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Newsletter (in English)


For a revolutionary solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!

In the early hours of May 31, Israeli navy commandos boarded the “Freedom Flotilla” of ships carrying aid to Gaza and murdered at least 9 activists. The ships, carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid (including food, medicine and building materials) and 663 activists from 37 countries, were boarded in international waters 64 kilometers off the coast of Israel.

The Gaza Strip, with 1.5 million people in one of the most densely populated regions of the world, has been blockaded by Israel since June 2007. After the Israeli war on Gaza, which left some 1,400 Palestinians dead, the blockade made reconstruction of homes or even medical aid for the injured nearly impossible. Solidarity activists have tried to break the blockade by sea many times.

This incident was in no way isolated: The very same day, an American activist at a demonstration in Qalandiya in the West Bank was shot in the face with a tear gas canister by an Israeli soldier, destroying her left eye. Attacks on foreign nationals get far more media attention than murders of Palestinians in the Occupied territories – but Palestinians are shot every single day.


The United Nations Security Council, in which the United States has a veto, only “regrets the loss of life” without naming who is responsible. Most of the Western media are claiming that activists on the ships, by defending themselves against the Israeli boarding with makeshiftmeans like sticks, were themselves responsible for the murders.

Nonetheless, the military action led to protests around the world, in both imperialist countries and Muslim semi-colonies. Greece, with a population mobilized against the governments cuts program, saw particularly militant demonstrations. The most dramatic protests, however, were in Turkey, since most of the killed activists were of Turkish origin. Thousands of angry protestors gathered in front of Israeli embassies in Istanbul and Ankara.

The incident has severely damaged the relations between Israel and Turkey – Turkey, a NATO member, has been one of Israel’s closest diplomatic and military allies in the region. But an ongoing struggle within the Turkish ruling class (between the muslim-oriented AKP government and the traditionally secular Turkish military) has led Prime Minister Recep Erdogan to take a more pro-Palestinian stance, for example openly denouncing Israel’s attack on Gaza in the last days of 2008. As of now, however, Turkey’s military cooperation with Israel, including weapons purchases and joint military operations, remains intact.

Turkey is working to become a dominant power in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, developing a foreign policy which is not completely subordinated to US imperialism (including support for Israel) but rather oriented towards Muslim states and other powerful semi-colonies in the world. Recent proof of this was the nuclear agreement with Iran signed by Turkey and Brazil, to help Iran avoid US sanctions.

However, Erdogan’s defense of the rights of the Palestinian people is hypocritical given that the Turkish state, since its foundation, has oppressed the Kurdish people and other minority nationalities. Turkey’s roughly 14 million Kurds (almost 20% of the population) are denied basic rights and their political parties suffer constant persecution. Kurdish villages and cities in Eastern Anatolia suffer under a military occupation which is no better than that of Palestinian populations in the West Bank.

Defenders of the Israeli government claim that all criticism of these murders are an expression of antisemitism. It is true that the Israeli colonial project and all the violence it entails creates an atmosphere in which antisemites thrive. Particularly right-wing leaders in the Muslim world are only too happy to denounce Israeli violence and “Jewish conspiracies” in order to distract their populations from repressive and corrupt regimes.

But this accusation ignores the fact that thousands of people across Israel have also protested. (In fact, the American activist shot in the face was also of Jewish origin.)


This massacre is more proof that the “peace process” – trying to establish peace amongst the capitalist classes of the Middle East – is a dead end. After the Oslo Peace Accords of 1993, the Palestinian masses fell further and further into misery while Israeli settlements spread in the Occupied Territories. In this context,working people of Israel and Palestine have been more and morepoisoned with nationalism.

During the so-called “Peace Process”, leaders of Palestine’s Fatah party got wealthy while unemployment skyrocketed. They were happy to make deals with Israel while blaming the Israelis for all problems, which led to a massive growth of the Hamas party on their right. At the same time, Israel’s politics became dominated by ever-more-right-wing parties.

The only perspective to escape from this viscous circle is the perspective defended by the revolutionary left in Israel and Palestine – which, admittedly, was much more popular in past decades. The Zionist state is based on the maintenance of a Jewish majority by excluding the Palestinian population: Arab citizens of Israel are denied basic rights, while five million Palestinian refugees are not allowed to live on the territories their parents or grandparents were expelled from. This statemust be overthrown by a revolution to establish a single, democratic, secular society guaranteeing equal rights for all peoples of the region. This is the only way to solve the questions of Israeli settlements, Palestinian refugees and above all the massive social inequality.

Only the working people in the region can implement such a program. The workers – the pauperized masses in Palestine’s slums, the working class in Israel and also the hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers from around the world – must be broken from their reactionary leaders and won for a revolutionary, socialist perspective.


We must support the Palestinian struggle for self-determination unconditionally, but also carry on an intransigent struggle against the reactionary leaders of the Palestinians (be they Fatah or Hamas). These leaders are more than just reactionary – they have no perspective for winning the struggle, basing themselves either on the “international community” of imperialists or the right-wing Muslim regimes in the region, supplemented with hopeless military confrontations with an incomparably better-armed Israeli military.

Necessary is a strategy that can mobilize not only the masses of Palestine but the working class internationally. This would make it possible to weaken the Israeli state by blocking weapons shipments (as Greek dock workers have done in the past) and winning Israeli workers for a common struggle.

We should organize and participate in demonstrations around the world, but draw a clear political line between revolutionary Marxist positions and petty bourgeois pacifists or religious leaders. We should try to exclude fascist forces, such as the Turkish MHP or the German NPD, from the demonstrations completely.

  • Protest against the murders by the Israeli state!
  • Break the siege of Gaza!
  • Workers’ solidarity for Palestine! Stop weapons’ shipments!
  • For a revolutionary socialist movement across the Middle East!

RIO, June 5, 2010

One Response to “After the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla”

  1. wladek Says:

    Been published here as well:

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