Middle East

Starting on 14 July, Bastille day, protests by thousands of Israeli youth and workers have been shaking the Israeli regime. While with every new demonstration, more anti-Netanyahu protesters joined (the last one was attended by 10,000-15,000). Far-right counter protests could only mobilise between five and 500 people. Here, we publish a report by one of our supporters from Jerusalem which we received a week ago, followed by an analysis by Franz Rieger.

A massive explosion caused untold destruction and bloodshed in the Lebanese capital yesterday. This tragedy was a disaster waiting to happen, and will provoke the anger of the masses against the corrupt clique at the top of society. Only working-class struggle can put an end to this intolerable situation, Alan Woods writes.

With a presidential decree signed on 10 July, Erdogan’s regime decided to convert Hagia Sophia, a historical Byzantine church built in 534 AD, from a museum into a place of Muslim worship. The Byzantine monument was turned into a museum in 1934 with a decree from the founder of the modern bourgeois state, Kemal Ataturk, and marked the secular character of the Turkish state. The conversion is a symbolic act that seeks to emphasise the neo-Ottoman imperialist plans of the “Sultan” Erdogan and the reactionary Turkish bourgeoisie.

On Tuesday 28 April – in what protestors are coining ‘the night of the molotov’ – working people streamed into the streets of Lebanon in an open show of force against the government. The masses are once more in the streets calling for a solution to the dire economic situation that the country faces.

Every day, people in Egypt hold their breath as they follow the daily reports on the spread of the coronavirus. Currently, there are 3,659 cases of contagion and 276 deaths (as of 22 April). The country is facing widespread uncertainty.

The wealthiest man in Egypt has sparked outrage by suggesting that “life must go on” after the coronavirus pandemic: which is to say, business should resume as quickly as possible, whether or not it is safe for workers, in order to keep the profits rolling in. This reveals the naked contempt of the Egyptian bourgeoisie towards ordinary people, whose class anger is bubbling just below the surface.

With the whole world’s attention turned towards the coronavirus crisis, the western-backed Saudi war on Yemen has continued unabated. The war machine and arms industry, fueling this savagery, have been deemed to essential to shut down during the pandemic.

The coronavirus has led to shutdowns, movement restrictions, and shortages of medical supplies and food around the world. However, for one place in the world, this was the norm before the pandemic.The Gaza Strip, already under heavy restrictions and shortages since the beginning of the blockade 13 years ago, now must also contend with the threat of COVID-19.

The coronavirus has hit Iran especially badly due to government blunders, misinformation and US sanctions. This crisis has exposed all the rottenness of Iranian capitalism and brought the masses' anger at the regime, which was already heating up, close to boiling point.

A sharpening of tensions between Greece and Turkey reflects both the ruling classes of these nations attempting to get a bigger share of the oil and gas under the Eastern Mediterranean and the changed balance of power between the two countries. The labour movement of Greece and Turkey need to stand firmly against any warmongering or nationalist division and engage in united struggle for a socialist transformation of society!