Stop the massacre in Gaza!

This speech was given by Johannes Stern, Editor-in-Chief of the German edition of the World Socialist Web Site, at the rally of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) on 14 October at Hermannplatz in Berlin-Neukölln. The SGP is holding weekly rallies to explain its socialist perspective and program and to gather the necessary 4,000 signatures for its participation in the European elections 2024. This weekend the rally centered on the Israeli onslaught against Gaza.

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei condemns in the strongest terms the massacre of the Palestinian population in Gaza by the right-wing Netanyahu government.

And we condemn the complicity of the imperialist powers and, above all, the ruling class here in Germany. It not only forbids any protest against it but is fully involved in this historical crime.

Johannes Stern speaking at the SGP's anti-war rally in Berlin (the video includes English subtitles).

All government and opposition parties—from the Social Democrats (SPD) to the Greens to the Left Party and the fascist Alternative for Germany (AfD)—have thrown their weight behind Netanyahu and given his extreme right-wing government carte blanche to take vicious revenge on the Palestinian population for the uprising in Gaza.

The scale of the violence is already beyond imagination. More than 6,000 bombs have been dropped on the Gaza Strip in the last few days. Whole neighbourhoods have been completely destroyed, and there have already been more than 2,000 deaths, including hundreds of women and children. Tens of thousands more will follow. The Israeli government ordered the population of the northern part of the Gaza Strip to leave North Gaza by 3:00 p.m. Sunday. A ground offensive, for which more than 300,000 soldiers have been assembled, is imminent.

On Monday last week, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had already threatened, “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly.”

It needs to be spelled out clearly: This is reminiscent of the rhetoric and methods of the Nazis, who responded to resistance with savage collective punishment. For example, in occupied Poland, Nazi forces brutally crushed the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 and the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, razing entire neighbourhoods to the ground and killing tens of thousands.

When politicians and the media now cite these Nazi crimes and the Holocaust to justify the massacre of the Palestinians, it is the height of cynicism and criminality.

Let me also say this clearly: When the entire ruling class in Germany stands behind Netanyahu’s scorched earth policy and supports the blockade and destruction of the Gaza Strip, they are continuing their own criminal traditions.

And the same applies to the question of antisemitism. It is not the oppressed Palestinians and the hundreds of millions of people worldwide, who express solidarity with them, who promote antisemitism but the imperialist powers.

The very attempt to collectively associate Jewish people with the criminal policies of the Netanyahu regime is deeply antisemitic. At the same time, the ruling class in Germany is once again building a fascist party with the AfD and defending academics like Humboldt Professor Jörg Baberowski, who publicly trivialises Hitler’s and the Nazis’ crimes.

And now, the same politicians and media—who defend this man and his statement “Hitler was not vicious” or like AfD leader Gauland, who called the Nazi era as “just so much bird shit” on history—come and speak of antisemitism. What a mockery!

The stench of fascism and the complicity of the ruling classes with openly antisemitic forces is most evident in Ukraine. In order to defeat the nuclear power Russia, Berlin and the other leading NATO powers are arming a regime in Kiev that celebrates Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera and openly mobilises fascist army units like the Azov Battalion.

Many people are not only horrified by these developments but are asking the question: What is driving the ruling class towards world war and fascism again, and how can this deadly spiral be stopped?

As in the 1930s, the barbarism we are now witnessing is an expression of the deep crisis of capitalism. The governments in the US, here in Germany, all over Europe and also in Israel are hated by the people and are responding with brutal violence. But this will not save them, it will only fuel the opposition among workers and youth. This is shown by the worldwide mass protests against the massacre in Gaza.

The SGP supports these protests. The working class must intervene to stop the massacre. We demand an immediate stop to the supply of arms to Israel and an end to the murderous attack! And we fight for the unity of the international working class on the basis of a revolutionary socialist programme.

Workers worldwide depend on each other for this. The Israeli working class cannot defend its own democratic rights without fighting for the democratic rights of the Palestinian people. And the Palestinians cannot lead their struggle for democratic rights and social equality without an alliance with the Israeli working class.

And similarly, the workers here in Germany cannot win the struggle against militarism, fascism and war without rushing to the aid of the Palestinian masses and mobilising against the massacre in Gaza!

The urgent need of the hour is the development of a united mass movement of the international working class against the capitalist warmongers and for socialism. This is what the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei and its sister parties of the Fourth International are fighting for, and this is the significance of our participation in the European elections.