November 15, 2011

Stop the war against Iran – before it begins

Communists in Israel say no war against Iran
Intervention in the 18th General Assembly of World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) by the Young Communist League of Israel (YCLI) 

Dear Comrades,

 The Young Communist League of Israel thanks the JCP for hosting this assembly.

Today's assembly convenes at a time of great political unrest in the Middle East region. There are increasing signs that the Israeli government is preparing a new war of aggression, this time – against the people of Iran. 

Last week, Israel conducted a test launch for a new long-range missile. The week before that – the Israeli air force conducted maneuvers with NATO armies, near Italy. The British Head of Military recently visited Israel, and the Israeli Minister of Defense visited Britain, with the question of an attack against Iran on the agenda.

 At a time where Imperialism and Zionism begin to beat the drums of war, the Young Communist League of Israel, based on our internationalist commitment to defend peace, calls out -

Stop the war against Iran, before it begins!
No to new wars of aggression against the peoples of the Middle East!

But the Israeli government prepares new provocations not only against the Iranian people, but also against the Arab peoples, most notably – the Palestinian people. Just recently, we've observed the happy occasion of Palestine's admittance as a full member of UNESCO.

The Israeli government responded to this, with a decision to construct 2000 new houses in its West Bank settlements. Thus, it is revealed that all the talk of the Israeli rightwing government, about "advancing peace", is but an empty talk.

The Israeli government claims to support a peace, but in fact – creates facts on the ground, which only deepen the occupation and deepen the oppression of the Palestinian people.

 In September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke in the UN General Assembly, and presented a realistic and just peace program. The Israeli government's response was to reject it, with the backing of US Imperialism. Israel also rejects the Arab Peace Initiative, promoted by the Arab League.

Therefore, we need not have illusions in the Israeli government's talk, nor have illusions in some intervention from the Imperialist powers. The United States government, the European Union, serve not the interests of the people.

They will not intervene in defense of the rights of the Palestinians, and we've witnessed this in the UN General Assembly in September. They are part of tripartite alliance of Imperialism, Zionism and Arab reactionaries, which works against peace, against social progress, against the rights of the peoples. The ending of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands, remains to be a job of the peoples of the region themselves.

And peace can be achieved. Not imperialist peace, based on the continued oppression of the peoples, but a peace based on respecting the national sovereignty of all peoples of the region:

 A peace which is based on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, alongside Israel, on all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital;

 A peace which is based on the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the dismantling of the Separation Wall;

 A peace which is based on the release of all Palestinian political prisoners, held in Israeli jails;

 A peace which is based on achieving a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees, according to UN resolution 194, which recognizes the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, which is an inalienable right.

Comrades, We must remember that Israel occupies not only Palestinian lands. We oppose the Israeli criminal occupation of Lebanese Shebaa farms, and support the patriotic and steadfast resistance of its people, especially the kind we've witnessed five years ago, when Israel invaded Lebanon.

 We support the struggle of the Syrian people to restore the national integrity of its homeland, and end the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights.

 We stand completely behind the Arab Spring, the popular revolutionary upheavals and demonstrations for democracy and social justice, we've witnessed in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and elsewhere.

 However, we unequivocally reject all Imperialist interference in the Arab countries, under the guise of "helping the Arab Spring". NATO bombings of Libya did not serve the interests of the Libyan people, but harmed it; In Syria, the interference of the United States and France did not serve the interests of the Syrian people, but harmed it.


 The Israeli government follows aggressive policies not only in its foreign policy, but also in its domestic policy. Harsh neo-liberal measures, privatization of public services, cut-backs in social spending – have all harmed the living conditions of the popular strata within Israel.

The recent global capitalist crisis made things worse, as the government tried to have the working people pay the price of the crisis. While the cost of living is on the rise, the wages remained stagnant.

Young people, working in precarious jobs, found themselves unable to make ends meet, as food becomes more expensive, as public transportation becomes more expensive, as housing becomes more expensive. 

Four months ago, these social tensions gave birth to a massive popular social protest movement, led by young people. This movement was able to mobilize Israelis in demonstrations in an unprecedented way. The movement, in which comrades from the Young Communist League of Israel have leadership roles, demanded a new social thinking, one that puts social justice on the fore, rather than the profits of a few ultra-rich.

At the height of the mobilization, on September 3rd, half a million of Israelis demonstrated at once – 300,000 thousands in Tel Aviv and 200,000 elsewhere throughout the country - which amounts to about 6% of the country's population.

These developments fill us with optimism and make us more resolute to continue struggling for the rights of the youth. The Young Communist League, basing itself on Marxism-Leninism, will continue struggling for revolutionary social transformations, for achieving Socialism, which is the only way to solve the social problems created by Capitalism.

The Young Communist League, the sole political youth movement in Israel which has both Jewish and Arab members, will continue struggling against racism, against discrimination, against nationalism and Zionism.

The Young Communist League of Israel is committed to fortify the World Federation of Democratic Youth as a consistent Anti-Imperialist youth organization. The role that WFDY fulfills in this respect is very unique, and most be preserved. There are many philanthropic and humanitarian international bodies. We don't need another one.

There are many youth forums that have a liberal perspective. We don't need another one. But there is only one world Anti-Imperialist youth organization, there is only one world youth organization that has a Socialist perspective, and that is WFDY. This is a legacy we, in the YCL of Israel, are determined to defend. 

Comrades, The Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, once wrote على هذه الارض ما يستحق الحياة "This land has in it what justifies life". Inspired by these words, and drawing from the overwhelming energy of the recent social protest movement, we in the YCL of Israel will continue to struggle for a better life on this land, for all.

Long Live International Solidarity!
Long Live WFDY!

Delivered by Uri Weltmann, member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Young Communist League of Israel (YCLI), Lisbon, Portugal, November 8th, 2011

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