Several thousand protesters gathered in central London on 4 November to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration and to protest against the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.
This was not the only poignant anniversary for the Palestinians to take place this year - it is 50 years since the 1967 war which saw the Israeli state occupy the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Furthermore, it is now the tenth year of the horrific blockade of Gaza whose residents have been subject to three murderous assaults by the Israeli military since 2008.
The situation facing the Palestinian population continues to be intolerable, and this was pointed out by all speakers at the rally who described the reality of life under the occupation - a life of arbitrary arrests, settlement building, house demolitions and checkpoints. However, the solidarity movement urgently needs to discuss the way forward in terms of how the occupation can be defeated and the just desire for a viable Palestinian state can be realised.
As we pointed out in a Socialist Party bulletin produced for the protest: "We have consistently pointed to the first Intifada (mass uprising of Palestinians in the 1980s) as a key reference point as to how the Palestinians can organise to fight the occupation of their land. And more recently to the mass protests in July 2017 that forced Netanyahu's government to remove metal detectors and cameras from around the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem."
A real democratic and just solution to this brutal and horrendous conflict can come into existence through a coordinated movement of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian working people removing the rotten and repressive Israeli ruling class and, along with their brothers and sisters throughout the Middle East, organising society along socialist lines. We fight for an independent and equal, democratic and socialist Palestinian state, alongside a democratic and socialist Israel, as part of the struggle for a voluntary, socialist confederation of the Middle East and regional peace.
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