On Saturday 1 February, some 2,000 Israelis, Jews and Arabs, demonstrated in Tel Aviv against the “Trump plan” for Israel-Palestine, and the threats by leading Israeli politicians Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz to use the “plan” as licence to move quickly to annex large areas of the West Bank.
According to the Israeli press, the other opposition to annexation (this one behind closed doors) comes from the top brass of Israel’s armed forces, who calculate that it would create reverberating problems for them.
Early talk from Netanyahu of pushing through annexation this week has faded, but it looks likely straight after the 2 March election at latest.
Socialists in Britain are organising for a solidarity protest against annexation at the Israeli embassy in London, possibly on 20 February. A draft text for the call-out says:
“We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and with socialists, internationalists, and peace activists within Israel protesting their own government’s brutal policies.
“We believe that only a settlement based on equal rights for both peoples, Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs, can bring peace, security, and justice. Immediately, this means:
• No to annexation
• An end to the occupation and the blockade of Gaza
• An end to all settlement building
• A viable, independent Palestinian state, alongside and with the same rights as Israel
• Full civil rights for Israel’s Arab minority
• Justice for the Palestinian refugees
“We call on trade unions, local Labour Parties, and other campaign groups to cosponsor and help us build our protest”.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has done no more than a perfunctory statement against the plan. They are still hostile to links with the left inside Israel, and focused on activity like getting British universities and academics to break contact with their Israeli counterparts.
Socialist Worker even sees a sort of silver lining to the “Trump plan”. “Trump’s deal should be the final nail in the coffin of the ‘two-state solution’ — the idea that there could be a state of Palestine alongside Israel”.
Actually, “one-state” formulas, whether in their fantasy form of the Arab states conquering the whole territory and making the Jews a subordinated minority, or in the all-too-real form of creeping Israeli annexation of the West Bank, need to be discarded.
No settlement opening paths for working-class unity and towards a socialist federation in the whole region is possible without respecting the national rights of both peoples.