[Updated] Asian left statements: Stop Israel’s war on Gaza
Statements by New Bloom (Taiwan), Jamhoor (Pakistan), the Socialist Party of Malaysia, Partido Lakas ng Masa (the Philippines), the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, the Japanese Communist Party, the Japan Revolutionary Communist League (Revolutionary Marxist Faction), a collective of anonymous Tibetans and Hongkongers, and a group of Revolutionary Communists in China.
New Bloom (Taiwan): Collective statement on solidarity with the Palestinian people
November 28 — It has now been over fifty days since Israel began military strikes on Gaza’s civilian population, following the attack by Hamas that took place on October 7th. As Taiwanese leftists who believe in Taiwan’s political independence–and more fundamentally, as human beings–we stand in solidarity with Palestinians. We are issuing this statement as part of a planned series of events engaging the Taiwanese public and Taiwanese diaspora on present events, and linking Taiwan’s struggle for self-determination to the Palestinian freedom struggle.
Whether in Ukraine, Hong Kong, Tibet, East Turkistan, Palestine, or beyond, we believe in the universal right to self-determination and liberation from oppression. Taiwan’s own democratic freedoms were hard-won after decades of authoritarian one-party rule during the White Terror period, not to mention Taiwan’s own settler colonial history and its lasting effect on Indigenous peoples–it is our history that has led us to this perspective. At present, Taiwan’s self-determination and de-facto independence continues to face daily military threats from China.
Not long after October 7, Taipei 101–Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper–lit up in the colors of the Israeli flag. This is hardly the first time that Taipei 101 has lit up for questionable political actors. In March 2022, Taipei 101 lit up with a message of welcome for former Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It has been the case for a long time that Taiwan has been framed within a campism that dictates alignment with right-wing governments that are believed to have some use in warding off the military threat of China. We know that performances of “support” such as these are cynical and self-serving, and it is with this context in mind that we choose to stand in solidarity with other peoples in the world facing oppression rather than whitewash authoritarian actors as like-minded allies that supposedly share values with us. We believe in the affirmation of humanity and building solidarity between peoples over clambering for conditional recognition from nation-states.
We acknowledge that many in Taiwan draw comparisons not between Palestine and Taiwan, but Taiwan and Israel as benefactor states of US military power. In this comparison, Taiwan is equated with Israel as a small nation-state surrounded by larger powers hostile to it, and China with Hamas as symbols of anti-Western forces threatening democracy and destabilizing regional harmony. This viewpoint highlights a trend in Taiwanese society in which Taiwanese people desire unconditional alignment with what is perceived as “the democratic West,” while failing to acknowledge that the same Western powers that nominally support Taiwan, too, fail in the test of adherence to democratic values.
In the struggle against oppression, there are no islands unto themselves–none of us are free until all of us are free. Yet, we have observed much of the left fall into simplistic binaries that compromise their ability to stand for freedom for all. There has been, for example, the continued willingness of some leftists to ignore the highly questionable views of certain political actors if they are supportive of self-determination for Palestinians–never mind that perhaps they may be the same actors who dismiss the genocide of Uyghurs because of their rose-tinted view of China, justify Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, or in fact, have a history of promoting white supremacist and anti-Semitic viewpoints.
For one, it should go without saying discrimination in any form has no place on the left and one cannot oppose some genocides while being apparently supportive of others. But this continues the reductive, simplistic worldview of many who are nominally leftists–siding with those who back authoritarian actors of any stripe so long as they oppose the US and “the West”. At the end of the day, this campist worldview is the logical end for any leftist who has come to conflate leftism and nationalism–our basis for supporting self-determination is not rooted in nationalism, whether for ourselves as Taiwanese or other identities.
Neither is China any salvation from the US empire–it is simply another empire. China conducts substantial trade with Israel and provides it with surveillance technologies that have been developed through the digital enclosure and detaining of Uyghurs and other “ethnic minorities.” Discourse from the most hardline Chinese nationalists sometimes speaks of “Keeping the island, not the people” when it comes to Taiwan–genocidal rhetoric not unlike that which Israel uses against Palestinians. At the very least, Chinese invasion means not “liberation” for us but bloody warfare and interminable military occupation.
But China sees fit to embrace the Palestinian cause to try and erode the US’s claim to a moral high ground. And we are fully aware of how the Palestinian Authority has historically backed China’s claims over Taiwan–though let it be said that neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas are the Palestinian people, and one should never conflate states with peoples. This conflation is precisely what the Israeli state does in justifying genocide with the veneer of eliminating Hamas and attempting to claim that any who criticizes Israel is anti-Semitic.
Historically, there has been little connection between Taiwan and Palestine, but much more informal diplomatic activity between Taiwan and Israel since 1993. Hence, the persistence of such views come as no surprise–and we are very familiar with how calling for self-determination for one’s self unfortunately does not always entail calling for self-determination for all peoples. Islamophobia and racism are present in Taiwan, which has perhaps led to greater attention to events in the world elsewhere, such as seen in Taiwan’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And by contrast, Taiwan has stronger trade and technological ties with Israel.
To this end, we find it concerning that many of the voices who have expressed solidarity for Palestine in Taiwan on the left have only been those voices who are of the Taiwanese pro-unification left. As with their Western counterparts, such individuals express support for Palestine and opposition to Israel because they see the shadow of the US empire behind Israel. And, similarly, these are individuals silent on the crimes that take place in China against Tibetans, Uyghurs, and others–they, too, are among those that may be vocal on some genocides in the world but entirely silent on those committed by their preferred empire of choice. Those in Palestine or who stand in solidarity with Palestinians should not misread them as true allies who act on the basis of genuine moral conviction, but rather as opportunistic actors who nominally support Palestinian liberation while being bad faith actors elsewhere.
The presence of bad faith actors in the global Palestinian solidarity movement–particularly in Taiwan–points to how many on the left who otherwise claim to be internationalists are attentive to genocides in select regions of the world but not others, and at times, even being active genocide deniers.
A famous video from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests shows a young man riding on a bicycle toward the demonstrations. When questioned by a Western journalist why he is going there, he cheerfully replies, “It’s my duty.”
This, too, is what we believe to be our duty. We support Palestinians’ right to self-determination not out of self-interest, and irrespective of what their views on Taiwan are–just as we also supported the A4 Movement in China even if it may be that many Chinese did not have views supportive of Taiwan’s self-determination. To this end, we support Indigenous peoples’ struggle for self-determination in Taiwan as they resist Han settler colonialism, and recognise the necessity of working towards truth, reconciliation, and transitional justice in the Taiwanese independence movement. Our support for Palestinian self-determination is politically and morally consistent with our advocacy for Taiwanese independence. From the river to the sea–freedom for Palestine means a step toward freedom for us all.
In closing, we would like to offer the following resources for constructing solidarity between peripheries.
Jamhoor (Pakistan): For Palestine! Our shared history of colonialism, occupation, genocide and solidarity
October 16 — History repeats itself in the most violent and inhumane ways — the last week of Israeli genocidal aggression on the 2.4 million Palestinians trapped in the world’s largest concentration camp shows us so. Carpet bombing, the use of white phosphorus, reneging on promises of safe passage, indiscriminate killings and bombings of civilian targets including hospitals: the war crimes pile on. So does the death toll — as of October 15th, 2,383 Palestinians have been killed and more than 10,000 injured. Western leaders are falling over themselves to pledge their support for the apartheid state of Israel, going to sinister lengths to denounce anyone who speaks of the horrors inflicted on Palestinians. There is nothing new to say here, except that Gaza is in our thoughts, our prayers, our tears, our clenched fists. We pledge our solidarity — without equivocation — with the Palestinian demand for liberation.
Our solidarity comes from our shared histories of colonialism and forced expulsions. As South Asians, we are keenly aware of the horrors of forced displacement. In 1947, the British empire brokered the Partition of the Indian subcontinent, uprooting millions from their homes. A year later, the British would broker yet another historical displacement — that of the Palestinians, the Nakba — and play their part in creating the state of Israel. After each schism of seismic proportions, the dying Empire washed its hands off while the cleaved were left to pick up the pieces, our traumas from such separation fueling endless conflict.
Our solidarity stems from our own experience with occupation. Media blackouts, looming military presence, controlled checkpoints, cutting off basic necessities, and targeting of journalists who dare reveal the truth — from Kashmir to Gaza, we know too well the occupiers’ playbook and the lengths they will go to silence the occupied and stifle their rights.
Our solidarity rises from our traumas of genocide, admittedly within our own ranks. From the Pakistani army’s mass killings in Bangladesh in 1971, to the Sri Lankan government’s Tamil genocide between 1948-2009, the Indian government’s atrocities against Sikhs, Dalits, Muslims, and Adivasis, and the Bangladeshi government’s attacks against the Adibashi indigenous tribes, our blood-drenched history shows our umbilical familiarity with the ethnic cleansing the Israeli government is currently carrying out in Gaza.
Our solidarity is rooted in our understanding that the rise of authoritarian, fascist, ethno-religious governments in South Asian countries is aligned with the fascist apartheid government of Netanyahu in Israel. The alignment is not just ideological; it is strategic as well. Modi and Netanyahu express solidarity with each other in the media. Behind closed-doors, India also purchases spyware and military equipment from Israel to keep constituents in line and suppress dissent. Not to be left behind, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have followed suit.
Our solidarity with Palestinians today draws energies from solidarities forged in the past. As Pakistani communist parties like the Mazdoor Kisan Party launched mass fundraising campaigns to support Palestinian liberation in the 1970s, thousands of Bangladeshi youth volunteered to fight with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) through the 80s. Many even died alongside their Palestinian comrades and are buried in PLO graves in Lebanon. While India today cozies up with Israel, it was the first non-Arab country to recognize the PLO and the Palestinian state in the 80s, including releasing a commemorative stamp in solidarity with the Palestinians.
We cannot “both sides” our way out of occupation and apartheid. Our duty and responsibility are always, and should always be, for the cause of the oppressed. The Palestinian Youth Movement recently wrote, “we know why Gaza is being targeted: because it is the heart of our resistance. The Palestinian resistance is unbowed.” So should our solidarity be. We have filled the streets — from Dhaka to Delhi, Lahore to London — and we will continue to show up, because Palestine needs to be free.
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.
Socialist Party of Malaysia: Solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination
October 9 — The recent escalation of Palestinian resistance against Israel is the culmination of the anger and frustration of the Palestinian people over the prolonged blockade of the Gaza Strip, illegal occupation of the Palestinian homeland, ethnic cleansing, forced evictions, brutal assaults, violent repressions, bombings, and torture, committed by the Zionist apartheid regime of Israel.
While we deplore the loss of civilian lives in the escalation of conflict, we must never forget to address the most fundamental cause of the Question of Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinian people – the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land for the last three-quarter century.
The world needs a political solution to the conflict in Palestine and the Middle East, not a military solution, but any solution to bring about peace in the region can only be achieved through the recognition, respect, and realization of the Palestinian right to self-determination, as well as an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) reiterates our solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination. The struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination is a struggle against the apartheid regime, colonization, imperialism, and social injustice.
We call for
- An end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine;
- Recognition, respect, and realization of the Palestinian right to self-determination;
- An immediate end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip;
- The fulfillment of the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland;
- A comprehensive arms embargo on Israel;
- All parties in the conflict should refrain from inflicting casualties on civilians.
There will be no sustainable and lasting peace in Palestine and the Middle East, as long as the right to self-determination and justice for the Palestinian people are not upheld.
Stop the violence! End the occupation! Free Palestine!
Released by Choo Chon Kai, Central Committee Member, Socialist Party of Malaysia / Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
Partido Lakas ng Masa (the Philippines): End Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine Now!
October 13 — PLM demands the immediate halt to Israel’s bombing and killing of the population of Gaza and for immediate peace negotiations towards a political settlement.
The source of the problem in all of Palestine is Israel’s brutal military occupation and apartheid system that was established in 1948.
The neo-fascist Netanyahu government has intensified Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians since taking power earlier this year.
PLM recognises the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people against the illegal and brutal occupation by the neo-fascist Israeli state.
We support the Palestinian peoples right to self-defense and to resist the occupation.
PLM additionally calls for:
- End Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine Now!
- Immediate end to the siege and blockade of Gaza!
- Free all Palestinian political prisoners!
- Establish the right of return of all Palestinian refugees to their homeland!
- Boycott Israel!
- Down with the neo-fascist Netanyahu regime!
Partido Lakas ng Masa (the Philippines): Statement on the Philippine government’s abstention on the UN General Assembly resolution to call for an immediate and sustained truce in Gaza
October 28 — We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Philippine government abstaining on the UN General Assembly resolution last Friday calling for an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce in Gaza.
This abstention is effectively an opposition to this humanitarian truce, given the situation in Gaza today with the bombing of Gaza by Israel, which is genocide. It is shameful that the Philippine government has voted against the UN resolution.
It is shameful that the Philippines is the only country in ASEAN that opposed this resolution.
It also shows that the Marcos regime does not care about the lives of the OFWs in Gaza and in the entire region, such as in Lebanon, and other countries in the Middle East.
The Marcos regime is all the way with the USA in its foreign policy. It is also preparing to drag us into a war with China.
We demand that the government immediately changes its position and calls for an immediate ceasefire by Israel in Gaza.
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation: Stop Israel's Genocidal War on Gaza! India Must Work for Peace and Political Solution!
October 11 — The October 7 surprise military offensive launched by Hamas on Israeli soil exposed the mythical powers attributed to Israel's intelligence and security system and took the heaviest toll of Israeli lives in Israel's recent history. While the international community condemned the Hamas offensive and its brutal nature, Israel has turned it into a pretext to launch a genocidal war on the people of Gaza. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has called Palestinians ‘human animals’ and the 'state of war' declared on Gaza entails actions including stopping all food supplies, water, electricity and fuel alongside a bombing campaign targeting hospitals, schools and homes.
We appeal to the international community and the United Nations to intervene to save the lives of the more than 2 million people, nearly half of them children, who are trapped in the densely populated ‘open air concentration camp’ of Gaza. Shamefully, we are seeing the US administration and its allies once again escalating military support for Israel, emboldening it to commit further war crimes.
We also urge vigilance against the spreading of inflammatory fake news concerning the fate of Israeli hostages, some of which apparently originates from India and the Sanghi ecosystem. Hamas’ large scale hostage-taking appears to have been driven by past experience where Israel proved to be willing to exchange one captured Israeli soldier for 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners. This time the demand has been for all Palestinian political prisoners, including the many who have not been accused of any crime and the many children who are tortured and locked up for years in Israeli jails, to be released.
Narendra Modi was quick to express solidarity with Israel in the wake of the Hamas offensive but has kept quiet about the genocidal war declared by Israel on Gaza. Given the long history of colonial occupation of Palestine and the ongoing dispossession and oppression of its people, the only acceptable role for India is to help seek a political solution upholding the Palestinian right to a sovereign homeland, which is the only possible route to peace.
The BJP is trying to draw a false parallel between terrorist attacks in India and the present Hamas offensive. Yet again, the Modi government and the BJP have turned a blind eye to the occupation and crimes perpetrated against the Palestinians, and are seeking to instrumentalise this situation to further fan the flames of hate against India’s own Muslim community. Students of Aligarh Muslim University have been booked for expressing solidarity with Palestine and a UP Minister has described AMU as a terrorist hub. Expressions of solidarity with Palestine are being branded as terrorism and 'jihad'.
We should remember that the enslavement of Palestine began around the same time India attained freedom from British colonial rule. Independent India has been a consistent votary of the Palestinian cause and the Vajpayee government too maintained this traditional Indian position. The Modi government seeks a drastic shift in India's consistent policy approach by turning India into a strategic ally of Israel.
Condemnation of a military offensive against Israel must not degenerate into condoning of or complicity with Israel's genocidal war on Gaza and the oppressed Palestinian people. Indian foreign policy must work for immediate de-escalation of violence and enforcement of ceasefire and peace and facilitation of a political solution upholding the Palestinian right to freedom in a sovereign homeland.
Central Committee, CPIML
The Japanese Communist Party strongly calls for self-restraint to end the vicious cycle of violence-regarding the battle between Hamas and Israel
October 10 — Large scale attacks against Israel by Hamas, an Islamist group in Palestine, and Israel's retaliatory strikes that followed have claimed many lives and injured many others, raising a grave concern about the potential for further escalation of the conflict.
Hamas' indiscriminate attacks and abduction of civilians are clear violations of international humanitarian law and cannot be tolerated for any reasons. The Japanese Communist Party severely condemns these acts.
In response, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that he is embarking on "a long and difficult war" and announced measures to cut electricity and prevent food, fuel, and other supplies from entering the Gaza Strip with a view to bring destruction to the strip. Indiscriminately attacks that claim many lives are unjustifiable as it is tantamount to a collective punishment of people who are living under occupation and need to be protected.
In order to break the vicious cycle of violent retaliation, both sides should exercise utmost self-restraint.
At the root of today's situation lies the problem of Israel forcibly evicting residents to expand settlements in violation of international law, imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip, and carrying out air strikes and attacks against the area.
In seeking peace in the Middle East, the JCP advocates the following three principles: (1) Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories, (2) realization of the right to self-determination which includes the Palestinians' right to establish an independent state, and (3) creation of a mutual recognition to respect the right to coexistence. These have become international consensus as documented in a series of UN resolutions.
The chain of violence and the escalation of the conflict can be prevented only through negotiations that will lead to the realization of a Palestine state, and its peaceful coexistence with Israel. In order to make a breakthrough and pave the way for peace in the Middle East in line with the international consensus, the JCP strongly calls on all countries concerned and international organizations to make every possible diplomatic effort.
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo
Japanese Communist Party: Stop genocide in Gaza — A call on governments concerned to work for a halt to military attacks and an immediate ceasefire in Gaza
November 6 — Large scale military attacks by Israel in Palestine's Gaza strip have pushed the humanitarian situation there into a catastrophic state, as UNICEF puts it, "Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children. It's a living hell for everyone else." In order to stop the humanitarian crisis as early as possible, the Japanese Communist Party calls on all state governments and international organizations concerned to step up urgent efforts demanding a halt to the Israeli military attacks on Gaza and an immediate ceasefire.
In the past few weeks, the Israeli forces have carried out large scale operations from the air, ground, and sea resulting in massive civilian casualties, including repeated air strikes in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza and missile strikes on convoys of ambulances transporting injured and sick individuals. As Israel has cut off electricity, water, food, and medicine supplies to Gaza, many civilians there are on the verge of death. Israel's order on civilians to evacuate northern Gaza and relocate to southern Gaza has resulted in serious humanitarian disasters. In the past month, nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza and 40% of them were children, according to reports. The JCP condemns Israel's military operations which killed many civilians and brought about enormous pain and misery there.
A group of seven United Nations human rights experts in a joint statement on the current situations in Gaza warned, "We remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide." It must be pointed out that given its scale and brutality, Israeli military attacks, each of which is a war crime in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, indicate a grave danger of genocide firmly prohibited under the Genocide Convention (1948). The international community must not tolerate a genocide in Gaza.
The Gaza crisis was directly triggered by the October 7 indiscriminate attacks carried out by Hamas. Killing and injuring civilians indiscriminately is in violation of international law. The JCP denounces the act and demands an immediate release of hostages.
At the same time, as the backdrop to the current situation, the following historical facts must be pointed out: Since 1967 Israel has put the West Bank of the Jordan river and the Gaza Strip under occupation and expanded Jewish settlements by forcibly evicting residents from their homes; it has imposed a blockade policy against Gaza since 2007, creating inhumane situation in the area, which is dubbed as "an open air prison"; and air strikes repeatedly carried out by Israel victimized many Palestinians. It must be stressed that these are illegal acts in violation of international law and United Nations resolutions.
Israel cannot cite its right to self-defense to justify its attacks and act of genocide in Gaza with its vast military muscle.
The JCP has consistently argued that in seeking peace in the Middle East, it is necessary to make efforts in line with the following three principles as documented in relevant United Nations resolutions: (1) Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories, (2) realization of the right to self-determination which includes the Palestinians' right to establish an independent state, and (3) creation of a mutual recognition to respect the right to coexistence.
In parallel, there is no time to waste in making a breakthrough in the serious humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
As a political party of a country whose constitution states "all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want" and renounces war as means of settling international disputes, the JCP calls on all governments and international organizations concerned to take urgent measures to realize the following:
-Israel should immediately stop the ongoing military attacks in Gaza;
-Both sides should negotiate for an immediate ceasefire. They should at least abide by the October 27 United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a humanitarian truce.
Shii Kazuo, Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair, Member of the House of Representatives
Japan Revolutionary Communist League (Revolutionary Marxist Faction): Denounce Israel’s massive attack on Gaza! Stop the genocide against Palestinian people!
October 16 — The Netanyahu-led government of Israel is ready to command its hundred thousand troops and tanks to rush into the Gaza Strip, where 2.2 million people are living. This murderous regime is about to launch another massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, which has already been destroyed by successive air raids since October 8th.
Israeli forces issued an order to 1.1 million people living in the northern area of the Strip. It said, ‘Evacuate to the southern area, otherwise you’ll be seen as Hamas combatants.’ They showed ‘evacuation routes’. But this is only a trick by which Zionists try to dodge worldwide condemnations that press them to ‘save citizens from the humanitarian crisis’. Look! Israel’s crafty forces are shooting missiles at people passing along the specified route. It is impossible, in the first place, for a million people, including elders, sick persons and mothers caring infants, to evacuate immediately. The so-called ‘evacuation order’ is an ultimatum or a declaration of genocide against Palestinians issued by the Zionist regime of Israel.
Shaken by the dauntless cross-border attacks of Hamas, a Muslim organization in Palestine (October 7th), Zionist Netanyahu has launched a massacre of people in Gaza, screaming, ‘We’ll annihilate Hamas’. This is an attempt to exterminate the self-governing Palestinian territory of Gaza itself as a strong foothold of Palestinian resistance against the Zionist state, together with all the people living there. This is a crazy genocide and nothing else. Don’t let him do that!
In the early morning of October 7th, Hamas and other Palestinian armed forces launched more than three thousand rocket bombs all at once into Israeli territories. They destroyed the Netanyahu-built, 60-km long wall for the ‘open-air prison’, which has confined Palestinians for years, together with its observation posts and high-tech surveillance systems. By blasting holes in the wall and destroying the ‘eyes’ of Israeli military and security forces, Hamas commanded more than a thousand militias to rush into Israeli territories. They occupied local police offices and assaulted Israeli military fortresses. Armed Palestinian militias thus continued to battle with Israeli forces for four days.
This large-scale offensive frenzied the Zionist government, which was unable to perceive or even expect it beforehand. This government thus launched fiercer aerial attacks on Gaza. Saying ‘We are at war’, Nanyahu has besieged Gaza with a large army by mobilizing more than 360 thousand reserves. He has cut off the supplies of water, electricity, foods and fuels, which are essential for residents to survive there. Netanyahu is really imposing deaths on Palestinians. Further, the Israeli army is concentrating its bombings on UN facilities and UN-run schools and hospitals, to which people are evacuating for safety. Thus, under the command of Netanyahu, Israeli forces have already murdered thousands of Palestinians in Gaza.
Denounce Israel’s all-out offensive on Gaza! Never tolerate this genocide of Palestinians.
In the middle of the cross-border offensive on October 7th, Hamas militias assaulted not only Israeli soldiers, but also many civilians. At the site of a music festival, they killed many civilians, took a number of people, including women and kids, as hostages and returned to Gaza. Hamas deliberately adopted this hostage-taking tactics in order to take back more than five thousand Palestinians unjustifiably jailed by the Israeli police as political prisoners. (The Hamas leadership announced the number of the hostages is from 200 to 250.) The news is also circulated that Hamas militias assaulted two kibbutzim, murdered agricultural workers and posted on the Web a movie that showed militias beheading the workers. But some analysts of the Middle Eastern situations say that this movie is a fake. Probably the Israeli authorities circulated such a fake movie in order to depict Hamas as savage terrorists.
Even though Hamas announced that was for the ‘Palestinian cause’, the act of indiscriminately killing innocent people must be regarded as one that retards the organizing of working people as a class, so that we cannot justify them as far as such an act is concerned.
But we say in the first place: what has driven Hamas into such a fierce battle is the extreme brutalities of the Zionist state of Israel, which has been massacring Palestinians like worms, and the crimes of imperialist rulers, who have openly supported and defended Israel. Palestinians in Gaza have been confined within the ‘open-air prison’ for sixteen years. Every time they resisted, they were repressed and mercilessly murdered by Zionist troops and police. The latest cross-border battle of Hamas is nothing but an armed uprising of Palestinians driven by their growing anger at Zionist brutalities.
Since the beginning of this century, Israel has repeatedly launched its military attacks on Gaza, sinking Palestinians in seas of blood. Every time Palestinian people rose in anti-Zionist fight, the Zionist state immediately launched far fiercer air raids ‘in retaliation’, massacring people and imposing food and energy blockades. In May this year, far right Zionists overran the Al-Aqsa Mosque, an Islamic holy place, where Palestinians who attempted to protest it were murdered by Israeli security forces. In the West Bank of the Jordan River, armed Zionists have continually intruded into the Palestinian areas in the name of ‘settlement’, expelling Palestinians and murdering them with guns and clubs. That is an armed occupation with the name of ‘settlement’. Because of this violent ‘settlement’, the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority have been trimmed one after another.
Notwithstanding this, imperialist state rulers in America and Europe have tolerated and accepted all the brutalities of the Zionist state, including violent repression and murders, although ‘human rights and democracy’ is their catchphrase.
What’s more, Arab state rulers, who have been supposed to support the ‘independence of a Palestinian state’ under the banner of the ‘Arab cause’, are now compromising and colluding with Israel, dazzled by its advanced technologies and money. Egypt and Jordan already have diplomatic relations with Israel, which were followed by the UAE and Bahrein; and, at last, even Saudi Arabia, which proclaims itself as the ‘leader of the Arab world’, has started ‘negotiations for diplomatic relations’. The Hamas leadership, based in Gaza, is bitterly indignant at those Arab rulers for their betrayals. They have pent up a sense of crisis that, if things go on like this, Palestinians may be abandoned by the rest of the world, with the road to an independent Palestinian state perishing.
That is why people in Gaza, together with Hamas as their leadership, rose in fierce fight back. They had been enduring desperate situations and quaking in fury for a long time. ‘It would be better to go out and meet them than just sitting here waiting to die’ must be their resolve. The working class and the toiling masses all over the world must squarely face the life-or-death uprising of Palestinians as their out-cry from the depth of grief, as their appeal for the world not to forget Palestinians — even though their battle is accompanied by mistakes — and resolutely stand up in fight.
Workers, students and toiling people all over the world!
The Zionist power of Israel is about to command its land forces to rush in to Gaza. There’s no time to lose. Here in Japan, we will create struggles under the banner: Don’t allow the Netanyahu government to launch genocide against Palestinian people! Denounce the brutal massacres! !
The Biden-led US administration has deployed its two aircraft carrier groups to the Mediterranean, thus giving military support to the Zionist state. Biden is stepping up military intimidation against Iran, which he regards as a strong backer for Hamas. Don’t allow US imperialism to launch a military intervention!
We appeal to Muslim people around the Middle East and the whole Islamic world, and to all the toiling people of the world. Rise in a fight to stop the Israeli army’s attacks on Gaza!
This October marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Fourth Middle East War (in October, 1973), when Egypt and Syria launched an armed offensive with the aim of regaining the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Hights from the occupier Israel. On this anniversary, Hamas carried out an armed battle against the Zionist power. This in itself bespeaks their revolt against Arab rulers, most of whom have abandoned the ‘Arab cause’ and approached the Zionist regime. Denounce Arab rulers for colluding with the Zionist regime that is continuing to massacre Palestinians.
We appeal to the working people in Israel. Stop the Netanyahu government from continuing the war of genocide against Palestinians! Rise in a battle to topple this government!
We must fight at the same time to further develop the Ukraine antiwar struggle in Japan.
It is a year and eight months since Putin’s Russia started aggression against Ukraine. The battle of Ukrainian people to drive back the invading Russian army from the land of Ukraine is now faced with grave difficulties.
In the United States, the Trump-led Republicans are pressing the Biden-led Democratic administration to cut off the military aid for Ukraine. Under this pressure, Biden is surely moving to reduce, or end, the military supports to Ukraine under the pretext of ‘increasing military aid for Israel’.
Perceiving this move of the US, Russian ruler Vladimir Putin is gloating and said ‘Ukraine would die in a week if Western military aid stops.’
Ukrainian people’s fight to crush the Russian aggression is now facing a critical juncture. Along with struggles against Israel’s aggression against Palestine, we must fight all-out for a world-wide upsurge in the Ukraine antiwar struggle.
Workers, students and toiling people all over the world!
At this very moment in time, the Netanyahu-led Israeli government is continuing to massacre Palestinians. Don’t allow this Zionist regime to continue genocide. Let us create antiwar struggles all over the world!
Japan Revolutionary Communist League (Revolutionary Marxist Faction). From the JRCL-RMF weekly, Kaihoh, No. 2791.
A statement from overseas Hongkongers and Tibetans in solidarity with Palestine
October 20 — As overseas Hongkongers and Tibetans based in the US, UK, and Canada, we wholly condemn the Israeli apartheid state’s settler-colonial occupation of Palestine and support Palestinian liberation. We call on the US, UK, and Canadian governments to withdraw military support to Israel, demand Israel to cease its attacks on Gaza, and end the genocidal siege. We also call on our fellow exiled and diaspora communities to stand in solidarity with Palestinian liberation.
Solidarity does not entail conflating different experiences of oppression and suffering. However, we hope to point out that colonizers often share the same tools. The People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s elite police academies have sought to “explore the successful experience of Israel’s anti-terror strategies” to apply to East Turkestan. China’s Minority Ethnic Commissioner has suggested the state should draw upon Israeli settler strategies—as well as historic American and Russian expansionism—in its own colonization of Uyghur and Tibetan land. As our oppressors and colonizers borrow tactics from each other, we, as the oppressed and colonized, lend each other our understanding and solidarity. It is in this vein that we urge fellow Hongkongers and Tibetans to understand Palestinian suffering in its own context.
The Palestine-based Birzeit University’s Union of Teachers and Employees have said: “We do not need to speak of our right to resist, for it is not a right, but a way of being and survival for Palestinians” and that “there is no moral equivalence between the colonizer and the colonized.” Despite how mainstream media portrays the events in Gaza, we must be clear that this tragedy is not a conflict between two equal sides, let alone sparked by unprovoked aggression by Palestinians against Israelis. Supported by multiple major superpowers with vast resources, Israel has threatened and displaced Palestinians over the last 75 years. These displacements and the military violence used to enforce it has marked itself in the collective memory of Palestinians as the Nakba, literally catastrophe. Israel has systematically crushed Palestinian civil society and dispossessed them of their land over decades.
This current campaign against Gaza shows the extent of the power Israel holds over Palestinians. Israeli officials have cut off food, fuel, water, and electricity in Gaza after Hamas’ attack. Israel is bombing hospitals, schools, and homes—even using white phosphorus in densely populated areas, which violates international humanitarian laws. As Israeli historian of Holocaust Studies Raz Segal puts it, “Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza is quite explicit, open, and unashamed.”
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza, with hundreds murdered and thousands injured every day. Israel is ethnically cleansing Palestinians, instructing millions to relocate from North to South Gaza in less than a day—then proceeding to bomb the only escape route along with another humanitarian corridor. The UN has decried Israel’s plan as one which will have “devastating humanitarian consequences.” We mourn the elders, wounded, disabled, and all those who are unable to flee to so-called “safer terrain.”
It is crucial to emphasize that our solidarity as Hongkongers and Tibetans comes from understanding this long historical perspective of colonialism and apartheid. Our solidarity includes grief for all victims who have borne the cost of violent settler colonialism, a project that spills blood inside and outside the fence. Israel and its allies have been consistently speaking in the language of genocidal violence towards Palestine, suppressing many attempts at nonviolent responses from Palestine, such as the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. The constant suppression of nonviolent tactics with violence has led to this moment.
Some of our own movements hold to principles of nonviolence, but we recognize other forms of resistance that were crucial in our movements’ histories. We call attention to how liberals’ emphasis on “nonviolence” is often used to delegitimize decolonial struggles. We also highlight the hypocrisy of Western media in their portrayal of different decolonial struggles. As Tibetans—a people who are fetishized as ideal “nonviolent resistors”—we strongly condemn the ways in which the West has deployed the rhetoric of nonviolence to distract from the genocide unfolding in Palestine. In a similar vein, we remember the silence and inaction from the international community during the 2018–2019 March of Return, when Palestinians peacefully marched towards the border and were shot at indiscriminately. 266 Palestinians were killed and over 30,398 wounded, 16,027 of whom were children. We also wish to emphasize the ways in which nonviolent protest has been actively criminalized through anti-BDS Laws, as well as the policing and banning of Palestine Solidarity Protests in France, Germany, and numerous other nation-states.
The PRC has politically and economically supported Israel alongside the US, even as it performatively supports the Palestinian cause. This has made it incredibly difficult to translate the experience of resisting violent regimes to our communities, let alone to those who have never had the experience of being caught between oppressors. Few understand the terrible toll of grappling with such strategic and tactical questions, when an oppressed people have exhausted every possible peaceful option, only to be met with ever more state violence at every turn.
These are questions we have grappled with in our own movements for self-determination. In many such movements, we have asked: what constitutes proportional response to oppression? What is justified violence? Who on the international stage can offer us material rather than symbolic support? Even when some in our movements pursued tactics that some of us disagreed with, we refuse to accept that they delegitimize the entirety of our movements—instead, we struggle through the contradictions and manifest the movements that we want to see.
We call on those in our communities to be in solidarity with Palestine—to reject a shallow perfunctory politics that does not uphold nor affirm the humanity of the Palestinian people, and to embrace truly liberatory politics that recognizes the shared fates and humanity of all fighting against oppression. From this essential solidarity, we call on those in our communities to bring our knowledge of Chinese collaboration with Israel, such as Chinese investments, technology, and trade support. We encourage our communities to use this information to support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign and identify more ways to interrupt the supply chains that support Israeli apartheid. Words are free. Actions are felt.
From the river to the sea!
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians; without the resolution of conflicts in East Timor, the Sudan and other parts of the world.” —Nelson Mandela, Address by President Nelson Mandela at International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People, Pretoria, 4 December 1997.
Revolutionary Communists in China: Oppose Israel’s repression and war! Solidarity with Palestinians!
November 15 — The year of 2023 has seen an escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Israel has continuously engaged in conflicts with Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, leading to a full-scale war on October 7, 2023. This war, initiated by Israel, has resulted in brutal and inhumane actions against civilians, causing over ten thousand deaths in the Gaza Strip. We strongly condemn Israel’s war against the Palestinian people and stand in solidarity with them.
While the direct trigger for this war was Hamas’ armed attacks on Israel, the root causes lie in the British colonial period, which fostered Zionist movements to suppress anti-colonial movements among Palestinians. Subsequently, since Israel’s establishment in 1948, continuous oppression of the Palestinian people has been evident. Israel has established settlements throughout Palestine, displaced Arab residents, targeted Palestinian resistance (even peaceful ones), launched wars against Palestine, and implemented policies of racial segregation. These measures have forced many Palestinians to leave their homes, resulting in the displacement of a significant portion of the Palestinian population to other countries. Israel’s policies of racial segregation have led to massive poverty and hindered economic and social progress in Palestine. The prolonged oppression has led to armed resistance by the Palestinian people. We support the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israel’s settler colonialism and racist regime.
However, supporting the Palestinian people’s resistance against Israel does not mean endorsing Hamas. We oppose Israel and Western imperialist governments’ use of “terrorism” to attack Hamas. Nevertheless, we recognize Hamas as an ultra-right-wing obscurantist organisation that promotes corrupt, anti-working class and gender-oppressive policies in Gaza. While they actively resist Israel’s invasion, their indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians and adherence to Islamic fundamentalism hinder the cause of Palestinian liberation. We also do not support the Palestinian Liberation Organization (Fatah), as the Fatah regime, accepting the Oslo Accords, has become a puppet regime fostered by Israel in Palestine, extending a “peaceful” hand to Israel while wielding an oppressive fist against the Palestinian people.
Imperialist governments such as the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany hypocritically claim “humanitarianism” while steadfastly endorsing Israel’s colonial rule. They shift the main responsibility for this war onto the shoulder of Palestine and Hamas, allowing Israel’s unrestricted bombing of Gaza, making them among the main creators of the humanitarian crisis in Palestine. Their involvement in Palestine aims to maintain their imperialist hegemony in the Middle East. They now restrict their own countries’ freedom and democratic rights under the guise of “opposing anti-Semitism” to support Israel. China and Russia ostensibly support Palestine, not wanting the Middle East to be entirely controlled by Western imperialism, which could affect their regional hegemonic expansion. However, under monopolistic capitalist systems, China no longer supports Palestinian liberation. By recognizing the 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine, the Chinese government essentially acknowledges Israel’s colonisation of Palestine as legitimate. As long as colonisation and occupation continue, there can be no lasting peace in Palestine. Therefore, China’s proposed “peace between Israel and Palestine” is immensely hypocritical, aiming for regional stability to better export capital to Palestine and other Middle Eastern countries and develop capitalist economic and trade relations with Israel. Hence, relying on any imperialist power will not achieve the liberation of the Palestinian people or bring peace to Palestine. The struggle of the Palestinian people must reject and oppose any reliance on imperialist forces. Additionally, we support movements worldwide opposing Israel and advocating for the Palestinian people, aligning with struggles defending and asserting countries’ freedom and democratic rights, fighting against racism, and promoting the workers’ anti-war movement.
Many reactionary forces, including conservative liberals in China, praise Israel as a representative of civilization and peace, using Islamophobia to label Palestinian Arabs as “terrorists.” This is a complete distortion. Zionism sacrifices the interests of indigenous Palestinians to establish a racist Jewish state of settlers. While many Chinese nationalists superficially support Palestine, they are, in essence, aligning with the geopolitical interests of China and Russia. Some even espouse anti-Semitism, sympathising with Hitler’s extermination of Jews. Oppression should never justify creating more oppression. We oppose all forms of racism, not just against specific races and ethnicities.
For over seventy years, the Palestinian people have suffered from Israeli oppression backed by world imperialism. However, this time, we have witnessed Arabian ruling classes’ betrayal of the Palestinian people: the Egyptian government collaborating with Israel to construct walls around Gaza, Syria and Jordan suppressing Palestinian refugees and dissenters, Iran primarily concerned with fostering Hamas to expand its influence in Palestine, and Lebanon suppressing leftist organisations among Palestinian refugees. Relying solely on local Palestinian efforts is insufficient to end Israel’s colonialism and apartheid. The Palestinian people need support from mass movements in the Middle East and across the world. The wave of revolt against reactionary forces in West Asia and North Africa, as well as the Iranian theocracy, will pave the way for the autonomous resistance of the Palestinian people. The cause of Palestine’s liberation is the cause of the working class and the oppressed people around the world.
The workers’ struggles in the Middle East, together with the Palestinian refugees residing in various countries, often intertwines. Such resistance shall by no means choose sides among different imperialist or regional powers, but rely on struggles waged by working class self-organisation independently with the end of the collective defeat of all imperialist powers. Various self-organised grassroot committees in the Syrian revolution, people’s representative assemblies in Algeria’s popular movement, labour movements in Tunisia, feminist protests and workers’ strikes in Iran, the Sudanese Professional Association representing the struggle of the working class against military dictatorship in Sudan, all of them serve as a necessary starting point for future struggles that will eventually dismantle the power of bourgeois states in the Middle East, end the basis for Israel’s Zionism, and facilitate the establishment of a multi-ethnic, equal, democratic, secular and socialist Palestine, encompassing Arabs, Jews and others. To achieve the Palestinian liberation and prevent the fruits of struggle from being exploited by reactionary forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas, we argue for the establishment of revolutionary labour parties in the region and beyond.
We hereby propose the following demands:
End the Zionist rule of Israel!
Down with colonialism and racism!
Oppose imperialist forces’ interference in Palestine!
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
Strive for the establishment of a secular, ethnically equal, democratic and socialist Palestinian state!
Workers and people in West Asia and North Africa unite!
A group of Revolutionary Communists in China