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Middle East

Egypt: End the military repression!

Statement by the Socialist Alliance national executive

August 16, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance of Australia condemns the massacre of protesters by the Egyptian army during the dispersal on August 14 of sit-ins at Rabea al-Adaweya and Nahda Square by supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Socialist Alliance restates its solidarity with the Egyptian people’s mass movement against the Morsi government as well our opposition to the July 3 military coup d'état. We call for the release of all political prisoners, the lifting of the month-long emergency rule, the end of monitoring and blocking of electronic communications and the attacks on reporters.

The Egyptian military is seeking to impose its will through bloody repression. Today, supporters of Morsi are targeted, but all forces that may be viewed as a threat to stability for the ruling elites risk being targeted next.

Egypt: Revolutionary Socialists on the latest massacre in Cairo

Down with military rule! Down with Al-Sisi, the leader of the counter-revolution!

Statement by the Revolutionary Socialists, Egypt

August 14, 2013 -- The bloody dissolution of the sit-ins in Al-Nahda Square and Raba'a al-Adawiyya is nothing but a massacre—prepared in advance. It aims to liquidate the Muslim Brotherhood. But, it is also part of a plan to liquidate the Egyptian Revolution and restore the military-police state of the Mubarak regime.

The Revolutionary Socialists did not defend the regime of Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood for a single day. We were always in the front ranks of the opposition to that criminal, failed regime which betrayed the goals of the Egyptian Revolution. It even protected the pillars of the Mubarak regime and its security apparatus, armed forces and corrupt businessmen. We strongly participated in the revolutionary wave of 30 June.

Neither did we defend for a single day the sit-ins by the Brotherhood and their attempts to return Mursi to power.

Egypt: The officers’ war of terror; latest statements from the Egyptian left (updated Aug. 2)

A victim of security forces that opened fire on protesters outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo (Mustafa Ozturk | ABACA Press)

A victim of security forces, who opened fire on protesters outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo (Mustafa Ozturk | ABACA Press).

[For previous statements from the Egyptian left, including the Communist Party, click HERE.]

By Jadaliyya Egypt editors

July 27, 2013 -- Jadaliyya -- Since the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has become a battlefield of narratives. Each narrative has sought to appropriate and define the January 25 Revolution.

Has the Egyptian revolution been aborted? Interview with Hossam El-Hamalawy

For more on Egypt, click HERE.

By Bassam Haddad

July 12, 2013 -- Jadaliyya -- Hossam El-Hamalawy is an Egyptian journalist and activist who maintains the popular site www.arabawy.org. He is associated with the Revolutionary Socialists group. Hossam El-Hamalawy starts by rejecting the "coup vs. revolution" debate, and addresses briefly the short and long history of the military's involvement in politics in relation to the June 30 events.

He then moves on to discuss in more detail the developments of the past two years, revealing that we cannot assume that "what we had was an 'Ikhwani' [Muslim Brotherhood] regime; it was still the Mubarak regime, but they gave a share of the cake to the Islamists". The army assumed they can use the opportunistic leaders to stabilise the streets, according to Hossam.

'The revolution belongs to the Egyptian people': Socialist Alliance statement of solidarity with Egyptian revolution

[This statement was adopted by the Socialist Alliance (Australia) national executive on July 12, 2013. Below that is a statement from Spain's Izquierda Anticapitalista (Anti-capitalist left), the views of which, reports International Viewpoint, "represents a generally held opinion in the Fourth International."]

For more on Egypt, click HERE.

The Socialist Alliance recognises and welcomes the June 30-July 3, 2013 popular mobilisations of the Egyptian people, led by youth, for democracy, human rights and social and economic justice that brought down the regime of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Socialist Alliance notes that the number of Egyptians who participated in the protests was higher than the number who voted for Morsi, as was the number of Egyptians who signed the Tamarod petition calling for the president to step down.

At the same time, the Socialist Alliance condemns the violent and repressive measures of the Egyptian Armed Forces since July 3 in particular the July 8 massacre of more than 50 unarmed supporters of the Morsi government and the arbitrary detention of Morsi and other leaders and functionaries of the deposed regime.

Issues in the current stage of Syrian revolution

A street in Homs shows the extent of damage by government forces during the two-year conflict in Syria. The image taken on May 14 was provided to Syria Witness by Lens Young Homsi.

[For more on Syria, click HERE.]

By Michael Karadjis

July 9, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Recent weeks saw seemingly contradictory developments regarding imperialist plans for Syria. First, on June 14, the US government announced it had finally agreed to provide some small arms directly to “vetted” sections of the Syrian armed opposition, following alleged US “confirmation” that Syria’s Assad regime had used chemical weapons. Then on June 18, the G8 meeting between the US, Russia and six other major imperialist powers issued a joint declaration calling for all parties to the Syrian conflict to attend the Geneva peace summit, declaring the need for a political solution.

Egypt: 'The people still want end to regime' -- left assessments of the uprising and military takeover (updated July 10)

Demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo, June 30, 2013.

July 7, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Below are a number of assessments of the massive protests and military intervention that overthrew the government of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood on July 3, 2013. Check back for new additions.

For more on Egypt, click HERE.

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Egypt: 'The people still want end to regime'

By Tony Iltis

July 7, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly (Australia) -- The protests which began on June 30 ― and by July 3 had led to the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi ― were reportedly the largest in Egyptian history.

With claims between 10 and 20 million people took part, they were larger than the protests which led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.

There are obvious similarities between the downfall of the two presidents. In both cases it was the military who, despite having previously been a pillar of the regime, executed the overthrow because protests were becoming too big and staunch to be easily repressed.

Egypt: A victory for revolution or counterrevolution? Views from the Egyptian left (updated July 22)

Protesters fill Tahrir Square calling for Mohamed Morsi's resignation (Amgad Fahmi)

Protesters fill Tahrir Square calling for Mohamed Morsi's resignation.

July 5, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Below are a number of articles from the left on the massive protests and military intervention that toppled the government of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt on July 3, 2013. For more on Egypt, click HERE.

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On the fall of Morsi -- live from Cairo

The following interview with Egyptian activist Hannah Elsisi appeared at the IS Network on July 3, 2013.

Is today a victory for revolution or counterrevolution?

'The fate of Syria must not be decided by foreign powers or forces'

Non-violent Syrian demonstrators, July 2011. Photo: AP.

By Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy

June 2013 -- Campaign for Peace and Democracy -- More than two years ago, the Syrian people, inspired by the Arab Spring, began a democratic revolution against the viciously authoritarian Bashir al-Assad regime, a revolution that we enthusiastically supported from its beginning and continue to support.

For two long years now, we, like the rest of the world, have watched in horror as the Syrian government waged merciless war on its own people. Some of the revolutionaries argued that for strategic if not for pacifist reasons, the movement should have remained non-violent despite the mounting repression it faced. However, the extreme violence and unspeakable cruelty, including the use of torture on a massive scale, that Assad unleashed against an initially peaceful democratic movement impelled many of the regime's opponents to take up arms, understandably believing that they had no choice other than outright surrender, which would be followed inevitably by mass slaughter. Some of the rebels have also committed atrocities; these are indefensible, but it should be remembered that it is the Assad regime that has been the initiator and far and away the greatest perpetrator of violent outrages.

Adam Hanieh on Palestine: The Oslo illusion, 20 years later

[For more by Adam Hanieh, click HERE.]

By Adam Hanieh

June 3, 2013 -- The Bullet -- This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israel government. Officially known as the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, the Oslo Accords were firmly ensconced in the framework of the two-state solution, heralding “an end to decades of confrontation and conflict”, the recognition of “mutual legitimate and political rights” and the aim of achieving “peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and … a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement”.

Is there a 'US war on Syria'? The Syrian uprising, the Assad regime, the US and Israel

By Michael Karadjis

May 11, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the wake of two Israeli airstrikes on targets in Syria on the May 4-5 weekend, the second causing massive explosions close to Damascus and killing at least several dozen Syrian troops, discussion rages about the aims of this aggression and the relationship it has to the ongoing mass uprising and civil war in Syria.

Israel claimed both attacks were aimed at Iranian long-range rockets, or the military depots where they were housed, that were in transit via Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. As the Zionist regime has continually indicated that its “red line” was the transfer of any significant “game-changing” weaponry to either Hezbollah in Lebanon (which is currently aligned to Syria’s besieged Assad regime) or to the Sunni Islamist rebels fighting to overthrow that regime, this explanation seems plausible.

Protest at the speed of light: social networking the revolution

[See also "Egypt: Much more than a `Facebook revolution'".]

By Roberto Jorquera

May 8, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Increasing access to the internet, together with the development in social network sites and mobile devices, has resulted in the ability for individuals and communities to be able to quickly share information, ideas and proposals for action to an ever-increasing audience. This has allowed protest movements to promote and have their voices heard outside traditional mass media outlets and government institutions that have excluded them in the past.

The development of social network sites has provided an easier opportunity to build online networks but has also impacted on social networks outside the internet terrain. This article will discuss the significance and impact of social network sites on social change focusing on the “Arab Spring”. It will work towards an assessment of how online social networks can impact networks in broader society that result in social change.

Adam Hanieh: A strategic overview of the struggles in the Middle East (video)

April 21, 2013 -- SocResVideo -- Adam Hanieh addressed the 2013 April 2013 Socialist Resistance conference in Britain on the social upheavals in the Middle East and their strategic context.

[Adam Hanieh is a lecturer in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave-Macmillan 2011) and a member of the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism. For more by Adam Hanieh, click HERE.]

Declaration of the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum, Tunisia 2013

 

 

By the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum, Tunisia, 2013

March 29, 2013 -- We are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilisation. We affirm that decolonisation for oppressed peoples remains for us, the social movements of the world, a challenge of the greatest importance.

Through the WSF process, the Social Movements Assembly is the place where we come together through our diversity, in order to forge common struggles and a collective agenda to fight against capitalism, patriarchy, racism and all forms of discrimination and oppression. We have built a common history of work which led to some progress, particularly in Latin America, where we have been able to intervene in neoliberal alliances and to create several alternatives for just development that truly honors nature.

Syria: Military and political stalemate

Aftermath of the Assad regime's shelling of the city of Homs.

By Tony Iltis

January 14, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- The latest United Nations figures put the death toll from the conflict in Syria a third higher than previous estimates by the UN and anti-government activists.

“We can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a January 2 statement. “The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking.”

The UN has compiled a list of 59,648 named individuals reported killed between March 15, 2011, and November 30, 2012.

She said both government and anti-government forces were responsible for what could be considered war crimes, a January 2 Associated Press report said.

On January 9, Al Jazeera reported: “About one million people inside Syria are going hungry due to the difficulty of getting supplies into conflict zones … The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) is handing out rations to about 1.5 million people in Syria each month, still short of the 2.5 million deemed to be in need, Elisabeth Byrs, WFP spokeswoman, said.”

Conflict static

Palestinian workers in Israel's illegal settlements: Who profits?

Palestinian, Israeli and international protesters break into Rami Levi supermarket in the Shaar Binyamin settlement near Jerusalem, to protest against the Israeli occupation and call for a boycott of Israeli settlements, October 2012. Photograph by Yotam Ronen, ActiveStills/Whoprofits.org.

January 2013 -- Whoprofits.org -- In order to work in Israel's settlements, Palestinians must obtain work permits from the Israeli Civil Administration, which also entails the approval of the Israeli internal security service (the Shin Bet). This permit can be annulled at any time, especially when workers demand their rights or try to unionise, or if they (or one of their family members) engage in any kind of political activity. This situation exposes Palestinian workers to extortion by the Israeli internal security service.

Is the war on terror going to end? Obama says no…

The United State’s robot wars in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries is the logical outcome of a shadowy war that has no definition and with no end in sight.

By Rupen Savoulian

January 7, 2013 -- Antipodean Athiest, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The US National Defense Authorisation Act, updated by the administration of US President Barack Obama for 2013, has been signed into law. It provides for the indefinite detention of any person suspected of "terrorism" offences, prohibits the transfer of the remaining Guantanamo Bay detainees from that facility and allows the US military to detain any person, even US citizens without any recourse to civilian courts and legal access.

Obama, the "anti-war" candidate of 2008, has not only continued the Bush-Cheney-era "war on terror", he is ensuring that its continuation, its corrosive effect on civil liberties and the undermining of the already fragile democratic rights will go on spreading its toxic effect.

Egypt: Independent workers' federation rejects president’s power grab

November 25, 2012 -- MENA -- The Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) issued this statement rejecting the Consitutional Declaration announced by President Mohamed Morsi and calling on workers to mobilise against the decree. Mass demonstrations have been called by opposition groups in protest at Morsi’s announcement.

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Dear Brother and sister workers,

When we heard about the Constitutional Declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsi on 21 November, all of us starting asking our colleagues:

“What has this declaration got to do with us?” “Will it be useful for us, or against our interests?”

Let’s look together at what is in the declaration, and what the president said in his speech in front of the Ittihadiyya Palace in front of his supporters.

Tunisia's 'unfinished revolution' -- interview with Workers' Party militant

By Peter Boyle

November 16, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Abdel Jabbar Madouri (pictured above) has been a militant in Tunisia since his early secondary school days. He was jailed three times (in 1987,1993 and 2002) because of his political activism. After every arrest, he was tortured and then sentenced to more then 12 years in jail. Madouri spent four years in hiding during the Ben Ali regime. He was also deprived of the right to work or to obtain a passport.

Madouri is also novelist and member of the League of Free Writers and some of his novels were banned by the dictatorship. Today he is member of the national committee of the Tunisian Worker’s Party and is editor of its newspaper Sawt Echaab (People's Voice).

Green Left Weekly interviewed Madouri by internet with with the assistance of and translation from Arabic by Tunisian journalist Haithem Mahjoubi.

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Malaysian socialists condemn Israel's Gaza massacre

Released by Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia)

November 21, 2012 -- Parti Sosialis Malaysia -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns Israel for its latest brutal assault on the Palestinian people.

Israel has once again intensified its aggression against the Palestinian people of Gaza, by launching airstrikes since November 14, 2012. Israel has amassed troops on the border and threatened a ground invasion on the Gaza Strip. More than 100 Palestinians including at least 23 children have been killed since the new massacre called “Operation Pillar of Defense” began.

Israel escalated the assault on Gaza on the eve of its upcoming legislative election as its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to gain votes with Palestinian bodies.

The Zionist regime of Israel has attempted numerous times to destroy Hamas, the organisation that leads the struggle of the Palestinian people against oppression by Israel, since Hamas won the Palestinian election in January 2006. Such savage attempts include blockade of the Gaza Strip from 2007 until 2011, which turned Gaza into the largest concentration camp in the world imprisoning 1.5 million Palestinians living in dire conditions. The massacre by Israeli armed force in December 2008 to January 2009 killed more than 1400 people and wounded over 5300 people in a period of three weeks.

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