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Palestine: Core Conflict in the Middle East

May 11, 2005


The heart of the conflict in the Middle East is the struggle of the Palestinian people for land, justice and independence. The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq does have its own dynamic and motives, as do popular struggles against the Saudi and other oil state monarchies. Yet the core conflict in the Arab world continues to be the struggle of the Palestinian people.

While there is a religious component to the Israeli Palestinian question, fundamentally it is an unfinished remnant of the anti-colonial struggle that defined the history of the 20th century. Anti-colonialism, the internationally recognized right of all nations to self-determination and independence, was the hallmark and driving force of the 20th century. All but a tiny handful of nations achieved their independence from colonial rulers and/or racist settler state regimes. In 2005, Puerto Rico is still a U.S. colony. The north of Ireland is still ruled by Britain. The Basque people are still under Spanish (and French) control. Kurdistan, the nation of the Kurds, remains divided and under the control of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. And Palestine is still ruled and occupied by the settler quasi-theocratic state of Israel.

Reports on Palestine/Israel are aired daily in the U.S. by the corporate news media. The American public hears a lot about Palestinians and Israelis from the U.S. government and media, but these are rarely objective and balanced views. Overwhelmingly these take a pro-Israeli slant.

The anti-imperialist, social justice and revolutionary movement in the U.S. has long supported the Palestinian people’s struggle. Political prisoners in the America continue to do so today.

4strugglemag is devoting a major section of this issue to the Palestinian people’s decades long struggle for justice and independence. We begin with a documented, footnoted historical overview, that I excerpted from a “Palestine Fact Sheet,” which appeared in the Nov. 21, 2004 Revolutionary Worker (

Jaan Laaman
P.O. Box 100
South Walpole, MA 02071

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