Racists Hands off MK Offer Kasif!

ISL, RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 11.02.2023

The State Attorney decided to issue an indictment against off MK Offer Kasif now awaiting the final decision of the legal advisor to the government, attorney Gali Beharev-Miara, who is expected to summon Kasif for a hearing before the indictment is filed.

The police, on the advice of Harv-Miara, decided to summon MK Kasif for questioning with a warning, for alleged assaulting a police officer in an incident that occurred during a demonstration held in the south of Hebron in the West Bank in May 2022, in which, according to the police, Kasif was recorded attacking a police officer with a punch in front of him. H. Kasif came to a demonstration in Safar Yatta against the intention to evict the Palestinian residents from their homes.

MK Kasif claimed that he did not attack the policeman at all. According to him, “The policemen repeatedly violated my immunity during the silent procession and prevented me from my free movement. He said to another police officer: ‘If he continues, I will not only arrest him, but shoot him.’ The same policeman refused to give me his name and even accused me of threatening to run him over. Once again, the police are lying to cover up their violence, omissions and crimes” [1]

Two days ago Kasif was taken down from the podium in the Knesset after he called for civil disobedience and called the government of Netanyahu fascists.

It should be noted that in an unusual and unscrupulous move, MK Kasif was taken down from the podium in the Knesset early yesterday morning after he called out in his speech to the citizens of Meri, as the opposition representatives in the Mishkan have done in the past. In his role as deputy speaker of the Knesset, he ordered the Knesset orderlies to take action. Happy at the interruption of his speech, MK Almog Cohen (Otzma Yehudit) the director of the plenum called Kasif “Kishta” and “Bara, Bara” in Arabic. Kasif said that it should be noted that the director of the plenum does not have the authority to interrupt a speech by a Knesset member who says things covered under freedom of speech.

This will not end with being forcibly removed from the plenum stage in violation of the law,” warned MK Kasif. “They will not rest until they silence every voice of protest and suppress every space for democracy; This is what a dictatorship looks like. A general strike is the tool that will stop the gallop to the denial of all our freedoms and this is what we will do next Monday, we will shut down the dictatorship; Marry my citizens now, before it’s too late” [2]

“MK Toma-Soliman (Hadash Ta’al) responded to Vettori’s steps and said: “Tonight another red line was crossed in the fascist rampage of the coalition. The decision to remove members of Ofer Kasif from the speech stage is a desire to silence a voice that opposes and voices a different opinion, a decision that is a violation of the Knesset’s own regulations.” [3]

While we as revolutionary Marxists defend the democratic right of Offer Kasif to freely express his views including his right to call this far right nationalist and racist government it is wrong to call this government fascism. Fascism is directed against the working class with the aim of atomizing the working-class unions and bourgeois workers parties like the social democracy and the Stalinists (Hadash).

The Stalinists in Israel have called “it is fascism” for decades to the right-wing Zionist governments. Thus, clearly, they do not understand what is fascism nor how to fight real fascism.

We should ask them what do you call the government of Ben Gurion that used an ethnic cleansing and removed 900,000 Palestinians from their lands? Was it a fascist government? If you say “Yes” then why did you bring weapons from Czechoslovakia to the government of Ben Gurion? What does it say about you? If you say “No”, can you explain what that government was?

Do you think that if the government of Netanyahu is a fascist you will be able to maintain your party?

Trotsky in his writing explained what is fascism:

What is fascism? The name originated in Italy. Were all the forms of counter-revolutionary dictatorship fascist or not (That is to say, prior to the advent of fascism in Italy. The former dictatorship in Spain of Primo de Rivera, 1923–30, is called a fascist dictatorship by the Comintern. Is this correct or not? We believe that it is incorrect.

The fascist movement in Italy was a spontaneous movement of large masses, with new leaders from the rank and file. It is a plebian movement in origin, directed and financed by big capitalist powers. It issued forth from the petty bourgeoisie, the slum proletariat, and even to a certain extent from the proletarian masses; Mussolini, a former socialist, is a “self-made” man arising from this movement.

Primo de Rivera was an aristocrat. He occupied a high military and bureaucratic post and was chief governor of Catalonia. he accomplished his overthrow with the aid of state and military forces. The dictatorships of Spain and Italy are two totally different forms of dictatorship. It is necessary to distinguish between them. Mussolini had difficulty in reconciling many old military institutions with the fascist militia. This problem did not exist for Primo de Rivera.

The movement in Germany is analogous mostly to the Italian. It is a mass movement, with its leaders employing a great deal of socialist demagogy. This is necessary for the creation of the mass movement.

The genuine basis (for fascism) is the petty bourgeoisie. In Italy, it has a very large base – the petty bourgeoisie of the towns and cities, and the peasantry. In Germany, likewise, there is a large base for fascism …

It may be said, and this is true to a certain extent, that the new middle class, the functionaries of the state, the private administrators, etc., can constitute such a base. But this is a new question that must be analyzed …

In order to be capable of foreseeing anything with regard to fascism, it is necessary to have a definition of that idea. What is fascism? What is its base, its form, and its characteristics? How will its development take place? It is necessary to proceed in a scientific and Marxian manner” [4]


[1] https://hadash.org.il/%d7%a8%d7%95%d7%a6%d7%99%d7%9d-%d7%9c%d7%94%d7%a2%d7%9e%d7%99%d7%93-%d7%9c%d7%93%d7%99%d7%9f-%d7%90%d7%aa-%d7%97%d7%9b-%d7%9b%d7%a1%d7%99%d7%a3-%d7%a9%d7%95%d7%98%d7%a8%d7%99%d7%9d-%d7%a8%d7%a6/

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Leon Trotsky’s Fascism What It Is and How to Fight It, a pamphlet https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1944/1944-fas.htm

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