October 23, 2023, Editorial of the Workplace Newsletters of the Etincelle fraction of the NPA, Translated from French
For 75 years, the people of Gaza have been deprived of land, and since October 9 deprived additionally of water, electricity and gas. White phosphorus bombs, collapsed buildings, destruction of hospitals and places of worship, exodus… are now their daily lot.
Macron hoped to stifle any expression of solidarity with them. But demonstrations still took place, and following the stubborn battle waged by several Palestine solidarity collectives and labor movement organizations, including the NPA, the courts had to overturn Darmanin’s bans on demonstrations. On Sunday 22nd, a rally in Paris brought together between 15,000 and 30,000 people. We shall be even more numerous in future rallies!
In Cairo, Algiers and New York, tens of thousands of Muslims, Christians, Jews and atheists are mobilizing against the carnage being inflicted on the Palestinian people. In Egypt, the dictator Al-Sissi (decorated with the Legion of Honor by Macron), an ally of Israel and enemy of the Palestinians, who refuses to budge and open the Rafah border to Palestinians, had to authorize the first demonstration, he who had banned them all since 2013. During this demonstration, the Egyptian working classes were able to express their support for their Palestinian sisters and brothers. The same indignation led hundreds of American Jews to occupy the Capitol in Washington and confront the police to denounce the crimes committed in their name, by the Zionist state.
Who’s terrorizing whom?
In France, the government is not only seizing on the conflict to reaffirm its support for its imperialist ally in the region; it is accentuating its authoritarian course. Rallies in solidarity with the Palestinians have been banned, on the grounds that they are tantamount to support for Hamas. In the North of France, a CGT leaflet that spoke of the “horrors of the illegal occupation” by the state of Israel was equated with an apology for terrorism, and this led to the CGT departmental secretary being arrested and taken into police custody!
“Terrorism”: today, this word is used to silence us on Palestine. But Macron wants to restrict freedom of expression in general and silence all dissent.
Yet terror is their weapon, not ours. The Israeli government invites the population of Gaza to flee the north of a 35-kilometer strip of land, and bombs the south. And when the French or American imperialists justify their support for Netanyahu on the pretext of Hamas terrorism (an obscurantist organization that in no way represents the interests of the Palestinian people), it is to mask the state terrorism that Israel carries out with its enormous military resources.
But what about us?
In the face of all this, what can we workers do? First of all, collectively denounce this massacre. Our individual malaise will become a force if we band together, internationally. The Palestinians cannot count on any capitalist state, be it in the Middle East or the West. The overwhelming majority of the Palestinian population is working class. Some are laborers, working in Israeli factories alongside Jewish and Arab Israeli workers, and immigrant workers from Asia and West Africa, who are also subjected to exploitation by their employers. Their fate echoes in the minds of workers in Algeria, Lebanon and so many other countries. “Workers have no homeland,” wrote Marx and Engels in 1848, the authors of the Communist Manifesto… And the Palestinians even less than the others. Nothing would frighten the ruling classes more than the union of the exploited, whatever their religious convictions, language or nationality: only the social power of the working world can overthrow colonialism and oppression!