For peace, for Palestine
(Iranian left manifesto)
Below is a statement organised by Iranian left activists. The Farsi version is linked at the bottom of this piece
Following the recent rumours of a military attack on Iran, several Israeli citizens have initiated a campaign, opposing the probable war of the American and Israeli states against Iran. In doing so, they are sending messages of friendship and respect to the Iranian people such as the message that “We won’t ever attack Iran.” Some of the Iranians, have reciprocated with the same messages of friendship and respect for the Israelis. Some of the early organizers of this movement on the Iranian side belong to the right wing political activists who had not shown any opposition to military attack or economic sanction against Iran in the past. In the mass media, they had called such economic sanctions and wars as a “Humanitarian Intervention”. A section of this Iranian neo-liberal army were even siding with the super powers in the “Humanitarian Intervention” against Iran. This friendship and anti-war campaign by the citizens of two countries in these critical conditions of verbal war and the thirst of both sides for a crisis is a positive step. But it should not overshadow the agony of Iranians in the past thirty-three years and the problem of the Palestinian people amidst of this campaign.
In our opinion, the anti-war popular movements should symbolically remove the borders among the countries and strive towards more solidarity among the people of the countries in crisis. “The Anti-War Campaign” in Israel has to start its existence with the criticism and negation of the “Barrier Wall” that is an obstacle between the Israeli people and rest the world. No anti-war campaign can ever send the genuine friendship and peace messages to any part of the world, while ignoring the Palestinians who are facing the poverty. The Israelis cannot oppose the war against Iran without understanding that such a war is not detached from the war against the people Palestine which are caused by the political and economical injustice of Israel and its allies in other parts of the world.
The threat of a military intervention and the risk of a war against Iran have escalated at a time when attention of Iranian people and many political activists has shifted from the nuclear case to the economic and political demands of the Iranian people. These demands are continuation of their combat and resistance in the past three years. While the government is under huge pressure of due to political and economic dissatisfaction, the threat of war has come has been a blessing for the Iranian government. They use it to deviate the attention from the internal problems and postpone the achievement of historical and political demands of equality and liberty by the people. These all happen when many Iranians are jailed for these demands or are forced to leave the country. Similar conditions were also present at the beginning of 1979 revolution, when Saddam Hussain initiated a was against Iran with active support by the United States and Europe countries. The Iraq war against Iran made the people defend their lives and nation, instead of stopping the deviation of their revolution and resisting its confiscation by the anti-revolutionaries. That’s why many Iranians see the threat of war against their country as an effort of other states to keep the Islamic Republic in place when it is going through its weakest condition in years.
For more than thirty years, the Iranians have not only suffered from the constant threat of war against their country but have also been the victim of one-sided sanctions. A huge number of them have been killed in aerial accidents caused indirectly by these sanctions. The undeniable effects of the sanctions on the health services has put the medical and sanitary sectors in a deep crisis. These sanctions and threats have led to the establishment of underground markets and have increased corruption by sections of the government. It is obvious that the economic sanctions and the threats of war do not just cause problems for the government, but they deteriorate the economic and political status of Iran and its people and diminish their resistance and hope to achieve a better future. People who had suffered from an American-English Coup d’etat, are still paying for its consequences up to today. And now their resistance is severely hit by the war threats of the world super powers. They have numerous reasons to feel frustrated politically about deciding their own destiny. The doubt for these people is not a “Conspiracy Theory” but a logical conclusion of their history.
Additionally, we believe that this anti-war campaign by including the Palestinian people can announce its independence and convince others to strive for justice irrespective of races and nations, In this way it can show its understanding of the relation between the Palestinians and the war threat against Iran. The discourse of Palestine is not just limited to Palestinians. Palestine is a global concept that goes beyond borders. The solidarity among the oppressed nations is crucial in order to avoid the problem of one nation exploiting others. Meanwhile the labor activists such as “Reza Shahabi”, “Shahrokh Zamani”, “Behnam Ebrahim Zade”, “Mohammad Jarahi”, “Ebrahim Madadi”, “Alireza Akhavan”, “Pedram Nasrollahi” and many others are jailed for years because of their deeds to defend the rights of the diligent. The support of Palestine by the Islamic Republic is just a form of stupid exploitation of the states to show themselves as a symbol of defending the oppressed. The Turkish government as well suppresses the Kurds who were celebrating their new year feasts and jails a student because of using a Palestinian shawl, is using the Palestine cause in another from in order to be named as a defender of the oppressed people.
Contrary to what the powers want us to believe, the Israeli, Iranian and Syrian states do not basically have any hatred towards one another. On the other hand, they act as a complementary force to meet each others’ needs in this anti-popular cycle. For instance, how could the Israeli government, without instrumental use of the Iranian government to distract the global public and media, alongside the systematic oppression of the Palestinian and the hunger strike of “Hana Al Shalabi”, withstand the massive popular demonstration against the unjust methods of the finance processes? How can the Iranian government; while trying its best to suppress the resistance of the workers, social activists, students, and journalists, withstand the popular resistance of the Iranians without the aid of Israeli government in creating a war risk and expanding the verbal war?
In our opinion, in such a background where the anti-war campaign and the mutual respect among the Iranian and Israeli citizens has formed up, denouncing war and the imperialistic violation of Israel and its allies has to be in close relationship with the defense of Palestinians’ rights, and battling the non-popular governments in the region such as Israel, Syria, Turkey and Iran who use the Palestine cause to cover their own dictatorship and restriction over their own people. As well, the Palestinians have to be aware that justice and emancipation won’t occur through the aids of dictator governments, because these governments have stood up alongside the avant-guard forces of the world, supporting Palestine in order to cover their internal systematic oppressions and their political deals with imperialism.