October 31, 2023
From In Defense Of Communism

By Dimitris Koutsoumbas*

Israel’s ground offensive on the Gaza Strip will trigger a general conflagration
in the region, and more generally, on a global scale. This issue was
rightly addressed by the recent plenary meeting of the CC of the KKE.
The CC reaffirmed the public positions of the Party, as they were
reflected in press releases of the Press Office, in the interventions of
its MPs in the Greek and the European Parliaments, as well as its
actions in the mass movement.

Α. The regional and international powers–capitalist states involved in the conflict in the Middle East 

They can be roughly grouped into the following categories:

FIRST: The open
supporters of Israel: Mainly the USA, Great Britain, the leading powers
and in general the NATO members except Turkey, the leading powers of the
EU (France, Germany) and in general the EU member states, in varying
degrees (e.g. the reaction of Spain, Denmark and Luxembourg to the
initial statement on economic sanctions against the Palestinian
Authority). The Greek government seeks to play a key role for the region
in this Euro-Atlantic bloc.

SECOND: Powerful
capitalist states of the emerging Eurasian bloc, mainly Russia and
China, which are adopting a cautious stance, leaning towards supporting
Palestine for an independent Palestinian state, with initiatives for a
diplomatic solution and an end to the war, while promoting their own
economic and geopolitical interests in the region.

THIRD: Several powerful
states – forces in the region in rapprochement with Israel or the USA,
including some traditional allies of the “West”, who oppose Israel’s
aggression and support the Palestinians because they are Arabs and
Muslims, and because their interests at this stage coincide with or
contradict those of others.

Such is the case with Saudi Arabia,
which has broken off relations with Israel, in which the US had invested
heavily. In fact, according to one interpretation of the developments,
Hamas’ attack on Israel had precisely this aim and served not only a
section of the Palestinians who consider that this restoration of
relations betrays their struggle, but also quarters in Saudi Arabia and
Israel that do not agree with this development, as well as the interests
of third parties, such as those opposed to the IMEC corridor, like

This is the case with Turkey, which is
raising the possibility of freezing the normalization of relations with
Israel and the plan to transport Israeli gas to Europe through Turkey; a
plan that would objectively reduce the role of the Russian Gazprom,
which already sends more than 40 billion cubic metres a day to the EU.

The same goes for Egypt, which will
receive the bulk of the Palestinian refugees in the event that Israel
plans to uproot them en masse from Gaza, as Netanyahu has implied in his
statements. This event is worrying the Egyptian bourgeoisie, which has
outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, which is linked to Hamas.

Even the United Arab Emirates, close
allies of Israel and the US, for the first time since the beginning of
the war publicly took an anti-Israeli stance after Israel’s deadly and
inhumane attack on the hospital in Gaza.

FOURTH: Finally, a
number of states in the region, probably already more actively and
openly involved than all the others, which support and help the
Palestinian resistance as they are in constant conflict with Israel.

Such is the case with Iran which,
although it declares that it has nothing to do with the attack in
question, welcomes it and does not exclude neither the possibility that
it helped “unofficially” in the preparation of the attack nor its direct
involvement in the event of a generalization of the conflict.

The same applies to Lebanon, whose
territory is also occupied by Israel. Lebanese Hezbollah, which has
close ties with Iran, has so far engaged in small-scale hostilities with
Israel in northern Israel. There is a possibility of its involvement in
the event of a generalized conflict.

Likewise with Syria, whose territory is
also occupied by Israel. On the eve of the events, a drone hit a
military graduation ceremony in the city of Homs, killing around 100

Β. The likelihood of military conflicts and operations expanding is very high due to a number of factors

Among these factors, the following stand out:

  • The various open fronts in the region–powder keg, such as the
    conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, or here in the Balkans, between
    Serbia and Kosovo. For example, the forced displacement of the
    Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh (with the consent of Russia and Iran) is
    a development that may lead to the opening of a new, crucial trade
    route between China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Tu These developments
    have led to an increased role of Turkey in the region, while its
    bourgeoisie is negotiating with the US, China and Russia at the same
    time. The USA supports it in the Caucasus and Central Asia as long as it
    limits the Russian influence. We are also witnessing Israel’s support
    for Azerbaijan and the strengthening of their relations, which worries
  • The chain reactions that will be provoked if a second front is
    opened in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah, given the build-up of
    many powerful military forces, such as the two US aircraft carriers.
  • This development comes at a time when the war in Ukraine is
    consolidating and escalating; when the so-called Abraham Accords
    (normalization of Israel’s relations with Arab countries without a
    solution to the Palestinian question) are underway. The USA places great
    importance to these agreements, which not only strengthen Israel’s
    position as its traditional geopolitical support in the region, but are
    also linked to its broader plans in the race with China, in the conflict
    for market shares in the Middle East and Europe (e.g. the IMEC corridor
    crossing the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel, which is a rival to the
    Chinese Belt and Road Initiative).
  • The intensification of the contradictions caused and triggered by
    the intervention in Gaza, such as the decisions of Saudi Arabia, the
    pressure of refugees on Egypt and possibly on other countries in the
    region, and so on. In addition, we see a wider region being Turkey is
    launching operations against the Kurds and is in conflict with the USA
    in Syria. Syria was hit (in the city of Homs, with 100 casualties) after
    the trade route for Chinese goods through Russia was blocked.
  • Moreover, we must not lose sight of the fact that this direction
    towards the expansion of conflicts is being promoted as an outlet for
    the over-accumulated capital. This applies to the war industry, the
    reconstruction plans after destruction, the energy war, the redivision
    of markets and the transport routes for goods, capital, etc.
  1. Greece’s involvement in the military conflict in the region is increasing

As regards the Greek people and the
consequences for our country, we take into account that apart from the
already great military involvement of Greece, under the responsibility
of the New Democracy government and with the support of all the
bourgeois opposition parties —an involvement that is also concretely
expressed, together with the political and diplomatic support of
Netanyahu and the murderous state of Israel as a whole, and with the
dispatch of frigates, e.g. the frigate “Psara”, with the utilization of
all the US bases in the country, etc.— there will be developments within
the country in the course of time. Such developments may include:

  • The further aggravation of the refugee problem.
  • The high prices , also due to the increase in the price of energy, etc.
  • The so-called unconventional warfare, for which the bourgeois state
    and the government are already taking measures after the meeting of the
    Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence, with the guarding of
    targets, intensified patrols, etc.
  • The ongoing military cooperation with Israel, including cooperation
    in the construction of military systems, and, in particular, the
    promotion of the anti-missile shield that Greece is discussing with
    France and Israel, following the visit of the Chief of the General Staff
    to Israel in the summer and the presentation of the system there, which
    of course, Hamas managed to breach on the first day of the conflict, as
    all the media reported.

This also concerns the deeper
involvement of Greece in the economic–energy war, for example the
relationship between Israel and the Greek war industry, the ports and
the transfer of Israeli LNG as a future project, the transfer of
electricity, etc.

It certainly also concerns the
consequences of the war, for example on oil and gas prices, higher food
prices, tourism, the further aggravation of many problems that the
people face.

The possibility of a sudden sharpening
of the class struggle requires an enhancement of our political guidance
efforts for the ideological, political and organizational readiness and
action of our forces.

In any case, readiness will be achieved
with an apt and continuous ideological–political intervention and with a
plan of its escalation within the workers’–people’s movement.

  1. An apt ideological–political intervention means a direct
    response to the various ideological constructs invented by the
    propaganda of the imperialist war

In this period, since the Hamas attack,
various ideological constructs and dangerous generalizations have
appeared that need to be answered. The members and friends of the Party
have to be well-equipped because they are forced to face them on a daily
basis. We certainly need to monitor the development of these
ideological constructs.

Some of the prevalent ones are the following:

  • The identification of Hamas with the Taliban and the total rejection of the struggle of the Palestinian people.

This position, which is often used by
SYRIZA cadres to justify their alignment with the US-NATO and to equate
the victim with the perpetrator, generalizes all “Islamic movements” on a
religious basis and detaches them from any kind of social, class,
political, cultural and historical basis and approach.

Thus, for example, it silences the fact
that Hamas aims at the liberation of the Palestinian territories, that
in its early years it represented the middle strata of Palestine and
that its massive growth was a consequence of the chronic ineffectiveness
of the struggle of the “secularists”, the anti-occupation and social
struggle of the Palestinian people. Its emergence (in 1987) and its
strengthening were and are linked to the overthrow of socialism. It
developed along the way and now expresses a section of the Palestinian
bourgeoisie that believes that the creation of the Palestinian state
must have as a key component the establishment of a strong national
army. By contrast, the origin and course of the reactionary Taliban
“movement” is well-known and it is no coincidence that the USA left it a
huge arsenal of weapons when it withdrew from Afghanistan.

  • They also say that a war of civilizations is being waged,
    that we are witnessing a clash between the Christian–Jewish civilization
    and the Muslim civilization.

This view argues that developments are
determined not by class struggle but by the clash of civilizations. It
defines the culture of a people as “quality”, determined by history,
language, customs and, above all, religion.

  • Others say that our national interests demand that we support for Israel at all costs.

This is exploited by all the bourgeois
parties, which support Greece’s strategic alliance with the USA and
Israel, claiming that “national interests dictate it”. However, they
conceal that these “national interests” have a class character in the
class society and, in this case, they serve the bourgeoisie, its
interests and aspirations, and lead our people to dangerous paths.

  • Another view that is being peddled is that “an
    anti-imperialist axis is being created between Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah,
    China and Russia, which we should perhaps support against the USA”.

It is mainly promoted by various
opportunist quarters. They claim that there are “anti-imperialist” and
“anti-fascist” capitalist forces, hiding the objective fact that these
are all capitalist forces with their own interests and aspirations,
playing geopolitical games to the detriment of the Palestinian people
and other peoples of the region. Of course, this does not mean that it
is not legitimate for the Palestinians, for example, to seek
international alliances with those capitalist states and power blocs
that adopt the position for an independent Palestinian state, for an end
to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, etc. But this
is as far as it goes.

We stress this because our correct
analysis of what imperialism, i.e. monopoly capitalism, is, cannot be
interpreted in a one-sided way, leading to a reflection on whether
bourgeois states, such as Palestine, should seek international allies at
the political–diplomatic level that would strengthen, even if only
occasionally, their anti-occupation struggle for the establishment of a
free, independent state.

And this has to do with questions that
may be raised today, albeit in a limited way, such as why we support one
side (the Palestinians) when both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas
represent sections of the Palestinian bourgeoisie and their regional and
international allies also represent bourgeois interests in their
countries. Rizospastis and other party means are successfully dealing
with these contrived notions on a daily basis.

Such issues have been raised in relevant
articles in Rizospastis and KOMEP (Communist Review) and we must recall
the argumentation that refutes all these views and ideological
constructs. Historical ignorance and inexperience have a negative effect
on the people, especially the youth. This is an issue that needs to be
addressed by providing the necessary information and data to understand
the Palestinian issue and the way it is developing, as well as in
connection with the Kurdish issue, etc.

Ε. The intensified
ideological–political preparation and counter-attack requires continuous
mass action and broader work within the workers’– people’s movement and
especially the youth movement.

It is necessary to open the discussion
in all workplaces, sectors, trade unions, universities, schools,
neighbourhoods of big cities, towns and villages in the countryside. We
attach importance to the stance of Greece and what the Greek people
should do in the face of this military conflict.

We express our solidarity with the
Palestinian people because the State of Israel and its government have
been murdering them for decades, resulting in thousands of deaths, a
real genocide, the occupation of Palestinian territories, apartheid and
blockades, as in Gaza, imprisonment, torture and so much more.

At the same time, we express our
solidarity with the Israeli people, who are also suffering under the
State of Israel and the reactionary Netanyahu government, which is
constantly dragging them into military conflicts, into massacres against
neighbouring peoples and thus making them victims of a general barbaric

The content of the demands and slogans can be summarized as follows:

  • We emphasize the right of the Palestinian people to a free and
    independent Palestine on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its
  • We demand the return of all Palestinian refugees to their homes, on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions.
  • We demand the immediate release of all Palestinian and other political prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
  • We demand that the frigate “Psara” be withdrawn from the region and
    not be replaced by another warship, and that all aid to the US and
    Israel be stopped.
  • We demand that all economic–political–military cooperation with the
    murderous state of Israel be stopped and that the recognition of the
    Palestinian state, based on the unanimous decision of the Greek
    Parliament, be proceeded.

In particular, we have to inform the
Greek people and the youth even more broadly that a geopolitical “chess
game” is being played to the detriment of the Palestinian people, which
may lead to a generalization of the war, is clearly linked to the
efforts of the bourgeois classes of the region to enhance their position
in the imperialist pyramid and may be or is already linked to the great
inter-imperialist conflict for supremacy in the imperialist system.

In this context, it is necessary to
organize mass rallies, protests, solidarity concerts, etc. The dynamics
of the struggles and mobilizations should evolve according to the
development of events.

We must respond to the request of the
Palestinian embassy to collect food, clothes, basic essentials,
medicines, etc and to put pressure on those in charge to ensure the
means of transport to their destination.

Finally, it is necessary today to make a
more decisive contribution to the coordination of the forces of the
communist and workers’ movement internationally.

To sum up and conclude, as the CC
pointed out in its last plenary meeting, we have to put the entire Party
and KNE on constant alert and vigilance, monitoring all developments
and intervening politically in them.

* General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, Published in “Rizospastis” on 21-22 October


Source: Idcommunism.com