Solidarity with Israeli communists facing repression!

On Friday 26 April, heavily armed Israeli police raided the Nazareth offices of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI), and the Hadash coalition of which it is part, on the eve of the perfectly legal annual May Day rally. This disgraceful violation of democratic rights shows the utter hypocrisy of the imperialists who justify their support for Israel’s slaughter in Gaza with references to this being ‘the Middle East’s only democracy’. We extend our full solidarity to members of Hadash and the CPI in the face of repression by the Zionist state.

Two members of the party were arrested, while footage shows the police confiscating parts of an art display intended for use at the rally on the spurious grounds that they could be used as weapons.

When asked what they were searching for, the police answered, “whatever we see fit.” They then started taking parts of the art installation which included sticks and stones, making the flimsy claim that they could be used as weapons. This was a blatant act of intimidation, at a time when the Israeli state is increasingly clamping down on anti-war activity.

Despite the repression, on Saturday 27 April, thousands gathered in Nazareth for the May Day rally, raising slogans against the war in Gaza, the occupation, US imperialism and capitalism.

Members of Hadash report that this is the third such assault against their branch offices in the past year. Almost exactly one year ago, the secretary of the Communist Party in Nazareth was arrested in another raid, in which red flags and Palestinian flags were taken down.

Irrespective of our political differences with the CPI and Hadash, we fully defend their democratic right to free assembly and expression – rights which the Israeli state tramples, and to which their western backers and funders hypocritically turn a blind eye. All communists and consistent democrats should raise their voices against these flagrant violations of democratic rights this May Day, a day of international working-class solidarity.

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