Should Israel be wiped off the face of the earth?
Gearóid Ó Loingsigh
28 October 2023
Changes in the Palestinian territories and Israel.
Occasionally in the “debates” on the Arab world and Palestine in particular statements are made that “they want to destroy Israel” as a criticism or “Israel has the right to exist” as if it were a human being. The Left abandoned any discussion on the issue following the Oslo Accord where the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) surrendered and agreed to govern some Bantustans(1) in the name of peace. The Palestinian “problem” was resolved through the half-measure of autonomy where the Palestinian Authority has less power than a small municipality anywhere in the world and the left replicated and took on as its own the right-liberal demand for Two States.
It is worth looking at the question of destroying Israel and its supposed right to exist. We should be clear though that no state has a right to exist. States exist because they exist, through force, popular support, or cunning and guile. States come and go. In the 19th Century two states came into being, ten years apart, one being Italy through the struggles of Garibaldi and others and Germany, unified under Bismarck. These two states underwent various important changes in their nature, borders and ideological discourse on unity.
In the case of Italy (1861), the Papal States were reduced in size and a significant part of what we now call Italy belonged to Austria. It wasn’t until after the First World War that Italy came to have borders similar to what it now has and changed from a monarchy to a republic. In the case of Germany, its borders waxed and waned throughout the 19th Century until unification under Bismarck in 1871. Later Hitler would expand them once again under the Third Reich or as it was officially called since 1871, the German Reich. Following the Second World War, nobody argued that the Nazi state had a right to exist. It was partially dismantled. Poland recovered a part of its land, the Sudetenland, once again, became part of Checoslovakia, Austria recovered its independence. The great racial nation of Germans was wiped off the face of the earth. The Allies divided the rest into four parts, with three of them becoming the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 and the other the German Democratic Republic, until 1991 when they were united. Other states such as the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires also disappeared after the First World War.
These were not the only states to undergo dramatic change. There are more interesting examples from the anti-imperialist struggles. The Vietnamese guerrillas wiped off the face of the earth the reactionary (North American) state of South Vietnam. The Algerian revolutionaries wiped off the face of the earth the French colonial department of Algeria and erected in its place the Republic of Algeria.
So, is the state of Israel immutable? Does it have a right to exist? Should that right be defended? It is easier to answer that question if we ask ourselves what defending that right means.
Israel’s existence is the theft of land, it is the Nakba, the displacement of 750,000 people in 1948. It is the invasion of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. It is also the current genocide the modern-day Nazis are trying to carry out in Gaza. On that point, there are those who don’t propose to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, but rather to set up two states. Amongst those who sometimes wave that flag is the USA and others who are more serious about it, such as the Al Fatah, the dominant faction in what was the PLO, European liberals and the press. There are also those who believe it is a pragmatic solution, but they are usually people who ignore the question of class as a factor in the Arab world.
Two states means acknowledging and accepting the invasion of 1948, the Nakba, the systematic theft, murder and torture. It also means not accepting the right of return of those displaced in 1948 i.e. to accept and reward the mass violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people. It was worth recalling that the PLO and the various organisations that formed part of it were founded before the 1967 war, so propose two states is to propose the Zionist victory over the territory stolen in 1948. It is to accept that if you commit mass human rights violations and crimes against humanity, the solution is to commit even more, so that some liberal or former leftist can come along and say we have to accept some degree of crime and blood.
So, what is the solution? It is not easy, though it is simple, at least conceptually. It is the historic Palestinian demand of One State. The Palestinians themselves proposed this from the word go, knowing that it brought up the problem of what to do with the Jews who had arrived. One of the old factions of the PLO stated.
However, the DFLP had come to a premature recognition that as well as the Palestinian national question there was also a “Jewish question” which inevitably has to be resolved if one aims to reach a democratic solution to the conflict, emphasising that the resolution of the Jewish question was conditional on freeing itself from the zionist project and the necessary coexistence with the Palestinian Arabs on an equal footing under the slogan of a “Popular Democratic State” which would be built on the ruins of the State of Israel; but, how would this aim be achieved in the light of the overwhelming superiority of Israel and its firm commitment to North American Imperialism?
The answer is to be found in the “prolonged people's war throughout the all Palestinian and Arab territories.(2)Such voices were, back then and continue to be, a minority, but what they say is true. Those millions of Arabs that have come out on to the streets to protest against the Zionist regime face various enemies, one of them being their own bourgeoisies, the Arab states that have betrayed the Palestinian people time and again. However, a Pan-Arabist revolution is a far way off but not impossible. None of the Arab regimes are progressive and they exist because they repress their own people, their own working class. But what would happen to the Jews who lived in the new state? Well, many of them, Netanyahu style Nazis would flee to the USA alongside the Yanks that have arrived in recent decades, those from Western Europe, and the Ukrainians, amongst others. Something similar happened with whites when the racist apartheid regime in Rhodesia was overthrown in 1979. The white population fell from 240,000 to 28,000 now. In Algeria a million Pieds-Noirs fled. Others, those that descend from families that have been in the region for centuries will stay, others will have to negotiate their future in the new state. But not an inch can be given on the right of return of ALL the Palestinians, not only to the country, but also to their farms, olive and lemon fields, their rural and urban houses in the whole country.
So, should Israel be wiped off the face of the earth? Of course it should, and a new Palestinian secular democratic state should be built on the ruins of Zionism and Apartheid. The Arab states and elites should also be wiped off the face of the earth. Later the war criminals and those responsible for crimes against humanity will have to be tried. The Zionists rightly put the German Nazi Adolf Eichmann in the dock. It was an act of justice. Now the Palestinians and the rest of us have to put Nethanyahu and the other criminals in the dock, perhaps with the same consequences. Though whether they spend the rest of their miserable lives in prison or they go to the gallows may be up for discussion, what is beyond debate is whether they should be tried for crimes against humanity. They should be tried as such.
Long live Palestine Free
(1) The Bantustans were segregated zones set aside for blacks in South Africa under Apartheid. They were supposedly independent from the regime but in reality had no autonomy. They were governed by black “leaders” that supported the regime, or at least were not very critical in the same way as the Palestinian Authority.
(2) F. Suleiman, (n/d), La Izquierda Palestina Revolucionaria: Tres décadas de experiencia de lucha (1969-1999), FDLP http://www.fdlpalestina.org/index.htm