CP of Israel, Contribution to the Athens Meeting 21J2002
BUSH AND SHARON: MURDERERS OF NATIONS
First of all I would like to thank the comrades of the
Greek Communist Party for giving us the opportunity to meet
here once more and exchange views and concerns.
I want to express my objection to a phrase that was
repeated many times, that says that the United States or
even Israel use different criteria, judge by different
standards. I believe that this dictum presupposes that
imperialism has moral principles and that only on few
occasions do the imperialistic forces resort to immoral
This is not so.
Imperialism always operates based on sheer economic
criteria and has no moral principles. They easily shift
position to suit their interests.
Lately, and especially after September 11th, this has
become obvious. For example, who was it that brought the
Taliban to power and then overthrew them? The comrade from
Iraq spoke of the once close relationship between the Iraqi
regime and the United States. Despite this the United
States waged war on Iraq and its people.
Musharaf is in power in Pakistan through American support
but in the last crisis in Cashmere the United States backed
The USA saw that they had to impose certain equilibrium in
the area that would suit their interests.
We must not evaluate the situation with criteria that we
use on ourselves as communists. We have moral and human
values and principles.
As far as September 11th is concerned, we of course condemn
the murder of innocent people and the attacks that took
place in the United States. We believe those that were
killed, the Americans, were innocent but America itself is
The United States of America is the largest producer of
what causes terrorism in the world, of poverty, of
exploitation and imperialism over nations.
When these nations have no other way to confront this
exploitation some phenomena may appear in the fringe of the
struggle and fighting movements. We believe that the roots
and causes of terrorism, as well as the invisible ties that
link terrorism to Washington need to be investigated. This
means that the connection must be found between the areas
of poverty, the areas that are under occupation and the
centers of decision that profit from this situation.
We see that September 11th has created a new situation all
over the planet. This situation is however not entirely
new. The United States were never the dove of peace, the
guarantor of international legality and security.
The United States were always this way. After the events of
September 11th they simply found an excuse and took
advantage of it in order to establish their domination and
interests all over the world. In order to decrypt what
happened after September 11th we must first see what
The main characteristic of that period was first of all the
elimination of the so called communist threat with the
downfall of the Soviet Union. While the USSR still existed
there was a development of social movements in western
societies and the countries of the Third World or Southern
Countries posed masses of questions to the imperialists.
Then, after September 11th extremely important questions
were raised like, for example, the environmental issue.
Actions took place in Seattle, Genoa, Prague, Nice and
elsewhere that were not marginal actions by youth
organizations. On the contrary, they were the expression of
a growing phenomenon.
The United States could not deal with this situation in the
usual way, by hiding behind "the fair redistribution of
international wealth and the sharing of global rule".
There was more than that. There were also the
contradictions within the group of countries that acted
traditionally as satellites and allies of the United
States. This became more acute after the European Union was
completed. It is noteworthy that the European Union never
set itself forth as an alternative power to the United
States but rather as a an economic coalition of countries
that is larger than the United States both economically and
All this had caused serious unrest in the various
governments of the United States of the last few years.
That is why American Imperialism needed an enemy, like man
needs oxygen. And as we said, the United States create
their enemies. By their nature, by their structure as a
force of exploitation, a power of domination, as a power
whose interest it is to create and exploit markets.
There are traditional markets in the Third World that have
completely collapsed within the last few years. The example
I like to use most is Egypt, where the production of cotton
was a traditional trait of the economy. And yet nowadays
Egypt imports clothing and this is happening all over the
That is why we must decode the map not only of the events
after September 11th. We know what happened. Our comrade
from Ireland spoke of things that we can see. Of course we
see the bombing of Afghanistan, we see the bombing of
Ramala but what we don't see is the surveillance of
opposing forces. We don't see the political assassinations
in Latin America; we don't see the underhanded moves to
overthrow governments to achieve the signing of trade
All this is really happening. These are not just claims of
us communists for propaganda purposes. They are the
consequence of publicly proclaimed decisions that refer to
democratic freedom within the United States. We can
describe the period after September 11th in simple words
without political analysis. We can say that what happened
is that a man like Bush is today the commander of the
world. At the same time a man like Sharon who was a pariah
within the Israeli community itself and was condemned in
'83 as a war criminal for the slaughter of civilians at
Sabra and Satila and was a political outlaw is today a
gravitational pole of the political scene in Israel. Of
course Bush called him a man of peace.
How can this be happening? It can be happening only thanks
to the political climate that followed September 11th and
with the change of agenda that America imposed on the whole
We can see this happening on a smaller scale in Israel, in
the war that Sharon is waging against "terrorism", the
so-called terrorism of the Palestinian people, a people
struggling for freedom, for the right to independence. A
weaponless people that is facing the largest war machine in
the area and one of the largest in the world. All this is
suddenly being called terrorism.
What Israel is doing today against the Palestinian people,
what is happening within Israel itself in the economy and
the constitutional, structural section of the state is
being called a fight against terrorism. As an example we
have distributed among you a series of laws voted by KNESET
in the last 4 weeks. Laws that state that anyone who
supports any military action against Israel is forbidden
from being a candidate in any elections.
This means that every political movement in Israel that
defends the Palestinian people's right to freedom is now
We, of course, voted against these laws. We called it
"Israeli Apartheid", against the Palestinian people be it
within Israel or in the occupied Palestinian territories.
What else can we call this fence that Sharon is building
today? This separating wall may seem like a romantic idea.
In truth it creates a vast prison, a collective prison for
the whole Palestinian people.
Recently the Minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of
South Africa visited Ramala and discovered that the
Palestinian cannot use certain streets. When someone
compared the situation in Palestine, where a Palestinian
cannot exit his house and go in any direction he wishes, to
the situation in South Africa under the Apartheid rule, she
remembered how humiliating that was.
Now the wholesale ejection of the Palestinians is being
called "transfer". It is a term that appeared during Nazi
days. They also speak of genocide perpetrated by the
Palestinians. Have they no shame to use these words?
This wall, these concentration camps, what are they for? I
do not want to make any comparison with what happened
during the time of the Nazis. The Nazi crime is
unparalleled. There is no room here for demagogies. But the
victims of Nazism ought to be more sensitive and leave no
space whatsoever for such words and methods.
As far as the economy is concerned, the third budget cut is
taking place today, the third budget cut within five months
under the pretext of covering the needs of the war and the
loss of large capital. A few days ago a tax reform was
announced which comprises certain facilitations as well as
the imposition of new taxes. However, 80% of these
facilitations favor only 10% of the economical upper class
of Israel while 75% of taxes will affect the rest of the
citizens who are below or barely above the threshold of
poverty. There cannot be a just economical policy and, at
the same time, an unjust military policy. These things are
This is what is happening in Israel today. In what concerns
the new legal amendments but also in the economy, politics,
military matters, everywhere.
There are two special issues that concern the Arab
Palestinian community within Israel, that is to say those
that are Israeli citizens and not the Palestinians that are
in the occupied territories.
The first is that the government has reduced the social
security allowance for all minors. However this allowance
is 4% for those who serve in the military and 24% for those
who don't serve in Israel's army. Those are the
Palestinians, the Arabs. Israel refuses to enlist them in
the army because they do not trust them.
The second issue is the Israeli government's decision of
May 24th which is an utterly racist one. The decision was
that when an Israeli citizen, that has an Israeli ID card,
maries a non-Israeli he or she should automatically receive
the spouse's citizenship as well.
But a law was voted that says that this holds true for all
nationalities except if one of the two spouses is of
Palestinian origin. This is unheard of. These examples
clearly set off the racist mentality. It is evidence of the
21st century's apartheid which has been created in Israel
over several years and has escalated now under Sharon.
I could not close my speech without mentioning the Bush
message about the Middle East that never took place. Bush
wanted to speak of a Palestinian State. However when
President Mubarakh said "Yes, a Palestinian State, but on
42% of the territory on the western bank. Then negotiations
must be made within a certain timeframe based on the
resolutions of the United Nations and the borders of '67,
so that the Palestinian State will, in the end, comprise
all the territories of '67 as well as Gaza".
Bush only retained from president Mubarakh's words the
"42%", without the timeframe and the reference to
international legality and the resolutions of the United
Nations Organization. What Bush wants is to impose as a
final solution for the Palestinians everything that was
achieved thanks to the Oslo agreement, but without the
timeframe, without conditions and guarantees with no other
criteria or reference point.
We say that the American government wants to sell the same
product twice to the Palestinians. First in Oslo, when the
Palestinian authority was founded on 42% of the western
bank. Now the Americans want to call this same product a
state. A state that has, however, none of the elements that
would make it viable as a state: no sovereignty, no freedom
of movement, no natural resources or anything at all. That
is why when we spoke earlier of the separating wall that
Sharon is creating, we meant precisely this: That Sharon is
drawing the borders of the state that Bush was in favor of
in the message that he ultimately did not deliver.
The United States are attempting to show that they have the
magical solution for the Palestinian issue. This is not at
all true. The Palestinians did not, and still do not make
all these sacrifices to Bush's little state become real.
They want a fully independent state with sovereignty over
all the 1967 territories.
In closing I would like to present some suggestions.
Firstly, it is a good thing to describe international
reality but we also know that communist, labor, left-wing
and progressive parties are not able, at this time, to
confront and beat the United States in political
confrontation. We do have, however, the power to influence
the agendas in all countries, in our countries and all over
I believe that the analysis we are making here is useful
but we must not stop at that as a diagnosis of the
situation. It would be useful that such meetings result in
certain practical steps. I suggest, for example, that we
seriously discuss a Porto Allegre type of meeting. It was
an exceptionally important conference because it brought
together many powers, many currents that are disposed and
prepared to go onto the streets and openly oppose this new
order whether they are communists or not. It would be good
to give this matter the importance it deserves.
Secondly, the matter of international solidarity. I will
give you an example: When President Arafat was under siege
in Ramala, what ended the siege was the entry of the
activists, the internationalists into Arafat's
headquarters. This perplexed the Israeli leadership. Here
is an example we can put into our daily agenda. On the 28th
of this month there will be a human shield of activists
from Greece, Italy and France in Palestine.
Thirdly, we must see how the other forces that are somewhat
dormant can be activated. We, and those that agree with us,
need to start a worldwide campaign and appeal to the Hague
International Court of Law.
I myself submitted an appeal to this court last April so
that Sharon is tried as a war criminal. I propose we adopt
a plan of action to bring America to trial.
Furthermore, I suggest we make a solidarity march in
support of the approximately 5000 Palestinian prisoners,
and among others Marhuan Barghuti who is member of the
Palestinian parliament. His political status and asylum
have been breached. He is on trial as a terrorist. This is
unacceptable. We must mobilize in this direction also.
The same applies for comrade Mahlu who is the alternate
Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine. He is a political man, and also a prisoner.
We must begin such a campaign. Finally I propose we
establish and consolidate a cooperation and coordination
with the peace-loving forces of Israel. These powers crave
oxygen that we, and all of you, can offer them.
We must mention that for the first time during the
Arab-Israeli dispute, the Arab public opinion has come
forth as an important factor. So far it was the Arab
regimes that spoke, most of which are satellites and
puppets of the United States of America. But for the first
time we must build relations with the popular organizations
of the Arab world. I cannot speak of other countries but I
believe that comrades from other regions of the world will
mention either Africa or Latin America.
It is immediately necessary not only to analyze, not only
to evaluate but to undertake initiatives capable of
changing the program the Americans are trying to impose on
the whole world.
Thank you very much.