Middle East

On Sunday 31 March, the Turkish masses inflicted the biggest electoral defeat on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan since he came to power more than 20 years ago. These local elections returned a vote against Erdogan rather than one for the bourgeois opposition, which inspired little enthusiasm. Nonetheless, these elections are symptomatic of a storm of anger that is wearing down Erdogan’s authority. His days could be numbered.

Establishment politicians have decried Israel’s killing of aid workers in Gaza, including several Britons. But the truth is that Sunak, Starmer, and the rest of the Westminster warmongers have blood on their hands. We say: overthrow their system!

Below, we publish an article sent to us by a young Israeli communist who has been living abroad. After refusing to serve in the IDF, this young comrade faced serious personal repercussions. But after being arrested at a Palestine solidarity protest, he was stripped of his Israeli citizenship and told he would no longer be able to return to Israel. This is a scandalous violation of the most elementary principles of democracy.

The term “to shed crocodile tears” derives from the fact that crocodiles have been noted to shed tears as they consume their victims. According to the Collins Dictionary, the meaning of the saying is “to pretend to be sad or to sympathise with someone without really caring about them.” Crocodiles do indeed produce tears, but they serve to keep the eyes clean and lubricated and are in no way connected to emotions. Today, we have many crocodiles in human form – they are called Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Secretaries, newspaper editors, and so on. But Biden stands out clearly as the Chief Crocodile.

The 10 March deadline for the attack on Rafah has come and gone, and there is no attack yet. Could it be that Netanyahu is having second thoughts? The answer to that is clearly, no. The Israeli government is manoeuvring under pressure from outside, in particular from the US administration, while at the same time being internally divided. Is the US pressure due to humanitarian concerns on the part of Biden? The answer, again, is no. The US continues to support Israel in its genocidal onslaught on the Palestinian people, as testified by its increased military aid. So why the delay in the attack?

On 25 February, 25-year-old US airforce serviceman, Aaron Bushnell, took his own life by self-immolation outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, in protest at US imperialism’s support for the crimes being carried out by the IDF. His last words, livestreamed to the world, were: “Free Palestine!” Just days later, IDF soldiers murdered over 100 civilians at an aid convoy in Gaza, embodying the horror and injustice that inspired Bushnell’s act.

The editorial board of marxy.com and communists of the IMT in North Africa and the Middle East are proud to publish a new issue of the magazine Freedom and Communism. This is the 14th issue of a revolutionary magazine that is received with great enthusiasm by the youth of the region, and includes all the articles of issue 44 of In Defence of Marxism magazine, dedicated to marking the centenary of the death of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

As we recently reported, comrades of the International Marxist Tendency in Austria are under attack from the state apparatus for opposing the oppression of the Palestinian people. Two comrades have been falsely accused of ‘supporting terrorism’ for promoting the IMT’s statement against the war on Gaza. Below is an update on the legal case against our comrades Alex and Sonja. This is followed by some reports of the incredible wave of solidarity that our comrades have received.

While all the main leaders of the imperialist powers, from Biden to Scholz, Macron and many others, have been shedding crocodile tears about the “excessive civilian death toll” in Gaza, in practice they have all been collaborating with the Israeli government. Not only with military aid but also in strangling the Palestinian people economically and socially. They have helped create the material conditions upon which no feasible Palestinian self-administration is possible. They are openly collaborating with Netanyahu as he and his far-right Zionist friends attempt to destroy the little that is left of Palestinian territory.

Israel’s war on Gaza has exposed the hypocrisy of the western ‘rules-based order’, and demonstrated the impotence of the United Nations and the international laws it adjudicates. In reality, the UN is nothing more than a tool of imperialism.

Yesterday afternoon, active-duty member of the US Air Force Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, in protest against US imperialism’s complicity with the war on Gaza. The news of this brave act of self-sacrifice by a single man has powerfully echoed through the hearts of hundreds of millions of men and women.

Thousands of Indian dockworkers are refusing to assist in the transporting of Israeli arms. This tremendous example of working-class solidarity must be repeated across the world to effectively resist Israel’s slaughter!

In yet another scandalous attack on freedom of expression, a number of our Austrian comrades have been summoned by a state prosecutor for their support for the IMT and Palestine. We thoroughly reject the baseless accusations of the Austrian state, and express our complete solidarity with the comrades subject to this attack.

Once again, bourgeois politicians and media are raising a hue and cry over pro-Palestine protests. This time, it’s over a protest that supposedly took place outside of Toronto’s Mount Sinai hospital. Media have reported on Justin Trudeau’s condemnation, “The demonstration at Mount Sinai Hospital yesterday was reprehensible.” There’s only one problem—the story is made up. There’s no depths that the ruling class won’t stoop to to smear the Palestine solidarity movement and shield their ongoing support for mass murder.

Netanyahu is taking his war to another level. He is on a path he knows he cannot retreat from if he is to remain in office. And yet his actions threaten to destabilise the whole of the Middle East, with the risk of a generalised war becoming ever more real. Revolution is also stalking all the regimes in the region as the anger of the masses is pushed to ever greater heights. The next tragic act, the massive bombing and land invasion of Rafah, could prove to be the tipping point.