From Zbeidi With Love - To Sharon

On December 5 a suicide bomber blew himself up in Natanya, Israel, killing several civilains. As we warned a few days ago, one of the instruments Sharon can use in whipping up anti-Arab sentiments among the Jews in Israel is precisely this kind of attack on civilians. It comes conveniently for Sharon at a time when the working class is moving to the left!

One of the most common Zionist legends is that despite all the disputes between left and right, economic, national, and otherwise (whether or not these exist outside the minds of Zionist ideologues), the entire nation is united against the enemy, which according to the same Zionist legend is the Palestinian people. Some are less blunt about this, saying that the enemy is “terrorism” (which for them, of course, includes all anti-occupation actions – i.e. not just those that are directed against innocent civilians but also the army), and some speak openly of “the Arab enemy”.

Such disgusting nationalism was aired all over the TV and radio stations after the suicide bombing in Netanya, on December 5. At any rate, their goal is the same   to suppress and confuse the struggle of the workers against their exploiters. This is now becoming clearer to many. What is less clear is that not only must the left not unite with the right on anything   least of all a people's right to fight against its oppressors   but that the Israeli right wing actually cooperates with the reactionaries among the oppressed people.

Indeed, one cannot find even one act of individual terrorism which has served the interests of the left. These acts always play into the hands of the Israeli right. Every suicide bombing against innocent Israeli civilians, promoted and backed by the reactionary parties among the Palestinians, immediately provokes the same response among the masses in Israel, with anything from extreme shock to growing right-wing sympathies.

These bombings repel Israeli workers, and give the capitalist government an excuse to attack the Palestinians. And these attacks on the part of the Israeli state are then used to justify more suicide bombings on the part of Islamic terrorism. Thus the bloodbath continues in a never-ending vicious circle.

Zakaria Zubeidi, a leader of the Fatah in Jenin, claims that they were merely fighting an occupier; while in reality it merely hit innocent civilians. On the other hand the Israeli right wing claims that Israel must respond in order to not appear “weak”. In other words, it must continue with the same provocations.

It is not at all coincidental that all this is happening at a time when Peretz’s popularity is rising in the polls. Peretz, the new leader of Labour, is no revolutionary, but he does represent a leftwards movement of the Israeli workers, and the ruling class is seriously worried that he may be too susceptible to working class pressures and may do things that they consider “extreme”.

Unfortunately, Peretz has shown how he easily comes under the pressure of bourgeois criticism. After the bombing he said that Israel must “fight terrorism”, and again said that terrorism is the number one “enemy of peace”, when it is clear that the real enemy of peace is in fact the Israeli occupation. So long as Israel continues the occupation there will never be and there cannot be peace.

In the final analysis, Zubeidi and Sharon are not real enemies. One must remember that Islamic reaction was backed and sponsored by Sharon in the past as a counterweight to the liberal, secular, bourgeois leadership of Fatah. No, these two men are not enemies at all. They are more like twins.

However, Ariel Sharon is quite clever. He does not lash out at Peretz with reactionary rhetoric like the Likud gang (the main right-wing bourgeois party in Israel). He lets Zubeidi do his job. And Peretz, alas, cannot respond effectively, for he lacks one of the most significant and important characteristics of a revolutionary: complete and utter contempt towards so-called bourgeois “public opinion”. He cannot separate himself completely from the pressures of Israeli bourgeois thinking.

It is the task of the workers in the Labour party to clarify to him that they are no longer willing to be cannon fodder for Israeli capital, and to force him to take a completely different path from the right-wing path he has started to embark on lately.

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