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The Latest Butchery in the Middle East is Part of the March to Generalised War (Declaration of the Internationalist Communist Tendency, October 11 2023)

We support and endorse the ICT’s statement on the war in the Middle East, Israel and Palestine. We explain why in brief comments at the end of the comrades’ text. (the IGCL)

The unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas is due to closely intertwined domestic and international motives:

  1. The removal of Abu Mazen’s Palestinian National Authority (PNA), a corrupt and incompetent body which colludes with the Israeli state, and which is now highly discredited amongst the Palestinian population, giving Hamas exclusive leadership in the fight against the State of Israel.
  2. Undermining the path opened by the 2020 Abraham Accords, which sees (or saw) ongoing negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and where the PNA also participated. The Abraham Accords were between Sunni countries and Israel, and thus Hamas felt isolated, fearful of no longer receiving financial aid from Riyadh and Qatar. More generally, Hamas’s objective is to involve the Arab states in a sort of ’holy alliance’ against Israel: an Arab front (Egypt, Syria and Lebanon) in contrast with the pact between Israel and some Arab countries (the Emirates and Bahrain) with the prospect of including Saudi Arabia. Further, it is also important to note that an action of this weight hinges on Iran and the ayatollahs, i.e. an anti-European, anti-NATO and anti-American imperialist front. Which means throwing fuel on the fire of the war in Ukraine: everything is linked together in the carnage of war that both “Western” and “Eastern” imperialisms are waging.

Iran has every interest in making the region a theatre of war against Israel, both to weaken its number one enemy, and to force its historical allies (Russia, China and North Korea) to support Tehran in its regional strategy, even if this is unrealistic at present.

The Western media point the finger at jihadist barbarism, but ’forget’ or downplay the discrimination, oppression and violence perpetrated by the Israeli ruling class against the Palestinian proletariat, even when they are citizens of Israel. Recently the violence has increased under the influence of the more or less religious far right, a leading partner in the Netanyahu government.

Let’s not forget that Hamas was originally supported by Tel Aviv to counter Yasser Arafat’s Fatah and the ’left-wing’ armed formations of the PLO. As for the Taliban, as for ISIS — both ’sponsored’ in their time by the USA — the imperialist ’sorcerer’ has lost control of the ’monsters’ of its own creation which are now strengthening enemy ranks. The dog is now biting the hands of those who fed it.

The ruling class has always tried to divide and oppose the various segments of the working class along ’ethnic-national’ lines, a practice taken to extremes by Nazism. This is also true in the supposedly so ’democratic’ State of Israel, where the working class of Palestinian origin is oppressed, harassed and exploited in the most brutal and ’primitive’ forms — as happens to migrant workers throughout the world. The Gaza Strip is an open-air prison, which the Israeli state often deprives of water, electricity and gas, and where healthcare is extremely parlous: in short, where the vast majority of people are forced to suffer inhuman conditions of life.

However, even in Israel, there exists an Israeli working class, which the current war exposes even more to nationalist and warmongering intoxication, precisely as on the other side the Palestinian working class is injected with the ideological poison of Islamist propaganda, to the point of putting it in the hands of the imperialism of the ayatollahs.

Thus the working class on both sides is driven to massacre defenceless populations and allows itself to be massacred in order to wage a so-called ’holy war’ or defend a supposed ’democracy’, in reality for the interests of opposing bourgeoisies, who can perpetuate their domination only by the oppression, exploitation and blood of the proletariat. The fact that, historically, the number of Palestinians who died in Israeli repression and raids is much higher than that of the victims of the Islamist bourgeoisie – Hamas – does not make the latter less murderous or more excusable than the Israeli bourgeoisie.

Wars between the ruling class — nowadays that means capitalists — are always wars against wage workers: exploited, injured and killed as a matter of course in the workplace in peacetime; even more exploited and killed wholesale in wartime, when the conflicts between the bosses, their crises and economic interests, can only be resolved with weapons.

Every war reveals the true nature of political parties and trade unions which claim to be on the side of the working class. By lining up to support this or that capitalist faction in the name of the presumed right to self-determination of peoples, wars expose any illusion that social democracy stands for the working class. They do not understand, they cannot understand, that there have been no progressive wars of national liberation in the present epoch. Any possible new state would be just another prison for the working class, a tool to enable a faction of the world bourgeoisie to oppress its ’own’ proletariat, without sharing the fruit of that oppression with other factions of the world bourgeoisie. To obscenely rejoice over the massacres carried out by Hamas is to share the murderous logic of the Palestinian bourgeoisie, an attitude mirrored by those who deny the devastation created by the State of Israel: both are equally criminal.

Support for the deadly error of so-called national liberation struggles not only poisons the formations spawned by the degenerate Third International (Stalino-Maoism, Trotskyism, etc.), but also sectors of anarchism and even those who, falsely, claim to be internationalist. The war in Ukraine and, now, in Palestine-Israel is yet more proof of this.

In this context, the fundamental argument of class unity by all sectors of the working class — against the bourgeoisie, its states, its imperialist alignments — regardless of the ’national’ origin of its constituent parts, is even more valid. We are well aware that in a context like the Israeli-Palestinian one it is very difficult to carry this out. But there is no other way to avoid becoming cannon fodder for one or other faction of capitalism, whether ’democratic” or reactionary, secular or religious. All capitalists are equally mortal enemies of the working class, who should not shed one drop of blood for those who exploit them, much less for their national-imperialist objectives.

Accepting this viewpoint is the first fundamental step to beginning the fight against the wars of the capitalist class. We have to start with our “own” bosses, because the revolutionary principle that ’the main enemy is at home’ is always valid. This struggle has to begin in the workplace, where the exploitation that fuels the capitalist mode of production, and therefore bourgeois society, takes place. It is a struggle against both the open enemy — the bosses — and false friends, primarily trade unions and ’left’ political parties which confine workers’ struggles within the legal framework of the system, undermining them to the point of suffocating them.

In the same way, anyone who supports only Palestinian workers and ignores the Israeli working class, jumps from the frying pan into the fire. They think that the former clashing with the latter is not important because the latter is just a slave to the ultranationalist policy of its government. But the Palestinian working class, in its turn, is under the thumb of a bunch of capitalists who have no hesitation about siding with the imperialism of the ayatollahs: one of the most vicious set of rulers when dealing with internal opposition. Thus both sets of workers are trapped in the logic of capitalism, nationalism, and imperialism, where war is the only solution and not liberation from wage slavery.

After decades of capitalist attacks the world working class is still stunned, still struggling to raise its head, disoriented and confused by the material upheavals it has been hit with (restructuring, globalisation, precarity, etc.) and by the ideological blow felt by the collapse of state capitalism in the former USSR: the country which many deluded themselves into believing represented the socialist alternative to capitalism.

But the genuine alternative really does exist. Indeed, it is a vital alternative, given the dangers of localised wars developing into a generalised war which would destroy humanity or, equally, through a climate catastrophe which is already on the horizon.

Once the working masses shake off their fear and resignation and rediscover their own path of genuine class struggle, today’s small revolutionary vanguards will be in a position to grow and bond with the more combative and class conscious sectors of the proletariat, to forge the indispensable political instrument for overcoming this bloody and inhuman society: the party of the world revolution, the new communist International.

Communism or Barbarism!

Internationalist Communist Tendency, 11 October 2023

Why Do We Endorse and Reproduce the ICT’s Declaration?

There are two fundamental reasons for our special support and endorsement of the ICT declaration [1].

The first is that this is an internationalist class position to which we have little to add or clarify. We share the same position. And, more importantly, we are unequivocally on the same side of the class barricade with the ICT in the present moment and fight, and more broadly in the face of the historical alternative, international proletarian revolution or generalized imperialist war. In particular, this allows us to share with it the global understanding that the historical alternative and generalized imperialist war are already, as perspectives, active factors in the situation, as clearly and especially shown by the dynamics of polarization and imperialist exacerbation underway since the war in Ukraine. Under these conditions, it is highly significant and crucial that communist groups should, as far as possible, speak with a single voice in the face of the imperialist war underway, and denounce the responsibility of all bourgeoisies – those of the major powers, as well as those of Israel, the Arab countries and even Palestine, including Hamas – in the increasingly bloody and barbaric massacres of “civilians” - that is, for the most part, proletarians, “Israelis” and “Palestinians” – to which we are witnessing, stunned and, immediately, powerless.

The second is that the comrades’ statement makes it clear that the current war in the Middle East is not just another confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians. Indeed, the “conflict” has its own history and imperialist dynamics. Nevertheless, its scale, the killings and military means employed on both sides, on the one hand, and the imperialist positioning that the ongoing carnage is causing, on the other, are the product of and a factor in the push towards generalized war that the crisis of capital is imposing on all the ruling classes. The current war is only the second episode in the march to generalized war, after the war in Ukraine, which capitalism is seeking to impose on all humanity, and particularly on the international proletariat. The most characteristic phenomenon of this new dynamic since 2022 is the fact that the imperialist lines of fracture, opposition and polarization expressed in the face of the war in Ukraine are fundamentally the same for the war in the Middle East.

This understanding of the concrete dynamics of the drive towards generalized imperialist war is the prerequisite for grasping the scale and political – and economic - significance of the attacks that each bourgeoisie is launching and will continue to launch against each proletariat. And to be able to provide each of them, depending on the country, with the orientations and slogans that will enable them to offer the response, its response, to this avalanche of misery and slaughter that capitalism carries within it and which it can no longer contain or postpone over time. In this sense, the ICT declaration is not limited to presenting an internationalist position that is “right in itself” and “valid at all times and under all circumstances”, but provides the framework and basis for “articulating” the principle of proletarian internationalism into the reality of class struggle, a reality defined primarily by the march to war and its needs. This understanding, based on the revolutionary theory of the proletariat, on “Marxism”, enables and will enable communist groups to rise, really and concretely, to the vanguard and leadership of their class’s inevitable struggle against capital, its crisis and its wars.

The IGCL, October 12th 2023



[1. And they explain why, in our view, the ICC’s position (, while clearly internationalist “in itself” and “valid in all circumstances”, but which rejects any dynamic of imperialist polarization towards generalized war, is largely insufficient from the point of view of those who aspire to assume the political leadership of the struggles of our class.