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Fight to End the Genocide in Gaza and the Repression of the Palestine Movement. For an Anti-Imperialist, Internationalist, and Revolutionary Movement of Young People and Workers!

On May 15, or Nakba Day, the youth of the Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International took part in mobilizations across the globe in protest of the “new Nakba” — Israel’s ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people which it perpetrates with the complicity of the imperialist states.

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Photo by Luigi Morris

In Arabic, “Nakba” means “catastrophe.” May 15, or Nakba Day, commemorates the process by which the state of Israel organized the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. On this day, the youth of the Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International issued a call to mobilize widely throughout the world. Today we are facing a new “Nakba.” Israel — with the complicity of the imperialist states — is perpetrating a genocide against the Palestinian people.

Since April, the Israeli army has been preparing an invasion of the city of Rafah in Palestine, provoking a severe humanitarian crisis as part of its genocidal plan against the Palestinian people. When the initial invasion of the city began, hundreds of universities around the world mobilized in protest. The United States, England, France, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Bangladesh, Australia, the Netherlands, as well as in the occupied West Bank — the international student movement mobilized in solidarity with Palestine and against the genocide and apartheid regime enforced by the state of Israel. 

The anti-imperialist mobilization of young people in recent weeks at Columbia University and at more than a hundred universities across the United States is an example of the radicalism and militancy that young people must embrace to stop the genocide and build a movement of solidarity in defense of the self-determination of the Palestinian people. 

With students like those at Columbia in the United States leading the way, thousands of young people across the world have occupied their universities and organized encampments, actions, and meetings to denounce the complicity of their governments in the genocide perpetrated in Gaza. They are demanding that their universities break economic ties with Israel, selling any shares they may have in Israeli companies and abandoning all financial relationships with Israel.

The youth sections that form part of the Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International in countries across the world support and have participated in all initiatives that serve to denounce the ongoing genocide in Gaza, the murderous policies of the Israeli state, and the complicity of the imperialist governments and their allies.

The protests against the genocide have been met with fierce repression at the universities. In the United States, France, and Germany, the police have been deployed to assault, arrest, and repress encampments and occupations. In the case of UCLA in California, this repression was aided by attacks by Zionist groups that lasted for hours. On campuses such as Columbia University, the Sorbonne, Sciences Po Paris, FU Berlin, or University of Amsterdam, the police violently repressed and arrested hundreds of students. Some universities have gone so far as to impose administrative sanctions against students, including suspensions and expulsions. The university authorities act in perfect complicity with the state. 

They persecute researchers and faculty members, such as Nancy Fraser, whose appointment was suspended by the University of Cologne in Germany in early April. This is an outrageous repression aimed at stifling both the possibility of any criticism of the state of Israel and the resurgence of an anti-imperialist student movement. By associating any criticism of the Israeli state as a form of antisemitism, the governments and university authorities insult the thousands of young Jews who are organizing today to reject the instrumentalization of their oppression by the Israeli State and Netanyahu’s government. They say “Not in our name.” With the repression of the pro-Palestinian movement, the capitalist media are waging an Islamophobic campaign that seeks to associate all Muslim and Palestinian students with antisemitism.

We refuse to normalize this offensive against our universities. It represents a serious authoritarian attack against the student movement. Young students and workers must be at the forefront of unity against repression worldwide to demand the withdrawal of all punitive measures and charges against students; we demand the reinstatement of all those suspended and expelled from their universities. Against all confidence in university administration, we fight for the organization of a student movement with total independence from the authorities, the state, and international bodies working on behalf of the capitalist states. 

We see the strength of the working class all over the world. The workers are the ones who can — with strikes, blockades, and other forms of sabotage — paralyze the shipment of armaments and other aid to Israel, as dock workers did in Tacoma in the United States and as workers in many other countries have done as well. General political strikes by the unions can paralyze the entire capitalist economy and stop the war machine. Therefore it is necessary that we — young students and workers — support the upcoming international union strikes and fight for a common anti-militarist movement.

We must show solidarity in the face of repression. In New York, professors at CUNY University mobilized against the repression of students and staff. In many universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia, Berlin, and Toulouse, professors joined together with students to denounce repression and demand an end to university administrations’ offensives on academic freedom; they are denouncing the criminalization of their students and colleagues. These examples show the way to fight against the criminalization of the Palestine solidarity movement. 

This repression, which today targets support for Palestine, is an attack against the right to protest and all our democratic rights. Today’s repression of the pro-Palestinian movement curtails our democratic rights by limiting the freedom of assembly and expression, in addition to dismissing workers and students on political grounds. These measures will also be used in the future against the labor movement, as in France, where union activists like Jean Paul Delescaut were condemned for having spoken out against the war crimes of the Israeli state or for having expressed solidarity with Palestine. More than ever, it is necessary that university faculty union leaders and all workers’ organizations demand an end to the repression and criminalization of the student movement.

Neither international law nor the UN will be the ones to stop the genocide in Gaza and greater trends toward war. International bourgeois organizations helped to create the State of Israel and have given political support to it. They have led numerous imperialist interventions in the Middle East that ensure the plunder of the region and to protect Israel. When necessary, they intervene militarily to defend their economic and geopolitical interests, as they did in Syria and Iraq. The youth’s struggle against the imperialist masacres and the solidarity with colonized nations during the wave of class struggle that began with May 1968 paved the way for a profound alliance between workers and students. 

We are fighting to reclaim this combative history and tradition of the student movement, based on self-organization and the possibility of building a massive movement against repression and the defense of an internationalist perspective in alliance with the labor movement. To defeat the politics of the imperialist powers and their accomplices, the encampments and other actions around the world should be bases of support to expand and strengthen the movement. When intimidation from the authorities and governments try to defeat our uprising, collective participation and deliberation is even more necessary. The different strategies to achieve this must also be discussed collectively. For us, it is necessary to organize the forces for a massive fight — led by and united with the working class — to confront the massacre in Gaza, which is supported by imperialist powers who ensure the oppression and subordination of countries across the world. 

76 years after the first Nakba, the struggle of the Palestinian people against colonization continues. We defend the Palestinian people’s right to national self-determination with total independence from the strategy of Hamas — both its program to construct a theocratic state and its methods that undermine the self-organization of the Palestinian people and the Arab working class against imperialist oppression. We fight for a workers’ and socialist Palestine, in the framework of a federation of socialist republics in the Middle East. Only a state that seeks to end the oppression, exploitation, and imperialist domination can guarantee the recovery of the territory of historic Palestine, the right to return of the Palestinian refugees, and democratic and peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews. 

The governments of the Arab bourgeoisies from the past and present have shown their inability to carry out these tasks. Today, sectors of the Arab bourgeoisie play a proactive role in the defense of the Israeli state and the oppression of the Palestinian people, like the military dictatorship of Sissi in Egypt, Assad’s regime in Syria, and king Abdalá II in Jordan — they are not allies in the fight for Palestinian liberation. This implies putting an end to all economic and political normalization processes as well as the relations between the Arab regimes and the State of Israel, as is being demanded by the masses in Egypt and Morocco. 

In that sense, while we stand against all sanctions imposed by the West on Iran and all imperialist meddling, we reject Iran’s autocratic and theocratic regime. This regime is deeply reactionary and particularly oppresses women — as we saw in the rebellions that followed the death of Mahsa Amini — and uses religion as a tool to maintain internal discipline, and to repress strikes and protests. Iran has done nothing other than instrumentalize the Palestinian cause for its regional interests, and is not an ally of the Palestinian masses. We consider that the mobilizations that have taken place in Arab countries since last October are a point of support to rebuild the perspective of an Arab youth and labor movement, revitalizing the traditions of struggle of the revolutionary waves that began in the 70s and continued with the Arab Spring. 

This May 15 we will be present to demand the end of the genocide in Gaza, as well as breaking of all research, academic, and economic associations with Israeli institutions, universities, and companies and all those who finance this genocide. We denounce the complicity of imperialist governments in the ongoing massacre and demand an end to arms shipments to the colonial state of Israel.

The specter of the revolutionary wave opened by the French May is reappearing. The student movement denounced the crimes of imperialism in Vietnam, Algeria, and other parts of the world; it shook the bourgeoisie, opening the way to one of the greatest revolutionary waves in history. Today, capitalism promises us a new wave of militarization and growing tensions that can only bring us death and misery. The construction of an anti-imperialist and internationalist youth movement is more necessary than ever. 

The genocide that is being carried out in Gaza is the most visible and violent face of the reality of a capitalist system that creates war and misery. The international movement of solidarity with Palestine can be the tip of a spear that leads to a deeper questioning of the entire imperialist capitalist system that subjects dependent and semi-colonial countries to militarization — from anti-immigrant policies the plundering of their wealth to the use of external debt and extractivism of resources and raw materials. 

We need to extend this solidarity movement being led by students from universities in the United States and Europe to the rest of the world — from the students in Chile who jumped the subway turnstiles against 30 years of neoliberal policies to the students in Argentina who are public education against the far-right and pro-Zionist president Javier Milei. In many of these countries, international solidarity with Palestine is part of a fight against their own governments, as well as against the imperialist countries that, through the IMF and other international funds, subject them to poverty and precariousness. In all the countries where we are active, the youth of the Trotskyist Fraction opposes the militarist and chauvinist turn that the imperialist bourgeoisies and their allies try to impose. We are fighting to build an internationalist, anti-imperialist, and revolutionary force that can be a part of a radical and profound change in society that breaks with capitalism. We invite all young people who want to build a socialist, revolutionary and internationalist movement against the brutality of the capitalist system to join us in this struggle.

Signatories: 

Le Poing Levé — France

Contracorriente — Spanish State

Faisca revolucionaria — Brasil

Waffen der Kritik — Germany

Juventud Anticapitalista — Mexico

Vencer — Chile

Juventud del PTS/En Clave Roja — Argentina

Juventud de la OSR — Costa Rica

Combate Rojo, Juventud de la LORCI — Bolivia

Juventud de la LTS — Venezuela

Revolutionäre Internationalistische Organisation (RIO) — Germany

Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas (PTS) — Argentina

Movimento Revolucionário de Trabalhadores (MRT) — Brazil

Liga Obrera Revolucionaria (LOR-CI) — Bolivia

Partido de Trabajadores Revolucionarios (PTR) — Chile

Organización Socialista Revolucionaria (OSR) — Costa Rica

Corriente Revolucionaria de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores (CRT) — Spanish State

Left Voice (LV) — United States

Révolution Permanente (RP) — France

Frazione Internazionalista Rivoluzionaria (FIR) — Italy

Movimiento de los Trabajadores Socialistas (MTS) — Mexico

Corriente Socialista de las y los Trabajadores (CST) — Peru

Corriente de Trabajadores Socialistas (CTS) — Uruguay

Liga de Trabajadores por el Socialismo (LTS) — Venezuela

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