Palestine

Contribution of the Bolşevik Parti Northern Kurdistan-Türkiye to the open debate on the current war in Palestine

Bolşevik Parti Northern Kurdistan-Türkiye, 

On the current war in Palestine and our criticisms of false positions in the international revolutionary movement.

The current war in Palestine was started by a well-planned and long-prepared military operation carried out mainly by the military organization of Hamas, the "Al Qassam Brigades". Since the Hamas attack on October 7, Zionist Israel has been waging a war against the Palestinian people. The most densely populated Gaza Strip is being bombed every day by the Israeli air force. Over a million people are now refugees in their own country in order to save their bare lives. This is a barbaric, no-rules, terrorist war waged by Israel against the Palestinian people.

There are two sides in the war in the Middle East today: One side is the Zionist state of Israel, which is fully supported by the Western imperialists such as the USA and the EU. The Zionist state of Israel has been oppressing, murdering and occupying the Palestinians for 75 years and expelling them from their land. With the full support of the Western imperialists, Israel has been waging a war against the Palestinian people since October 7 in the name of the fight against terrorism. Under the pretext of "war against Hamas terrorism", "Israel's right to self-defense", etc., the destruction of the Gaza Strip by the Zionists and the expulsion of the Palestinians from their land is supported by the Western imperialists. In this unjust, counter-revolutionary war, the Israeli state, which does not recognize any rules of war, is committing war crimes.

On the other side of the war are the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, and the Mujahideen Brigades, the military wing of the Mujahideen Movement. The primary goal of these organizations is the establishment of an Islamic religious state. Hamas stands out among the organizations in Palestine.

Islamic organizations such as Hamas fight against the Zionist occupation and strive to establish an Islamic religious state in Palestine. The aim of the war waged by the Islamic organizations is to establish a state based on religion and to eliminate the Jewish state. Of course, the struggle against the Zionist occupation also has a democratic content. However, this does not mean that the actions of Hamas, which is an Islamic-fascist, anti-Semitic organization, should be "welcomed" or even supported. Quite the opposite.

In its attack on Israel on October 7, Hamas attacked civilian targets without distinguishing between soldiers and civilians, guilty and innocent. It took civilians hostage in order to blackmail them. Taking civilians hostage, attacking areas where civilians are present, caging captured soldiers and publishing their pictures on social media are war crimes.

Organizations such as Hamas rally the oppressed, despised and humiliated Muslim working people around them in order to achieve their goal. This main goal is the Islamic state. For workers and laborers, the Islamic state means living under exploitative conditions, under an Islamist-fascist order. Islamic organizations like Hamas are not really anti-imperialist organizations. Their current orientation against the Western imperialists does not change this reality. In reality, these organizations are supported by capitalist countries like Iran, Turkey and Qatar, which are themselves rogue states, against the West. Their ideological aggression against the West on the basis of Islamic religious brotherhood is a means of manipulating the masses.

A wrong understanding prevails in the leftist movement in Northern Kurdistan-Türkiye!

Many of the leftist organizations in Northern Kurdistan-Turkey have uncritically supported the Hamas action after October 7 in the name of supporting the Palestinian people.

One of them is the ICOR member MLCP. For example, the statement of October 8, 2023 from the MLCP (Marxist-Leninist Communist Party) from Turkey/North Kurdistan reads:

"We welcome the courageous action of October 7 against racist, genocidal, colonialist Israel! Shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinian people for freedom, dignity and justice!" ... "On the morning of October 7, the mass sacrificial action of Palestinian patriots dealt a heavy political, moral and ideological blow to the racist, genocidal, colonialist war machine and its armed and unarmed fascist high bureaucracy".

Internationally, the action was welcomed enthusiastically, especially in Arab/Islamic countries, including by left-wing forces, without any demarcation. A statement by the member organization of ICOR and UF, Patriotic Democratic Socialist Party (Tunisia), foreign office, dated 7 October 2023, reads as follows

"It is with all joy of victory that we follow the successes of the Palestinian armed resistance in our occupied territories and in the besieged Gaza Strip. We renew our support for this heroic operation."

We Bolsheviks from Kurdistan-North Türkiye consider this attitude fundamentally wrong and anti-Marxist-Leninist. We Bolsheviks condemn the terrorist action of Hamas.

We adhere to the Leninist principles that we as communists must and will only support the bourgeois-national liberation movements if these movements are truly revolutionary..."

It is frightening and fundamentally wrong that left-wing organizations, or organizations in the name of Marxism-Leninism, propagate the slogan "From the river to the sea - Palestine" (see poster of Partizan from Turkey on Icor websites) and thus deny the right of the state of Israel to exist.

Especially in countries with a majority of Islamic socio-cultural backgrounds, the fight against hostility towards Jews and anti-Semitism is essential. It is clear that a denial of the right of the Israeli state and Palestine to exist does not lead to a "mutual rapprochement for a common revolutionary struggle" from the point of view of the communists. (See Lenin on the bourgeois national liberation movements and the Communist attitude)

With regard to the never-ending war in Palestine, which has been going on since 1947 and has been reignited since October 7, 2023, we note:

This war is also being waged as part of the imperialist superpowers' struggle for the redivision of the world. It is about nothing more and nothing less than dominance in the Middle East, in this specific case, in Palestine.

We Bolsheviks from Northern Kurdistan-Türkiye are of the opinion that there is no real solution to this problem under capitalism.

We see the real solution in a common democratic state of Palestine, in which people of all nationalities and religions live together in peace. The real solution lies in the proletarian revolution in Palestine. But there is still a long way to go.

However, in the current war, the weapons must fall silent immediately and the killing must stop.

A two-state solution within the 1967 borders, as agreed upon by representatives of Israel and Palestine, would be a provisional solution under conditions of capitalism and in any case better for the peoples than the current situation.

Fight against Israel's Zionist, colonialist, genocidal policies!

Fight against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia!

Fight against the hypocrisy of the imperialists

Our principled position on the Palestine-Israel question is formulated in the following theses:

Theses on the Palestine-Israel question

Palestine was an Arab-Islamic country with religious minorities, Arab Jews and Christians. 

1) National question

The Jewish question is not just a "religious question", Judaism is not just "a religion". With the development of capitalism, the Jewish question became a national question.

2) Jewish nation

When political Zionism was formulated at the end of the 19th century, it was not possible to speak of a Jewish nation worldwide. In most countries, the Jewish population lived as an oppressed national minority. In individual countries such as Poland, Ukraine and Belarus, however, the formation of the Jews into a nation was the most advanced.

3) Political Zionism

Political Zionism is Jewish nationalism and at the same time a reaction to anti-Semitism. This nationalism is used by the imperialists for their own purposes.

Political Zionism has two sides: a righteous side, with which it is directed against the national oppression of the Jews and wanted to free itself from it by founding its own Jewish state. On the other hand, it has an aggressive, colonialist character. With its programme "A land without a people for a people without a land", it ideologically/politically denies the existence of the indigenous (autochthonous) Arab people in Palestine and practically organizes their expulsion.

4) Jewish nation in Palestine

Zionist immigration, the anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust and the Jewish people fleeing Nazi fascism played a decisive role in the formation of the Jewish nation in Palestine. After the end of the Second World War, the Jewish population in Palestine amounted to approximately one third of the total population. Measured by the Marxist criteria of a nation (territory, culture, language, economy and historical community), the Jewish population in Palestine largely formed a nation at the end of the Second World War. The right of the Jews to a state in Palestine was therefore a given. One solution for the peaceful coexistence of both peoples would be a dual democratic state in which both the Arab and Jewish populations live together as equals. However, decades of imperialist activity had ensured that a division of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state was on the agenda.

5) Resolution of the Palestinian question 1945-1948

When the Palestinian question was put on the agenda of the United Nations (UN), the socialist Soviet Union advocated the creation of an independent, united democratic state in which Arabs and Jews could live together. When it became clear that this could not be realized, it advocated the two-state solution, i.e. the establishment of an Arab and a Jewish state in Palestine.

The UN partition plan of 1947 was supported by the Soviet Union, as it defended the right to self-determination of both peoples living in Palestine and their right to national, state independence, as well as the withdrawal of the British colonial power and an end to the imperialist mandate. It was progressive and democratic. The plan envisaged an economic union between the two states with the aim of facilitating a voluntary unification of the Jewish and Arab states in the future.

This was a solution to ease the tense situation and create a better starting point for the formation of an independent, democratic Arab-Jewish state. In retrospect, the SU's stance was and is correct.

6) Founding of the State of Israel - The Nakba of the Palestinian people

The imperialists, the Zionists and the Arab reactionaries have prevented the two-state solution. The Zionists proclaimed the unilateral establishment of the State of Israel. The states of the Arab League, also as alleged representatives of the Palestinian people, started a war against the newly founded state of Israel with the support of some imperialists. In this war, the "An Nakba", the "great catastrophe", the systematic brutal expulsion of the Palestinian people from their land, took on enormous dimensions.

7) Zionist state of Israel

Israel is a special case due to its particular historical development and current situation. Israel has a right to exist in Palestine. But it is based on the denial and denial of the right to self-determination and the prevention of the formation of a state of the Palestinian people.

Israel is a capitalist developed country dependent on imperialism and has expansionist, colonialist imperialist traits towards the Arab nation and the Arab states.

The state of Israel is Zionist, highly racist, thoroughly militarized and fascist towards the Arab population in the occupied territories of Palestine (2011 Gaza and West Bank). The form of rule in the occupied territories is fascist. The form of rule of the Israeli state in Israel is bourgeois-democratic with a fascist structure of rule over the Palestinian Arab minority. The Zionist state is building a wall around "its annexed land" and through the West Bank, which it is colonizing to a large extent. In Jerusalem, the Palestinians continue to be displaced and dispossessed. The Israeli state wages war against Gaza, walls it in and imposes blockades.

8) Solution to the national question

Under capitalism there is no just solution to the national question and there can be no lasting peace. Nevertheless, as communists we must also take a stand on this today under imperialism. Today, under capitalist imperialist conditions, we support the establishment of two states as a transitional solution on the basis of UN Partition Resolution No. 181 of November 26, 1947. This solution is the only viable path under capitalism. Particular attention must be paid to adapting to current conditions (population growth, territories). In addition, the right of return of Palestinian refugees must be guaranteed.

9) Current solution

The end of the war in Palestine and a peace agreement between Arab Palestinians and the state of Israel is the prerequisite for the development of the class struggle in Israel and Palestine. Under today's conditions, this is only possible in an imperialist peace. The demand of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) to establish a Palestinian Arab state within the borders of June 4, 1967, in which all Jewish settlements are dissolved, can be a step towards temporary peace. Such a solution offers both the Palestinian masses and the Jewish working people in Israel an improvement in their situation and conditions of struggle.

But this is not a decisive, forward-looking demand for the Palestinian cause. The 1967 solution is the most minimal but difficult to achieve solution, even under Zionist occupation, which in no way realizes the right of the Palestinian nation to self-determination and is not a truly democratic solution to the national question in Palestine.

10) Real solution

The real solution lies in the revolutions in Israel and Palestine under the leadership of the proletariat with the goal of socialism/communism. In Palestine, the struggle against the Israeli-Zionist occupation plays the main role in the revolution.

11) Methods of struggle

We reject "suicide attacks" such as those carried out by Hamas and Djiad, which aim at the indiscriminate murder of the Jewish population, as a means of political struggle, as they do not serve the liberation struggle but harm it. They ultimately serve the Zionist state and the Arab reaction. At the same time, we condemn all hypocritical condemnations of suicide bombings that aim to take the fascist occupation of the Zionist state out of the line of fire.

Lenin on the bourgeois-national liberation movements and the attitude of the communists:

"... that we as communists must and will support the bourgeois liberation movements in the colonial countries only if these movements are truly revolutionary, if their representatives do not prevent us from educating and organizing the peasantry and the broad masses of the exploited in a revolutionary spirit. If, on the other hand, these conditions do not exist, the communists in these countries must fight the reformist bourgeoisie, ...

... With regard to the backward states and nations where feudal or patriarchal and patriarchal-peasant conditions prevail, one must keep in mind in particular:

First, the need for all communist parties to support the bourgeois-democratic liberation movement in these countries; the duty of the most active support lies first and foremost with the workers of the country on which the backward nation depends in colonial or financial terms.

Secondly, the need to fight the clergy and other reactionary and medieval elements that have influence in the backward countries

The need to fight pan-Islamism and similar currents that want to link the liberation movement against European and American imperialism with strengthening the positions of the khans, landlords, mullahs, etc....

Fifth, the need to wage a resolute struggle against the attempts to give a communist veneer to the bourgeois-democratic liberation currents in the backward countries.

The Communist International must support the bourgeois-democratic national movements and the colonies and backward countries only on condition that the elements of the future proletarian parties are gathered in all backward countries and educated in the consciousness of their special tasks, the tasks of the struggle against the bourgeois-democratic movements within their nation. "

(Lenin, 1920, On the National and Colonial National Question)

(deepL translation)