Israel/Palestine: A Historical Perspective from a Palestinian Communist

What were the main motives behind the Balfour Declaration, imperialism’s November 1917 commitment to carve up Palestine? What was Lenin and the Comintern’s position on Zionism and partition of Palestine? Why did Soviet leaders support US imperialism in creating the Israeli state? Why did they arrange to arm Zionist bands, crucial to their 1948 victory? This is the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. Why do so few in the workers’ movement know about the Beirut Commune of 1976, and how its defeat contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union? These and other questions are taken up by Wadi’h Halabi of the CPUSA and the Center for Marxist Education.

A wandering Palestinian, Halabi was born in Jaffa in 1946. He and his family were forced out in May 1948, on to Gaza, then to Egypt, forced out of Egypt to Lebanon in time for civil war. In recent years, his focus has been on identifying and addressing weaknesses that have caused so many defeats since the mid-1970s, and the material basis for revolutionary optimism.