The GMJ initiative served its task: It strengthened the global awareness on the western-backed Israeli attempt to “cleanse” the Palestinians from their lands and to further enlarge their colonial state. This was possible thanks to a global mobilisation on the day of the land (March 30) with its centre of gravity in occupied Palestine: Jerusalem, Gaza, West Bank and the territories occupied in 1948 – as well as the Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
At the same time there has been the Asian caravan of about 150 people crossing through more than half a dozen West Asian countries to join the march. With countless public rallies on their way they had a great impact on the public opinion of their respective countries.
There have been mobilisations in dozens of cities across the Arab-Islamic world, Asia, Europe, America and even Australia – with all together is an impressive achievement.
Incipient global anti-Zionist alliance
On a political level the most important expression of the success of the GMJ is the consolidation of a global alliance against Zionism.
It is easy to condemn Netanyahu’s extremist and openly racist policy. Even Israel’s western allies once in a while voice opposition to it. For public use they insist on a two state solution while they de facto support or tolerate Israel’s move to systematically drive Palestinians from their land with the final aim to occupy entire Palestine.
Large parts of the western solidarity movement kept sticking to the two-state solution which does not only justify Israel, but has historically been falsified by Israel’s complete and total rejection of any compromise. More than two decades after Oslo the two-state formula is no iota more than a cheap western cover to deny the democratic right of the Palestinian people to self-determination which includes the right to return.
The GMJ alliance – also thanks to strong Arab and Asian participation – is univocal on Zionism. It rejects an exclusive Jewish colonial state all together, calls for the right to self-determination including the right to return of all expelled.
This is not a minor achievement but a giant political step ahead. Actually it is the first time since 1989/91 that a broader coalition on the base of the historic charter of the Palestinian liberation movement has become possible in the west. It is therefore not so important how many organisations, initiatives or individuals have participated but that the alliance was constituted and the initiatives actually took place. All this needs to be continued, enlarged and consolidated.
In this context it is of special importance that the alliance stretches across continents including Asia and got strong legs in the Arab world itself. That means also the ability of forces with secular and Islamic background to co-operate. This collaboration is at the same time a strong token against western Islamophobia which became the main ideological shield of the global rulers against the popular resistance movement taking on imperialism.
The pitfalls of geo-politics
Any initiative in the Arab world cannot escape the main event since the Palestinian Intifada, namely the Arab Intifada for democratic and social rights against the imperialist-imposed order of the region. In a certain sense the Arab popular revolt of today is the late continuation and enlargement of the Palestinian popular revolt.
On one hand it has been clear to the revolutionary movement that the liberation of Palestine passes by the liberation of the entire Arab heartland from imperialism. On the other hand in order to survive against a superior enemy the Palestinian organisations have been tempted to co-operate with the different Arab regimes being part of the imperial order.
The US order in the region today is weakened, is crumbling under the blows of the popular masses, but is yet not finished. There is an unevenness of the revolutionary process due to the petrodollars from the Gulf which remains the stronghold of imperialism led by the Saudi monarchy. But also where the people could chase away the dictators, the old elites try to re-organise with US assistance while the US is at the same time searching for new allies among the Islamic forces which dispose over deep roots within the people – which will soften and tune down their support for the Palestinian cause.
Then there is the special case of the Syrian popular revolt. The reasons and motives of the protesting masses are the same across the entire Arab region. Actually with regard to its socio-economic structure the Asad regime is quite similar to the openly pro-western regimes ruled by the very same neo-liberalist elite. The difference is the support the Baathist regime granted to the resistance movements like Hezbollah or Hamas. But despite this support to resistance movements and despite its alliance with Iran, the main state enemy of the US rule, the Syrian regime never substantially challenged the imperial equilibrium. The Palestinian cause is subordinated to and instrumental for its own interest.
Asad could so far avoid being toppled by the popular movement thanks to the alliance with Iran, is record of support to the resistance forces but also because of its sectarian shield which has been reciprocally fortified by the sectarian meddling of the Gulf and the sectarian undercurrents of the Muslim Brotherhood milieu itself.
Although the GMJ tried to keep out of these conflicts, it was inevitable dragged into it as the entire Palestinian question is intrinsically linked to the Arab revolt.
In Egypt there was no significant mobilisation at all as the Muslim Brotherhood wants to maintain low profile on the Palestinian question because their US allies might bother. In Lebanon no major current involved wanted to shake the very instable equilibrium, linked also to Syria, which could break down at any moment – they kept low profile as well, which left the refugee camps immobilised.
The GMJ would have been in need to take these conditions, this political environment more into consideration. To secure a broad mobilisation including the Palestinian refugees utmost independence from these inflicting factors must be strived for.
So it was occupied Palestine itself where there were less strings attached and the Palestinian themselves did mobilise and got their voice heard around the world.
As it has been mentioned before we need to consolidate the global anti-Zionist alliance. But not only the GMJ experience has taught us that the Palestinian cause cannot be isolated from its regional and historic environment. Only the Arab popular masses can defeat Zionism and imperialism. Their Arab puppets are the safeguards of the imperial order and indirectly Israel. But also those regimes have no future which denounce imperialism but at the same time despotically oppress their own people and refuse dialogue with the popular revolts.
Therefore the anti-Zionist movement must understand that it can only succeed with being anti-imperialist at large, which in turn means to set on the popular revolutions even if this will require years and decades. We need to support the on-going popular movements while fighting imperialist intervention, meddling and usage mediated by the different regional regimes including also popular proxies. So our support is not blind. While we back the revolts of the oppressed masses we especially support the democratic and anti-imperialist components. We denounce the anti-democratic and sectarian ones which risk provoking confessional strife to the favour of imperialism.
The liberation of Jerusalem passes by Cairo, Damascus and Algiers and ultimately by the Gulf – which requires to fight the imperialist system all together. So what we need is a broad popular revolutionary anti-imperialist alliance.
Mid April, 2012