies. They fear Palestinian people because their struggle could encourage others to follow their example and rise up against their rulers. Arab rulers have often used violence against their own people—the 1970 Black September massacre in Jordan is but one example.

Trump’s decision was even criticized by Saudi Arabia. What a joke! The Saudi oil magnates who reproved Trump don't treat people any better than Israel treats Palestinians. The millions of immigrants who build their cities and operate their oil wells are forced to work in slave-like conditions. Women are denied basic rights like the right to work, study, hold a passport or open a bank account without having to ask for their husbands’ permission to do so. The people of Yemen are suffering and dying under Saudi bombs. All of which doesn't deter the major imperialist powers which support Israel—including France—from also supporting the feudal and ultra-conservative Saudi rulers who sell them oil and buy their deadly weaponry.

Will the desperation of Palestinian youths lead to another "intifada"? Nobody knows for sure. But their dramatic situation goes to show that a world pursuing the sole interests of imperialist powers is incapable of guaranteeing a decent life for everyone.

Trump has dealt the Palestinians yet another blow. But he's done it with the support of his accomplices, Macron, May,  Merkel and others. To save a system that serves the interests of the rich and the powerful, they condemn millions of people to life imprisonment.