Reply to Forward Together

BY:Colorado May Day Club| April 21, 2024
Reply to Forward Together


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

The Colorado May Day Club’s recent conversation on the CPUSA National Committee discussion document Forward Together did not produce a uniform position. Our disagreements and ambiguities, we feel, help to illuminate the primary contradiction we seek to address here. The contradiction is that between the need for a united front in the struggle against fascism in the U.S. and the global struggle for the liberation of Palestine and against the Zionist-inflicted genocide there. We hope to see the Party acknowledge that this contradiction presents both challenges and opportunities for revolutionary practice, and thus solidify its position on the front lines of these struggles.

Colorado May Day Club comrades were glad to see that this contradiction is addressed in the discussion document. The disillusionment of young voters and communities of color with the Democrats and the 2024 Biden ticket as partners in the struggle against fascism is acknowledged. Comrades rightly see the Democrats’ relentless support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza as the culmination of Zionism’s colonization of Palestine. Biden has become known the world over, as well as here in Colorado, as “Genocide Joe.”

The discussion document points to the 1960s as an era when the Party and various liberation struggles faced similar challenges; and we agree there are parallels. The split between the center and the left, ending in an electoral victory for the right, is a risk that we again face and, for some May Day Club comrades, this is the most serious danger the working class — even the world —faces. A return of Trump is not just a nauseating possibility, but a deadly one on many fronts: climate, reproductive rights, workers’ rights, migrant justice, racial justice, voting rights, the genocide and occupation in Palestine, and on and on.

Yet, here in Colorado, as in the rest of the world, the movement for Palestine has been growing by leaps and bounds in direct proportion to the unspeakable carnage being inflicted on Gaza and occupied Palestine by the Zionist entity, with the monetary/military support and political cover on the United States under Republican and Democratic regimes alike. May Day Club comrades have been at the forefront of organizing for Palestine for more than a decade and a half, and some of our members for far longer. Still, even in the midst of this engagement with the Palestinian struggle, we have heard profound misgivings from our Palestinian comrades about the Party’s positions, past and present, vis-à-vis their liberation.

History records that, even after anti-Zionist agitation and support for the indigenous of Palestine among the Party’s rank and file — including, heroically, Jewish Comrades, CPUSA followed the Soviet Union’s folly in recognizing the newly proclaimed state of Israel in 1948. The world communist movement took decades to recover from this error and swing its support around to the Palestinians, who have been fighting Zionist colonialism and thus Western imperialism ever since the British mandate, let alone the Nakba (“catastrophe”) of 1948.

Because of our fraternal relations with parties in other parts of the world, including in the Zionist entity, CPUSA remains committed to a “two-state solution,” which is seen more and more, especially in the Palestinian community, as a re-inscription of the political cover the imperialist powers have long given to Israel. Even if the criminal Netanyahu’s government has renounced the “two-state solution,” the U.S. and other powers of the global north, as expressed in their participation in international institutions like the United Nations, retain it as their stated policy, and seek to impose it on the Palestinians as a condition of any negotiations. If the Party retains this commitment as well, many comrades feel it risks being left behind by the increasing militancy of the movement for Palestine’s liberation. May Day Club comrades who feel this way have come to this view by listening to Palestinians themselves.

If CPUSA aspires to be a revolutionary vanguard party, it would do well, paradoxically, to begin by letting the Palestinians lead the movement for their own liberation. It can admit past mistakes and embrace a revolutionary stance at the same time. We can reaffirm our Marxism by acknowledging what the movement seems to already know: that the movement for Palestine presents, even in the midst of the horror in Gaza, an opportunity to globalize the struggle of the working classes and the oppressed peoples of the earth as never before. The enemy is global, so should the resistance be. But the enemy cannot, in this social media environment, hide their crimes as they have always striven to do in the past. The struggle against fascism is more than a matter of the 2024 election in the U.S. It is a global struggle.

Therefore, this response recommends that the Party consider resolutions at our upcoming National Convention to 1) remove the language for a “two-state solution” from our official platform and replace it with language generated and approved by Palestinians; and 2) commit the Party to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement, as a proven tactic to bring pressure on the Zionist entity and its capitalist allies—one that, again, has resulted in a global movement birthed and led by Palestinians themselves.

We realize that there are more pre-convention documents forthcoming, and there is much more to consider. But this is genocide, paid for by U.S. tax dollars, supported by a tradition of U.S. alliance with Zionism some eight decades old, and which CPUSA must unequivocally oppose. From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!


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