As Israel’s far-right government undertakes the annexation process of West Bank settlements and interconnecting roads as well the Jordan Valley, the Turkish Communist website SoL News interviewed representatives of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), regarding Israel’s intentions, and the struggles of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples against them.
SoL: We can say that in Turkey, the Palestinian people, along with the Cubans, have historically been one of two nations that have received the support and sympathy of the immense majority of the population. Thus, a friendly sentiment towards the Palestinian cause prevails in Turkey, but it sometimes results in apathy to the daily developments in the region. However, today, we face a dire, hardly-reversible danger. Can you explain what is at stake? What is Israel’s intention, and what is the legal framework it requires?
Israel’s continuous occupation regime intends to commit more violations of international law as it intends to annex the Palestinian Territories occupied in 1967. Israel continues to choose war instead of peace, and occupation over employment, education and welfare. It is not only committing a crime against the Palestinians but also against its own citizens.
The recent “Deal of the Century” is an exact expression of Israel’s policy in the region and what it truly intends towards the rights of the Palestinians and is proof of US imperialism in the region. Israel aims at liquidating the Palestinians’ just demand for an independent state on merely 22% of historical Palestine, by changing facts on the ground and creating an irreversible reality. Taking into account that Israel has never constitutionally adopted borders, this proves that the entire Zionist project relies on occupying all surrounding lands, and controlling their resources and wealth.
Therefore, Israel has no legal framework to implement its intentions other than its own will and the support of the US Administration. This is why it is important for the world to express its opinion against these plans.
SoL: It is indeed an unprecedented move from the side of the Israeli state if they dare to take this step. What is the plan of action of Israeli and Palestinian progressive forces to face this threat?
In the West Bank, Palestinian progressive and national forces will intensify the popular resistance against Israeli occupation and especially settlers who attack Palestinian villages, especially after the Israel implements its plan to take control of more than 30% of West Bank including virtually the entire Jordan valley with the support of US administration. However, we believe that after the recent developments in the US, the people’s struggle will get a new impetus.
In Israel, we need to influence the Israeli public opinion to comprehend the inevitable escalation that this act will bring, probably a third Intifada and a return to where things stood 30 years ago, before the Oslo accords – of which Israel systematically undermined one article after the other.
The CPI initiated the mass demonstration in Tel Aviv that took place last Saturday evening, June 6, in which over 30 Israeli organizations participated under the banner “Against the Occupation and Annexation and for Peace and Democracy.” In the past weeks leading up to the demonstration the authorities imposed more restrictions on us on a daily basis, purportedly to adhere to “health protection regulations.” We respect and intend to keep these regulations, but we believe that the authorities were motivated by fear of such a demonstration and its demands, to say nothing about our position towards the occupation, the struggle against which is much more dangerous and acute. We will hold consultations and coordinate together and with our fraternal parties on escalating the struggle against the Israeli and US plans in the region. In Israel, the CPI acts and mobilizes against Israel’s internal and external policies – and works to broaden the struggle to end the occupation. We need to influence and change public opinion in Israel.
SoL: We know that a joint declaration protesting the annexation agenda has been issued and signed by numerous communist and workers parties around the world, including the Communist Party of Turkey. How is the international solidarity towards Palestine significant? Does it help? What should people who sympathize with the struggle of the Palestinians do to help the cause?
The struggle of the Palestinian people has never stopped. Through all these years, this solidarity expressed by the Turkish people and all peoples of the world indicates that the international community sees and acknowledges the Israeli occupation; it means that they recognize the refugee issue, and it means that they see that Israel has to be internationally condemned for its practices and policies and for refusing peace and stability. This acknowledgement is crucial for the Palestinians as it supplies the energy and support to continue resisting occupation and demanding independence. Peoples supporting the Palestinians can help by mobilizing for this cause and by influencing their governments to act against the annexation. More importantly, the main demand is to end the Israeli occupation and the siege on Gaza, as well as pushing the international community to secure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and implementing the international resolutions guaranteeing refugees’ return.
For the Arab and Jewish comrades in the CPI, international solidarity with the forces resisting the increasing fascism of the Israeli right-wing, which is becoming part of the mainstream, is important.
The international community’s recognizing of the Palestinian state (under occupation with known borders and a capital) and insisting on the implementation of the UN resolutions related to the Palestinian issue in general and placing pressure on Israel to stop behaving as if it is above international law by implementing sanctions against it and making it pay for its crimes will be very important to stop this violation by the Israeli side.
SoL: It seems to be no coincidence that the timing of this vicious attack by the Netanyahu government has coincided with the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus; as if they’re praying that the world will be too preoccupied to notice what a reckless endeavor is taking place in Palestine. Still, we would like to take advantage of the interview to ask: How has the pandemic affected the Palestinian and Israeli populations?
It will be very difficult for Palestine after this pandemic, as the whole world will be in economic difficulties and not able to help; workers will pay the price, unemployment and poverty will increase; if the Palestinian Authority will not be able to pay salaries, there will be an economical disaster. In addition, if the current political situation in the world will not be able to stop Israel’s plans, other conflicts and sanctions by imperialist forces will contribute to the destabilization of the region with a grave potential for new wars.
In Israel, the economic and social implications are disastrous to the working class and mainly to women, young and older workers. We expect new taxes to be imposed at the expense of the poor and marginalized, in order to fund the financial aid to the capitalists and big companies, who were not harmed, if at all, while the workers were forced to go on unpaid leave for weeks and now face the threat of continuing unemployment. Entire families, in the OPT and Israel, are being driven beneath the poverty line, with no proper support or solutions. We cannot say that the spread of the virus did not help the corrupt Netanyahu to retain power and control the circumstances of forming the current government. And we can say with almost certainty that ending the occupation and reaching a peaceful solution of the conflict, especially the two state solution, is now in danger, after the annexation declaration. And the only means of overcoming this is via the popular struggle and international solidarity with this just cause.