For almost 1000 years, religious people have fought over the lands of Israel/Palestine. The Ancient Egyptians ruled it, so did the Greeks and Romans. In the medieval period, Christian kingdom were founded to ensure Christian rule over the ''holy land''. The Arabs were not happy with this, especially when the brutal Knights of the religious orders started to murder Islamic pilgrims. Arab leader; Saladin fought a long war with the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He was able to capture Jerusalem in 1187!
After the decline of the Arab Islamic Caliphate, the Turks took power in the middle east. Their Ottoman Empire ruled for almost 600 years. Meanwhile the supporters of the Jewish religion were exiled. Since the days of the Roman Empire, the Jews have been hated and prosecuted. Christians also hated the Jews because they believed that Jews were the ones who betrayed Jesus Christ to the Romans. So in medieval Europe, the Christian kings were very anti-Semitic. Blaming the Jews for almost anything that went wrong!
In the Ottoman Empire the Turks were a little less hostile to Jews, but they too had their hatred for the people of this religion. Arabs who lived in Ottoman Palestine were very hostile to the Jews who started to settle in what is today Israel/Palestine. The Ottoman Sultan banned the Jews from living in Ottoman Palestine in the year 1892. As the Jewish religion grew so did anti-Semitism in Ottoman Palestine!
During World War 1 the anticommunist White Armies in Russia, used anti-Semitism against the Bolsheviks. Although Vladimir Lenin was not Jewish, Leon Trotsky was born in a Jewish family and Karl Marx was also of Jewish parents. The anticommunists murdered at least 150.000 Jews in Ukraine, with the help from many Christian peasants who hated Jews. As the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1920, Jews were targeted by opponents of Mustafa Kemal. They blamed the Jews for the collapse of their empire. But Mustafa Kemal won the struggle and in the secular Republic of Turkey, Jews were not prosecuted!
Turkey lost Ottoman Palestine to the British. They created the British Mandate of Palestine. For 28 years, Palestine would be a colony of the British Empire. The Arabs who lived in Palestine opposed British Imperialism and felt betrayed by the British. They were told that Great Britain would grand them independence if they fought against the Ottoman Turks. But the British betrayed the Arabs and took possession of the middle east!
Between 1936 and 1939 there was a revolt among Arabs. During this uprising the Jews of Palestine supported the British. They feared the anti-Semitic Muslims who never liked the Jews. By supporting the British the Jews were even more hated by the Arabs. Jewish police men and British soldiers were able to slaughter 5.000 Arabs and execute more then 100. In the four years of the Arab uprising 300 Jewish police men were killed. British Imperialism was able to suppress the revolt and jailed 12.000 Arabs. The hatred towards the British was so high that some Arabs joined forces with another great anti-Semitic leader; Adolf Hitler!
When Nazism was defeated in 1945, the United Nations wanted to create a Jewish state in British Palestine. This was opposed by the Arab nations who did not wanted a Jewish state. The United Nations wanted to create two states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs. But Arab nations opposed this so much that they decided to invade British Palestine to prevent the creation of the State of Israel. On May 15 of 1948, Arab forces from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon invaded Israel/Palestine. But the Jews were not about to give up their new state, 100.000 men and woman joined forces to fight the Arab invaders!
After 9 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, the war was over. The State of Israel was able to defeat the Arab invaders. The Arab Palestinians were forcefully removed from the their homes. Some Israeli soldiers even committed mass murder against them. We know today that Israeli soldiers committed 24 massacres against the Arab population. The reason why they did this was out of revenge and hatred. Arab forces also committed crimes against innocent Jews, but on a far smaller scale then the Israeli. This is because Arab forces never captured many Jewish towns and cities. It was the Israeli Defence Force that conquered all Arab towns and settlements. But the West-Bank and the Gaza Strip were still in Arab hands. The Kingdom of Jordan took control of the West-Bank and annexed it in 1950!
This first defeat at the hands of Israel was the beginning of a long and bloody conflict. Hatred towards Israel soon turned anti-Semitic as Jews across the middle east were bullied and intimidated by Arabs. Meanwhile in Israel, the supporters of the Jewish state ( called Zionists ) replaced Arab towns with Jewish towns. Many Jews from Europe migrated to the State of Israel. Between 1948 and 1967, the Jews outgrew the Arabs who in 1948 were still the majority in Israel/Palestine!
Fearing the Egyptian leader; Gamal Abdel Nasser, the State of Israel launched an attack on the Arab world called the Six Day War. On June 5 of 1967, Israeli air planes destroyed 2/3 of the proud Egyptian Air Force in an surprise attack. More then 400 Egyptians planes were destroyed, most on the ground, Israel only lost 46 planes. But the State of Israel did more then just destroying the Egyptian Air Force. Their invasion force also conquered the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and the West-Bank ( held by Jordan ). Now the State of Israel was bigger then it ever was!
This surprise attack humiliated the Arabs. In the United Nations the attack of Israel was condemned and they were told to leave the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and the West-Bank. Israel refused saying they needed those lands to protect themselves. The United States of America and most Western European nations supported Israel in this. They totally ignored the needs to the Palestinian people. Win-out any support from outside, the Arab Palestinians started to use terrorist methods to put fear into the minds of Israel. Leftist nationalist groups like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ( PFLP ) were created in 1967 to oppose Israeli Imperialism!
The PFLP became known for their aircraft hijacking in the late 60's and 1970's. Many of these young nationalists belonged to the middle-class. They were educated in the Marxist Leninist ( Stalinist ) ideology yet for many nationalism was the motivator not communism. They also got support from western leftists, who after 1968 sided with the PFLP against Israel!
Meanwhile the bourgeoisie of the world supported the State of Israel. They said that Israel was only defending themselves and that the PFLP was a ''dirty communist terrorist group''. That was also said about the African National Congress and their jailed leader Nelson Mandela, who was also called a ''dirty communist terrorist'' by the capitalist politicians in the western world!
The Arab world took their revenge on Israel in 1973. Egyptian forces under president Anwar Sadat invaded the Sinai Peninsula and recaptured it for Egypt. Although the Yom Kippur War was a Israeli tactical victory, Egypt regained its lost honour. Anwar Sadat became a hero in the Arab world for attacking the State of Israel during their Yom Kippur holiday. But Sadat went in another direction when he started to talk with Israel about peace. In 1979 the Camp David Accords were signed between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel. These accords were signed win-out the Palestinians and the UN condemned them for it. Also the Arab world was furious at Sadat who made peace with Israel. The Arab League suspended Egypt because of this!
In 1981 Anwar Sadat was murdered by Islamic extremist soldiers in the Egyptian Army. During a parade the soldiers opened fire on the president. He was killed while vice president Mubarak was injured. After the death of Sadat, vice president Mubarak became president. His government was able to persuade the Arab world into accepting peace with Israel.
The State of Israel made sure that the occupied Palestinian lands would become Jewish in time. Radical Zionist colonists took up residence in the West-Bank. They claim that all of Israel/Palestine belongs to the Jewish people. These Jewish extremists hate Arabs and with the support from the Israeli Army, they bully and intimidate Palestinians till this day. In the United Nations the call to leave the Gaza Strip and the West-Bank was put into a motion in 2002. But the State of Israel did not accepted this motion. They claim to this day that they have the right to control Palestinian lands!
After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, a new force became a danger to Israeli Imperialism. Until the 1980's, Palestinian nationalism was secular and leftist. But a new ideology would emerge, one more extremist and totalitarian. This ideology is called Islamism and based around the Islamic religion. In 1987 the Islamic Resistance was founded. ''Islamic Resistance'' or Hamas, was able to rally poor people around the banner of Islam and strict dogma's. Unlike the middle class PFLP, the militants of Hamas were able to rally poor people with the Islamic religion. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was never able to rally the working class, due to their believe in guerrilla warfare instead of class struggle. The poor were easy recruited by Hamas, who also gave social security and medical aid!
By the year 2000, the secular nationalists were losing the fight for support. Hamas was growing very fast. They also started to use suicide-bombers against Israeli civilians. Their terror attacks fueled the anger of the State of Israel, who used brutal methods to hunt down the Hamas terrorists. Even Palestinian young teens ( 12-18 years old ) were jailed and assaulted by Israeli Defense Force soldiers. The Palestinian National Liberation Movement ( Fatah ) was by now the leader of the secular resistance. Between 1987 till 1993 they launched the first Intifada against Israel. This Intifada was an uprising that was met with huge brutality. Israel lost 160 soldiers, but slaughtered 1.000 Palestinians. Most tried to fight the Israel Defence Force ( IDF ) with stones but were shot at by tanks and machine guns!
Supporters of Israel claim that the soldiers did their job while defending Israeli citizens. We revolutionary socialists say that is no excuse. Israel has no right to occupy the West-Bank. They had no right to take it as their own in 1967 when they invaded lands that were never theirs to take. The UN plan for a Jewish state did not include the era's we call the Gaza Strip or the West-Bank. Revolutionary socialists support a socialist Israel and a socialist Palestine that are both secular and free from Jewish and Islamic dogma's.
In 2005, Israel left the Gaza Strip. Many Jewish extremists opposed this and there were many demonstrations against leaving Gaza. But Israel did it and left Gaza to the Palestinians. Unfortunate it was Hamas who was able to win the minds of the people. During the elections of 2007 it was Hamas who got total control over the Gaza Strip. In response to this the Israeli's blocked the strip. They also destroyed the airport and prevent any ships from entering Gaza. Hamas retaliated by firing unguided rockets at Israel causing very little damage. But the Zionists use these attacks as proof that the IDF has the right to attack Gaza and kill Palestinians!
Since the victory of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the two Palestinian territories are govern independently. The State of Israel has granted the Palestinian Liberation Organisation ( PLO ) limited self management in the era's of the West-Bank that are not under control of Jewish colonists. Yet the IDF is still the only military force allowed in the West-Bank. The PLO is the organisation that launched the second Intifada in the year 2000. During this second Intifada more then 1.000 Israeli's ( 2/3 were civilian's ) died. The IDF responded very harsh by killing 3.000 Palestinians in total. They claim it was all self-defense and that the ''terrorists'' were responsible for the killings of Palestinians. Again the State of Israel plays the victim, while they are the ones who occupy lands that don't belong to them!
The second Intifada ended in 2005 with the removal of IDF forces from the Gaza Strip. The Islamic Resistance( Hamas ) was able to win the elections in 2007, leading to sectarian violence between the secular nationalists and Islamic nationalists. Meanwhile the Palestinian Authority is deeply divided and losing support. In the year 2012 they appealed to the United Nations to recognize them as the State of Palestine. Most supporters of the State of Israel ( including the USA and the Netherlands ) opposed the idea of a State of Palestine. The PLO declared a State of Palestine back in 1988, but no nation recognized this state. Even in the year 2013 the Palestinians still have no state. This is because the USA and their allies block any UN attempt to recognize a Palestinian state!
Hamas is still in complete control of the Gaza Strip. Turning the only free part of Palestine into a Islamic theocracy. Freedom is speech is limited, criticism is not welcomed. Hamas is fuelling anti-Semitism among children, at schools and on television children learn to hate Jews. Anti-Semitism remains very strong among the Arabs, it is also a weapon of the State of Israel. Because the Israeli's claim that anyone who opposes Israel must be anti-Semitic. People who support the Palestinians are easily called anti-Semitic by the media of Israel!
Revolutionary socialists stand in solidarity with the Palestinians. But we give no political support to Hamas or Fatah. We say that Palestinian workers must build a party for themselves on a socialist program. Workers in Israel must do the same thing. Only a workers party on a revolutionary socialist program can break the wall of lies spread by the ruling class of Israel and Palestine. We understand that workers in Israel want to defend their freedoms against Hamas. But supporting the State of Israel is as wrong as supporting Hamas. The ruling class of Israel wants war and conflict. They want to divide people into sectarian groups fighting each other. This is why workers of both nations must build workers parties. Only a secular socialist Israel and Palestine can lead the way to peace and true freedom!