Since its’ earliest days, Israel has always claimed to be a "democratic state". That claim is open to considerable debate on several grounds. But the banning of "democratically elected" members of parliament, is a sure-fire exposure of this shallow claim. Azmi Bishra is an Arab-Israeli MP and has been for years. For the underlying reason that he has become the focal point of the built-up resentment of the 1 million Palestinians who are also "citizens" of the State of Israel, he has faced severe legal attacks. Whilst on a visit to Syria, he called for the Arab countries to resist the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. He had gone to attend a memorial service for the late president, Hafez al-Assad. Bishara did not mention Hizbullah by name, but he did praise the "heroic resistance" that led to Israel’s withdrawal from south Lebanon two years ago, and called for Arab states to support the Palestinians in their uprising against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza." [Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian March 23 2002]. His remarks were to: "provide wider support for the Palestinian people's struggle against the [Israeli] occupation," while he praised Hezbollah as a "heroic" example of "Islamic resistance." [Ha’aretz 10th January 2003].

    This was all taken as a pretext to attempt to remove his parliamentary immunity, and place him in a show trial for "supporting terrorism". In reality, the party he leads – the National Democratic Assembly – had by virtue of providing an avenue for voicing concerns of the Palestinian Israelis, in fact served to defuse the legitimate resistance.

    But the logic of imperial aggression has its own calculation and ends to pursue. The fiction that Israel is a fully open and democratic state, no longer serves any purpose. The only logic that imperialist Israel can now follow is that of the complete suppression of the indigenous Palestinian "citizens" that it has. This was always near complete, but it now needs to be taken to a new "apartheid" conclusion.

    The only alternative would be to move towards an acknowledgement of the legitimate rights of not only the Palestinian "citizens", but also the 220,000 displaced and "banned" Palestinians in the exiles, and also the numerous Palestinians forced out over the sad years. At this juncture, Israel’s’ imperialist ruling partners, in particular the USA, have no longer any need to temper the more aggressive tendencies of Zionism. It is simply in-opportune for the USA now, and therefore quite un-necessary for the USA to "restrain" the Israeli "hawks". That is because a new tactic is being undertaken, one of renewed and more open physical occupation of the area. This will be achieved by war and will not brook any opposition.

    Why has USA imperialism today reverted to a more openly colonial strategy? Why has there been so sharp and renewed emphasis upon occupation of the Middle East? This is examined in a companion article (see Iraq War Inevitable - this issue).

    What do progressive and far-sighted Israelis see – when brazen attempts are made to strip Bishara of parliamentary immunity while the openly racist-terrorist Kach leader Baruch Merzel – is left well alone? They can see the urgent need for a united Palestinian-Israeli party with a united broad front; to call for:

    These are the minimal first steps to the solution of the "Israeli" problem. In reality – the Palestinian problem. Mapping out how the future Palestinian-Israeli State, which no doubt will and shall encompass Greater Palestine (as opposed to Ariel Sharon’s vision of a "greater Israel) will come into existence, has too many unknowns to be certain at this stage.

    One certainly however that we can conclude, is that unless a Marxist-Leninist party in Palestine-Israel is built along anti-revisionist lines, the path to the Palestinian and Israeli peoples will be marked by much further bloodshed and fruitless wars.

    [AFTER this arrticle was written, the Israeli Supreme Court denied the Israeli Attorney General his attempted removal of parliamentary immunity. The overall picture depicted above remains as tense however. The recent revelations of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's corruption simply fuel the even more extreme right wing of the colonists, led by Benjamin ('Bibi') Netanyahu].