Bilan & the Arab-Jewish conflict in Palestine

The articles reproduced here were originally published in 1936 in issues 31 and 32 of Bilan, the organ of the Italian Fraction of the Communist Left. The Fraction was obliged to outline the marxist position on the Arab-Jewish conflict in Palestine following the Arab general strike against Jewish immigration, which had degenerated into a series of bloody pogroms.

Hannah Arendt: in praise of thought

Germany's tormented 20th century history is rich in dramatic and terrible themes, and in her latest film, a biopic of the German Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, the producer Margarete von Trotta deals head-on with the profound and difficult moral issues raised by Arendt in her report on the Eichmann trial at the beginning of the 1960s.

The film represents a daring attempt to illustrate the evolution of a philosopher's ideas - ideas which at the time provoked an enormous controversy over anti-fascism and the understanding of Nazism's nature.

The choice is imperialist war or class war

Over and over again, we have been told that in any military conflict there is no choice but to take sides for one or the other party in the conflict: for democracy against dictatorship, for "the people" against "imperialism". This article proposes an in-depth analysis of the tensions between the different imperialist states in the Middle East and in doing demonstrates clearly that the workers can expect nothing, no improvement in their lot, from any of the regimes in place or from any of the so-called "revolutions" of the Arab spring.

Israel-Gaza conflict - the rotten fruit of decadent capitalism

Whatever its specifics, strategies and rationales - and there are certainly plenty of those - the Israeli-Palestine conflict is first and foremost the expression of a decomposing capitalism that holds an enormous threat for the working class and the whole of humanity. This particular conflict, increasingly along with the whole geopolitical situation of the Middle East, represents the tendency towards greater militarism, imperialist war, instability and chaos. Its absurdity, intractability and irrationality perfectly sums up the future that this crisis-ridden system offers to us and the generations to follow.

Israel/Palestine: Populations held hostage by imperialist war

Once again, Israeli jets and missiles have been pounding Gaza. In 2008, ‘Operation Cast Lead’ led to almost 1,500 deaths, the majority of them civilians, despite all the claims made about ‘surgical strikes’ against terrorist targets. The Gaza Strip is one of the most impoverished and densely populated areas in the world and it is absolutely impossible to separate ‘terrorist facilities’ from the residential areas that surround them. With all the sophisticated weapons at the Israelis’ disposal, the majority of causalities in the current campaign are also women, children, and the old.

The anti-state option

The massive street protests in Israel seem, for the moment at any rate, to have gone into retreat; the social question, which they raised so noisily around issues of housing, inflation, and unemployment, is once again being sidelined by the national question.

Israel protests: "Mubarak, Assad, Netanyahu!"

In Israel, over the last three weeks, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to protest against the dizzying cost of living, the growing impossibility for the average person to afford accommodation, the dismantling of welfare services. The demonstrators are calling for “social justice”, but many are also talking about “revolution”. They make no secret of the fact that they have been inspired by the wave of revolts in the Arab world, now spread to Spain and Greece.

US Diplomatic Quarrel with Israel Highlights Weakness of World’s Superpower

In less than a month at the time of writing, a second border clash left at least 14 dead and scores of wounded as Israeli troops opened fire on a crowd of Palestinian protesters trying to break into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights from Syria. Barely one month before, hundreds of people broke through a border fence and clashed with thousands of Israeli troops mobilized in anticipation of possible unrest as Palestinians prepared to protest the anniversary of the Arab defeat in the 1967 Mideast war. This is just a ‘skirmish’ compared to the history of violence and bloodletting that stains the region...

Gaza blockade: From Israel to Turkey all states are warmongers

On 31 May, Israeli troops raided a flotilla of ships, backed by Turkey to bring ‘humanitarian aid' to the Gaza strip. The results were extremely shocking: marines from one of the best equipped and most highly trained armies in the world killed a number of unarmed members of the flotilla, most of them Turks. The Israeli authorities, as cynical as ever, claimed that they acted in self-defence.

An internationalist voice in Israel

This article was originally published on Israel's Indymedia site and on It was written by a comrade in Israel who, despite being in an extreme minority, felt the need to respond to the patriotic war fever sweeping Israel/Palestine in the wake of the Israeli assault on Gaza.

Gaza: Solidarity with the victims of war means class struggle against all exploiters!

After two years of strangling the economy of Gaza - blockading fuel and medicines, preventing exports and stopping workers from leaving Gaza to find work on the Israeli side of the border - after turning the whole of Gaza into a vast prison camp, from which desperate Palestinians have already tried to escape by breaking through the border into Egypt, Israel's military machine is subjecting this densely populated, impoverished area to all the savagery of a virtually continuous aerial bombardment.

Gaza population held hostage by big and small powers

The situation for the civilian population in Gaza, and particularly the working class, continues to go from bad to worse. Even before the recent tightening of the blockade three quarters of factories had ceased working, 100,000 had lost their jobs in Israel due to border restrictions, hundreds of thousands remain in 8 refugee camps 60 years after fleeing the 1948 conflict...

Middle East: Against the slide into war, the international class struggle is the only answer

The only opposition to imperialism is the resistance of the working class against exploitation, because this alone can grow into an open struggle the capitalist system, a struggle to replace this dying system of profit and war with a society geared towards human need. Because the exploited everywhere have the same interests, the class struggle is international and has no interest in allying with one state against another.  Its methods are directly opposed to the aggravation of hatred between ethnic or national groups, because it needs to rally together the proletarians of all nations in a common fight against capital and the state.

Capitalism is war without end

The escalation of barbarism in the Middle East is part of the escalation of military conflicts across the whole planet. Following the September 11th attacks the USA launched a long term crusade against 'terrorism', starting with the war in Afghanistan, an intervention which had been planned well before the destruction of the Twin Towers. This was followed by the increase in tensions between India and Pakistan. Then came the build-up towards a new attack on Iraq, supposedly to make it accept UN weapons inspectors again, or even to depose Saddam. And to emphasise the seriousness of the USA's intent, the Pentagon 'leaked' US plans to use nuclear weapons, if necessary, against anyone else alleged to possess weapons of mass destruction, such as China, Russia, North Korea, Syria, Libya or Iraq.

Erratum: Sharon, Sabra and Shatila

In our article, "The proletariat confronts a dramatic deepening of all capitalism's contradictions" published in the International Review n°115, an error was made in stating that Sharon, described as the "butcher of Sabra and Shatila" "was responsible for a particularly barbaric Israeli punitive operation in two refugee camps in west Beirut, in September 1982, when thousands men, women and children were massacred." In fact, contrary to what we wrote, Sharon, who was the Israeli minister of defence at the time, did not take part in the bloody incursion in the Palestinian camps, nor did he lead them directly. It was the militias of the "Lebanese forces", with the authorisation of the Israeli troops, who did the dirty work.

Israel/Palestine: Against nationalism! For class solidarity!

Once again, the Middle East is ablaze, although in truth there has been no real pause in bloody conflicts in this region for over fifty years.

Peace is not possible under capitalism. The ICC has always said this loud and clear. Thus, in October 1993, after the first ‘historic’ handshake between Arafat and Rabin, we wrote:

Subscribe to RSS - Israel