The Way to Halt the Cycle of Bloodshed – 5/11/2015

The Israeli Communist Forum places on the Government of Israel the responsibility for the recent exacerbating of the cycle of bloodshed. It is the government which persists in maintaining and expanding settlements, in increasing the various forms and methods of abusing the Palestinian population of the Occupied Territories, in the brutal collective punishment of entire communities and in giving the security forces an almost complete carte blanche for using lethal force against "suspicious Palestinians". At the same time, hardly any action is taken against the perpetrators of so-called "price tag" terrorist acts against The Arab population – including those who have caused the deaths of women and children, not to mention those responsible for severe damage to property and the desecration of Muslim and Christian holy places.

In addition, there is increasing evidence of an intention to overturn the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the "Temple Mount" compound – which would constitute a clear, blunt violation of a site highly sacred to members of the Muslim religion. Senior ministers and other prominent establishment figures announce almost daily new schemes in this regard, such as raising the Israeli national flag on "Temple Mount". This, in addition to a whole series of provocative "visits" to the site.

Due to all that, plus the complete absence of any prospects for a political solution in light of the current government's policies, lead to an escalating struggle against these policies – a struggle which takes a variety of forms. It is this situation which leads to various acts of despair taken by Palestinian Arabs – who know full well that they are likely to pay with their lives or with grave bodily injury, and that their acts might also cause major damage also to their families. We condemn the practice of those who choose to stab innocent civilians. Such acts contribute nothing to the just struggle against occupation, not to protecting the sanctity of holy places. To the contrary, such acts only damage these struggles.

However, the way to prevent repetition of such acts is definitely not by an increase of punitive and repressive acts, not by a free hand on the trigger. As has been proven countless times in the past, such policies as house demolitions or expulsions and the like have done nothing to reduce the kind of acts which they are supposed to prevent – on the contrary, use of such means invariably exacerbates the situation all the more.

Therefore, the only way out of the present dire situation is a fundamental change in government policies. A solution which would both stop the present escalation and in general avert the ever-repeating cycles of bloodshed can only be achieved by putting an end to the occupation, withdrawing from all the Occupied Territories, and establishing an independent Palestinian state side by side with the State of Israel – a state located within the June ’67 borders (including East Jerusalem). Also, an end must come immediately to any acts that might ignite a new war in other areas beyond the country’s borders to the south and north. We condemn the Israeli aerial attacks carried out in Syria. Such attacks against the Syrian army actually help such murderous terrorist organizations as ISIS, the Al-Nusra Front and their ilk.

Inside Israel, we are witnessing the continuation and intensification of the assault on democratic freedoms. There is an attempt to significantly limit the protest against the dominant policies while presenting any criticism of the government  as "treason", " support for terrorism "and aiding the enemy". All major media outlets are increasingly aligning themselves with these tendencies. A widespread incitement, more virulent than ever before, is targeting the Arab Knesset Members, falsely presenting their views as "supportive of terrorism" and "setting off religious escalation". At present,  legislative procedures are at work, aimed at outlawing some of the organizations and movements active among the Arab population, as well as to severely curtail the freedom of action of peace and protest groups (for example, the "Boycott Law" designed to outlaw calls for boycott of settlement products).

Under the shadow of escalation in the political sphere, and directly utilizing that escalation, there is a relentless continuation of the economic policies of privatization and the infringement of the rights of workers and of the general public, in the interests of local and foreign tycoons. This is particularly conspicuous, for example, in the intensive efforts of Prime Minister Netanyahu to enact "The Gas Scheme" for exploitation of the offshore natural gas deposits – under terms which would hugely benefit the "Gas Tycoons" at the expense of the Israeli public. In addition, there are accelerated privatization moves in the sea ports, Israeli Electric Corporation, post office and other companies. We welcome all the struggles carried out by workers against these trends, as well as the growing movement of getting more workplaces and various sectors of workers unionized.

We also welcome all protest actions recently held in various parts of the country, organized by various peace groups and attended by thousands of Arabs and Jews. We call for the intensification of such acts of protest. Such protest actions must confront the ongoing occupation and oppression, the attacks on democratic freedoms and the offensive against the Arab population and its political representatives and upholding the demand for a fundamental change of current policies in all spheres.