The 17th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Istanbul (30-31 October to 1 November, 2015) focused on the theme of the “tasks of Communist and Workers’ Parties in strengthening the struggle of the working class against capitalist exploitation, imperialist wars and fascism; for workers’ and peoples’ emancipation and for socialism.” The meeting was attended by 104 delegates, representing 58 communist and workers’ parties from 48 countries. Among the attendees was a delegation from the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) which included participated the Secretary of the CPI General Adel Amer and MK Dov Khenin (Hadash – Joint List), and a member of the party’s Political Bureau.
The meeting provided an opportunity for an exchange of idea and information on the latest developments of imperialist restructuring, the escalation of fascist movements in different regions of the world, and the quest for emancipation and its opening up of opportunities for a vigorous working class struggle. The parties attending the meeting reported on their activities and the progress of the communist movement in their respective countries. The speakers expressed their concern in light of the increasing banning and persecution of and discrimination against Communist Parties and communists.
The current refugee crisis was integrated in the agenda and the need for promoting not only internationalist solidarity but also class consciousness against discriminatory policies was discussed.
Due to the restructuring of capitalism, exhausted as it is by the ongoing worldwide economic crisis, and the restoration of imperialism in regions characterized by a political vacuum, the meeting drew attention to the rise of erroneous expectations that the capitalist order can be reformed for the benefit of the world’s peoples and that peace can be established under the auspices of imperialism. Participants saluted the struggles of the peoples in Latin America and the central role of communists in these struggles for independence and socialism, strengthening as they have the anti-imperialist and progressive forces of the region. The solidarity with Cuba and its socialist revolution, as well as with the Venezuelan people and their Bolivarian revolution was reasserted.
The meeting evaluated the struggle of the European peoples against their governments’ imperialist policies, their domestic exploitation of workers, and their enslavement of migrants. The determination of the working class in Greece to reject submitting to the blackmail of the EU, ECB, and IMF, including the rejection of negotiations with the Troika, was praised. The election results in Greece and Portugal for the communists were hailed and characterized as both hopeful and encouraging.
The dual threat in the Middle East and North Africa fostered by the jihadists on the one hand and the Israeli state on the other was reaffirmed, as was their constituting together a de facto coalition against secular and patriotic forces. It was stressed that, in addition to ISIS, other Islamic reactionary groups play a counter-revolutionary role in the region, most notably components of the FSA in Syria, while their implicit legitimization of imperialist military interventions has yet to be analyzed conclusively. The support of the Gulf states for these jihadist groups and Saudi Arabia’s assault on Yemen were vigorously condemned, as was the threat posed by Israel on Syria. More egregious yet is the increased attacks of Israel on the Palestinian people, its bombing of residential areas, and its carrying out of wholesale arrests. The meeting declared its solidarity with the peoples of the region resisting these attacks, particularly in Palestine and Syria, and called for an uncompromising struggle against imperialism and fundamentalism.
The need to strengthen the ideological struggle against the infiltration of bourgeois ideology within the ranks of communist movement has been stressed in previous meetings of communist and workers’ parties. The current meeting reiterated this fact and the dangers inherent in this phenomenon. The artificial revival of social democracy, nourished by populism and ostensibly narrowing opposition to neo-liberal policies, obsolete dictatorships and military aggression, sets a dangerous trap for the communist movement rendering the class struggle blind against the real sources of these attacks. While it is imperative to challenge all efforts to criminalize communists and condemn their historical legitimacy, there is a further need to demarcate the revolutionary and class-based line of the communist and workers’ parties from the conformist and opportunist tendencies within heterogeneous opposition movements focused on mutant aspects of contemporary capitalism.
The meeting’s participants adopted a number of action items as guidelines to be implemented and monitored by the Working Group until the 18th IMCWP meeting; among them was the following declaration in solidarity with the Palestinian people:
“We the undersigned, Communist and Workers’ parties attending the 17th IMCWP in Istanbul, note with concern the recent escalation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), brought about by the rejectionist policies of the Israeli government, which aims to deepen the occupation, expand the settlements, and create facts on the ground in order to undermine a possible implementation of UN resolutions.
“The Israeli right-wing extremist government may claim to be ‘in support of a two state solution,’ but it is in fact its staunchest enemy. Under the auspices of US imperialism, Israel is continuing to drive Palestinians away from their homes and confiscate their lands in order to build new settlements and expand the existing ones, tighten the economic grip over the OPT so as to place obstacles before the development of an independent Palestinian economy, and spread lies and disinformation about its daily violation of human rights.
“We express our full support and solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for national sovereignty, for an independent and viable state – in accordance with UN resolutions, international law, and the right of nations to self-determination. The Palestinian people – through its sole legitimate representative – the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) – is struggling for the attainment of basic rights, and deserves the solidarity of all democratic forces;
“We send our greetings to the progressive forces struggling for peace within Israeli society, who are fighting for the implementation of a peaceful solution which will serve the true national interests of both peoples. We call for the release of those Israeli conscientious objectors who are jailed because of their refusal to serve in the army of occupation;
“We call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, alongside the State of Israel, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and with the June 4th 1967 borders (‘The Green Line’) as the internationally-recognized border of peace; we demand the evacuation of all Israeli settlements in the OPT and for the dismantling of the Separation Wall; we urge the release of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails; we stand for a just solution of the problem of Palestinian refugees according to UN resolution 194 and to other UN resolutions; we call for Israel’s withdrawal from the Occupied Arab-Syrian Golan Heights and from the Shebaa Farms in South Lebanon.
“We call for the recognition of the State of Palestine as full member of the United Nations and will urge the governments of our respective countries to recognise the State of Palestine.
“Let us all utilize November 29, the Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to mobilise and demand the End of the Israeli Occupation Now!”
Parties signing the statement on solidarity with the Palestinian people: Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism, Communist Party of Argentina, Workers’ Party of Bangladesh, Workers’ Party of Belgium, Brazilian Communist Party, Communist Party of Brazil, Communist Party of Britain, Communist Party of Bulgaria, Communist Party of Canada, Socialist Workers’ Party of Croatia, Communist Party of Cuba, AKEL, Cyprus, Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, Communist Party in Denmark, Communist Party of Finland, French Communist Party, Unified Communist Party of Georgia, German Communist Party, Communist Party of Greece, Hungarian Workers’ Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (M), Party TUDEH of Iran, Iraqi Communist Party, Communist Party of Kurdistan-Iraq, Communist Party of Ireland, Workers’ Party of Ireland, Communist Party of Israel, Communist Party of Kazakhstan, Communist Party of Malta, Communist Party of Mexico, Communist Party of Norway, Palestinian People’s Party, Palestinian Communist Party, Portuguese Communist Party, Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Communists of Serbia, South African Communist Party, Communist Party of Spain, Communist Party of Sri Lanka, Sudanese Communist Party, Communist Party of Sweden (SKP), Syrian Communist Party, Communist Party, Turkey and the Communist Party of Vietnam.