Communists in Israel gathered for three days over the weekend and vowed to fight “against racism, occupation and capitalism” during the 28th Congress of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) that took place in the Galilean city of Shefa’amer (Shfaram) and which concluded on Saturday night, October 9. In the report to the Central Committee of the Congress prepared during the past two months and voted on and approved by the delegates to the Congress, the CPI said that “only a substantial and profoundly democratic change in prevailing views” would rescue the country from the deepening crisis in which it finds itself. The CPI was founded in Tel Aviv in 1919 and is one of the most senior parties in the region.
“The citizens of Israel need a political force capable of fighting for full national and civil equality for the Arab-Palestinian national minority in Israel, one which will struggle against all manifestations of racism and Jewish superiority in the state,” the report to the party’s Central Committee said.
Among its contents, the report specified the diverse activities of its members in the mass political and social protests which swept the country during the final year of former far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule. Indeed,that period was characterized by popular and widespread anger over governmental corruption and the erosion of democracy, and witnessed protesters gathering in squares, along highways and on overpasses throughout the country.
However, the CPI stresses that the fall of the Netanyahu government and its replacement by the right-wing formation headed by Prime Minister Natfali Bennett has created a new situation which places a heavy responsibility on the party. “Both the CPI and Hadash [the party’s electoral front] must prepare themselves politically and organizationally,” the report maintains, to effectively struggle against the Bennett government, so that their members can politically lead in the broad popular struggles that will emerge.
In the report they approved to the congress’s Central Committee, the delegates confirmed that the country’s crisis can only be ended by first putting an end to Israel’s occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories and by recognizing the national rights of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, the report stressed that the fight for an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel is the basis for peace and for “a joint Jewish-Arab communist alliance, struggle and friendship.”
Indeed, one of the resolutions passed by the Congress specifically states: “The sole path to liberate the Israeli society from this crisis is by creating a deep and fundamental democratic change in the conceptions dominating Israeli politics. This change necessitates the end of the occupation and the acknowledging of the national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to establish an independent state next to the state of Israel, as a basis for peace. Ending the occupation, establishing the independent Palestinian State within the borders of June 4th, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution to the refugees according to the international resolutions — are the keys to begin dealing with the structural political crisis in Israel.”
The party’s Congress condemned Israel’s right-wing government for its attack on social rights and the deepening of neoliberalism through the “militarization of the economy and politics, reducing public spending and increasing the wealth and influence of the tycoons.” But, it warned, that the struggle was being blunted by the leadership of the Histadrut trade union confederation which, it said, was “a partner in the neoliberal policies of governments and capitalists.” Working-class unity is necessary in the fight for a democratic Israel, the party said, placing itself at the forefront of the struggle.