Palestine/Israel; Against false bipolarity
Photo: Demonstration in support of Palestine, Athens, October 26, 2023.
In the pursuit of justice and empathy for the Palestinian people, a significant discrepancy distinguishes Iranian leftists from progressive and peace-loving groups in the Western world. This contrast emerges from our profound understanding of Islam and Islamism, which is manifested as a “populist movement” and a governing authority. This comprehension has developed in response to the predominance of the Shiite theocracy.
If we reside in the Western world, where Muslims often face discrimination and are distanced from positions of power, it is both our capacity and responsibility to be sensitive to Muslimophobia. However, in our own region, we cannot afford to remain apathetic to the roots and expansion of Islamism.
It is an undeniable reality that in the West, there is a prevailing colonial mindset that tends to be Muslimophobic or often struggles to not envision any other alternative and movements except Islamism in the Middle East.
Consequently, Islamic regimes and enduring dictatorships, even those falsely claiming to resist imperialism, become the sole recognized political entities for the European left of a colonialist inclination. From this vantage point, aligning with religious trends in the Middle East is not only regressive but also a clear indication of the deeply ingrained racist perspective held by European leftists toward the region.
In the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the European left has regrettably neglected to acknowledge and support progressive and leftist elements even within Israel. They have either been unwilling or unable to acknowledge the presence of other tendencies apart from Zionism. This cycle of oversight and disregard must come to an end.
“The blood of arrogance is in the depths of the shameful and murderous rulers. Netanyahu-Putin. 2023.”
From demonstration in Athens. Photo from Marios Lolos
Navigating the Divide
Pain turns into trauma and trauma into fear; Under the increasing influence of right-wing demagoguery all over the world, today there is an attempt to turn this distress and fear into a tool for the wall-building policy and absolute militarism.
Those tendencies that tries to put the massacre committed by Hamas in the paradigm of the anti-colonial resistance discourse is not the left that we need it today. Not because the Palestinians in Gaza have not been under colonial coercive pressure for decades; Not because the rebellion against this violence was not an expected and justified rebellion, but because the idea of blood against blood or “Victory comes only from Allah” is neither expected nor justified from the left. I know also this term is totally is distorted, however we need to reinvent it. To deal with racism, one must first deal with political Islam. This barbarism of attacking civilians (given the fact that the settlers knows where they live and they are responsible) is not resistance and struggle. Here, we are talking about the strategy of struggle and the goals and agendas not the false and manipulated narrative of the western right-wing governments that they call Hamas’ actions as terrorism.
As far as European countries are concerned, the truth of anti-Semitism is undeniable along with Muslimophobia. It should not be confused with the colonial and right-wing policies of European governments under the name of supporting Israel. There is no truth there when we know that when there is a conflict between the requirements and the objective logic of the process and the subjective interests of the groups in power, catastrophic events, great wars, revolutions, global crises, etc. occur. Hamas’s attack is neither to defend the Palestinians nor against the occupation, nor is the current Zionist regime’s genocide in Israel aimed at defense the people.
The self-proclaimed leaders of Palestine have proven many times that under no circumstances will they allow spontaneous mass movements to take control of the fate of Palestine out of their hands. The intifada of 2021 (Unity Intifada) was also apparently unpredictable, a completely spontaneous movement that was not organized by any political organization. It was a movement organized by young activists and local committees. They were clearly against the involvement of political elites and considered their opinions unproductive, outdated and useless. Many of these youths, who were involved in the struggle for the first time, had challenged both Israel and its traditional-conservative leadership. It was precisely in such a situation that Hamas entered into the story at that time to once again divert the movements and new thoughts and bring them under their control!
What the Zionist government of Israel and Hamas have put in front of us is an ideological conflict to capture the mentality of the Palestinian and Israeli people. This is not a war, on the contrary, the genocide of Palestinians and the Jews-killing under the name of Islam and Palestine is merely an attempt to change public opinion regarding the great geopolitical changes in our today’s world.
The Exploitation of History
The Quranic verse quoted here recounts a historical incident in which Muhammad expelled his Jewish adversaries from the city of Medina, and the Jews of Khyber provided shelter. Later, in an attempt to reclaim their homes, the Jewish community joined forces with other Arab tribes who opposed Muhammad. The conflict unfolded in May of 628, resulting in victory for Muhammad’s army. In a peace treaty, the Jewish community agreed to pay half of their crops and income as taxes in exchange for the right to stay.
This serves as one of the news sources associated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Telegram.
Throughout history, the events of the Khyber War have been exploited as a central theme for fueling antisemitism. Just as the Church has wielded the power of the so-called “Holy book” to serve its interests in exploitation, slavery, and colonization, Islamic powers have also employed it extensively. The foundation of Zionism draws from such historical narratives within Judaism. The manipulation and exploitation of these narratives have contributed to incidents like the Rohingya Muslim massacre by conservative Buddhists in Myanmar.
In a manner akin to Zionism in Israel, Hamas seeks to strengthen its position by leveraging the Quran and historical events. It is noteworthy that Netanyahu, a reactionary and conservative figure related to Political Islam, not only failed to prevent Hamas’s growth but explicitly endorsed supporting Hamas and transferring funds to it while he was talking to his Likud party: “Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas.”
The struggle between these two national/religious reactionary and conservative movements is not related to the liberation of the Palestinians. Those who aspire to see the Palestinians liberated and an end to apartheid and occupation must reject both political Islam and Zionism while supporting progressive and secular political and social movements on both sides.
Palestinian civil society was destroyed in 1948. The territories occupied in 1967 were deliberately torn apart, their connection was cut off. And was no form of normal government and civil reality in Gaza. What it was, refugee camps, displaced people, besieged and deprived families and struggling people.
The absolutization of war in Israel is the dehumanization of the Palestinians, and ultimately, an all-out desire to commit genocide against them. This is an absolutely colonial mechanism that aims to eliminate the surviving survivors of previous cycles of occupation and destruction. These cycles of annihilation began in 1948, normalized in 1967, and stabilized in 2007.
Hamas’ attack on Israeli citizens does not solely arise from inherent brutality or fundamentalism within Hamas itself. Instead, it can be seen as the result of a long-standing conflict, where the simmering tensions finally erupted on October 7th after boiling for 75 years.
If we review the history of the world’s great revolutions, we can see how the upstarts have rightly or wrongly destroyed everything and everyone who was somehow within the scope of the oppressive pole. After decades or centuries have passed, do we give them the right or do we criticize them? none Because there is a third way, and that is to try to think about what was the fear that led them to this reaction.
We can and should criticize the organizational strategy and policies and program of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which has its own secular and class reasons. But the main question here is that the occupying policies of Zionism allowed the formation of anything other than this?
In order to support the liberation of Palestine, it is not necessary to enter into the dilemma of condemning Hamas or not. The Palestinian human is still condemned to death with or without Hamas because the doctrine of this policy has been going on for years and after 75 years, this struggle is not just a struggle between the occupiers and the victims of the occupation, but a struggle between the settlers-colonizers and the exploited native population.
Race is indeed a fictitious concept with all too real implications, and in Israeli politics it has clearly played a decisive role in staging the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At one end of this issue is the capital-oriented authority of Israel, and at the head of the other two branches are the nationalists of Fatah and the Islamist of Hamas and partners.
The mistake of the anti-colonial movements is that they saw national liberation as a more urgent factor than the class struggle. Today, the time has come to revise this view.
This is not a war
This is not a war between Hamas and Israel. This is Israel’s war against the Palestinian people. Hamas is a reactionary national-religious organization that targets civilians in its operations. According to international laws, attacking the occupying army is legal, but what Hamas and Islamic Jihad are doing is not a fight against the occupying army by any standards. In the meantime, Palestinians are victims of Hamas and Islamic Jihad military/criminal policies and strategies.
However, the right-wing and Zionist media are manipulating today’s situation as a war between Hamas and Israel, and some left-wing groups and media have also fallen into this trap. There is no war between a military group and the state of Israel. This is ethnic cleansing which has continued since the Nakba.
Israel is destroying the houses and main infrastructure of Gaza, affecting the lives of two million people to contend with two military organizations? Similar to this crime by the same claim was carried out by the Assad regime in Syria in the past decade. No, what Israel is doing is not a war against terrorism; this is genocide.
While Hamas and Islamic Jihad, no matter how reactionary, incorrect, and anti-social their policies is (Khaled Meshaal, the former leader of Hamas, clearly stated in a TV interview that they are not responsible for the harm to civilians), but the main responsibility for the events related to the Israeli occupation and Zionist policies.
As far as is known, the issue of Palestine cannot be resolved without the end of occupation and apartheid. The position of the Islamic Republic in this case is war and continuing without horizon to reach a result. Keeping the crisis and playing the Palestinian card for the regional powers in their imperialist conflicts helps to create a balance in the region. The Islamic Republic has always used the Hamas card for its proxy wars. This is also a requirement of the Zionism body. Where without crime and killing, and the imposition of complete apartheid and entering into wars of attrition and maintaining its danger to the society has no chance of survival. All the past time, long before Hamas operation, Israeli forces have been systematically striking down what is left of the Palestinian territories.
The policies that led to the formation of Hamas came from the heart of the Knesset. Hamas officially turned the historical issue of land and land rights of the Palestinian people into a vicious cycle of military conflicts. Palestinian resistance will not be achieved through the policies of right-wing religious tendencies such as Hamas where the Islamic regime is behind it.