We, Friends of Palestine Against Imperialism and Zionism Platform, jointly with members of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP) of Turkey, held a demonstration in front of the so-called Consulate General of Israel in Levent, Istanbul, in order to mark the 72nd anniversary of Nakba Day, and to protest the decades-long Zionist oppression and occupation in Palestine. We emphasized in our press release that the Coronavirus epidemic has aggravated the plight of the Palestinian people. Zionists neither allow them to take measures necessary to stall the spread of Covid-19 nor let them receive proper treatment. And we urged that Turkey sever all military, diplomatic, cultural, academic and economic relations with Israel; and that the Israeli ambassador be expelled from our country.
Friends of Palestine Against Imperialism and Zionism organized a demonstration in front of the consulate of Israel in Istanbul.
During the demonstration our comrade Burak Sayım from France, who participates in the campaign Free Georges Abdallah made a speech in Turkish and French, demanding freedom for Abdallah and all Palestinian prisoners.
Zionist Israel’s propaganda device ARTISRAEL is among the sponsors of the 23rd Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival, held by the Flying Broom Foundation located in Ankara / Turkey. ARTISRAEL is an organization aiming to whitewash Israel’s crimes against Palestinian people, including Palestinian women, by transfering its propaganda budget to some cultural events around the world. Israel killed at least 8 women just in 2019. (See B’tselem’s web page for details)
Today, Palestinian people call for the boycott of every cultural event that accepts Israeli funding in some way, as a part of a more general boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, namely the BDS movement which we, the Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Zionist Friends of Palestine do support. This movement is inspired by the famous anti-Apartheid movement against the Apartheid South Africa, and became the foremost enemy of the Zionist occupiers in Palestinian lands. In Turkey, there’s a BDS community calling for the cultural boycott of Israel since 2009, which the organisers can not be unaware of.
We strongly appeal to the organizers of the 23rd Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival, to terminate their relationship with the Zionist occupier. You may find our letter to the foundation below:
An Appeal to the Organizers of the 23rd Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival
Terminate your sponsorship relationship with Zionist Israel, the murderer of the Palestinian women!
Do not let the Zionist entity whitewash and normalize its crimes over your cultural activities!
Zionist Israel is an illegitimate discriminatory entity, a contemporary replica of the Apartheid regime in the South Africa, which keeps the Palestinian territory under occupation and annexes more lands day by day, alongside imposing a brutal blockade on a 2 million population in the Gaza Strip for 14 years.
That entity has imprisoned 17.000 Palestinian women since 1967. In 2019 alone, 40 Palestinian women were detained by the Zionist invader. They have been kept captives in Israeli prison, being deprived of basic human rights such as privacy and education.
One of those is Mays Abu Gosh (22), a student of journalism, who was detained by Zionist soldiers on August 29th 2019, and has been tortured and mistreated systematically at the Maskubiyeh detention center for 30 days.
On April 28th 2020, Zionists arbitrarily stripped Gosh and two other female Palestinian captives, one of whom was Palestinian politician Khalida Jarrar who was detained on October 31st and is yet to stand trial, of the right to communicate with family.
Zionist snipers targeted and massacred civilians, including women, who in last two years joined the Great Return March held in the north of the Gaza Strip.
We have no doubt that you remember American female activist Rachel Corrie, who was run over by an armored bulldozer in 2003, or Razan al-Najjar, a nurse who was shot dead by live ammunition during the Great Return March in June 2018, not to mention the Palestinian women slaughtered during Israeli shelling in the Gaza Strip, or at the check points in the West Bank.
We would like to ensure you that ARTISRAEL, one of your sponsors among many others, is a propaganda instrument funded directly by that state, and established to tout murderous Israel as a heaven of freedom and beacon of democracy. Many organizations, first and foremost the BDS movement, around the world fight against that entity.
We appeal to you for not collaborating with the invaders, and supporting Palestinians resisting against them.
We call on you to adhere to the values that your foundation declares on its website. If you are a pro-human-rights and pro-nonviolence women’s organization that stands against discrimination of any kind, whether it be political, religious, lingual, racial, class or sexual, what you should do today is to heed the call by the Palestinian people and women, and thus terminating your sponsorship relationship with ARTISRAEL, which was established to absolve the crimes committed by Israel.
Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism
The epidemic of Covid-19 spreads quickly all over Palestine. That viral risk aggravates the plight of thepeople living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip who have barely survived under Zionist occupation. The disease also threatens the lives of Palestinian captives jailed in the Zionists’ prisons. They have already suffered being held in overcrowded and insanitary dormitories. Six or seven or even more Palestinians are crammed into spaces suitable for maximum four persons whilst Jewish prisoners stay in dormitories with decent conditions. The former is deprived also of accessing to health services even if they succumb to cancer. Palestinian captives have protested the inhumane treatments at times by hunger strike. However, Zionists never cared about their requests. It is thus predictable that Zionists will not perform necessary measures to stave off the devastating effects of the epidemic when it begins to infect the prisons where Palestinians are kept.
Palestinian captives demand that their dormitories be sterilized urgently and regularly; that wardens wear protective clothes; that their body temperature be taken regularly (no measurement so far); that they access to health services; and that elderly, female and child captives be released.
While the Zionist entity turns a deaf ear to those demands, it imposes more restrictions on access to cleaning materials, fresh fruits and vegetables, and health services. Furthermore while Zionists decide to keep almost 500 Jewish prisoners under house arrest, no such a precaution is taken for any of 5000 Palestinian captives. That proves one more time the Apartheid-like racist and discriminatory characteristics of the Zionist entity. Let alone taking protective precautions against the epidemic, Palestinian prisoners are denied even the right to consult with their lawyers. On the other hand, Zionist interrogators and torturers can “visit” them whenever they want.
It is reported that the captives have ceased to receive meals by March 26th and prepared for a hunger strike. Many activist platforms, especially Samidoun, have drawn attention to the grave danger that Palestinian captives face, and called on the world to support their demands. Those honorable sons and daughters of the Palestinian people who have fought for a just cause are held captive by the most-illegitimate political entity in the world.
Their captivity under those conditions becomes even more unbearable for all the exploited and oppressed worldwide. We, as the Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism, demand that all Palestinian captives held in the illegitimate Israel’s prisons and left unprotected in the face of Covid-19 be released immediately!
Free All Palestinian Captives!
Down with Zionist Israeli State!
Free Palestine from the River to the Sea!
The new-type coronavirus epidemic plaguing the world has now arrived in the Palestinian territory via two persons who entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, according to the statement released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. What jeopardizes the lives of people in the Gaza Strip is, however, not only the spread of the virus, but also the Zionist blockade on the City which under the current circumstances will cause a horrendous catastrophe!
The City which has for years been suffering a suffocating blockade imposed by Israel with the help of Egypt faces great difficulties even in providing its people with potable clean water, let alone the products needed for personal hygiene. The blockade also causes the Palestinianpeople not to decent access to the health services. For example, medicines are confiscated at the borders or cancer-diagnosed patients are not allowed to leave the City for receiving treatment somewhere else. The Gaza Strip is also deprived by Israel of medical facilities and equipments that are required to cope with the epidemic. It has only 40 intensive care beds, 56 respiratory devices and 200 test kits for a two-million population!
It is clear that the blockade on the Gaza Strip which is now intertwined with the coronavirus epidemic cannot be understood properly without considering how unwilling both states and capitalists are to finance and enhance antiviral measures. As people around the world still diedue to inadequate number of respiratory devices, two million Palestinians who have lived in an open-air prison for 13 years now suffer being deprived both of respiratory devices and even of basic medical tools, and are left to mercy of the Zionist Israel!
There is only one way to avert the imminent calamity: lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip!An international campaign should be organized immediately to force the Zionist Israel to do so. The City would otherwise turn into a mass grave. The former is undoubtedly something desirable for Israel. Both the blockade itself and Israel’s atrocious attack with live ammunition against the unarmed people who joined the “Great Return March” already showed the true colors of Zionists. It is therefore unsurprising that nowadays they discusshow to repel Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip if they flock to the border to survive the viral epidemic, with a majority in favor of shooting them.
Hence it is an indispensable duty for all friends of Palestine to prevent the Zionist entity from committing such a mass decimation by leveraging the Covid-19. The way to force the Zionist Israel to lift the blockade is to sever diplomatic relations with that “state”. We, as the Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism, thus call on Turkish government to expel all Zionist diplomats; to unilaterally terminate all commercial relations; and to impose sanctions on any companies that have interest in the blockade. “Condemnations” released by theTurkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its website are futile attempts and nothing going beyond paying lip service to appease the public reactions. We warn in advance that shrinking from taking steps aforementioned above will mean being accomplice once again –alongside dropping the Mavi Marmara flotilla case for the sake of purchasing natural gas, and maintaining military and economic cooperation even during the Gaza Strip being shelled- in persecution of the Palestinian people!
We, as the Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism, held a demonstration in front of the US Consulate in Istanbul, in order to protest the so-called “Deal of the Century” plan declared by Trump.
The 180-page document drafted by imperialists and Zionists, which have tormented the Middle East under the auspice of the former, cannot be called as “deal”. It is nothing but a list of political impositions aimed at making the Palestinian people and its resistance organizations kneel down. If that document is put in effect, it will scrap the Palestinian people’s historically-gained rights.
The document is also a political maneuver devised in a well-timed manner by Trump and Netanyahu to boost their credibility, as the former is in need of receiving support from Zionist lobbies to be reelected, the latter is indicted for corruption charges.
For we felt that that imperialist and Zionist attempt should be condemned immediately, we organized a demonstration in front of the US Consulate the day after the “deal” was announced. We first gathered at a historically important location, former Kavel factory, whose workers led the struggle for the right to strike, and then marched towards the Consulate. During the march, we have chanted the slogans “Down with Zionist Israeli State!”, “US Hands off the Middle East!”, “Free Palestine from the River to the Sea!”. After informing the awaiting reporters about our protest, we read out our press release (available in Turkish on our website). The declaration is a clear sign that imperialists and Zionists will escalate their assaults. It is then time to increase our efforts for the victory of Palestinian people, and the defeat of imperialism and Zionism.
Following the first anniversary of our establishment in Turkey, our movement has had another step forward and now we have the Committee of the Friends of Palestine. This new body has pubished a manifesto which puts forward the essentials of our approach on the Palestine issue. This document will also stay on our web page in a seperate tab (Our Manifesto) for those who wish to read it:
The Manifesto of the Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism
The Friends of Palestine Against Imperialism and Zionism Platform stands unequivocally against the religiously-motivated, sectarian and racist political stances which misleadingly conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, emphasizing that those have nothing to contribute to the Palestinian people’s cause. It welcomes endorsements from and is willing to collaborate with non-anti-Semitic, anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist persons and organizations.
An Accurate Identification of the Palestinian Question
The Platform deems the political entity called Israel and its Zionist ideology a cancerous cell, which metastasizes all over the Palestinian territory. Palestine, historically a part of Bilad Al-Sham where Arabs and Jews have been living together, has witnessed a string of serious transformations since the early 20th thanks both to the invasion of the region by the imperialists after the World War I, and to the Jewish immigration waves to dramatically change the demographic density and composition of the country that were predicated on the 1917 Balfour Declaration and orchestrated by the imperialists and Zionists who revealed their true colors by prioritizing American Jews rather than European ones brutally persecuted by the Nazis. Those immigrant settlers led by Zionist gangs such as Hagannah and backed by the English imperialism have ventured into usurping the Palestinian resources and lands during the period up to the Nakba, that is, the establishment of the political entity called Israel in 1948. That usurpation has been made permanent and legitimate after 1950 when the Zionist entity enacted the ‘Absentees’ Property Law’ alongside the regulations stipulating that the Jewish-owned lands and means of production shall not be purchased or rented by non-Jewish persons.
The establishment of the Zionist Israel has inflicted devastating damages on Palestine and its people as does a cancerous cell to the organism within which it grows. The apartheid-like treatment of non-Jewish people has become an ordinary practice in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli state built a colossal segregation wall to so-called “protect” the territories under its occupation against their rightful holders. It has also systematically violated the Palestinians’ basic human rights such as the right to freedom of movement. On top of that, the Zionist entity passed a law on 19th July 2018 which declared that only Jews have the right to self-determination in the country; that Arabic is no longer an official language; and that the Jewish settlements are “national values”, of which number will be increased.
That cancerous cell has metastasized beyond its place of origin by occupying the Golan Heights, temporarily seizing the Sinai Desert and unleashing a ferocious attack on Southern Lebanon. That Israel has never defined its official territorial borders and drafted a binding constitution that would risk its expansionism undoubtedly emboldens those Zionist belligerences. But one should never forget that this malign entity would have never attempted to realize its aspirations if it had not forged special bonds with imperialism. There is a mutually beneficial relationship between them. As imperialism has backed Israel almost uninterruptedly since its birth certificate issued by the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist entity in return serves as its outpost in the region. Israel, however, has a unique characteristic which makes it different from other reactionary regional regimes doing dirty jobs for imperialism. That is its influence on the US foreign policy, which makes it more dangerous than the usual servants (Saudis, Sisi etc.) of imperialism.
Fight against Zionism
It is futile to expect that cancer can be cured by administering painkillers. So is it to seek remedy in the “resolution initiatives” such as Oslo or Camp David in order to be able to confront the Zionist destruction because Israel, as a self-proclaimed legitimate state, has always turned a deaf ear to the proposals made by the parties with whom it has held negotiations, and continued its discriminatory policies unabated against the Palestinian people.
For instance, Zionists were still unsatisfied even though Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had conceded in his speech at the Knesset or the so-called Israeli parliament in 1977 that an independent state territorially confined to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would be acceptable to the Palestinian people. The “two states to two nations” proposals made, respectively, by Sadat himself and by the PLO during the Camp David negotiations held in 1978 and 1988-1989 have never been treated by Zionists as proper resolutions. The result was therefore nothing but a huge disappointment. As for the Oslo negotiations held in 1993, they marked the beginning of a disgraceful period that has culminated in the “Palestinian Autonomous Authority” turning eventually into a stooge of Zionism, and that witnessed the Palestinians’ right to return were revoked by the treaties signed in 1994 and 1995.
Like cancerous tissues need to be removed from the body to halt metastasis, Israeli state should be eradicated from the region. To be more accurate, it should be annihilated. As historically proven, the means to achieve that goal are armed struggles, strikes and mass mobilizations. During the post-1948 period, the Palestinian people has retaliated against Israeli Zionist aggression by waging armed struggles in 1964, 1967 and 1969 led, respectively, by Al-Fatah, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Islamic Jihad. Those counter-attacks have succeeded in repelling the Zionist attacks. In 1991, that is, the year when the first Intifada reached its climax, Israel was forced to announce that it would retreat from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Following the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000, the Palestinian people started an all-out fight under the joint leadership of the national resistance organizations against Israel that squeezed the latter into a corner and forced it to withdraw its occupation forces from the Gaza Strip. Israel conceded an utter defeat in 2006 when its flagrant assault on Lebanon was repelled by Hezbollah combatants. It has since then been refraining from conducting military operations beyond its northern frontiers.
Liberation of All Palestinian People from the Zionist Yoke
The Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism Platform tirelessly reiterates that the bi-national one-state solution is the only cure to the Zionist cancer, and that an anti-imperialist, democratic, secular, socialist and unified Palestine extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea is the only way to create a country where Palestinians of all nations, religions and sects will in harmony. The Platform urges Arabs and Jews to unify around that program.
As we are going through an era that capitalism drags humanity towards a total catastrophe, that program aimed at freeing both Arabs and Jews requires actions such as expropriation both of the Zionist capital whose interests are in parallel with the Israel’s apartheid regime, and of the bureaucracy led by Abu Mazen which is in collaboration with the former; nationalization of Palestinian means of production and natural resources exploited by a handful imperialists and Zionists; establishment of a secular order that ensures the fraternity of the people of different religions; disbanding the organizations which protect imperialist interests, and thus cause the people to slaughter each other.
Palestinian socialist movements which adopt those objectives are welcomed by the Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism Platform as comrades. The Platform intends to learn from their experiences as well as to build internationalist solidarity. We consider the Islamist organizations, primarily Hamas, notwithstanding that they are not aligned with such objectives, to be allies in the arduous fight against Zionism, without giving any political supports to them, that is, without replacing the Palestinian left with them, and with exposing their political limits and swerves when required. The Platform will also expose the hypocrisy of the pseudo-anti-Zionism, as epitomized in the case of AKP, which has, on the one hand, pretended to be the champion of the Palestinian cause and, on the other hand, made various treaties with Israel and sold out the Gaza people by dropping the Mavi Marmara Flotilla case for the sake of being able to buy natural gas from Israel.
The Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism Platform supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and acts in solidarity with the Palestinian people.