Middle East

On June 15 Israeli bulldozers began to dig trenches for the building of a fence that will separate Israel from the West Bank. One of our Israeli correspondents comments on the plans to build a huge fence separating Israel from the Palestinian territories.

We are republishing this article from issue 73 of Challenge magazine, on the situation facing the Palestinian people. We believe that the analysis developed in this article by the comrades of the Challenge will be of interest to our readers.

This a report from Turkey on the May Day celebrations. Despite intimidation from the state, and the fact that May 1 was a working day, the demonstrations in many cities were larger than in previous years.

The general crisis of capitalism is expressing itself as a general instability everywhere. Nowhere has this had more destabilising effects than the Middle East. This instability is being fuelled and exacerbated by US imperialism, which has decided that it is free to intervene anywhere it likes under the pretext of the so-called war against terrorism. Ariel Sharon is calling his new military campaign a war against terror. And while it is self-evident that Bush gave him the green light to launch his attack on the Palestinian Authority, Washington is now becoming alarmed at the consequences.

Israel is now using its full might to oust Arafat and drown the Palestinian uprising in blood. On Friday, March 29: Israel launched an all-out drive against the Palestinian areas, smashing into Yasser Arafat's West Bank base, killing seven Palestinians, arresting more than 70 and unleashing a new wave of blood and destruction.

"Inaction is not an option," declares George W. Bush, seeking to extend the "war on terror" to Iraq. But the recent heavy fighting between US and Afghan forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan gives the lie to those who say the war is over. It is dawning on the military strategists that victory cannot be won by air power alone, and combat troops will be required on the ground for some time to come. However, using Afghan forces has proved complicated, as the warlords - newly armed by the Americans - seek to reassert their influence.

Speaking at a White House ceremony on March 11, exactly six months after the devastating attacks on New York and Washington, George Bush addressed an audience of 1,300 dignitaries, including 100 ambassadors in Washington. He did not mention Iraq by name, but left no doubt he was determined to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Bush is said to have mapped out a "global strategy" against the enemies of America. It even goes by the name of "the Bush Doctrine." But in reality there is no such strategy. Bush's policy consists in lashing out blindly, making use of America's overwhelming military strength to intimidate and compel the rest of the world to do America's bidding.

In Israel things are beginning to change. On February 16, over 20,000 people demonstrated for peace. The demonstration was addressed by both Israeli and Palestinian speakers. What was even more significant was the presence of a delegation of the approximately 250 Israeli soldiers (including officers) who have refused to serve in the West Bank and Gaza. More than 400 Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the Palestinian territories, and the number is growing daily. One opinion poll has revealed that 31% of the Israeli population supports these protesting soldiers.

What are your experiences with political work among women in Turkey?

A: In 1973 the leadership of the TKP decided to organise the party underground. This was combined with the attempt to build legal mass movements, the trade unions, a youth organisation and also the working women's movement. In 1975 we built the Women's Association. Starting as a very small force we began to work in the suburbs and working-class districts. Soon we came into contact with women workers from different factories.

This article was sent to us by a group of Internationalist Communist from Turkey. It analyses the role of Turkey on the international scene, the economic crisis affecting the country, how the Turkish bourgeoisie is trying to drag itself out of this crisis and the repercussions this has on its home and foreign policy.

The death fasts of the political prisoners in Turkey have reached their 208th day and the number of deaths during the last few weeks has reached 22. The total number of losses resulting from these actions has already passed 50, if we take into account the 30 prisoners who were killed during the massacre that took place during the so-called "Back to Life" operation. Furthermore, many prisoners who are fasting to death have now incurred incurable physical and mental damage.

We Pakistanis are over 100,000, mostly petty workers. We are not enjoying the same level of freedom as in Britain or any European Country. You may know what is the system of government in Arabian countries. So we are here earning our livelihood; the ruling elite has never allowed expatriates to indulge in political activities. We have different social organizations, which actually represent various political parties of Pakistan. These social organizations are involved in social activities among Pakistani community. It is the same case with other Communities.