The main bourgeois media outlets in Switzerland – 20 Minuten, Tagesanzeiger, NZZ, Weltwoche – have launched a witch hunt against the communists. They are targeting us because we are organising in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The front page of 20 Minuten was recently plastered with the headline: “Unknown group calls for pro-Hamas rally in Zurich”. Shortly afterwards, 20 Minuten and NZZ adjusted their slanders to remove the reference to Hamas.
In their lurid articles they say that our rally is a “call for violence” and accuse us of anti-Semitism for raising the slogan of solidarity with Palestine.
The universities of Zurich, Bern and Fribourg have withdrawn room-booking rights on campus for our student comrades.
The University of Zurich (UZH) writes: “The UZH does not tolerate calls for violence. The call for 'Intifada until victory' spread by 'Der Funke' and 'IMT' is not compatible with the stance of the UZH. The UZH supports democratically conducted discussions.”
That same evening, three vans of policemen were mobilised to Zurich’s other main university (ETH) to prevent the rally.
The Swiss establishment – much like its counterpart in Britain, for example – is immediately going on the offensive against any attempts by workers and youth to show solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. The basic democratic right to freedom of speech and assembly is being met with repression.
The hysterical reaction of the Swiss media is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. It is the desperate attempt of the ruling class in Switzerland – and in the west as a whole – to justify Israeli imperialism, to intimidate and silence all those who want to fight against oppression and to stop any discussion about Israeli aggression and the occupation of Palestine.
Yet their hypocrisy knows no bounds. These are the same media outlets that have looked the other way for decades at all the atrocities of western and Israeli imperialism in the Middle East.
Where are the headlines denouncing the murder of thousands of Palestinians in recent years? Rather, they ruthlessly defend Israel's “right to defend itself”.
Bourgeois media presents the situation as if it were a conflict between two equal forces. Yet they all ignore the fact that what we have here is a sophisticated imperialist power marching its modern military into the largest open-air prison in the world! All the while denying hundreds of thousands of people access to drinking water, electricity and health care!
As communists, our response must be resolute: we must defend the right of the oppressed Palestinians to resist.
We are many! Organise the resistance!
The bourgeois media does not represent the working class.
Large crowds attended the “banned” rally in Zurich, disgusted by the article in 20 Minuten. A number of workers and youth have also contacted us to get active in the struggle.
A message to our website reads:
“I am an uneducated man, but even I know that when people are harassed for years, literally deprived of their homes and land, at some point exactly what is happening now is bound to occur. 90 percent of the world points the finger at Palestine and calls them terrorists. What are the Israelis then if they are not even bound by human rights?”
Every day we hold discussions with more and more communists in order to get them organised in the fight for revolution. Since Sunday, Palestine has been the only topic on the agenda. A report from one such discussion describes the experiences of one new attendee:
“She comes from Egypt. She has been watching the bombings of Palestine on TV since she was seven. She experienced all the crimes of imperialism first hand growing up, and understands the history of Israel and the hypocrisy of Western imperialism. She intuitively defended the IMT’s position in its entirety as if she knew it by heart: from “Israel is the aggressor” to “Hamas are the only leadership available, but the masses have to fight and it is good that they are fighting. Don't confuse them with Hamas” to “the Israeli working class will not be free until the Intifada wins!”. When I explained our position to her and said that we are building an International that will lead the struggle of these masses to victory, she almost cried because our position is just spot on and because she wants to be part of an international organisation that defends this.”
We must give a voice to the growing resentment of Swiss workers and youth against this barbaric and one-sided war. We must also unite against any repression or propaganda by the ruling class!
If you also feel suffocated under the thick torrent of propaganda in the bourgeois media, if you really just want to express your solidarity with the oppressed – then get organised with the communists!
The communists of the IMT are evidently the only ones to stand up for the Palestinian struggle without caving to the pressure of the ruling class.
That is why they are trying to make an example of us. They need to send a bold warning to the whole left: “If you dare to say even one consistent word against the Israeli state, we will call you anti-Semites and terrorist sympathisers.”
We are not in the least intimidated by this. We are going on the counter-offensive. For this we need you and all those who want to fight for the liberation of the Palestinian people!
The SVP and the betrayal of the Young Socialist leadership
In the meantime, Benjamin Fischer, a politician with the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), has also joined the cynical hysteria about our poster. This is not surprising. The SVP is the party of the fatcat bourgeoisie, for whom nothing is off the table when defending the interests of the Swiss capitalists. They stand firmly on the side of Israeli imperialism in their barbaric oppression of the Palestinian people.
It is an absolute scandal that the leadership of the Young Socialists (JUSO) around Nicola Siegrist is now also participating in this repression. On Twitter, JUSO stated that it is correct that the University of Zurich does not tolerate our event and calls on other universities to do the same.
In other words, they are calling for the suppression of our basic democratic right to organise an event in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people!
At a time when it should be second nature for the left and the labour movement to stand together in defence of the Palestinian people, the JUSO leadership joins the bourgeoisie in cynically agitating in the interest of imperialism.
We are convinced that this attitude does not reflect the opinion of all members of JUSO.
We call on all JUSO members to take a stand in their local groups and unconditionally side with the Palestinian people in the struggle against imperialist oppression.
The scandalous attitude of the JUSO leadership does not affect us communists, but it is a betrayal of the Palestinian people and of all the oppressed of the world.
The most important thing today is for communists to cut through bourgeois propaganda and its hypocritical morality and to take a crystal clear class position on this question.
Is the struggle against the Israeli regime anti-Semitic?
Our enemies are now accusing us of anti-Semitism – as they always do when someone dares to oppose Israeli imperialism. They cynically confuse criticism of Zionism with anti-Semitism.
But the truth is simple: it is not anti-Semitic to criticise Israel's government. We criticise it not on the basis of religion, but on the basis of its actions – decades of violent oppression of the Palestinian people.
To claim otherwise is a deliberate lie that props up the Israeli regime and delegitimises justified resistance to the oppressors.
We have never, in a single word, blamed the Jewish population – either in Switzerland or Israel – for the oppression of the Palestinians.
That is not our position and any honest journalist has the duty to research our genuine positions before branding us anti-Semitic.
But honesty and integrity are not attributes of these ladies and gentlemen who day in, day out conceal the crimes of the ruling class.
What can you do?
The Israeli invasion of Gaza and the complete occupation of the West Bank could cause a social explosion across the Middle East. Revolutionary movements are implicit in the current situation.
In Switzerland and around the world, the IMT is organising all those who want to be at the forefront of this revolutionary struggle!
Are you a communist? Do you support the liberation struggle of the Palestinians against imperialism? Then you must not remain isolated! Join us!.
The spark will light a flame!
Intifada until victory!