Side with progressive forces in Israel and Palestine for a lasting peace

On October 7, a new round of the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation began with rocket fire by Hamas. The whole world turned its attention with horror to the atrocities of terrorists against peaceful citizens of Israel and other countries. However, for now, while everyone is debating the need to strike back as hard as possible, progressive forces around the world should focus on a plan to achieve lasting peace.

Israel has the right to self-defense, and can retaliate against terrorists. However, indiscriminate carpet bombing, increasing blockade and humanitarian disaster, calls to completely destroy Gaza, deport the local population and annex it will only make the escalation more violent and make long-term peace impossible.

It must be remembered that the Iranian-backed Hamas gained popularity and was able to stage a coup in the Gaza Strip in 2007, partly because of aggressive Israeli actions and the illegitimacy among the population of the more moderate Fatah, which controls the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank.

When the Oslo Accords, which were supposed to become a prerequisite for the creation of a separate Palestinian State, were concluded in 1993, there appeared an opportunity for the final end of this conflict. Nevertheless, in the future, the reaction and personal interests of the leaders on both sides stopped this process.

Israeli right-wing leaders began to use Fatah and the Oslo Accords for their own purposes. Public expressions of commitment to the Accords, the Two States for Two Peoples formula, and minimal engagement with the PNA have enabled the Israeli rightists (and among them the current Prime Minister Netanyahu) for decades to deny that they control the Palestinians, increase the construction of illegal settlements, evict Palestinian Arabs from their places of residence and to demarcate their lands into separate enclaves, installing roadblocks and infrastructure “for Israelis only” on them.

Fatah, which controls the PNA, has ultimately turned into an autocratic, corrupted organization (holding power through funding from international donors and Israel itself) with no policy to resolve the conflict. So the desperate Palestinians turned their support to the Iran-backed radical Hamas, which promises to “throw Israel into the sea” through endless terror and build a theocratic Islamic state.

The loop of violence motivates both sides to perpetuate new crimes. Both sides are more and more committing atrocities against each other and most of all ordinary people are suffering.

Today, left-wing progressive forces around the world must abandon unconditional support for either party. Instead, the international community should support progressive forces willing to make concessions for the sake of peace.

The international community should promote the creation of new progressive political movements in Palestine that would not involve either the corrupt Fatah or the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists. Israel should be required to halt the settlement construction program, with the subsequent possibility of liquidating most of them after the conclusion of a peace treaty.

Only by putting pressure on both sides and cooperating with progressive forces in Israel and Palestine, a lasting peace can be established. Only this would prevent a repeat of today’s tragic events.