Palestine and Two Important Debates
The repercussions of the raid on Israel by Palestinian groups led by Hamas continue throughout the world. Pro-Israel forces bring Hamas to the fore while ignoring the historical justification of Palestine. At this point, it has become important to conduct two hot discussions that create confusion on the left regarding Hamas. The first is a discussion based on the targeting of civilians. The second is how revolutionaries should position about the leadership of oppressed nations' movements.
Violence and Hypocrisy
Hamas' killing of hundreds of civilians and the violence against captured Israeli soldiers have become an excuse for supporting Israel, openly or implicitly, across the world and in Turkey. Israel's retaliation by turning Gaza into ruins and killing thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of civilians has already been legitimized as a "justifiable massacre." The hundreds of civilians, including babies and children, who were killed by Israeli counter-attack from the very first day are not even brought to the world's attention.
We revolutionaries have no way of approving Hamas targeting civilians. On the other hand, Israel has a tradition of killing civilians, from children to journalists, from peaceful protests to stone-throwing youth. Thousands of buildings in Gaza are destroyed in Israel's periodic "punishment" operations, and thousands of civilians lose their lives in this indiscriminate bombardment. The number of Israeli civilians killed will be very small compared to the number of Palestinian civilians killed. Therefore, those who are shocked by Hamas violence and use it as propaganda against Palestine are hypocrites.
Violence causes counter-violence and the form of violence is determined by the rulers. It is none other than Israel that initiated, escalated, and made ordinary the tradition of targeting civilians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If we were to list Israel's crimes against humanity here, we would have to give pages full of information. But those who are absolutely ignorant about the historicity of the issue should be told that Israel was established and constantly expanded through occupation, war and massacres, ethnic cleansing of millions of Palestinians. The occupation and ethnic cleansing in the West Bank are still at the hands of Israeli far-right fanatics, but those who do not even follow the current news and now talking about "morality" do not know this. If those who are intimidated by Hamas violence could shed their ignorance a little, they would understand that the source of this violence is Israel.
Approach to National Movements in the Example of Hamas
The national resistance in Palestine consists of a combination of different armed organizations, from Hamas to secular nationalist Fatah, Al Qaeda-derived groups, leftist-socialist groups such as the PFLP and DFLP, to secular nationalist armed youth organizations that spontaneously formed in many Palestinian cities. Thanks to Iranian support, Hamas stands out as the most prominent organization among these groups from time to time. But in the last few years before this attack, armed secular Palestinian organizations that emerged in Palestinian cities in the West Bank were the pioneers of the struggle. However, there is a huge gap between the weapons, money, and intelligence capacity of the Iran-backed Hamas (and Islamic Jihad, by the way) and the capacity of these youth organizations.
By the way, we should note that Hamas gained control in Gaza after a civil war with Fatah. As a result of this war, Fatah couldn't have a presence in Gaza and Hamas to have a presence in the West Bank.
So, how should revolutionaries approach organizations like Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah in Lebanon? It is necessary to support the Palestinian resistance against Israeli aggression, and while doing this, it is necessary to be in communication and solidarity with organizations such as the PFLP, which still has significant power. It is of great importance to be aware of the reactionary character of Islamist organizations and not follow them. It should not be forgotten that the sub-imperial project, which Iran calls the axis of resistance, suppressed the recent labor and youth rebellions in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon with blood. On the other hand, we must be aware of the limits of the PFLP. The liberation of Palestine will never be possible with a left-nationalist program and the policy of alliances formed in line with this program. It must be understood that there is no way out other than the program of proletarian permanent revolution.
Resistance against Israel is justified and legitimate, but how will success be possible after all these heavy costs? Without the common struggle of workers and young people across the Middle East against local bourgeoisie, dictators, and imperialism, without creating a red wave of rebellion, neither Palestine nor other oppressed and exploited masses can see the daylight. Some may find this utopian, but what is actually utopian is the claim to destroy Israel with the rockets fired by Hamas and other organizations. The red wave of rebellion that will destroy all borders has material and social conditions. Just last year, there was a major rebellion in Iran, Iraq was shaken by labor revolts between 2019 and 2021, and Lebanon witnessed an intense protest wave starting in 2019. The problem was that the working masses were far from the socialist perspective in these rebellions. But the demands were class-based, and democratic, the masses wanted freedom and a future. In other words, there are conditions for a socialist vein to strengthen from these tensions. A class radicalization led by socialists is possible and may occur much faster than expected. As long as the vanguard forces are formed across the region. We have discussed this program with our friends from PFLP in the past, and we will continue to discuss it, but it is more realistic to win new forces to the idea of socialist revolution rather than established forces. Building vanguard forces is possible and is the only way to go.