Israel is on fire. What’s going on?

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In Israel and Gaza, the morning of October 7 did not start with coffee. Apparently, our (Ukrainian) propagandists are already preparing manuals according to which we should all certainly support Israel in this conflict, because the latter has become a victim of aggression on the part of Hamas in the same way that Ukraine has become a victim of aggression on the part of the Russian Federation. But is it that simple and is it possible to lay all the blame on a single person or even a group of persons, especially given Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories? Let's look into it.

Here we will not give you a broad exposition on the formation of the Israel state and its conflict with the Arabs, same as we will not give you a detailed background on Palestine and on the Doomsday War, since for the current confrontation all of the above are certainly bears some importance, although that is not the key part in our opinion and there is something more important that startled the current events. The apartheid regime in Israel, the inhuman treatment of the Palestinians and the blockade of Gaza, which has caused thousands of casualties, are what is driving the workers of Palestine to follow their national bourgeoisie in its game. This is compounded by religious chauvinism, under the banner of which the workers of Palestine have been completely removed from the leadership of the national liberation movement, as a result this movement has become a caricature of its former self. Despite all this, the key point of paramount importance is the conflict between the US and China, or rather between their monopolies. Yes, yes, you heard it right, our organization is sure that the roots of the current massacre between Israel and Palestine are similar to those in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. But before we address this issue, we would like to outline our position on the matter.

The Workers Front of Ukraine opposes the Israeli occupation and terrorist policies towards Arabs, both in Israel and Palestine. Which, however, does not make us sympathetic to the Hamas organization. There is no doubt that Hamas has strong support among the people of Gaza. That support is primarily driven by the Israeli government's policy of terror against the Arab population. But equally unquestionable is the fact that through its actions Hamas serves the interests of Iran and China. Moreover, Hamas is not proposing a real resolution of the national and religious issues in the Levant, since the only thing that they can offer is the replacement of Jewish chauvinism with its Arab counterpart. Our position on the current conflict is categorically opposed to the positions of the ruling class both in Israel and Gaza.

Let us assume that you are already familiar with China's "Belt and Road" initiative to expand the economic influence of its capital on the countries of Europe and Africa. So, the US is also well aware of it, and in order to prevent the realization of this initiative, they recently agreed to work out an alternative trade route from Europe to India. The US trade route was supposed to go through Israel and Saudi Arabia. At the same time, Israel was trying to normalize the relationship between the neighboring nations in the region in general and with Saudi Arabia itself in particular. This was extremely unfavorable to Iran, and since both Iran and Saudi Arabia are already considered as members of BRICS (formally they will become his members only in 2024), it was extremely unfavorable to China in the end. Therefore, it is safe to say that Israel is striving to advance the trade route according to the US plan, while Iran is in favor of China's interests. Judging by the latest statement of the Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry and the words of the authorities of such islamic countries as Syria, Qatar, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the entire responsibility for what is happening is placed on Israel and its government, despite the general call for de-escalation of the ongoing situation. Based on this, it can be argued that Iran has succeeded in sowing a seed of discord, or rather reopening access to the sun for it, which was Israel's relations with its Arab neighbors. However, Ukraine, EU and the US have come out in support of Israel, but so far with no clear public plans for the implementation and nature of that support, other than the provision of intelligence to Israel by the US. On the other hand, the pro-Iranian organization Hezbollah has already launched several strikes against Israel and said in an address to Hamas: "Our history, our weapons and our rockets are always with you. We are all with you." So it can already be said that this war, since the transition to it was already approved by Israel's political-military cabinet, will have 2 fronts.

Now let us dwell on Iran in detail. It is worth pointing out that Iran is not just a puppet of China, it pursues far greater goals than the simple sustain of the established relationship between him and China. The most ambitious interest of Iran's capital lies in the idea of religious identification of the masses, the achievement of which is possible under Islamic fundamentalism ideology. This facilitates Iran's actions in the Middle East, by helping to weaken the national bourgeoisie of the countries that oppose it with ethno-confessional conflicts, and it is for this purpose that Iran needs the defeat or at least the weakening of Israel. Note that the Iranian president congratulated the Hamas leader on the start of the war, wished him success and expressed his full moral support: "You have pleased the Islamic nation." The phrase about the Islamic nation, no matter how hard the casuistic statements of theologians are trying to hide its essence, is a deeply reactionary idea in the hands of oligarchs from Tehran, an idea very dangerous for all workers in the region. As a result, we have another proxy war in the Middle East between the US-EU and Iran-China.

So what place do ordinary people and ordinary workers like us have in this conflict? Is the Palestinian struggle a national liberation struggle? Who should a true communist support? One thing is certain: the war we are witnessing now has already become a bloody meat grinder that has taken the lives of thousands of civilians, and it may become one of the largest wars of the region in the last 50 years. The scale of the consequences will depend directly on the number of participants. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, amid the approval of the ground operation in Gaza, made the following comment: "All the places in which Hamas is based, in this city of evil, all the places Hamas is hiding in, acting from – we'll turn them into rubble. I'm telling the people of Gaza: get out of there now, because we're about to act everywhere with all our force." With power outages and a military-zone-style cordon around Gaza, as long as the IDF leadership has complete freedom of action within the framework of the declared war, a small piece of land measuring 40x12 kilometers with a population of 2-3 million people is turning into the most dangerous and deadly place on the planet. And this is even before the actual start of the promised ground operation at the time of this writing. Even further than Netanyahu went Israel's permanent representative to the UN, Gilad Erdan with his statement: "The era of reasoning with these savages is over. Now is the time to obliterate Hamas terror infrastructure, to completely erase it, so that such horrors are never committed again." And it seems that this statement isn’t just an empty promise, instead it quite reflects the plans of Israel's leadership, which takes advantage of Hamas's actions to realize its predatory plans. There is no need to explain how much blood, grief, and broken lives such "plans" will create. The real tragedy of this massacre is yet to come.

And what about the Communists, how did they react to the conflict? We can distinguish 3 main positions. Let us analyze them in order, using examples.

The first position is to fully support the Palestinian people in their war of national liberation, even if the political leadership of this struggle is the Islamist Hamas. The slogan of organizations and parties with this position can be reduced to a simple one: for the de-occupation of Palestine, for a legitimate Islamist, semi-feudal (semi – because the ruling class will remain the bourgeoisie, but the superstructure will be dominated by feudal vestiges) state within the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. And such Marxists turn a blind eye to the guaranteed discrimination of the remaining non-Arab and non-Muslim population in the event of Hamas' success. In particular, this is the position taken by the Communist Party of Venezuela.

The above position on the part of the communists looks particularly tragic against the background of an official statement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who at the same time serves as the leader of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah). President Abbas condemned Israel's actions towards Palestine and its people and called on the Israeli government to refrain from escalating hostilities against the Palestinian people. However, Fatah itself is not responsible for the actions of Hamas and, moreover, it opposes its government in Gaza. We are well aware that Fatah has long ceased to be the progressive force it was at the time of the first intifada, however it is still the strongest secular and bourgeois-democratic Palestinian organization to this day. In other words, many Palestinians are ready to fight for their freedom without solidarizing with religious chauvinists, under the reactionary anti-democratic elements, which are also serving the interests of foreign monopolies.

The alternative to the first position is a call for ceasefire in order to save the civilian lives of both ethnicities and religions, with support to a movement for the de-occupation of the Palestinian territories and the establishment of two nation-states for representatives of both nations. By the original UN design that was established back in 1947. This position, for example, is held by the Communist Party of Israel and the public "people's" Hadash front, which is under their leadership. It is worth saying separately that this position seems weak to us, as it fetishizes such a form of solving the issue as "two nations — two states" and ignores the class struggle within each of the nations. Also Maki (the Communist Party of Israel) is throwing around statements about the fascist character of Netanyahu's regime. Undoubtedly, Netanyahu is our worst class enemy, acting in the interests of Israeli finance capital and indulging Israeli religious fascists, but it has clearly not yet come to fascism itself (which is a reaction to the united workers movement in their political struggle), although war may hasten the process. Another mistake of our comrades is that they place full responsibility for the conflict on the Israeli government, without noticing the inter-imperialist contradictions in the conflict. Yet we are glad that they did not follow the tradition of supporting all Palestinian resistance indiscriminately and did not support the actions of Hamas and its masters.

Israel's Communists are doing a particularly courageous thing in this regard, being a perfectly legal party (3 seats in the Knesset, 4 if you count the Hadash ally), making really necessary statements that give the working masses an alternative to the beastly hatred that is coming towards Arabs from their government. Moreover, they do so under martial law, when for every such statement, there may be a response in the form of not just arrest, but extrajudicial execution. Fact of the Israeli communist opposition to its government and to Hamas makes the realization of the falsehood of our other comrades who pledged their support with Hamas even harder for us.

Above, we have already expressed our position on the current conflict, which is based on the refusal to support both Hamas and Israel's ruling class. It is time to elaborate on it. Any national LIBERATION war is just. However, this conflict does not imply any doubt that the character of this conflict is not about liberation at all, regardless of the ideals (let us be frank — not ideals, but idols in the guise of ideals) of its individual participants. Imperialist wars are not started by soldiers, but it is in their power to end them. Can the soldiers of Palestine or Israel do this? — Not on the basis of the current state of affairs. Their maximum is to achieve a truce, but not peace. Which, however, will not satisfy the workers of Palestine (Gaza in particular) who have actually lived for many years in a state of war, which was officially called "peace". It’s because of this state of affairs that many Palestinians have taken the current conflict as a chance to break the unjust condemned to them by the Israeli government, while in fact they have been deceived by the false idols of the Hamas reactionaries. Moreover, their brethren in faith who reside within Israel are now working shoulder to shoulder with Jewish workers in the hope of keeping their home intact before it is scattered by the whirlwinds of a new Middle East conflict...

But what is left in such a case?

It would be extremely foolish of us to demand here and now the transformation of an imperialist war into a civil war, both in the Middle East and in our country. But nevertheless, this should be the ultimate goal of every representative of the working class. Whether in the Middle East or in Ukraine, the conflict will not dissolve and will spark again and again until we, with our own hand, break this tangle of contradictions of the big monopolies. War is that moment in time when the ruling class increases the pressure on the working masses many times over. Therefore, with the utmost urgency, the Palestinians must oppose the Islamist barbarians in their government, and the inhabitants of Israel must oppose the Zionist oppressors who cannot even guarantee the bourgeois rights recognized by the international community on their territory. But most importantly, Jews and Arabs must do this together. In other words, only the workers of Palestine and Israel themselves can finally put an end to the bloodshed between their nations. Their goal must be the formation of an equal socialist state (or states, depending on the particular circumstances), which will be possible only if religious and nationalist prejudices are eliminated. As for the tactics of the communists to achieve this ideal, in the first stages it may consist in the creation of a united people’s front that should be established in order to oppose the most reactionary elements.

To summarize: we are strictly against the support of the Islamists of Hamas and the Zionist state of Israel. The real solution — is to unite the socialist forces both inside Palestine and in Israel on the basis of genuine internationalism, in the struggle against religious chauvinism and against its national bourgeoisie as well as its foreign partners.

If the reader who supports the current struggle of the Palestinian people under the leadership of Hamas is still not convinced by our arguments about the falsehood of such a position, we propose to turn their attention to the historical experience of our country – Ukraine. In the 20th century, Western Ukraine and Western Belarus were occupied by Poland until 1939 as a result of the Polish-Soviet War. Despite the agreements of the peace Treaty of Riga, according to which Ukrainians and Belarusians on the territory of Poland were supposed to be subject to all national rights, the Polish government pursued a policy of polonization, that is very similar to the modern policy of Israel. The main parts of polonization were: fierce struggle against Ukrainian and Belarusian culture, polish settlers in the occupied territory with special privileges and concentration camps like Bereza-Kartuska. This resulted in the mass flourish of Ukrainian nationalists movement on the territory of Western Ukraine. The representatives of this movement at first focused on killing individual poles, but in the end during the Second World War they organized the Volyn massacre — which was centered around the brutal murders of poles with the destruction of entire polish settlements. Was there any benefit to the Ukrainian working class from these actions? — No, the Ukrainian nationalists only harmed the Ukrainian working class, no less than the polish one. The question arises for those Marxists who now support Hamas, even if "critically": would you have supported the Ukrainian nationalists if you had been in Lviv in the thirties of the XX century?

We realize that the method of citing historical analogies cannot act as a universal method. However, in the present situation, historical one-sidedness has been taken in its concrete quality, namely to express the fact that not every formally national liberation struggle is progressive, in other words national liberation in its essence; it is always necessary to look for the interests of one or another class, for only the class struggle is ultimately just. National liberation is progressive only insofar as it resolves the national contradictions and opens the way for the free development of class contradictions. Islamism and antisemitism, which Hamas proposes, not only do not resolve the national question in the Levant, but worsen it. Jewish chauvinism is terrible, but is Arab chauvinism a better one?

Many of the above-mentioned theses are also applicable to a greater or lesser extent to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Only by strengthening international solidarity, workers of all countries and nations will be able to overcome this difficult period in the history of civilization. And although we cannot do everything at once, it is already now within the power of every concerned individual to study – first of all, to learn: how to think and how to organize. The first is necessary to understand not only what is happening in the world, but also to understand how to change the world. The latter is a prerequisite for making this change a reality.

As for the future fate of the conflict between Hamas and Israel, it is clear that everything is uncertain. We should not believe only in the best and discard the option of unfolding events according to the scenario in which this region will become another battlefield of the internal Arab conflict, or, more precisely, the conflict between different groups of national capitals. We have already seen this in the example of the civil war in Yemen, in which the interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran are clearly expressed. Formally, it is a civil war that has lasted for 9 years and in the process of which, according to various estimates, up to 100,000 people have died, where 10-15% of them were civilians. The war in Yemen only once again emphasizes that the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict is provoked not by the nature of Arabs or Jews, but by the very specific interests of capital in a dangerous game that can reach a global scale.

Before concluding, we would like to draw the attention of the Ukrainian government’s patriots about their concerns regarding the military and humanitarian support for Israel from the United States and the EU. In the long term, if the conflict drags on, Ukraine may indeed be forced into a peace agreement on terms that are unfavorable to our political leadership. Such a situation would bring Ukraine to a state of political crisis. So, potential prolongation of the conflict may indeed play into the hands of the political leadership of the Russian Federation. However, once again we would like to note that imperialist wars are not started by peoples and not for the idea of national liberation or national domination. Moreover, wars are not started on a whim by individuals or groups of individuals, they are always waged for the interests of a certain class, in our time – for the interests of different factions of monopolistic capital. As in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, so in the case of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the real war is waged between Israel-Ukraine-EU-US and Iran-Russia-China. And if you call for the genocide of the Arab, Jewish or Russian, Ukrainian population in order to end the war as soon as possible for your own good, then please do not be surprised when the next time you get a knock on your door, there will be young men in helmets with two lightning bolts on them. To each his own, as it was written on the gates of Buchenwald.

The desire for peace, life and freedom is inherent in all peoples, but not everyone can distinguish their essence from the empty promises and slogans of the parties of capital, whose words conceal only the interest in maximizing profits at minimum cost. It is for this purpose that imperialist wars, including world wars, have broken out all over the world for more than a hundred years. We have no doubt that humanity will yet witness a third imperialist world war. The only question is whether it will be able to survive it and still remain humanity. Everything depends on the strength and courage of the international workers' movement, therefore do not remain indifferent to the problems abroad.
The coming Apocalypse will not be locked in the promised land.
8 october, 2023

Author: the Redaction of WFU
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