november 21, 2023
The Israeli army has officially declared war for the first time after 50 years. Gaza, a city of two million inhabitants, is being heavily bombed from the air. There is a massive exodus while Israel’s army has entered the center of Gaza. An Israeli plan of genocide for Gaza is in motion. It is reported that many options are on the table for Israel, including the de-population of Gaza and the expulsion of Palestinians to the Sinai Desert or to other countries. How do you assess the course of the war?
The war against the Palestinians is nothing that arose newly. There have been policies of war and genocide for decades. What is being done now is a part and continuation of this. The declaration of war may be made in order to realize the plan that has been prepared, to give legitimacy to what will be done, and to gain support inside and outside the country. Beyond this, there is no point in declaring war. It can only have meaning for the hegemonic powers such as the USA, NATO, etc., and for the states in the region that seek regional power. Because these powers have their own problems and interests in the region. The state of Israel is also included in these powers. Therefore, what has been done and what is intended to be done is not independent from this situation. The declaration of war can only be evaluated within this framework. Otherwise, it has no meaning for Palestine and Palestinians.
The Palestinian people have been resisting occupation and genocide for decades, struggling for freedom and liberation. Like the Kurds, the struggle of the Palestinian people has lasted a century. There has been war in Palestine for a century and this war has never ended. Now, of course, new developments have emerged and this represents a new situation. In our opinion, the most general conclusion is that the lack of a solution cannot be sustained any longer. The solution of the problem imposes itself in every aspect. This cannot be ignored. This reality cannot be eliminated by declaring war and deepening the ongoing massacres and genocide. Now the global and regional powers, especially the state of Israel, do not approach this reality. As such, there is no solution to the problem. The forces of capitalist modernity aggravate the problems and make their solution more difficult. The policies of the forces of capitalist modernity are at the root of the problems in the Middle East, especially the Kurdish and Palestinian questions.
The traditional aims of the state of Israel are clear. It is to erase the Palestinians from their historical territories. The current attacks on Gaza are the framework of this objective. Until now, the Israeli state has not deviated from this policy, since the current mentality does not allow this. Both the traditional state mentality and the games and interventions of global and regional powers prevent the development of a new approach and the solution of the question. What is happening in Gaza is a result of this mentality and interventions. If it were not for these, there would have been progress in solving the problem. Today’s results would not have emerged. The Palestinian people have never been anti-Semitic. It has struggled against the state and mentality that created and perpetuated the occupation and genocide, and has seen salvation in overcoming this mentality. It is possible to state that a democratic approach that recognizes reality is gradually emerging among the Israeli people. In fact, it can be said that this is becoming very strong. For months there have been protests against the Netanyahu administration and its policies. These actions of the Israeli people prioritizing the solution of the Palestinian question are extremely important. It is known that this attitude of the people has not changed.
The Israeli state and the Netanyahu administration is trying to use the actions of Hamas, which target civilians and provoke reactions, to change this attitude of the people. But in spite of this and in the midst of all this war and war-mongering, it is very important that the people do not change their attitude and maintain their stance in favor of a democratic solution.
The just cause of the Palestinian people is supported by all oppressed peoples, socialists, democratic and libertarian movements. All these are dimensions that strengthen the democratic struggle of the Palestinian people and the democratic solution of the existing problem. But the approach of the states and the forces under their influence has the opposite effect. These deepen the problem and make the solution more difficult. They approach and intervene in the problem not with a democratic approach, but on the basis of political, economic and other interests. This is the approach of the United States and of the European states, as well as of the regional states, especially Turkey and Iran. Especially Turkey’s approach is extremely pragmatist. Its approach is based on maintaining its policies of genocide of Kurds. The approach of the Arab states has also not been resolutive so far. This is because the current administrations pursue policies according to state interests. In the Middle East, the state has moved too far away from society. The interests of the state are completely based on anti-society. Leader Apo has analyzed this situation in the Middle East comprehensively. Moreover, both the Arab states and other regional states do not have a democratic mentality. In such a situation, it is not possible for them to approach the Palestinian problem in the right way, to show a real interest in it, and to put forth the will to realize a solution to the problem. This is true not only for the Arab states but for all powers and states. It is not possible for those who do not have a democratic mentality to be the power of solution.
The picture that is emerging today is very painful. A very agonizing and brutal massacre is taking place in Gaza. We strongly criticize and condemn this. We clearly state that the peoples will definitely hold these genocidal states and mentality to account. We also strongly criticize and condemn the forces that stand by and support these genocidal policies of the Israeli state. We express the same approach for the powers that take false stances and pretend to be on the side of the Palestinian people. The approaches of all these global and regional powers are essentially the same. They are neither friends of the Israeli people nor the Palestinian people. Each of them approaches the issue in order to maintain their own policies. These approaches are unacceptable. Everyone should take the right approach, no one should stand against the struggle of the peoples, especially the just causes of the Palestinian and Kurdish people. The Israeli state and government have to immediately change their current approach and stop their attacks. They must abandon their policies of war, genocide and massacre.
The possible scenarios that you have mentioned are horrible and unacceptable. No people or community can be displaced. This is literally genocide. There is no justification for this, there cannot be. This is what has always been imposed on the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people were displaced and their lands were occupied and annexed. Millions of Palestinians are living in exile today. Now the same thing is being imposed on the people of Gaza and on the Kurdish people. This is what the Turkish state is trying to do in Rojava. This is a situation that can never be accepted. What we advocate for the Kurdish people, we also advocate for the Palestinian people. No matter what happens, peoples should not be forced to leave their homeland.
Palestinian organizations have different attitudes towards the ongoing war. Until today, there has been a contradiction between Fatah and Hamas and a dual government. How does this situation, the contradictions of Palestinian organizations affect the struggle of the Palestinian people? Another important issue is the so-called “controlled” war between Lebanese Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah said that Hamas made the decision for the October 7 attacks, but after the Israeli attacks on Gaza, he opened a new front. What does Hezbollah’s involvement mean? How will it affect the course of the war? Is there a danger of the Israel-Hamas war turning into a regional war?
There has always been a regional war in the Middle East. The region has been at war for over a century. This is because the problems are both numerous and interrelated. There is no problem that does not have regional consequences. Everything is very much intertwined and influences each other. From the beginning to the middle of the twentieth century, the world experienced two major wars – the First and the Second World War. After these experiences, there were fewer wars in Europe, but the same was not the case all over the world. Especially in the Middle East, wars have never ended. The wars between the states and against the peoples have always continued. In Kurdistan and Palestine, there has been a war of genocide imposed by the state for over a century. Against this, there is the resistance and struggle developed by the people. Therefore, in our opinion, it would be more correct to talk and evaluate how the Middle East will come out of this, not how it will be dragged into a regional war. On the other hand, as long as there are existing problems, as long as the problems are approached with the existing mentality and as long as the problems are not solved, war and conflict will not end and the Middle East will not be able to avoid a regional war that will engulf the rest of the world.
Of course, the inability of Palestinian organizations to achieve a strong unity among themselves negatively affects the struggle of the Palestinian people. But it is important to know and understand why this is so and how it came about. The problem is not only the contradictions between Hamas and Fatah. The Palestinian movement in general is weakened and fragmented. Fatah and other factions are internally fragmented and in a weak position. This situation is not only the result of state repression. There are ideological, political and historical reasons for this situation. Only by understanding and resolving these causes can the Palestinian movement overcome the current situation. It is important for us to know this in order to understand the situation of the Palestinian people and movement.
As is well known, since the establishment of the state of Israel, there have been many wars between Israel and the Arab states. With the support of the forces of capitalist modernity, the state of Israel was not defeated in these wars and maintained its existence. In line with its mentality and ideology, it implemented occupation and genocide policies in Palestine. In the approach of the Arab states, the idea of destroying the state of Israel was at the forefront. The liberation of Palestine was seen in the destruction of Israel. When this failed, they lost interest in the Palestinian cause. In fact, this approach and policies of the Arab states have caused the greatest damage to the Palestinian cause. It is known how some Arab states treat Palestinian refugees. Now, Arab states do not have a correct and consistent approach. Since they approach the problem with a statist mentality, they cannot be a solution force. After it became clear that the Arab states could not solve the Palestinian problem, the Palestinian movement gained strength and the cause of the Palestinian people made progress. After the Six Day War, the Palestinian movement developed and strengthened in an independent policy. It gained significant support from the peoples in the Middle East and around the world, and succeeded in putting the recognition and solution of the Palestinian question on the agenda. Even states could not remain indifferent to the cause of the Palestinian people, which gained strength and received significant attention and support from the rights of the world.
There are many reasons why Palestinian organizations are so weak and divided today. Here you have to keep in mind why they have been so strong before and what has happened to them. What essentially made the Palestinian movement so strong and widespread was its connection to the socialist paradigm. The fact that Palestine achieved developments and progress in the 1960s and 70s is essentially linked to this. Of course, not all movements at that time followed the socialist paradigm, but even those that embraced a different ideology were in one way or another influenced by socialism and benefited from socialist experiences in politics and social organization. Such developments also followed in other countries in the Middle East, including Kurdistan. There is no question that the rise of people around the world, but especially in the Middle East, posed a great threat to the existence of capitalist modernity. In order to limit the spread of socialism around the world, the United States of America in particular set out to support organizations, who followed religious ideologies or founded them in places where they did not exist before. As a result of this policy, groups that adhered to radical Islam emerged in the Middle East. Through them they wanted to prevent the further development of socialism. After the Soviet bloc collapsed and with it the influence and tradition of socialism collapsed to a certain point, the mission given to the radical Islamic groups was accomplished.
The policy that the US pursued was a NATO concept known as the ‘Green Belt’. For example, Turkey was accepted into NATO in order to use it against social and democratic movements. Turkey created religious organizations and formed them into contra structures. The cadres that Turkey leads today were originally trained by the USA and NATO. This means that the slogans that these organizations are saying today against the USA, Israel and NATO are nothing more than empty slogans. Because what they want to achieve with their practice is that there will be more acceptance for the goals and methods of the USA, Israel and NATO and that these forces will receive more support.
Like many other religious groups, Hamas was founded at that time. It was founded essentially to divide and weaken the existing Palestinian movement and had direct support from the US and Israel. In addition to the goal of destroying the existing Palestinian movement, it was also about essentially completely burying the aspirations of the Palestinian people. With the development of religious ideology, the Palestinian people’s struggle against oppression and genocide was sidetracked. The struggle for freedom was transformed into a fight for religion. This was expectable, since the Israeli state itself is subject to a religious mentality. Hamas was created as an organization based on religious ideology to distract the Palestinian people from a just struggle for their rights. What we are seeing here today is a war of religions, an armageddon and more of such developments. This is the result of big lies, mistakes and what it means to go astray. While Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu appears in front of the cameras and declares that today’s events are written in the Torah, the Iranian president stands before the United Nations and declares that the Mahdi has returned to earth. This shows how much we have strayed from the path.
Hidden beneath these speeches and approaches lies a conflict of interest between states. Unfortunately, it must be said that after Hamas crushed the Palestinian avantgarde and derailed the struggle of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian people have lost their voice. Today’s developments are not developments of the Palestinian movement, they are mostly dynamics coming from the outside.
Another aspect that is weakening the Palestinian movement is the belief that success can only be achieved through diplomacy. Instead of the movement and its leadership relying on a unified struggle, together with the joint struggle of the Palestinian and Israeli people for democracy, everything is based on state diplomacy. This represents a historical mistake, and this false approach has already resulted in major losses. If the focus had been on creating a democratic union of the Palestinian and Israeli people, the Palestinian question could have been resolved long ago and the democratization of Israel could have begun long ago. However, these aspirations were missing and the Palestinian movement was ultimately passivated by the Oslo talks. This allowed the oppression and genocide to develop even further.
What was done to the Palestinian people was also done to the Kurdish people and the Kurdish freedom movement. In order to stop the Kurdish struggle for freedom, the Turkish state developed tariqats, contra structures under the name of JITEM and the ‘village guard system’ was introduced. One of these structures was the Hüda Par. They are still supported by the Turkish state today and through them attempts are being made to undermine the fight for freedom and to expand the state. There are some speeches by previous interior ministers that paint a clear picture regarding this issue.
Also like the Palestinian movement, attempts were made to make the Kurdish freedom movement give up under the label of talks and dialogues. But this was prevented by Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] by developing a solution within the framework of the ‘democratic nation’ and placing the struggle on a new basis of democratic alliances and the common democratic struggle of the peoples. This enabled the struggle for freedom and democracy to continue. The hopes for freedom in Kurdistan and the Middle East could be defended and ultimately important steps could be taken in Turkey and Syria. In Turkey, an important front was opened through the democratic alliance founded by the Kurdish people together with the democratic forces of Turkey. The revolution in Rojava succeeded and relations between the Kurdish and Arab people were re-established on the basis of the democratic nation. Important steps in this direction have also recently been taken in East Kurdistan and Iran.
To come back to the question; developments in the Middle East are interconnected. Many different regional and international forces are involved in this war. The so-called Israel-Hamas war has long since become a regional war. This is also how the situation of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the question of its involvement in this war should be handled. The influence that Iran has on the Lebanese Hezbollah and other local forces is well known. If Hezbollah and the other forces continue to behave like this, they will not separate from Iran. The Turkish state’s relations with Hamas and the attempts of the AKP-MHP government and Erdoğan to exploit Hamas and the Palestinian question for their own benefit are also known. It is the state that tries hardest to use the conflict for its own benefit. The USA and other international forces of capitalist modernity have their influence through Israel. All of these forces are trying to turn the Israel-Palestine conflict around in order to be able to implement their own interests. From this point of view, it can be said that there is a likelihood and danger that this war will expand even further. In any case, it can be said that the current developments are part of the Third World War. There is a struggle for power and dominance between the forces of capitalist modernity. A fight for energy routes, trade routes, land, etc. In order to weaken each other, they are ready to use any means and exploit any problem for their own interests.
It is said that there are attempts by the US to get Israel to comply. What is the USA trying to achieve, what goals are the hegemonic forces pursuing? Are there efforts to renew the ‘Greater Middle East Project’?
Regarding this topic, I would particularly like to emphasize the following. Above all, the approach of the USA, but also of all the other forces, must not serve to deepen the war. Any military approach only increases the problem and delays a possible solution. The forces participating in the conflicts must direct all their efforts towards an end to the war and a solution to the fundamental problem. To achieve this, a political will must be shown that corresponds to democratic values. All forces that move solely on the basis of their own interests at the global and regional level and take a position accordingly stand in the way of a democratic solution.
A genocide is being carried out against the Palestinian people. This is what we are seeing in Gaza right now. These efforts must be stopped and further occupation of the land of Palestine must also be stopped. Then a solution can be sought and efforts can be made in this direction. Only then can Israel’s security, which is currently being discussed so much, can be established. Of course, we see that the attitude of capitalist modernity, and accordingly also of the USA, is different. They do not act in a democratic sense to find a solution, but rather act based on their interests and thus deepen the rifts and contradictions. The USA does this as the current hegemon of capitalist modernity. It is the strongest force in the third World War and due to its role and characteristics cannot be part of a democratic solution.
There is talk that they want to stop Israel, but it is the policies of the USA, NATO and the capitalist states that over many years have brought Israel to the point that they can pursue such a warlike, genocidal policy. Therefore, these forces must also be stopped. Only when limits are set to capitalist modernity, of which the USA is the pioneer, and interest-driven politics are restricted, can the Israeli state be restricted. Is this a policy that the USA can and will lead? Therefore it is not necessary to do an analysis of it. The US does not restrict Israel. The mentality and politics of the states and all forces of capitalist modernity contradict a solution to the existing problems. In order to force capitalist modernity to take action, a social struggle is needed. If society takes a clear stand and shows shared red lines, then the USA and the forces of capitalist modernity may be forced to take steps. A solution can only emerge from the strength of society.
It is obvious that the USA and all the other forces, including the states of the Middle East, are operating in a framework of the third World War. The third World War is a war between the hegemonic forces of capitalist modernity for leadership at regional and global levels. It is a war of reorganization of energy routes, trade routes and strategic geopolitics. In the same time, this war also shows the depth of the crisis in the system of capitalist modernity. The forces of capitalist modernity are trying to prolong their existence through the world war. That is why, as much as this war is a war of the rulers, between states, it is also a war against society and the peoples.
The victims of this war are society and the peoples. The war in Gaza is the best example of this. The USA, Turkey, Iran, NATO and many other countries are exploiting the Palestinian struggle for their own interests. The Israeli state and its government are also doing the same. The Israeli state is also part of capitalist modernity, uses fear, repression and conspiracy against the Israeli population and tries to enforce the interests of its own system. It is obvious that these methods and policies cannot create a free life and security for the Jews. How could the Jewish people live in freedom and security while Palestine is occupied and Palestinians are subjected to genocide? Can a Jewish country be created on this basis? Of course that is impossible. We believe that the Israeli people see and recognize this reality. We attach great importance to this.
The Middle East is an important center. No system or ruler can assume a leading role if it does not take a stand in the Middle East. This is a reality that was as true in the past as it is today. As some say, the Middle East is not losing its importance. On the contrary, the importance of the Middle East in the system of capitalist modernity, which has reached the stage of total consumerism, has increased even more. If we say today that there is no longer any geography that is not given importance, then that is certainly not a false statement. The Middle East has an important significance in geopolitics. Essential energy sources are found here and significant trade routes cross this region. In addition to forces like the USA and Russia, more and more China and India are now also joining in. And Iran and Turkey are increasingly trying to forge new alliances in order to gain more influence. Saudi Arabia and similar states are increasingly pursuing similar aspirations. Iran has created groups tied to itself on a broad level and is trying to secure its own influence. In this way, they also try to live out the conflicts with the USA without being confronted with problems in their own country. A system has been created in which the war is fought far away.
Turkey is trying to become a force through the genocide of the Kurds. In order to get support for this, it is ready to enter into any alliance. Of course, the USA is a force with great influence, as it is throughout the world, including in the Middle East. They want to design the Middle East fundamentally according to their own interests. They act and move with this mentality. There are also the conflicts between the USA and China, which were originally fought in the Asia-Pacific region and are now spreading further and further around the world. This is now also evident in the Middle East. It can be seen that China’s relations with the Middle East have increased recently. They have taken strategic steps. The essential move was their efforts to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia together. Relations between the two states, which have historical conflicts with each other, have significantly improved. China has also announced that they will work on the Palestinian question.
In the Middle East everything is interconnected and everything influences each other. Asking whether the Hamas attack on October 7th and the Israeli state’s subsequent attack on Gaza will lead to an expansion of the war in the region shows a lack of understanding of the politics of the Middle East. At the G20 summit that recently took place in India, decisions were made regarding new energy and trade routes, so China cannot implement its own plans. As is known, not only China, but also Iran, Turkey, Russia and other forces are angry about this decision. They are all forces of capitalist modernity that look at the world and life from their perspective and do everything for their own interests. So the struggle of the Palestinian people was sacrificed to the struggle for interests, power and partnership between these powers. This is a clear situation. It is the same framework in which they approach the Kurds. What is important is that we are aware of this and base our fight for freedom and democracy on the strength and unity of the peoples.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, the Gulf countries… there is a diplomatic traffic involving all regional countries right now. There is a prominent demand for a ceasefire in Arab countries. What is the approach of the Arab states to the Palestinian question? How does this approach affect the Palestinian people and their struggle?
The state of Israel has always been striving to realize the goal envisioned by the Zionist ideology. According to this, the geography designated as Jewish land needs to be cleansed of any other communities, and it needs to be turned into a place inhabited entirely by Jews. This means the occupation of Palestine and the genocide of the Palestinian people, which is where all the problems originate. This idea has been the official policy of the Israeli state and its government. Even though the struggle and pressure of the Arab people in general, and partly of the Arab states, and the organized struggle and resistance of the Palestinian people in particular have forced the Israeli state to put some compromises on the agenda, this idea and policy has not changed. This is the goal and the policy that Israel is pursuing now. This ideology and policy has always been supported by capitalist modernity, especially by the US. Therefore, the mentality and policies pursued by the state of Israel are not only the result of internal dynamics. Capitalist modernity has a role for Israel in the Middle East and Israel is expected to play this role. We know that some people do not think this way and even think that Israel is playing a role for others. But this is not the reality.
The state of Israel has been condemned to an ideology and a policy called Zionism. This can only change through a serious internal social struggle and the resulting transformation. It would not be wrong to say that such a consciousness and movement is gradually emerging within Israeli society. This should be seen as a correct and positive development. It will be developments of this kind that will transform Israel and end the Arab-Jewish contradiction and conflict, including the solution of the Palestinian question. Therefore, it is necessary to attach importance to this and strive for its development. Without this, Israel, backed by the US, NATO and other forces of capitalist modernity, will not be able to abandon its policy of occupation, annexation and genocide. On the other hand, this situation also makes its opponent similar to itself. Those who oppose Israel and its policies need the US and NATO to fight against such an Israel. This makes them dependent either on the US and NATO or on forces that have some contradictions with the US and NATO forces, but are not fundamentally different from the US and NATO forces, that pursue economic-political power like them, and that think about their global and regional interests. We think this is one of the biggest deadlocks. Unfortunately, this is the situation that Palestinian organizations are in most of the time. They have become dependent either on the US and NATO or on the powers that are in conflict with them.
As for the Arab countries, it would be more accurate to call them Arab states, because the approach of the people and the approach of the states differ from each other. At the time of the establishment of the state of Israel, there were Arab states ruled by kingdoms. It is known how these states were created. These kingdoms were established by Britain and were dependent on it. Israel is also a state established with the consent of Britain. These kingdoms, disconnected from the people, would not have been able to stop the state of Israel, which was given a strategic role by Britain and therefore by capitalist modernity. This situation did not change even after the development of Arab nationalism and the change of regimes according to this ideology. Already in the 1970s, the Arab states lost interest in the Palestinian question. Their internal contradictions deepened and Israel and foreign powers took advantage of these contradictions. Although not on an official level, many Arab states have developed relations with Israel since then. Their support for the Palestinian movement, on the other hand, was limited. State interests and balances came to the fore. These concerns are also at the forefront now. In fact, state interests and balances are even more prominent than in the past. Before these developments began, there were official dialogues between Israel and many Arab states. A compromise and agreement was reached between them under the name of the Abraham-Hebrew Covenant. It is stated that this process has been disrupted due to the current situation, but no Arab state party to this process has taken any stance to confirm this.
The agreement between the Arab states and Israel does not envisage a solution to the Palestinian problem. It is not easy for an agreement that does not solve the Palestinian problem or does not envisage such a solution to be successful. Now, a very important part of the Arab states have relations with the US. In a way, they are dependent on the US and Israel. They exist and make politics according to the balance that the US has established in the Middle East. In the current situation, all of them have their eyes and ears mainly on the US. Neither the Arab League, nor the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, nor any other organization can do anything despite the US and NATO. Ceasefire calls and verbal reactions have no real value. They are made to save face, to appease the reaction of the Arab people. The power that manages this process is the US. The US has global and regional calculations and plans. It acts accordingly. Undoubtedly, a serious social reaction and pressure may force the US, Israel and even the Arab states to take some steps and this may lead to changes in the plan. Apart from that, the US plan is the one that will work.
It is widely considered that Iran and Turkey are de facto, if not officially, involved in this war. What is the approach of these two countries to the Palestinian issue, what kind of calculations do they have? How does the Palestinian issue affect the relations between these two countries? Will this affect their positions and policies in Syria and Iraq? How will this war affect the Kurdish question?
Iran and Turkey are two states trying to increase their influence in the region. Although their interests are different, they are united in this goal. This pushes them into competition and power struggle with each other and makes it necessary for them to keep an eye on each other. Ultimately, of course, one tries or wants to reduce the effectiveness of the other as much as possible and, if possible, to zero and bring it under its sovereignty. This is a fundamental characteristic of states. Often they seek to balance or dominate each other through relations developed with other powers. Swallowing each other up and destroying each other is rare. Even when it does happen, it can be the result of a policy and plan spread over time. However, along with the contradiction and struggle between them, there are also relations between them. One cannot ignore the other without establishing absolute superiority over the other. There is such a dialectic between Iran and Turkey. There is both a struggle between them to become a regional power and a relationship between them. Since one cannot establish absolute supremacy over the other, they pursue a balanced policy that watches out for each other.
Iran is not a power outside the system. It is part of the system of capitalist modernity and a party to the intra-system power struggle. It is therefore an active force in the Third World War. If it is categorized, in the US-Europe-Russia-China contradictions and conflicts, it is making policy by siding with the Russia-China front. It tries to neutralize or fend off the political and economic pressures of the US by siding with this front. In addition to this, there is also a front developed by Iran in the region, which is defined as the Shiite Crescent. There are forces in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere that are part of this front. These forces are part of the rulers of these states. But these states are also in a state of disintegration. They are either in a state of civil war or they are in a state of disintegration and fragmentation. Because they are already in such a situation, Iran has brought them closer to itself or made those close to it influential in the state. Nevertheless, they are important powers. It is known that Iran makes politics in the region based on these forces and gains significant power from this. Iran is trying to balance the policies of the US and Israel against itself in the region through these forces. It is also getting certain results from this. However, despite this, Iran has not created an environment that has overcome the danger and made its politics accepted in the region. Just like the state of Israel, the Iranian state sees its existence in danger.
As in everything else, its approach to the Palestinian cause is within this framework. Iran is primarily concerned with preserving its existence as a state. Since it feels this concern very much, it is very careful about steps that would increase the danger. The Iranian state essentially wants to be accepted in the region with its current position and politics. It uses its relations and alliances in the region for this purpose. Its relations with Hamas are also within this framework. Since Hamas does not have a democratic essence, it needs forces like Iran and Turkey to fight against Israel, to be effective or to protect its existence. Although it has relations with other powers, it hopes to be effective mainly through the relations it develops with Turkey and Iran. This makes Hamas a part of regional interests, rivalries and power struggles. This, of course, harms the Palestinian cause, as it becomes part of regional contradictions, the democratic line of struggle regresses and moves away from a solution.
However, development can only be achieved by taking the democratic line of struggle as a basis and strengthening it. The Palestinian movement developed and strengthened after the Six Day War when it was realized that the Arab states did not have the power to find a solution. The struggle of the Palestinian people was strengthened by this. But now this independent and democratic stance has been lost. It has fallen behind even the old period. Of course, this does not mean that the Palestinian movement will not develop relations and receive support from states. The important thing is to take people-based resistance and struggle as a basis. Unless this is taken as a basis, no support received will serve the struggle. Moreover, the support of states depends on the policies they pursue. Iran, Turkey and all Arab states follow a policy based on their interests. None of these states can be strategic relations of the oppressed peoples. As can be seen, no state, including Iran, has taken any concrete steps. Iran operates the rings it has created outside according to its own policy. After Israel’s plan against Gaza became clear, it was expected by many circles that Iran would make a move by actively mobilizing Hezbollah and others and by stepping in itself, but this was not the case. This is because neither Iran nor anyone else is in a position to risk a move that would upset the balance. Undoubtedly, the problems in the Middle East are deep and have the potential to shake and change the balance. One of the factors that will lead to this is undoubtedly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Turkey’s approach to developments in the region is purely utilitarian. Since the Turkish state system is completely detached from a democratic essence, in other words, since society has no influence on the state at all, it is able to act with a pragmatism that is far above the norm. What it calls wrong today it can call right tomorrow, and what it considers an enemy it can embrace tomorrow. Undoubtedly, the Turkish state is able to conduct such a policy by utilizing its geopolitical position. If this were not the case, it would not be able to pursue such a policy. The Turkish state is doing all this for the sake of advancing its policy of genocide of Kurds.
The main policy of the Turkish state is the policy of genocide of the Kurds. It conducts all its politics and relations accordingly. This is also its approach to the Palestinian cause. It wants to take advantage of the situation by pretending to defend the Palestinian cause. In reality, Turkey is concerned with developing the means to continue its policies of Kurdish genocide and thus increase its power in the region. This is why it looks tough in rhetoric but does not take any concrete steps. Because the Turkish state knows very well that it cannot continue its Kurdish genocide policies without the support of the US, Israel, Europe and NATO. Until today, it has been able to carry out its Kurdish genocide policies with the support it has received from these powers. Therefore, this support is important for the Turkish state.
Tayyip Erdoğan’s disturbances and objections are aimed at increasing this support. The AKP-MHP government has not really been interested in the Palestinian cause because it has received this support until today. Shortly before these war emerged, Tayyip Erdoğan had a meeting with Netanyahu in the USA. When the attacks on Gaza began, Tayyip Erdoğan said, “I was going to go to Israel, but now I have given up on this plan.” However, there are military, commercial and economic agreements worth billions of dollars between Turkey and Israel and these agreements continue as they are. It is known that even the bullets of the Israeli army are made of steel from Turkey. Israel’s army, planes and tanks are conducting drills at their centers in Konya, some of which are produced in Turkey. This is how much Turkey is involved in this war, it is a part of this war. They are trying to cover up the hypocrisy by hiding these from the public. By doing some very hypocritical things; for example, by not buying and consuming Israeli products in the parliament, the reaction against the state of Israel is supposedly developed. But military relations, energy and trade lines are fully functioning, millions of dollars continue to flow in and out on a daily basis. Indeed, this is the height of distortion and special warfare! Unfortunately, the pathetic situation in which the so-called opposition figures find themselves provides the ground for the government to play these games.
One of the reasons why the Turkish state has developed a certain discourse against Israel is the Iranian factor. As long as the Palestinian problem remains unresolved, the reactions against Israel in Arab and Islamic countries will not end. Iran takes advantage of the environment created by this reaction. It is unthinkable for Turkey, which has contradictions with Iran in the region and is engaged in a regional power struggle between them, to stay out of this and leave this area entirely to Iran. By developing a certain reaction and gathering some of the reaction around it, Turkey is preventing a complete shift of attention to Iran. Therefore, Turkey’s approach is highly political and this is not beyond the consent of the US. Another reason is domestic public opinion in Turkey. The AKP-MHP government rules the state and the country by establishing a tight manipulation and control over society. For this to happen, it has become very important to create and manage perceptions. Considering that local elections will soon be held, it is obvious that the AKP-MHP government will want to turn this situation into an opportunity. As a matter of fact, in the rally held in Istanbul for Palestine and Gaza, the masses were told about the enmity against Kurds and Rojava, and it was stated that new invasions would be carried out. In Turkey, the masses are being agitated by nationalism, religionism and Kurdish hostility. The Kurdish enmity is covered up with Islamic-religious discourses. In reality, Turkey has only one policy, and that is the Kurdish genocide policy. The Turkish state calculates and desires to become a power in the region through Kurdish enmity and genocide. It uses religion, Islam and nationalism for this purpose. It uses Hamas and the Palestinian cause for this purpose. Beyond this, the Turkish state has no interest and support for the Palestinian cause.
The anxious situation of the Turkish state is due to the fact that the balance is shifting to its detriment and that this will damage its policies of Kurdish genocide. All of Tayyip Erdoğan’s efforts are aimed at preventing this and, moreover, to get results in favor of his genocide policies. It is a fact that Turkey has always benefited from the increase in contradictions and conflicts in the world and the region. The benefit it has seen from the environment and balances created by the conflict situation has been decisive in carrying out its policies of Kurdish genocide. Without these factors, the Turkish state would not have been able to carry out its policies of Kurdish genocide based on its own power. Therefore, the Turkish state is not disturbed by the development of the conflict situation in the Middle East. On the contrary, it plans to create opportunities for itself from the conflict situation. By doing so, it plans to gain more support in the war against the Kurds and to carry out new invasions in Rojava and Syria.
While evaluating the wars and conflicts in the Middle East, Abdullah Öcalan states that religious ideologies and nationalism cannot create a solution, on the contrary, he stated “As long as the mentality of nation-statism, whether in the form of religious or secular nationalism, continues, it is inevitable that these societies will clash even more”. And also added, that this mentality is the root cause of wars and problems. As a solution modell, he puts forward the ‘democratic nation’. How can this solution be adapted to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict?
Historically, social problems have increased with the development of the statist system. As the state developed, humanity moved away from equality, freedom, fraternity and living together in peace. Instead exploitation and war have become dominant. This is a historical reality. The nation-state system is the system with the highest level of conflict, war and exploitation. The first and second world wars, and the hundreds of local and regional wars that preceded and followed these two great wars, were wars created and waged by nation-states. Conflict, war and exploitation in the last two centuries are hundreds of times greater than the negativity experienced in tens of thousands of years of human history before. This is not a matter of the sophistication of the tools of war, but of the mentality. The Middle East is one of the places where the nation-state has caused the most damage and has no solution power. The nation-state has increased the existing problems in the Middle East many times over. Now, all the problems in the Middle East take their source from the nation-state. The most fundamental obstacle to developments is the nation-state. Rêber Apo has dealt extensively with the character, mentality and consequences of both the state in general and the nation-state in particular within the historical social reality. The consequences of the nation-state, whether secular or religious, are the same. In both cases, it increases the problems and deepens the lack of solution.
One of the best examples of the secular and religious forms of the nation-state is Turkey. At its foundation, Turkey had a secular-nationalist form, where today it is based on religious-nationalism. In both cases, no real solution to Turkey’s problems has been found. Because it is not possible to solve problems of the society with the nation-state. The nation-state is essentially a doctrine of war and genocide. In addition to the war being waged against society, what goes on within the nation-state is more brutal, predatory, full of intrigue and conspiracies than what goes on in the kingdoms and dynasties before. It is utterly wrong to think that such a system will enlighten society and ensure progress. This is especially the view held by those in Turkey who are based on the idea of secularism. When religious nationalism comes to power and entrenches itself in the state, it is assumed that secular nationalism will lead a correct life and solve problems. However, the nation-state is an obstacle to enlightenment, democratization and a right and free life. Therefore, problems can be solved and progress can be achieved by overcoming both forms of nationalism.
The real solution to the problems in the Middle East can be found in the policy of the democratic nation. The democratic nation is a way of life in which the national reality is lived in its true dimensions, without the blinding and misleading aspects of nationalism. The democratic nation is the system in which peoples, societies, faith communities as well as women can live and express themselves in the most correct and free way. At the same time, the nation-state is the most crystallized form of power and authority, which is the product of the male-dominated mentality. Secular nationalism and religious nationalism are just different forms of the nation-state. In such a system, it is not possible for society, peoples and women to exist, live freely and express themselves. That it is not possible is already evident in practice.
Nationalism is at the root of the Arab-Jewish contradiction and problem. Therefore, overcoming this problem and living together and in peace can only be possible by overcoming nationalism, by overcoming both versions of the nation-state, religious and secular nationalism. This is the solution method we advocate. We do not think that the problems will be solved by establishing more nation-states. This is currently being presented as the most advanced solution to the Palestinian problem. Of course, the Israeli state does not accept this either. But a fundamental solution to the problem cannot be achieved by creating a state for the Palestinians. First of all, the nation-state mentality must be overcome. Unless this happens, contradiction and conflict will not end. A solution cannot be achieved by separating geographies, mountains, rivers and cities with the nation-state mentality. The solution for Jerusalem is to divide the city in two. Can such a thing happen? Many peoples, communities and beliefs live together in these ancient lands. In a geography with such diversity, it is not possible to solve problems through nationalism and nation-statism. This will only result in at each other’s throats. As a matter of fact, this is what has been happening for a hundred years. This can only be overcome with a democratic nation mentality and solution where all differences can live together and all national, cultural and religious communities can express themselves. The place where the democratic nation solution will find the most ground is the geography where Israel and the Palestinian people live.
How important is the solution of the Kurdish question and the Palestinian question for the solution of the problems in the Middle East, for the development of democratization and for the peoples to live in freedom, security and peace?
In fact, throughout the interview I tried to explain the importance of these two problems and the correct solution we envision. The order created by the forces of capitalist modernity in the Middle East has been to the detriment of the peoples. The denial and genocide of the Kurdish and Palestinian peoples is a result of this order. The problematic situation in the Middle East has been maintained by leaving these two problems unresolved and abandoning them to genocide. In this way, the nation-states in the Middle East have been pitted against each other and within themselves, controlled by the hegemonic powers and thus the Middle East has been made completely dependent. The peoples of the Middle East have suffered great pain and damage. The Kurdish people and the Palestinian people have suffered the most. The lack of a solution to these two problems has led not only to these peoples, but also to the development of the domination of the colonialist powers, the imperialists, over the region as we have mentioned, and to the damage of all peoples.
It can be said that if these two problems are solved, important developments will take place in the whole of the Middle East, conflict and war will end and real peace will become achievable. The Kurdish and Palestinian questions are the two biggest problems in the Middle East. But they are also the two biggest dynamics of democratization in the Middle East. Since the solution of these two problems requires a democratic mentality and approach, nationalism, religionism, nation-statism and all kinds of fanaticism, which are the sources of the problems in the Middle East, therefore need to be overcome. The fact that Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Israel have undergone some democratic transformations as a result of the permanent solution of these two problems is enough to understand the importance and magnitude of the developments. On the other hand, the grounds for all the designs, operations and conspiracies designed in the Middle East will be eliminated. Not only the region but also the world will be positively affected by the solution of the Kurdish and Palestinian problems.