Da’am Workers Party (DWP): Basic Principles
The Da’am Workers Party (DWP) here sets forth a program for revolutionary change in Israeli society, based on the principles of integration, equality, and social justice. We believe that these principles cannot be implemented under the regime of global capitalism. Their realization requires a socialist society which honors human welfare above profit.
Peace. DWP seeks peace based on an end to the Occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with the 1967 lines as its border. The Oslo Accords, in our view, created an unhealthy situation. The Palestinian Authority (PA) arose as a subcontractor of Israeli occupation, while Israel’s governments continued to build settlements. Given the political, economic and social situation that today prevails in the Occupied Territories, the PA has lost credibility in the eyes of its people. DWP believes that a “Palestinian Spring” is in the offing. It will overthrow the PA and face Israel with two choices. One alternative is direct occupation (i.e., de facto annexation of the Territories) with all that this entails: perpetuation of apartheid, one people deprived of its rights by another; surrender of all pretence of Israeli democracy; ever sharper confrontation with a world that has lost its patience; and finally, war. The other alternative is complete withdrawal from the Territories and dismantlement of the settlements. Until now no Israeli government has been willing to choose the second of these. Nothing less than social and political revolution can put an end to the Occupation.
Peace with the Arab world can only be made by supporting the Arab Spring, supporting the struggle of Arab youth, women, farmers and workers against the dictatorships and for democracy. DWP unreservedly supports the Syrian people’s struggle for freedom against the murderous Baath regime. Despite the attempts by the Islamic movement to co-opt the Arab Spring, DWP sees the democratic revolutions—fromTunisandEgypttoLibyaandSyria—as a necessary phase on the road to modernizing Arab society. It is no longer necessary to choose between a regime of capitalist oppression and Islamic law. The Arab Spring presents a third way, a democratic way, responsive to the interests of the vast majority. An end to the Occupation is a condition forIsrael’s joining a new and democraticMiddle East.
Equality. This is a basic principle for any democracy. The State of Israel commits systematic and deliberate discrimination against the Palestinian citizens within its borders. DWP sees this discrimination, along with recent racist legislation, as a recipe for aggravating racial and nationalist tension between the two population groups.
DWP acts within the Arab population inIsraelto bring about revolutionary social change. We seek to reverse a situation in which, against a background of religious extremism and blind nationalism, the lives of women and youth are dominated by family, clan and ethnic group.
Social justice. In the summer of 2011, a huge protest movement brought social justice to the top ofIsrael’s political agenda. Israeli youth joined their counterparts in the squares ofCairo,Tunis,Madrid, andNew York. DWP joined the social protest from its inception, following many years of grass-roots work on the issues.
DWP blames the worldwide neoliberal capitalist regime for the destruction of the production-based economy and the social fabric. Unemployment, social gaps, the loss of affordable housing, cuts in health services, education, and welfare—all are signs of a global blight that harms the world’s nations in various ways. The same blight lies at the basis of the Arab revolutions and the protest movements in Europe andAmerica. Like all Israeli governments since the Stabilization Plan of 1985, the present one implements an extreme neoliberal policy. This has created a thin layer of the wealthy, who take advantage of privatization to buy the society’s assets. At the other extreme, more than a million workers are living below the poverty line.
DWP acts within the protest movement to bring about revolutionary, anti-capitalist change. We seek to integrateIsrael’s Palestinian population with the protest movement on the basis of ground that is common to the youth and the workers. Poverty has no color, religion or national group, and wages today are bad for both Jews and Arabs. Solidarity between the two groups is the guarantee for a revolutionary change in Israeli society, just as it is vital for achieving peace.
Socialism. DWP views socialism as the alternative to the present capitalist regime, which has forfeited the trust of its citizens. Democracy is emptied of content, because capital has bought the halls of power. The Knesset does not represent the sovereign will of the people. As an alternative, we seek a regime for which labor will be the determining value, a regime in which the society—and not profit-driven companies—manages the economic resources, one in which the political parties express what people want, a society which encourages a productive economy. The capitalist regime has made financial speculation into the principal economic activity. DWP wants an end to speculation, financial pyramids, hedge funds, and the other institutions of the virtual economy. We want to redirect all resources toward development, job creation, and the strengthening of the state in administering and supervising the economy for the sake of the society as a whole.
Unionization. DWP initiated the forming of WAC-MAAN. This is an alternative trade union inIsrael which today organizes factory workers, college instructors, farm laborers, and truck drivers. MAAN takes a different direction from the Histadrut, which has lent its hand to a number of anti-labor trends: privatization, contract work, division of workers into more and less favored classes, and importation of laborers lacking all rights. The Histadrut has left 70% of the country’s workers without union representation. We established MAAN to provide a remedy for hundreds of thousands of Jews, Arabs and Soviet immigrants who work without social benefits under severe conditions. MAAN supports full equality for all workers inIsrael without regard to differences in religion, race, nationality, or gender.
The Knesset. DWP views the Knesset as an important arena for expression of the voter’s will, and as a source of support for grass-roots action among workers, youth, and women. The Knesset elections are for us a way of gauging our support and testing our positions. We ask those who share our basic principles to vote for us in order to influence the struggle for social change. The workers today have no other “address” that will faithfully express their interests, and DWP provides a remedy for this lack. The Knesset is not the only arena for bringing about the needed change, but a public mandate will express support for this. In the Knesset, DWP will act for legislation expressing the will of the working public—and not the interests of a tiny group of wealthy families or special sectors such as the settlers. The struggle to enter the Knesset goes hand in hand with DWP’s grass-roots work for social change.