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Short answers to current ideological-political questions concerning the Israeli attack and massacre against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip
From the first hours of the recent military attack of the Israeli state and the massacre against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, the KKE took a militant and principled position on the side of the Palestinian people and organized dozens of solidarity mobilizations. The communists led many workers’-people’s mobilizations all over Greece. In Athens, demonstrators marched to the Israeli embassy and also protested outside the US embassy. The KKE denounced the ND government and the other parties (SYRIZA, PASOK, nationalists) for supporting Israel in the name of national interests. It demanded the disengagement of Greece from the US-NATO plans in the region, the return of Greek frigates from NATO missions abroad, the closure of US-NATO bases and the implementation of the Greek parliament’s decision to recognize the Palestinian state on the borders established before 4 June, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
In addition, the KKE informed the CPs and communists all over the world of its positions by translating into many languages (English, Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Turkish) the article by Dimitris Koutsoumbas, General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, which dealt with both the substance of the issue and the broader aspects of the conflict.
Today, we consider it necessary to give some brief answers to questions which are either addressed to the International Relations Section of the CC from different parts of the world, or which are the subject of polemics against the KKE and its positions.
The concept of terrorism as an excuse to whitewash the crimes of the imperialists
A question that is raised from various sides, sometimes in a well-intentioned way, sometimes deviously by bourgeois politicians and journalists, is “why does the KKE not condemn terrorism in its positions on the issue?”
The KKE is well aware that for several decades the concept of terrorism has been used by the bourgeois classes and imperialist powers to promote their anti-popular plans and to justify imperialist interventions and wars. Terrorism is a concept that can be used at will, that is why in all EU countries, including our own, the so-called anti-terrorism laws are being promoted, which target the struggles of the workers, the farmers and the youth. The occupation of a workplace, a public space or a street during a mass mobilization can be described as a terrorist act and the corresponding legal provisions and prosecutions can be used against the struggling workers, farmers and students.
Similarly, the concept of terrorism is also used at the international level, to serve the aims of the bourgeois classes. For example, the Free Syrian Army, which is responsible for a series of crimes in Syria, is not a terrorist organization for the USA and its allies, while Hamas is. Similar examples, depending on what suits the bourgeois classes around the world, can be found for other armed political-military organizations, such as the Taliban or the Kurds in Syria, etc.
Moreover, the bourgeois propaganda lumps together organizations like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which were created, backed and armed by the imperialists for their own purposes before they lost control over them, with forces like Hamas, which came first in the 2006 elections in the Gaza Strip. This fact proves that this bourgeois power, for various reasons related to the violence of the Israeli occupation and the weaknesses of the action of other political forces in the Gaza Strip, has been supported by the popular forces fighting for the liberation of Palestine. The KKE has opposing ideological, political and philosophical views with this political-military organization. However, it will never allow the mass bombing of Gaza and the killing of thousands of small children, allegedly carried out for the elimination of Hamas, to enter into the consciousness of the people in order to justify the long-standing Israeli occupation. At the same time, all the evidence shows that Israel’s aim is to cancel the two-state solution, to exploit the hydrocarbons and the geographical location of the Gaza Strip, to commit genocide against the Palestinian people and to force the displacement of those who do not die in the Israeli massacre to the desert.
Furthermore, we give no credence to the evidence fabricated by the Israeli authorities about the “atrocities of Hamas”, and much of this fake news has already been debunked, including in the presentation of evidence at public events held by Greek journalists. We take into account one more thing. The long-standing Israeli occupation, oppression and apartheid can indeed lead to great anger, retaliation and excesses. The war itself, which has been waged for seven decades against the people of Palestine, is an atrocity in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been murdered and tortured. It is crucial for workers to focus on the causes and nature of the war, on the tragic consequences of the long-standing Israeli occupation and on the massacre of the Palestinian people who are fighting and have the right to fight for their liberation by all means.
Israel is “a base of the USA”
The KKE expressed its full solidarity with and support for the Palestinian people and their need to have their own state and be masters in their own land, while pointing out that the victim of the policy pursued by the bourgeois state of Israel and the reactionary Netanyahu government is the Israeli people themselves.
This statement has been met with hostility by certain forces that claim to be anti-imperialist and that do not recognize the existence of the Israeli state, describing it simply as a “a base of the USA” and, among other things, do not recognize the existence of an Israeli bourgeoisie, with its own plans, and the Israeli people.
These forces, who deny the right to exist to entire peoples, have abandoned their class criteria and see developments exclusively through the so-called geopolitical prism. They refuse to see that the main cause of everything that the peoples are experiencing is the barbaric, exploitative system, in its current stage, i.e. the monopoly stage, where the struggle between the monopolies and the bourgeoisie classes is intensifying and is being waged by all means in order to exploit not only the workers of their countries, but also those of other countries, as well as over raw materials, transport routes for commodities, geopolitical points d’appui and market shares.
Thus, after the Second World War, the USA, i.e. the capitalist power that emerged victorious and strengthened, decided to have a strong geopolitical support in the region, a “gendarme” and “guardian” that could also resort to violence, if necessary, while dealing with the other bourgeois class of the countries formed after the fall of colonialism, with the contribution of the Victory of the Soviet Union in the Second World War against fascism, which, we must not forget, is “flesh of the flesh of capitalism”.
The existence of the Israeli state is a reality today. The massacre of the Jews by the Nazis and the anti-Semitism promoted by the bourgeois classes before the Second World War in many capitalist countries led to the acceptance by the USSR and the international labour movement of the creation of the state of Israel alongside the state of Palestine. This decision has been defiantly violated by the bourgeois state of Israel, whose bourgeoisie has been violating every right of the Palestinian people for decades by seizing a large part of the Palestinian territories. The USA and the EU found the ally they needed in the face of the Israeli bourgeoisie and in its state, which gave them the right to arbitrate with the other bourgeois classes of the region that also sought to enhance their position. This geopolitical game, which was played out in an even detrimental way after the overthrow of socialism in the USSR, has as its victim an entire people - the people of Palestine, who have been promised a homeland all these years, but whose dream remains unfulfilled.
The KKE respects the rights and struggles of all peoples. In its statements it stresses, among other things, that the people of Israel are also paying the price, as they are also victims of the policies of the Israeli bourgeoisie and its state. We express our solidarity with all the militants in Israel, first of all with the Communist Party of Israel; with the communists of Israel, Jews and Arabs, who are currently fighting in the lion’s den and raising a voice of resistance to the barbarity against the people of Palestine. The 21 MPs and 2 MEPs of the KKE co-signed a text of solidarity with MP Ofer Cassif, who is being persecuted by the Israeli authorities for his stand against the occupation.
National liberation struggle and socialism
Questions are also raised about the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. For example, whether such a struggle can be waged under imperialism, especially when we say that our era is an era of transition from capitalism to socialism. Some people criticize the KKE, saying that while in all other cases it talks about the necessity and timeliness of socialism but in this case it focuses only on the right to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
In summary, we would like to highlight the following: Today, monopolies prevail all over the world, we are living in the monopoly stage of capitalism, in what Lenin defined as imperialism; however, this does not in any way mean that national liberation struggles against foreign occupation cannot break out. The Palestinians are waging a just national liberation war, a war against the occupation with the aim of gaining the right to their own homeland. There can be no doubt about this. From the point of view of Israel and its allies (USA, NATO, EU) it is an unjust imperialist war aimed at perpetuating the occupation and serving their interests in the region.
In the era of imperialism, the KKE led such kind of struggle, forming the National Liberation Front (EAM), the Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS) and the rest resistance organizations against the foreign (German, Italian and Bulgarian) fascist occupation in the period 1941–1944. The KKE was the mind, the organizer and the lifeblood of this great epic of resistance. We are proud of our Party, which was at the forefront of this struggle, and any criticism we make concerns the lack of ideological–political readiness on the part of our Party to link this great struggle to the cause of workers’ power.
Socialism is necessary and timely for the entire world, for every capitalist country. However, under the conditions in which the workers’-people’s struggle is carried out in every country, important “links” emerge which can give impetus to the class struggle. It is a crucial issue for the Communist Party and the labour movement to take these “links” into account in the struggle for socialism, for the preparation, rallying and mobilization of the workers’-people’s forces. In Palestine today, the key “link” is the throwing off of the foreign Israeli occupation and the formation of the Palestinian state.
Therefore, it is the task of the Palestinian working class and its vanguard, the CP, to formulate such a line that connects this “link” with the cause of the struggle for social emancipation, workers’ power and the building of the new, socialist society.
It is our task, the task of the workers and youth in other countries, to support this struggle and to stand by its side now in the conflict with the occupation forces.
The distorted perception of the “two axes”
Given that the war in Palestine is objectively intertwined with the competition between imperialist powers (USA, NATO, EU on the one hand and Russia, China, Iran, etc. on the other) in the region and internationally, two different but equally incorrect perceptions arise from the above: 1) one that says that an “anti-imperialist axis” (Iran - Russia - China) is being formed that should be supported against the US imperialists and their allies; 2) a second one, which is less widespread at the moment but equally erroneous, that says that both war conflicts are imperialist, that they are different expressions of an imperialist third world war, therefore we cannot support the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation because it is part of the imperialist conflict.
Both approaches are based on the correct observation that blocs of opposing forces are being formed. On the one hand, there is the imperialist bloc of the Euro-Atlantic forces, and on the other hand the formation of the Eurasian bloc (Russia-China-Iran, etc.) is evident, which the first view distortedly presents as an allegedly “anti-imperialist axis”. In practice, the class-oriented approach is abandoned, imperialism is seen as an aggressive policy of the USA and its allies, ignoring the fact that the monopolies prevail in China and Russia as well, and that the bourgeois classes of these countries also try to promote their own plans.
Russia, China and Iran do not express their support for the Palestinians because they stand with the peoples’ just cause but because they want to hinder the US plans in the region, to impede it, to afflict it. Therefore, these powers do not constitute an “anti-imperialist axis”. Their monopolies work for their own interests and that is why they cannot be consistent in supporting the Palestinian struggle. It is another matter that the Palestinians, like any national liberation or even revolutionary movement, are righteously seeking to take advantage of these contradictions in their struggle against the Israeli occupation.
The second view, while correctly approaching the class essence of the imperialist blocs involved, makes the big mistake of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, of rejecting the just struggle of the Palestinian people in the name of the imperialist war. However, as history has shown, under conditions of international imperialist confrontation and even war, the outbreak of just national liberation wars is not excluded. Lenin addressed these issues in detail under the conditions of the First World War in response to Luxemburg’s erroneous positions.
Today, when there is indeed a real possibility of a generalization of the conflict in the Middle East, even its link to the war in Ukraine, or the opening of new fronts, the imperialist nature of the conflict and of the main powers that are competing for their own geopolitical objectives should not lead to a withdrawal of the support for the Palestinian people. On the contrary, it is imperative to continue supporting their just struggle even further.
The KKE, both in the case of the conflict in Ukraine and in the case of Palestine, is on the right side of history, because it stands with the people and struggles against the imperialists, the monopolies and capitalism, which are shedding the peoples’ blood.