A Statement by the Internationalist Socialist League (Israel/Occupied Palestine)
1. We, members of the Internationalist Socialist League, candidates for membership in the Balad party, wish to condemn sharply the arrest of MP Basel Ghattas, one of our party leaders. Firstly, we must note that Dr. Basel Ghattas was the only MP who signed, at the time, our petition calling the Austrian authorities not to prosecute the leader of our international organization, the “Revolutionary Communist International Tendency” (RCIT), Michael Probsting, for “sedition”. Now, that he himself is becoming a victim of political persecution at the hands of the Zionist establishment, it is an opportunity to publically thank him for that. Of course, even if he had refused to sign, it wouldn’t have changed a thing about our principled support for his immediate release.
2. The “terrible” crime allegedly committed by MP Ghattas, was the delivery of notes and cellphones while aiding the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners for the right to remain in contact with their families, a right which is effortlessly granted to the handful of Jewish fascist terrorists whom the Israeli authorities begrudgingly caught and jailed. It is not surprising at all that the first MP in the history of the Zionist state to be jailed even before trial would be a Palestinian-Arab. It is much less surprising that while MP Ghattas will not be celebrating Christmas with his family, Zionist right wing fascist MPs, who leaked top secret information to settlers who fight the Zionist Army or to the press, will be celebrating Hanukkah with their families, eating and drinking to fulfilment.
3. We wish to express our dissatisfaction with the comments and interviews given by the head of the Joint List, Ayman Odeh, to the Zionist media. As one who has continually expressed his wish to lead the local equivalent of the ANC that fought the South African Apartheid in his speeches, we would have expected of him to avoid sanctifying the Israeli law and acknowledge instead the basic right of a public representative among an oppressed nation, fighting against an Apartheid regime, to break the racist law in accordance with civil-disobedience, no matter the consequences.
We might have allies who tell us that we are Marxist extremists who exist on the fringes of the political arena in this country, but it is the bourgeois International Law which grants occupied nations the right to fight, arms in hands even, against the occupying armed forces. According to Ghattas, he wasn’t helping even in that, but acting in mere humanitarian capacity. Therefore, until Israel respects the laws that it is obligated to follow as a member of the United Nations, there is no moral or pragmatic basis to give any respect to the Zionist Apartheid laws.
4. This political persecution is clear to all who have their eyes tightly screwed into the front of their heads. Those who are not blinded by the Zionist establishment’s brainwashing, including the Zionist racist propaganda media, can see clearly that after the criminalization of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch did not result in a popular third Intifada, Balad is the one to go next. Political organizations who represent the Palestinian people and did not face such persecution should spend this period of time reflecting upon where they went wrong along the way and promptly fix their theory and action patterns. They should do this out of the acknowledgment of the fact that outlawing Balad indicates to the future of all the Parties that make up the Joint List and a bit further into the future – the Zionist leftist parties and movements.
5. This persecution is not random. It is being carried while the UN Security Council carries a resolution denouncing land theft and the settlements in the West Bank, despite the fact that A-Sisi’s regime in Egypt stabbed the Palestinians in the back. All the while, the BDS movement grows stronger and stronger convincing an increasing number of people, including Jews, to boycott one ofis the last vestiges of white colonialism and Apartheid in the world. Despite, or perhaps because of the rise of the populist right around the world, the leaders of the Zionist movement, on the left and the right, can smell the end of the Zionist project. For this reason they care to spend an enormous amount of resources in crushing any political element that represents even the slightest inkling of morality, freedom, justice and equality in Israel and abroad.
6. We ask, in such a day, of all the leaders of the Palestinian struggle for national liberation, and of the leadership of those Jews who support democracy and social justice, to reflect upon the way history would remember leaders such as Basel Ghattas, and how it would remember those whose hands tremble, whose feet stumble, whose tongue twists, whose teeth chatter while trying to speak truth to power.
SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!
7. We call upon all democratic forces and supporters of social justice to set up democratic action committees in order to organize demonstrations and express solidarity with Basel Ghattas and Balad:
Stop the political persecution of those who struggle against the oppression of the Palestinian people!
Free Basel Ghattas!
Free all Palestinian political prisoners!
Members of the Internationalist Socialist League