NEW YORK (Jan. 1)
The Progressive Labor Party, the official Maoist organization in the country, has come to the defense of Dan Vered “and his comrades” who were arrested in Israel several weeks ago as members of the Syrian-directed spy and sabotage ring. According to the latest issue (Jan. 11) of “Challenge,” the mouthpiece of the PLP, Vered and the group arrested with him were part of “a handful of Jewish and Arab working people (who) formed the Revolutionary Communist Alliance…to win both Jewish and Arab workers to unite and fight for socialism” in Israel.
The Alliance, Challenge explains, was formed last year, and event, “which, though small in itself, could have catastrophic potential consequences for Zionists and their U.S. masters.” How? Challenge asserts that the Alliance, unlike other pseudo-revolutionary groups in Israel tolerated by the government and even encouraged to participate in the government to provide a facade of democracy, was prepared to expose Israel as a puppet of American imperialism and as a friend of some of the most reactionary regimes in Asia.
In addition, the PLP continues, the emergence of the Alliance came at a time when Israel was in the midst of strikes and general workers’ resentment against inflation, the continuing state of war, and at a time when Zionism was becoming exposed as a vicious system of entrapping unwary Jews into “the Zionist paradise.”
“To nip this danger in the bud,” Challenge states, the government needed a scapegoat and Vered and “his comrades” titled the bill. In a banner headline on page one of the latest issue, the arrests are termed: “Israeli ‘Spy’ Hoax: Anti-Communist Strike-busting.” On page two, the headline over the story dealing with Vered states: “Israeli Anti-Communist Frame-up Can’t Defuse Exploding Strike Wave.” There is also a touched-up picture of Israeli Premier Golda Meir made to look like Hitler and wearing an armband with a swastika.
At the bottom of the article. Challenge includes a box item which states: “Dan Vered, one of the four arrested Israelis, wrote to PLP last year on the class struggle in the Mideast and his comrades’ program to help lead it. From the very brief excerpt below, one can see why the fascist Israeli rulers want to see them destroyed” Part of the excerpt states: “In a certain sense we are fighting a political struggle against gangsters. We must get this into our heads: we are outside the framework and this is an inevitable result of our internationalist position.” Another segment of the excerpt states: “We are not speaking of miraculous solutions or of wonders. We say we must under take a long march that demands work, skill and discipline, of no common measure with the norms familiar to us…”
Challenge provides a brief sketch of Vered’s activities in the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) while he was in the United States several years ago, and asserts that he played “a leading role in his university in fighting and defeating the Weathermen, a faction that advocated terror, bombing and assassination and later left the SDS” to support the PLP Worker-Student Alliance SDS faction which advocated “hard and patient work with a long-term perspective of winning workers and students to a revolutionary socialist outlook.”
The article concludes with an appeal “to every American worker” to help free Vered and other members of the Alliance “so they can resume the struggle for socialism in the Middle East,” and to end once and for all arrests of socialists in Israel which actually constitute “the Zionists ‘foreign aid’ contribution to shoring up U.S. imperialism in the Middle East and in Southeast Asia.”