What to do with Hamas?

To talk about Palestine, one must face Palestine itself: not just the ideal Palestine and not only the historical Palestine, but the existing and real Palestine in the light of the ideal Palestine and its history of liberation struggles. The very entity and reality that has caused a major part of the Iranian left to a crisis in a way that it is not ready to face but rather tries to ignore, and for this reason, most of the positions of this left are negative, illusionary and in many cases non-political in the sense that it does not address “politics” but ends with “condemnation” and “do not kill” and calls for an immediate ceasefire, similar to Amnesty International’s statements.

Therefore, at least to declare a political position regarding Palestine, a position that can find its material alternative in the situation, there is no other way than to confront the real Palestine, and this confrontation is inevitable from the path of confronting Hamas’ relationship with the Palestinian cause (the end of the occupation), Palestinian people and finally, in the light of such a confrontation, the relation of the left, and specifically the Iranian left, with Palestine and the Palestinian resistance. What is Hamas and how it emerged, of course, is an important issue and worthy of attention, and we will also mention some of the historical aspects of the emergence of Hamas, but emphasizing these historical aspects alone will not solve a problem today. The existing reality that must be acknowledged is that Hamas today, at least until the effects and results of the current invasion and the occupation of an important part of Gaza by Israel are not revealed, is considered the main and most extensive Palestinian resistance force, and for those forces who are standing on this front, that is, those who are fighting directly and anywhere in the unoccupied Palestinian lands against the Israeli occupation and the occupying regime, a level of cooperation and coordination with Hamas is necessary and unavoidable.

So far, two critical issues are revealed; 1- The fact that Hamas is today considered “the main and most extensive Palestinian resistance force” does not end here. Hamas’s regional partners, both governments (the Islamic Republic, Turkey, and Qatar) and organizations (Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc.) are important and undeniable. Especially for the revolutionary left movement, which considers itself bound to a class struggle with these governments, and in the case of the Iranian revolutionary left specifically with the Islamic Republic, the political, military, and financial composition that defends Hamas today has predictable results in the class struggle. Therefore, if the issue of “cooperation and coordination with Hamas” is to be extended outside the Palestinian lands and direct struggle with the occupiers, it will not be limited to cooperation and coordination with Hamas and will show its results for the revolutionary left in the quality of the class struggle with the Islamic Republic. How to deal with such a complex equation, how to fight the occupation in Palestine, which depends on confronting the US imperialist power, and how to profit from its results, ironically, in favor of promoting the class struggle against the Islamic Republic, at least need to understand the existing conflicts and reorganizing the revolutionary left force again.

Two- Hamas is a reactionary movement, both ideologically and from a class point of view. Can the necessity of fighting the occupation ignore the reactionary aspects of Hamas, even if temporarily and tactically? Our answer in the first place is both yes and no. In the sense that the reactionary nature of Hamas does not diminish the necessity of fighting the occupation. Second, the struggle against occupation, which does not only have the dimension of recapturing territory and puts the struggle against various political-class aspects of colonialism on the agenda, must have such a quality – not only in theory but in specific political practice – that it can deal with reactionary aspects of Hamas inevitably.

In this way, “cooperation and coordination with Hamas” in the same land of Palestine should not only be a follow-up and unquestioning cooperation and coordination but also influence the dominant goals, procedures, and policies in Gaza – and the West Bank – from the path of gaining power of the revolutionary left currents among Palestinian fighters. Whether such currents exist today, with how much organization, and how to achieve “strategic” cooperation and coordination with them despite Hamas, are among the issues that we will try to outline in this text in a compact but precise manner, and if we cannot answer it at this point, at least clarify the questions that must be asked about Palestine to lead to a positive revolutionary politics.

The political economy of the rise of Hamas

To clarify this relationship, we must first discuss the historical Hamas, so that perhaps the review of this history will untie a knot of our problem. For this purpose, the best cut is the “Oslo Accord”; A moment where the distorted narrative is that the two sides were on the verge of peace, but with the killing of Yitzhak Rabin (Prime Minister of Israel) by Jewish extremists, and the rise of extreme rightists in the Likud party, all dreams were dashed.

The signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993 marked the end of the first intifada. As the revolutionary leftist forces have said many times about Oslo since then, this agreement did not solve the Palestinian problem, but it solved the problem of the Palestine Liberation Organization or “PLO”. PLO cadres who returned from exile helped establish the Palestinian Authority; A government with limited powers, the details of which were defined in the Oslo Accord and other agreements concluded in the 1990s. But how did the USA decide to be the designer of this agreement?

After the Gulf War (1990-1991), the idea of “Arab unity” became even more divided, and even Saddam’s attack on Israel could not make him popular among the Arabs. Thus, by destroying the Iraqi military, the USA sought to teach a great lesson to all the countries in the region and use this gap in the Arab world to integrate Israel into the global economy. For this purpose, it was necessary to remove the economic sanctions of the Arab world against the Israeli government. These sanctions cost Israel over 40 billion dollars between 1948 and 1994. To solve the economic crisis of the 1980s, Israel had already put the neoliberal policy of “economic stabilization” on the agenda, thanks to which many state-owned companies were privatized, and the scope of these privatizations even extended to collective farms known as “kibbutz”. The problems were supposed to be solved with the help of “foreign investment”, but the important obstacle to these investments was the Arab sanctions. This is what Adam Hanieh rightly says: “Oslo was an agreement that suited the capitalism of its time; That is, by the expansion of the internationalization of capital, which was the characteristic of the world economy in the 1990s” [1].

Leaving aside the story of the division of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C, after the signing of the agreement, what happened was that the number of Israeli settlers doubled between 1994 and 2000. Israel also controlled most of the water resources, all the underground resources and all the skies of the West Bank. Beginning in 1993, Israel consciously hired foreign workers from Asia and Eastern Europe to replace the Palestinian labor force that arrived daily from the West Bank. Now the Israeli economy no longer relies on the exploitation of cheap Palestinian labor. The result was that instead of working in Israel, Palestinians were employed by the public sector of the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s complete control over all external borders – approved by the 1994 Paris Protocol (an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority) – meant that Palestine could not establish meaningful economic relations with any third country. The Paris Protocol gave Israel the right to decide what goods the Palestinian Authority is allowed to export and import.

On the other hand, the lack of Palestinian currency indicated that the Palestinian monetary system is subject to the decisions of the Central Bank of Israel. One of the consequences of this was the high inflation rate in the West Bank. On the one hand, this inflation benefited the Israeli companies that sold goods to Palestinian consumers, and on the other hand, it left a destructive impact on the lives of Palestinian families.

In such a situation, with the failure of the “Camp David” negotiations, the second intifada began in September 2000 and lasted for five years. But as a result of wall construction and relentless repression of civilians, the second intifada gradually lost its strength. Arafat’s death was also a symbolic end for the PLO and the legitimate representation of the Palestinian people.

With the death of Arafat and the inauguration of Mahmoud Abbas, who was known as a supporter of “normalization of relations with Israel” since the 1980s, the movement of “Fath” was divided into small local groups. The inability of the Palestinian Authority to improve the economic situation on the one hand, and thousands of Palestinians remaining in Israeli prisons on the other hand, directed the anger towards Mahmoud Abbas.

It is in such context that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) rose up to compete with “Fath” due to its powerful network of charitable social institutions, which was the only protector of the daily lives of Palestinians. Hamas, at least in the early years, was considered a healthy force from the point of view of economic corruption, which was against compromise with Israel since the Oslo Accord. This gradually brought respect for this group among the people, who could turn the resistance achievements of the Intifada into their political capital. The first shock occurred in January 2006: in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, Hamas won 74 seats and Fatah 45 seats. With the dismissal of Ismail Haniyeh from the position of Prime Minister by Mahmoud Abbas, and, as a response, to taking control of the Gaza Strip and expelling high-ranking PLO members from Gaza by Hamas in June 2007, the coalition government of Fatah and Hamas collapsed and practically two Palestinian governments were created. Meanwhile, the neoliberal privatizations of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the resulting austerity programs, which led to the increasing indebtedness of the Palestinians, affected their ability to fight. In this way, the popular resistance during the second intifada, along with other factors that we will discuss, gave way to Hamas as the only force that had the possibility of practical resistance against Israel.

Hamas: the product of the suppression of the revolution and the end of the Cold War

Those other factors included the course of global and regional developments that were taking place simultaneously with the emergence of Hamas as a political force on the resistance front. The transformation of reactionary Islam into a political force with a wide and mass-engaging base in the region known as the Middle East has become possible only through the continuation of two more or less simultaneous and symmetrical processes. On the one hand, the bloody suppression of the communist movement and the weakening and eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, and on the other hand, the spread of economic misery as a result of neoliberal policies dictated by the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund in Muslim countries.

Hence, it is not surprising that the two main organizations of reactionary Islam in Palestine, namely the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and the Islamic Jihad Movement, were organized in the late seventies and early eighties. They were the main absentees of nearly two decades of resistance against the Israeli occupation. Before that, the armed resistance of the Palestinian people was organized either by Marxist organizations such as the “People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine” or the “Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine” or by non-religious leftist organizations such as the “Palestine Patriotic Liberation Movement” (Fath). The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the main resistance body of the Palestinian people, was a coalition between revolutionary left-wing Muslims, anti-imperialist nationalists and some Palestinian Marxist organizations and elements.

During the entire time that the Palestinian resistance movement was engaged in a bloody battle with the occupiers, a battle that was not only limited to the occupied territories but also extended to Jordan (the main settlement of Palestinian refugees) and even European countries, the next founders of Hamas were busy with other works. Like most of the later leaders and founders of Islamic populist movements in the Middle East [2], they organized charitable institutions and recreational-religious centers for young people not only in the occupied territories but also in Jordan, which is the most populated place of Palestinian refugees, to provide the people who were suffering from unemployment and poverty with free food, cheap or free sports, and entertainment camps. It should be pointed out that poverty in Palestine was not only the result of capitalist relations but before that, the desertification of agricultural lands and the closing of the sea route to the Palestinians had taken away the two basic foundations of the Palestinian people’s livelihood. But this was part of the documented and planned policy of step-by-step occupation of the Palestinian lands by Israel to impoverish the Palestinian people and force them to migrate, something that is currently going on and since the sixties, the wave of migration of the Palestinian people has never stopped.

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, one of the founders and leaders of Hamas, who was finally assassinated in his wheelchair by the Israeli military squads, sheds light on the position of the Islamist leaders of the day against the resistance of the Palestinian people. He narrates about his encounter with one of the Palestinian fighters: “One of the fighters who was one of my students had joined the People’s Liberation Forces; I said to him: My child! You are wanted, will you still take action every day? what is this you are doing? He said: Yes, do I have anything other than this grenade?” He also remembers: “When I went to Jordan in 1968, I met one of the Palestinian youths present there. This simple young man told me: I have entered Fatah. I asked: Okay, so what? He replied: Shut up, I dedicated myself to you, here I have caused the removal of the ranks of several Jordanian officers. I said: After all, you pipsqueak! do you want to demote Jordanian officers and make them homeless on the streets?” [3]

This was the case when the bloodiest battle between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli government was going on and its scope even reached other countries in the region, while Palestine and its resistance had become such an issue that all progressive forces everywhere in the world were involved in it, the subsequent leaders of Hamas hesitated about the necessity of resistance and without any belief in its possibility, were dealing with charitable associations, sports and entertainment organizations with the permission of the Israeli government via “Sheikh Hashem Khazendar” who, according to Yassin himself, was one of the supporters of the Camp David Agreement and the opponent of the PLO.

Sheikh Ahmad Yassin narrates the story of receiving a license for the “Islamic Assembly” in 1978 as follows: “In those difficult circumstances, we reached out to Mr. Sheikh Hashem Khazandar; He was a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a supporter of the Camp David Treaty. He blamed the PLO and told them: You don’t understand; This treaty is a good one. His support for Camp David was such that he planned to send a delegation to Egypt to announce his support for the signing of this treaty. In short, I sent one of my friends to him […] Sheikh Hashem said: “Okay, I’m going to see [the Israeli authorities]. If I’m not mistaken, he went to the Ministry of Interior on Sunday with a member of the assembly named Abdul Aal. This Sheikh Hashem had a sharp tongue, so he started shouting at the Ministry of Interior [… and said:] I know this assembly and its members and I approve them; In short, he said these things so much that he got their consent to grant the permission”.

These years coincided with the suppression of the leftist movement in the region. In 1979, Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq and severely suppressed the communist movement there. Although Saddam had good relations with the PLO, he seriously supported Hamas and the movement of reactionary Islam in Palestine. The suppression of the February 1979 Revolution in Iran also led to the mass killing of communists and revolutionary left-wing Muslims. The leftist movement in Egypt had gone to hell after Anwar Sadat’s coup in 1970, and the signing of the Camp David Agreement in 1978 between Egypt and Israel with the intervention of the United States removed the last remaining support of Egyptian Nasserism from the Palestinian resistance. The Soviet Union also underwent great changes in these years. From 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Communist Party, and in 1988 he officially announced that the Soviet Union would no longer follow the Brezhnev Doctrine, a process that ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Before that, the policy of de-escalation was going on between the East and West blocs, and the Soviet support for the Palestinian resistance had been decreasing for years. The set of these conditions not only weakened the left wing and the communist resistance of the Palestinian people, who had lost their strategic allies in the region but also caused the Palestine Liberation Organization to be severely weakened. The difficult stalemate that finally brought the old Palestinian guerrillas to the negotiating table on September 9, 1993 and destroyed the remaining popularity of the PLO leadership with the signing of the peace agreement.

While Hamas had slowly entered the political geography of Palestine by participating in the first intifada, the conclusion of the Oslo Accords and the weakening of the leftist and communist forces in Palestine and the region gave Hamas a golden opportunity to step into the public arena as a force opposed to the Oslo Accords. The departure of the Marxist organizations opposed to the Oslo Accords from the alliance with Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the purge of radical forces from the ranks of Fatah and the PLO, and the rise of internal divides within Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization, all weakened these organizations which were the main force of the Palestinian resistance until then in the last half of the nineties. At the beginning of the new century, the Israeli repression apparatus started an attack on the main organizations of the Palestinian resistance to get rid of the resistance. Abu Ali Mustafa, the leader of the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the successor of George Habash, who had lost the ability to lead the front due to old age and severe illness, was killed by Israeli terror squads in his office in August 2001 in Ramallah in the West Bank. Almost immediately and in 2002, the police of the Palestinian Authority arrested Ahmed Saadat, his successor, who was in the prison of the Palestinian Authority until 2006, and then he was kidnapped supposedly by the Israeli army to Israel, and then he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Marwan Barghouti, a high-ranking military commander of the Fatah movement and an opponent of the Oslo Accords, was also arrested by the Israeli army in 2002 and sentenced to 5 life sentences.

In this way, just when the possibility of any kind of resistance seemed to be blocked, the movements organized by reactionary Islam arrived and used all the force they had organized around charitable foundations. They had now become the only collective hope of the people who were looking for salvation and their organs of resistance had been disintegrated. It was a few years later that Israel attacked Hamas this time, and with the successive assassinations of Hamas leaders, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdul Aziz Rantisi, in 2004, it took action against this organization when this force had already become a real force with a mass base, and after two years, it was able to get a high vote in the elections.

Internal contradictions of Hamas

Apart from these historical records, for a fundamental confrontation with Hamas and also with Palestine, it should be noted that Hamas, both as the hegemonic force in the Palestinian resistance and as the relatively ruling government in the Gaza Strip since 2007, is itself affected by social developments. In fact, the two contradictory processes of being at the forefront of the Palestinian people’s resistance against the occupation on the one hand, and being in the position of the quasi-government ruling the Gaza Strip on the other hand, have also caused internal changes in Hamas itself. On the other hand, for example, the presence of women such as Maryam Mohammad Farhat (Um Nidal), Jamila Al-Shanti, Maryam Saleh, and Mona Mansour in the high ranks of Hamas’s organization and administrative-government organizations can be seen as the effects of turning a marginal movement into a hegemonic force in the Palestinian resistance, without this organizational growth has caused a fundamental change in the anti-woman nature of an Islamic fundamentalist movement[4], and on the other hand, Hamas, as the quasi-government ruling the Gaza Strip, is partially responsible for the economic unrest in this region from the point of view of the people of Gaza which is the result of the 16 years of economic blockade of Gaza by Israel, the competitive policies of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and the class orientation of Hamas itself. Things like frequent power outages, the increasing price of goods and services, the spread of unemployment and consequently poverty in the Gaza Strip, as well as the increase of public taxes by Hamas, in addition to the fact that many Hamas leaders and their families live outside the Gaza Strip, along with rumors that a part of the aid received from Iran, Qatar, Turkey and other Hamas supporters is used for the prosperous life of these people, it has caused the increasing deepening of discontent among the people who live next to the occupying government, while also living under the control of Hamas. It is for this reason that, if the protests affected by the so-called “Arab Spring” uprisings in the years 2011 and 2012, spread more than Gaza in the West Bank under the rule of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization, however at least since November 2018 a series of livelihood protests have been going on in Gaza. Although at the beginning, these protests were mostly against the blockade of Gaza by Israel and the policies of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, over time, they were also directed against the Hamas rulers of Gaza, and as a result, they were suppressed by the security forces and Hamas-affiliated militias. Among them, we can mention the four-day demonstrations and subsequent repression in March 2019 and the most recent of them in July 2023.

Thus, the contradictory position of Hamas is that on the one hand, it is considered the main armed force of the Palestinian resistance, and on the other hand, in the position of governance, it faces a crisis of legitimacy from the people who are becoming increasingly poor. Therefore, perhaps one of the reasons for operations such as the “Al-Aqsa Storm” can be considered the same contradictory situation that Hamas is trying to resolve in favor of the “main resistance force” position, and for this reason, with a short distance from the 30th anniversary of the conclusion of the Oslo Accords, it designed such an operation.

About October 7

We are now in a different situation after October 7 and the “Al-Aqsa Storm” operation. Israel’s full-scale military invasion of the Gaza Strip, although it is framed and legitimized by Israel itself and its numerous supporters among the statesmen of the West and around the world under the title of “retaliatory operations”, is actually part of the ongoing process of occupation that has been described. And this bloody and criminal phase of occupation, more or less like previous phases, is accompanied by the unquestioning support of Western governments. But to deal with this moment, we must first clarify the task with “October 7” itself and the operation “Al-Aqsa Storm”.

What is useful in order not to face October 7 is to call this operation a “crime”. To call this operation a “crime”, of course, the relationship of this operation with the Palestinian resistance must be denied and Hamas is considered the only force involved in the operation. Although, with the full-scale attack of the Zionist army on Gaza, the organizations of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Mahmoud Abbas personally seized the opportunity to blame Hamas in the light of Israel’s daily crimes, the relationship between this trend and the Palestinian cause has been clear for years. For other forces present in the Palestinian resistance, the presence or absence of them in Al-Aqsa Storm meant a choice between life and death. As in this operation, both the “Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades” affiliated with the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the “National Resistance Brigades” affiliated with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine were present, and this means the presence of two important surviving organizations of the Palestinian communist movement in this operation, although their combat power is not comparable to that of the Hamas.

That there was a fund in “Kibbutz Be’eri” to help workers who came to the kibbutz from Gaza to work, that a peace activist named “Hayim Katzman” is among the dead, that those who came to this area just to participate in a music festival were killed, or the fact that “kibbutz” could at least be presented as a model of the building of socialism before the beginning of privatization in the mid-nineties, which was admired by some Iranian socialists, does not explain anything, even though it is the work of media propaganda.

The issue is not only the precise and systematic removal of the phenomenon of “occupation” from these images. The issue is not only the criminalization of resistance against the occupation. Rather, the exact issue is a form of monopoly of the “right to use violence” in the hands of a force that can apply it by relying on global support. In a controversial example, let’s assume that when Qassem Soleimani, the criminal commander of the Quds Force and the second person in the country after Ali Khamenei, who had an official and legal position, was killed by the official American military forces in a terrorist operation, and the American president personally observed this scene, in a reactionary action, the Islamic Republic was so courageous as to assassinate with similar ceremonies not the second person of the official policy in America, but the military commander of the American army in Iraq, who, if not more, at least participated in the crime as much as Qassem Soleimani. It is conceivable what a storm would have arisen in the world and how much it would have been possible to ally a military attack on Iran because the monopoly of the right to use violence had been violated. Therefore, it is clear that no one should pay attention to the violence hidden in a music festival that is held only thirteen kilometers away from a place where its people have been surrounded by land and sea for sixteen years, and in these sixteen years and before October 7, they have been under daily massive missile attacks at least four times.

Therefore, it is not possible to examine the issue of October 7 without considering the “occupation” issue and without considering the global consensus regarding the criminalization of resistance to the occupation and the monopoly of the right to use violence. You may live in a very socialist, egalitarian, and free kibbutz, you may want peace with Palestine and defend the rights of Palestinian workers working in Israel, and you may have started a charity fund for Palestinian workers working in kibbutz, but in the end, for a Palestinian, you are someone who lives on an occupied land and you are a part of the occupation mechanism that has not stopped even for a moment during the last eight decades, and that sixteen-year siege and Palestinian refugees who are unable to return to their land, and that barrier also matters to you.

The criminalization of resistance is also a global trend and an integral part of the division of power and global competition after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The legitimacy or criminality of this resistance is measured by its relation to the capitalist world order, with all its blocs and internal rivalries. This is why, for example, in the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union, even for example, a right-wing and extreme nationalist group, some of which happened to have committed terrorist acts on European soil, are not registered, but instead, as well as several Islamic fundamentalist groups around the world, there are the names of several communist armed organizations is those lists. In this way, you can be armed but not “Islamist” or “communist” or if you were any of these, be at war with governments that the hegemonic blocs of the capitalist world have no intention of defending.

The real left of Palestine

We explained that some Palestinian leftist and communist organizations were also involved in the “Al-Aqsa Storm”. Of course, we know very well that these organizations, contrary to some propaganda of ‘the left of the axis of resistance’, have never dissolved themselves in Hamas and its will. In all the livelihood protests of the past years, both in Gaza and in the West Bank, they have supported the dispossessed people and their protests, and they have tried as much as possible and the extent of influence they have in trade unions and labor unions by organizing strikes and participating effectively in them. While fighting against the Israeli occupiers, they also confront the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas quasi-government in Gaza, and because of this, they have been constantly under pressure, chased, and arrested. But despite such conditions, why are these forces in various forms of cooperation with Hamas, and their military branches have participated in the Al-Aqsa Storm, which logically requires a degree of coordination and cooperation? The complex relationship between these forces and Hamas is not unrelated to the complex relationship that the left in general and the Iranian left, in particular, establish in the light of such conditions with the cause and struggle of Palestine, but to explain this situation in both negative and positive aspects, it is first necessary to face the reality: we know very well that the propaganda of the dominant media of and imperialist institutions and governments regarding the degree of dependence and even the relationship of these movements with the Islamic Republic of Iran is as irrelevant as the news of the design of the “Al-Aqsa Storm” in Tehran, and it is related to geopolitical conflicts, but at the same time, it should be acknowledged that these currents also have some connection with the Islamic Republic, and by the way, the more serious their role in the Palestinian resistance is, the greater this connection is. If we consider the two main forces of the communist movement in Palestine the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine, both of these currents, the former less and the latter more, are related to the Islamic Republic, but the exact relationship must be defined as “connection”. It is far from the level of financial and military dependence of movements such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, but it can still be annoying and alarming for us as Iranian communists. For example, the network for the defense of Palestinian political prisoners known as “Samdoun” is a network that has branches in different countries and recently its branch in Germany was recognized as a “terrorist group”, its activities were banned and its members were arrested and subjected to deportation. It is said, and it is almost certainly true, that this network is largely affiliated with the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “Samdoun” also has a branch in Iran. The person in charge of Samdoun in Iran is a Hezbollahi student of British studies named Elham Abedini, who also hosted a program called “Foreign Policy” on an IRI’s TV channel. The colleagues and guests of this network in the meetings they hold in Iran, in addition to Hezbollah elements and “justice advocate” Basij parties, so far there have been some elements of ‘the left of the Resistance Axis’ “Jedal”, and specifically Parisa Nasrabadi, Nahid Pouraisi, and Amir Khorasani. This is only a small part of the reality that we will face when we step towards cooperation with the Palestinian currents and go beyond the scope of dreams and fantasy, and covering it up will probably not solve the problem in order not to be abused by the enemy.

The Paper Tiger of the Axis of Resistance

Another immediate result of Israel’s invasion and the ongoing genocide in the Gaza Strip is the revelation of the fact that, despite many bluffs and propaganda, the non-Palestinian elements of the “axis of resistance” are nothing more than a paper tiger. Although Hamas also suffered a military defeat, this defeat is different from the “defeat” of the non-Palestinian components of the resistance axis. Even though a government celebration was held in the streets of Iran in a propaganda campaign shortly after the Al-Aqsa Storm, and high-ranking political and military officials chanted for Israel from the official podiums, in the very first days, Ali Khamenei, the symbol of the entire ruling political system in Iran, and the high-ranking commander of the Iranian resistance axis came to Friday prayers to deny any connection between the Al-Aqsa Storm and the Islamic Republic, while repeating the usual slogans.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah also welcomed the rumor that Hezbollah would soon enter into battle with Israel, but did not take any action other than sporadic rocket launches, which immediately received a rocket response from Israel. While Lebanon’s Hezbollah had emphasized that it would not tolerate the Israeli army’s ground entry into Gaza and would enter the “field” with all its military strength, when it became clear that the Israeli army would actually enter Gaza by ground, Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, with a lot of propaganda, appeared in a speech to finally clarify that the Lebanese Hezbollah will not enter this conflict and will continue to fire scattered rockets. Even though Israel occupied a large part of Gaza there is still no news of Hezbollah’s entry into Gaza and there will never be.

Other groups and even governments affiliated with the resistance axis, including in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, did not take any other action except for firing a few missiles and rockets at important military targets, none of which hit the target, and although some of these groups in Iraq said that they would take revenge on the US Secretary of State during his recent visit to this country on behalf of the Palestinian people, they did not even open a firecracker.

By the way, the limitations of the entire front known as the Axis of Resistance, including Hamas, due to their dependence on the governments and thus the governments’ control over the actions of these forces were well revealed in recent weeks. These forces, and above all Hamas, probably could expand the scope of the military conflict outside of Gaza and even drag this conflict to European countries and the United States if necessary, but the problem is that these forces must at the same time protect the international and regional interests of the Islamic Republic and the government of Syria, and in the case of Hamas, the government of Turkey and the government of Qatar. This time, the “Paper Tiger” was the Axis of Resistance, which has been chanting for Israel for years, and by creating and equipping proxy groups throughout the region, it claimed that it was becoming the first power in the region, but when faced with the hard ground of reality, all its show teeth fell.

Wide-ranging propaganda about the Islamic Republic’s cyber aid to the “Palestinian resistance” and the “tremendous defeats” that Israel has suffered in this area, and the search for hidden strains and allusive hints of Hassan Nasrallah’s speech, which is all over the Resistance Axis propaganda machine, all these, ironically, reveal that these lowly whistleblowers are most aware of the reality that has been exposed in front of everyone’s eyes.

International solidarity; opportunities and limitations

In recent weeks, there has been a significant surge in global demonstrations rallying in support of the Palestinian people. Despite the widespread efforts by official authorities and mainstream media to cultivate an anti-Palestinian sentiment, these protests across various nations have gradually eroded the narrative shaped by the “Al-Qassi Storm” operation, framed as “the most significant crime against the Jews since the Holocaust.” Even the German government ultimately retreated from the demonstration ban in the face of mounting demonstrations. Regrettably, while the collective voice in favor of Palestine succeeded in compelling some authorities to withdraw their support, it failed to halt the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Furthermore, these efforts were unable to disrupt the unwavering support of Western governments for Israel, revealing their complicity with the Israeli government despite the clear humanitarian concerns.

The issue isn’t that the protests aren’t happening everywhere. Many people worldwide have been marching in recent weeks, and more join every day as Israel’s actions worsen. But the real problem is that these protests can only do so much. Looking back, when the U.S. and its allies attacked Iraq, there were even bigger protests all over the world. Sadly, they couldn’t stop the military attack or the occupation of Iraq. They also couldn’t make the invaders leave right after Saddam Hussein’s government was overthrown.

Let’s look back at the “Vietnam Anti-War Movement.” We often see big protests and the struggle between the American army and the Vietnamese Viet Cong in its picture. But this picture leaves out two important things very precisely, and surprisingly, they connect to our current concern about Palestine. Firstly, the protests about Vietnam weren’t just against the American army being in Vietnam. They were also supporting the people of Vietnam and their political-military group, the Viet Cong, in their fight for freedom. So, the Vietnam protests weren’t just saying “no” to something; they were actively supporting a liberation struggle. This positive stance is missing or not dominant in the recent demonstrations supporting the Palestinian people. Secondly, a significant part of the movement supporting the struggles of the Vietnamese people went beyond street protests. Ernesto Che Guevara captured this spirit succinctly with the phrase “Let’s build one, two, three, many more Vietnams,” indicating an intention to confront American forces, especially due to their military engagement in Vietnam. For instance, the “Red Army Faction” (RAF) in Germany originated from the fight to defend the Vietnam Liberation War. Notably, they not only detonated a bomb at the American military radio base in Frankfurt in 1976 but continued their actions even after the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam. Learning from the Vietnamese experience, they extended their resistance to targets associated with imperialist interventions in other southern countries. In another instance, in Iran, following the unsuccessful attempt to assassinate General Harold Price, the head of the Air Force Department and the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Iran, in June 1351, one of the stated reasons for this operation was “to express support for global liberation movements and to broaden the front of the anti-imperialist struggle, particularly in solidarity with the heroic people’s revolution in Vietnam.” This illustrates that defending the struggles of the Vietnamese people wasn’t just passive but involved an active defense against American interests, extending from Japan to Iran and from Germany to the United States itself. This expansion of the battlefront was considered another factor contributing to America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, a factor that many are reluctant to recall.

From the struggle against imperialism in Palestine to the class struggle in Iran

Let’s begin this section with the understanding that the primary force in Iran capable of the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic stems from the class struggle. While the class struggle isn’t a spontaneous occurrence and demands various levels of organization, currently lacking effective levels, it’s important to recognize that persistent class oppression has fostered some degree of class consciousness. Although this awareness hasn’t become widespread yet, indications of it can be observed in mass uprisings and labor union battles in recent years.

Before proceeding with the text, let’s briefly clarify what is meant by “class struggle,” a concept given significant importance in political analysis. To better understand it, it’s helpful to address what is not meant by “class struggle” according to existing stereotypes. First, The meaning of class struggle is not that subjects arising from forms of domination and oppression such as sexual, gender, national oppression and environmental oppression are unimportant or are secondary to the subject of “working class”. Second, class struggle does not mean that the struggle against the status quo cannot and should not start from the struggle against other aspects of domination and oppression (other than “class oppression”).

Now, it’s simpler to discuss the precise meaning of “class struggle” within capitalism. The guiding principle of capitalist society is the “production and realization of value.” “Value” is a social objectivity that governs a relationship centered on “extracting added value from labor.” This social relationship serves as the cornerstone of capitalist society, irrespective of its coexistence with various religions such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc., and is grounded in four fundamental features: (1) The separation of direct producers from the objective conditions of production as a purely subjective agent; (2) Density and concentration of the objective conditions of production in a certain amount and size facing the direct producers; (3) The relationship of free exchange – money circulation – between these two sides, a production that does not directly produce means of livelihood for the producer, but is mediated through an exchange; (4) The focus of objective conditions as intrinsic values, “as value”.

This clarifies how “value” defines the foundation of the current world we live. Following this guiding principle, the “public light” illuminates other aspects of social life and influences them. Oppressions like sexual and gender oppression, as well as national oppression, viewed through the “eyes of capital,” become historical factors underlying the “production and realization of value.” Therefore, while “housework” may not inherently create “value,” it is essential for “value production.” Similarly, “national oppression” on a global and national scale contributes to the creation and perpetuation of the “center-periphery” relationship, facilitating the “cycle of capital accumulation.” In this context, the association of the massacre of Native Americans with the “logic of capital” is evident as a manifestation of “national oppression”: their lands were taken to enable “accumulation,” and, as a resistance force, they were eliminated instead of being utilized as “cheap labor.”

This means that when we discuss the fundamentality of “class struggle,” we refer to the dismantling of relations that contribute to the “production and realization of value.” All struggles against sexual and gender oppression, along with national oppression, are seen as mediated by “class oppression” through “exploitation”.

Eliminating this crucial mediator from the struggle can render the fight against various forms of oppression not only incomplete but even counterproductive to challenging the existing state of affairs. For instance, if the fight against national oppression transforms into other identity-seeking forms, fostering national-ethnic antagonism, it can be argued that the struggle against the status quo is diverted. 

In the “Palestinian issue”, we also showed how both the formation of Israel and decisive moments such as the “Oslo Accord” have mediated a great “national oppression” precisely on the basis of the “logic of capital” and now the “Palestinians” like the Indians (Native Americans) are an appendage on “Production and realization of value” that must be eliminated.

Apart from this, the middle class’s inability to overthrow the Islamic Republic without relying on Western governments is a real issue. These Western governments continuously adjust their level of support for the overthrow based on their own interests. Conversely, during events like the Jina uprising, when the possibility of overthrow is apparent, top officials endorse the right-wing opposition. For example, there are frequent meetings between Western presidents, government officials, and parliamentary representatives with self-proclaimed “leaders” of the opposition. They may even allocate seats at the Munich Security Conference to these individuals. However, as soon as the chance of overthrow diminishes, not only does the support cease, but sometimes compensations are made with higher costs, like the exchange involving Asadullah Asadi, a diplomat-terrorist sent by the Islamic Republic.

In the realm of possibilities, a revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic is not only desirable but also more realistic than a regime change. This, however, is not endorsed by the middle class, who often turn to Western governments and the opposition—essentially employees of foreign ministries and defense departments. Nonetheless, a significant danger confronting the class struggle in Iran is the role of imperialist governments, both in collaboration and opposition to the Islamic Republic. Despite political differences over four decades and occasional Western aspirations to overthrow the regime of the mullahs, these governments primarily engage with and manage relations with the Islamic Republic. The prerequisite for such interaction and relationship management is acknowledging the regime’s existence and refraining from supporting regime change. Contrary to the middle class’s illusions, which often views the West as a savior, the official Western policy does not see itself responsible for such a role. Western governments pursue various political, military, and economic agendas to maintain regional order and prevent fundamental changes. Therefore, any change, even a regime change project aligned with Western goals, will encounter significant obstacles if it diverges from the long-term strategic views of Western governments regarding the region and geopolitical equations.

In the end, opposition to revolution in the countries of the region will manifest in two distinct forms, as witnessed in numerous popular uprisings in the past: one, through suppression, and two, in case suppression fails, by diverting and imposing a fake alternative. The examination of failed revolutions in the region, spanning from the 1957 revolution to the so-called Arab Spring, reveals the military-political involvement of Western governments, as well as Russia and Iran, in quelling and regressing these movements. The challenges we will encounter in the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic are not exempt from these patterns. Consequently, the success of any subversive class struggle against the Islamic Republic is contingent on simultaneously confronting all forms of imperialist projects and neutralizing the interference of Western governments in the overthrow process. The parameters for this confrontation and neutralization are outlined within the broader context—playing an active role in weakening and neutralizing the intervention of imperialist governments in Iran and the region. Among these interventions, the most systematic and enduring, spanning over seventy years, is attributed to a country named Israel. According to statements from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the 2024 presidential candidate of the United States, Israel functions as a virtual aircraft carrier for the United States in the Middle East, granting it significant influence over developments in the region.

Therefore, actively supporting the Palestinians’ struggle against Israel is crucial for the revolutionary left, which sees its duty as the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic. This support is not merely driven by philanthropy and abhorrence for crime and genocide; it also stems from the need to confront various factors that weaken the class struggle against the Islamic Republic, such as the intervention of Western governments. In this manner, the Palestinians’ struggle against the occupying Israeli government holds a profound political connection to the class struggle and yields practical results in fortifying the revolutionary movement aiming to overthrow the Islamic Republic.

But such an idea encounters a problem at the broader level of the political atmosphere in Iran. When delving into the collective consciousness that ties the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic to resisting imperialist governments, one faces the predominant influence of middle-class ideologies that also cast a shadow on significant segments of the working class. The middle-class perspective not only views the West as a symbol of progress, prosperity, and freedom but also believes that liberation from the Islamic Republic is only possible by aligning with various levels of intervention from Western governments. While it’s unlikely that large sections of the social classes favor a higher level of intervention, such as a military attack, these ideas operate at levels like seeking political approval and support from the West, shaping alternative options for the Islamic Republic. Even though, at this stage, such an approach may not necessarily work for regime change, it acts as a fundamental obstacle to the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic. In this context, spreading awareness that resisting Western interference, including Israel’s involvement, leads to weakening Western positions in the region faces a severe challenge. Pursuing such an approach immediately raises the question: despite the hostility of the Islamic Republic with the West, how can the revolutionary left simultaneously confront Western imperialist intervention and engage with the Palestinian issue without inadvertently strengthening the Islamic Republic?

From tactical support to strategic solidarity with Palestine

Let’s specifically inquire about how the confrontation with imperialism in Palestine and its connection to the class struggle in Iran should proceed, despite the numerous obstacles we’ve outlined. Earlier, we pointed out one of these hurdles at the ideological level, hindering the formation and popularization of class struggle, related to the role of the Islamic Republic in supporting Palestinian groups and its conflict with Israel. Another obstacle against forming an anti-imperialist front in Palestine is the presence of organizations currently considered the main and broadest force of resistance. However, as discussed in this text, these organizations possess characteristics that raise a critical question: Is it genuinely possible to establish a strategic alliance with these forces against imperialism?

The two main characteristics of these organizations are their class character and their military-financial dependence and subservience to governments like the Islamic Republic, which serves as the central core of the Axis of Resistance”. While compliance with governments, ranging from the Islamic Republic to Qatar, may differ, the axis of resistance operates within the limits and capabilities defined by these governments. Geopolitical interests, internal political crises, and inevitable interactions with international allies and rivals impose constraints on the axis of resistance. As we have explained, this can lead to the temporary suspension or removal of the struggle against the Israeli regime. The lethal calculations made within the framework of relying on the axis of resistance result from the dependence of these groups and organizations on governments in the fight against Israel. These governments are fundamentally corrupt, unstable, and plagued by numerous political and economic crises, and therefore cannot be strategically reliable allies in the fight against Israel and its imperialist allies, despite receiving millions of dollars in financial aid and significant amounts of weapons through this strategic proximity.

These organizations and groups’ distinctive features are the class spirit and prevalent rumors about extensive financial corruption among their leaders (here, particularly referring to Hamas). Such an element creates irreparable rifts in a society that is, on the one hand, under the dominance of these organizations and, on the other hand, subject to economic sanctions and military siege by Israel and its allies. This situation, existing at very high and irreversible levels under the governance of the Islamic Republic in Iran itself and undermines the resistance element from within, despite its legitimacy, rendering it in a precarious position, and diminishes the possibility of genuine mass mobilization, leaning towards reconciliation with imperialist governments. This dilemma is observable in Iran both in the hegemony of the discourse of the middle class and at the governmental level to a considerable extent.

The Islamic Republic operates within more significant geopolitical equations, on one side of which are Russia, China, and the countries of the BRICS treaty. Despite existing tensions such as the Ukraine war and economic competition between China and the United States, these equations, due to their non-antagonistic nature (like the existing situation between the Soviet Union and the United States), are unable to bring about fundamental changes in the international scene and weaken the dominance of the West and the global capitalist system in favour of the nations of the South. India, as one of the key member countries of the BRICS treaty, has overtly taken a stand beside Israel in the conflict of October 7. It is also possible that negotiations between European countries and Russia over gas and giving benefits to Russia in the Ukraine war could bring about changes in this country’s position regarding Palestine, to the advantage of Israel. 

The strong tendency of the Islamic Republic towards closeness with the West, as mentioned, is among the other existing contradictions that could potentially undermine the Axis of Resistance from within. Such structural constraints, arising from the nature of dependence on governments in the Axis of Resistance and its reliance on the actual capabilities of these governments, bring forth the severe consideration that fundamentally, the Axis of Resistance and specifically Hamas will not be able to bring an end to the occupation of Israel. Even if they do, they are likely to replace it with another form of oppressive system that necessarily aligns with the colonial ambitions of supporting governments and their tactical and strategic allies.

It is evident that revolutionary leftists, even if they currently represent the leading and most extensive force in the field, should not resort to unity and collaboration with representatives of such a situation. Such practical proximity for the revolutionary left, which is rooted in the practical endorsement of official government policies, including the regime’s neoliberal practices against the working class and the suppression of its democratic rights, will irreversibly weaken both positions of confrontation with imperialism in Palestine and the class struggle in the region and Iran.

Returning to the question that was raised earlier: despite the enmity of the Islamic Republic with the West, how can the simultaneous confrontation of revolutionary leftists with Western imperialist intervention and their involvement in the Palestinian issue take place without strengthening the Axis of Resistance, as previously mentioned, and the Islamic Republic? The negative aspect of the answer is somewhat straightforward. In the confrontation with the interventions of Western governments and involvement in the Palestinian issue, any form of tactical or strategic closeness to the Islamic Republic and the Axis of Resistance should be avoided. However, what will our response be? It will involve assisting the hegemony of progressive and socialist forces in Palestine. Such a force, devoted to negating the two restrictive characteristics of the Axis of Resistance, will have the following features: one – a socialist class orientation, and two – independence from the reactionary governments of the region.

While more or less identifiable in the history of Palestinian struggles, these progressive characteristics can also be utilized to form a front based on these qualities arising from the rifts created by the post-October 7th situation. The main rifts can be listed as follows: (1) a rift within the optimistic left advocating for human rights and liberal democracy, (2) a rift within the pro-Palestinian left that was hopeful about the governments of the region and the Axis of Resistance, (3) a rift within the global “civil society.”, and (4) the Palestinian diaspora.

Now, we can gradually return to the main question: “What should be done with Hamas?” or, in other words, “What is our relationship with Hamas?” Up to this point, we have explained that the issue of Hamas is not merely a matter of the left in Palestine. Still, multiple factors have been involved in transforming Hamas into the primary force of resistance in Palestine. Some of these factors, such as the suppression of the Iranian revolution and the rise of the anti-revolutionary Khomeini rule or the collapse of the Soviet Union, are related to the past, and the past should be left in the history because returning to it and altering the course of historical events is not possible.

To draw a real strategy, we must emphasize that if the occupation is the main issue in Palestine, resistance to occupation is also the central issue of Palestine. Nelson Mandela was once asked when he decided to fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa, and he replied: “Since I was born black”. The simultaneous occupation and resistance made Palestine a society where politics has become a daily and mass matter for decades. For this reason, perhaps in the region known as the Middle East, the only society that can be compared to Palestine is Kurdistan, and for this reason, Palestine is important for liberating politics. Exactly as much as the existence and colonial presence of Israel is essential for the global capitalist order and imperialist powers.

It should be emphasized that although the ideological orientation of the hegemonic movement influences society over time, the high percentage of support for Hamas among the Palestinian people is not necessarily due to ideology or its services. Instead, it is precisely because of the position of this force in resisting occupation. A recently published survey in June 2023 by the “Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research” yielded notable results. According to this survey, “if a new presidential election were held today, and only two candidates named Mahmoud Abbas [leader of the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank and one of the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)] and Ismail Haniyeh [head of the political office of Hamas and effectively the leader of the quasi-government in the Gaza Strip] were nominated, only 46% would participate in the election, and among them, Abbas would receive 33%, and Haniyeh 56% of the votes. [But] if the competition was between Marwan Barghouti [military commander of the Fatah movement] and Ismail Haniyeh, participation would increase to 61%, and Barghouti would receive 57%. In comparison, Haniyeh would get 38% of the votes.”

This survey also found the following results in another section: “When people were asked about the most effective means of ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent state, public opinion was divided into three groups: 52% chose armed struggle (55% in Gaza and 49% in the West Bank), 21% chose negotiations, and 22% chose popular resistance.” Although, like any other survey, this sociological analysis cannot be the sole basis for a detailed understanding, its results are predictable to some extent, even without polling.

In fact, if options such as Marwan Barghouti, representing the left-wing and radical faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah, were not imprisoned in Israel and had the opportunity to organize armed resistance against the occupation, they could easily replace Hamas. The people, who have been closely involved in political life for almost eight decades, can discern trust in independent forces and, simultaneously, an irreconcilability like Marwan Barghouti more than Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Abbas.

Therefore, the path of practical solidarity with the Palestinian cause revolves around strengthening forces that, although reluctantly and due to constraints, have cooperated with non-dependent forces and resilient powers. They have not dissolved themselves in the will of these forces and authorities and have used every opportunity to organize dispossessed masses independently. This collaboration is not an easy task. It is not reasonable to impose a precondition on a specific Palestinian force that it must first clarify its stance with Hamas or the Islamic Republic, and only then can cooperation be possible. Moreover, one should never be drawn into collaboration with the reactionary and tactical allies of these forces in the pursuit of opening new fronts. It should never be forgotten that the goal is to open a new front, not the dissolution of existing fronts.

The path of this collaboration and solidarity, albeit not towards Gaza or the West Bank, but towards Iran, returns. Just as any political force needs to have a strategic ally with potential and effective influence in Palestine, for any Palestinian political force, it is also vital to ally with a force that can significantly impact its own country. In fact, the path of practical solidarity with the Palestinian cause involves efforts to draw progressive Palestinian forces into an alliance that renders their connections with reactionary forces both irrelevant and impossible. On the other hand, it requires building and organizing a party for this strategic alliance in Iran, which can calculate its power and force against the Islamic Republic and also in the post-Islamic Republic future.

The available resources in the Palestinian diaspora should also be seriously considered to shape such a practical alliance and take slow but steady steps towards it. The Palestinian diaspora has the characteristic that, due to living outside the conditions present in Gaza and the West Bank, it can make choices and decisions that necessarily do not have any connection with Hamas. Equipping and empowering this diaspora can also contribute to empowering the progressive forces in the Palestinian resistance. We know well that what we have written is not a straightforward path, and to traverse it, we must navigate through challenging passages and the edges of deep valleys. However, suppose we intend to pass through the shadowy dominance of Hamas in the Palestinian movement by issuing statements and expressing sympathy for the Palestinian victims. In that case, we must take more or less such steps on this path.

The last battle

At first glance, it seems that there is no conceivable solution for the issue of Palestine. Ideas such as a one-state solution appear so out of reach that even some of its devoted defenders or those who claimed to be defenders have been tempted to abandon this solution and accept the idea of a two-state solution. Recently, the Islamic Republic voted positively on the resolution proposed by the Arab League at the United Nations suggested a two-state solution. However, representatives of the Islamic Republic described this positive vote as a tactical decision. Unfortunately, the bad news is that, for the same reasons that a one-state solution seems like an unattainable dream, the two-state solution has never been a practical solution, not today and not from the beginning. This is not only opposed by many Palestinian organizations and parties, which have been against the Oslo Accord’s two-state solution but, more significantly, the most significant practical opponent of the two-state solution has been the Israeli government itself—not a specific government or party but the ruling apparatus in Israel.

Issues such as the return of Palestinian refugees to their land, neglecting the fate of East Jerusalem, which was supposed to be handed over to the Palestinians, controlling airspace, taking control of water, electricity, and communication in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, controlling the entry and exit of goods and people, the 16-year-long blockade of Gaza by land and sea, the permanent detention of elected representatives of Palestinian parliaments, at least four extensive missile attacks on Gaza before October 7, building an obstructive wall protested even by the International Court of Justice, which considers parts of it illegal, the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, and the gradual occupation of Palestinian lands that has not stopped for a moment—all of these are practical actions taken by the Israeli ruling apparatus, the military, and Zionist paramilitary forces that, in practice, have deadlocked the two-state solution. Therefore, what is now in crisis in Palestine is not a one-state or two-state solution but, fundamentally, the concept of a state itself.

This is the point where, although it currently seems to be an unsolvable deadlock, the possibility of turning it into a point of liberation also exists. However, such a possibility can only be considered if the geopolitical landscape of the region known as the Middle East and its surrounding countries fundamentally change. Therefore, the solution to the issue of Palestine is not solely within Palestine itself and perhaps has never been. Establishing and maintaining a liberating alternative in Iran is also unimaginable without considering fundamental changes in the region’s countries.

In a recent example, we witnessed that when the possibility of establishing a different form of governance through the mediation of revolutionary mass committees arose in Sudan, not only did imperialist countries from the West and East attempt to defeat this alternative, but regional reactionary powers, from Saudi Arabia to the Islamic Republic, also assisted proxy forces against the Sudanese revolution. If, in the 1950s, the Communist Unity Organization believed that “the future revolution in Iran must be a regional revolution,” today we are in a more urgent situation where only a regional revolution can provide the possibility of a just solution to the Palestinian issue. This regional revolution is impossible and unattainable without forming strategic alliances among regional actors.


[1] Adam Hanieh, (2013) Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East.

[2] Including the Sadr family in Iraq, the Khomeinists in Iran, the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria, and others like them.

[3] All quotations from Sheikh Ahmed Yassin from the second and third part of the “Oral History of Hamas according to the narration of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin” published by Fars news agency.

[4] The presence of women in high organizational and managerial roles may not necessarily alter an organization’s stance on gender-sexual oppression. This is exemplified by individuals like Marzieh Hadidchi Dabagh or Masoumeh Ebtekar in the leadership of the Khomeinist movement post the overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy. However, it also highlights that even a fundamentalist and anti-woman trend acknowledges the social presence of women, as seen in their organizational structure. This is in contrast to groups like the Taliban or ISIS, which fundamentally reject the social presence of women in any form.

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