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Letters of February 1

Justice from Israeli Bosses? ‘Like asking cows to give wine, not milk’

I came to visit a Palestinian family from Ramle (a small town near the Ben-Gurion Airport) whose house was demolished. The town hall and the Israeli Rail company claim the family’s home stands in the way of constructing a new school for locomotive drivers. This is far from the truth.

Unfortunately, this is not the only case I saw. In all house demolitions: (a) the number of cops sent to demolish is enormous — they use a lot of violence, including against women and children; (b) the families face the risk of being charged for the expenses of the demolition; and (c) the official who signed the warrant always has second thoughts afterwards.

This is against both Palestinian and Jewish workers. Here is one incident among many: a family in the Hatikva tent city in southern Tel-Aviv received an eviction warrant. Activists sent protest letters to the Welfare and Social Services minister. Some got a reply saying that this issue was being taken care of and thus there is no need for letters. The minister demanded a representative to speak to him. We refused. If he needs a representative, he knows where to find the family in the Hatikva tent city!

I relate both of these examples to the protest during the summer in Israel-Palestine, similar to the Occupy Movement in the U.S. The people demand social justice from a capitalist government that can’t, and won’t, provide it. It’s like asking a cow to give wine instead of milk.

Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to lie. He promised to implement free education for children between the ages of three and six. Only a third of children in these ages have free kindergartens. There are not even enough kindergartens in existence to implement this law. The free kindergartens are open until 2 PM. Parents who work until 4 PM will have to pay 780 Shekkels (about $200) a month for extended daycare. Everyone knows that in Netanyahu’s government, one hand gives, the other takes. Takes indeed!

Capitalism can’t provide social solutions. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. You can see this in the wages. The tax cut was at a fixed percentage. So those with higher wages will see a lot more money than those with lower. Those, like me, who earn the minimum wage, get left behind. Meanwhile, city taxes and electricity prices increased.

More and more people are angry about the economy but this is not enough. More and more activists show solidarity but this is not enough. The only answer is to completely eradicate capitalism.

It’s intolerable that evicted families have to live in tents in the rainy winter or the searing summer. It’s intolerable that parents have to pay huge sums of money for their children’s education. It’s intolerable that the wealthy will have good healthcare while the poor will get healthcare at their deathbeds. It’s intolerable that the money goes to the military, the settlements and the bosses — not to the working class.

We, the workers, both Palestinians and Jews, must stop this. Voting for a capitalist prime minister will only make things worse. We must change the system from its root!

Housekeeping Worker from Tel-Aviv-Jaffa

Cops Help Bosses Steal Workers’ Overtime Pay

We chanted, “Workers United Will Never Be Defeated” and “This Fist You See Means Power to the Workers.” In NYC, about 25 workers led a militant picket in front of the office of a construction company in solidarity with workers whose exploitative boss had stolen their overtime pay along with other moneys.

After an hour, the boss and his relatives showed up. They took some photos and videos and tried to provoke a confrontation. They also called the police, who showed up when we were getting ready to leave. The boss interpreted this as fear on our part.

We then decided to stay longer and chant much louder because we wanted to show this boss and the cops that the working class is not afraid. We will fight to defend our rights and in a not-so-distant future, we will be fighting against the whole capitalist system.

When we left, we felt satisfied fulfilling our duty. We also realized, however, that the cops are accomplices to the bosses. These cops continued to talk to this exploitative boss and his family as if they were friends.

Workers of the world, unite to build a society that responds to the interest of our working class — a communist society.

A Red Fighter

El Salvador: The Party Comes First

On October 1, we held the second PLP communist school. We met up in a place close to the town council; they had invited us to a social celebration in honor of the month of children, but instead of going to the social activity we went to the Party school.

The presence of ten readers of CHALLENGE in the morning was very important because we analyzed the reality we workers of the fields live through in this exploitative system. As we listen to or read the news, we realize how workers in the world are exploited, killed by the bosses and their lackeys.

We analyzed the CHALLENGE editorial, about the hospital workers that are fighting racist attacks. It gives us more courage to get organized and fight to build a communist society. We have understood that sexism and racism are chains of capitalist exploitation that the bosses use to divide us, to better exploit us and to produce more profit for this disgusting system.

The capitalist system can only be defeated and destroyed if we destroy its profits. Then an organized working class will build a new society without these faults. The fight makes us stronger, it teaches us that we are not alone, that we can unite against the bosses and this homicidal system.

The PLP is the flag of the proletariat and its leadership. United, we will win.

Comrade from El Salvador

Turkish and Israeli Bosses Deny Armenian Holocaust

During World War I, the Ottoman Empire (whose heir is now Turkey) committed systematic genocide against the Armenian people. There were mass deportations and murder, including forced death marches. Between 1 and 1.5 million Armenians were murdered. Other ethnic groups, such as Assyrians and Greeks, were also attacked. This was part of the institutional racism of the Ottoman Empire, similar to the institutional racism of each and every class system regime.

In 1914, the Ottoman Empire passed a law requiring every man under the age of 45 to enlist in the army or pay a fine. The Armenians were conscripted as well. Their weapons were taken from them and they were divided into units to build roads and facilities under the harshest conditions imaginable. Compare this to the current Israeli government, which wants to pass a law requiring Palestinian workers to enlist in the Israeli army or in “civil service,” despite the fact that they have suffered oppression and racism for 64 years.

Because of the horrid conditions in the Ottoman army, some Armenians deserted. Some even crossed over to Ottoman’s opponent, the Tsarist Russian army. In early 1915, Armenian units of the Russian army began recruiting Armenians from inside the Ottoman Empire, which served as an excuse for the massacre.

The slaughter began on April 24, 1915, when the Ottoman army systemically uprooted thousands of Armenian families from their homes and forced them to march hundreds of kilometers without food or water towards the Syrian deserts. Ottoman soldiers tortured, raped, and slaughtered the Armenians with impunity. That night, 250 Armenian leaders were murdered in Istanbul at the order of the Ottoman government.

Today’s Turkey still does not recognize the Armenian genocide, claiming that it just was a tragic wartime event and refuses to take responsibility. This is how fascist governments get away with genocide. Most Armenians worldwide are descendants of the survivors of this massacre.

Twenty-two nations now recognize the Armenian genocide. Israel does not. It doesn’t want “to harm the relations with Turkey.” Why do relations between two racist capitalist countries (Israel oppressing the Palestinians and Turkey oppressing the Kurds and Armenians even today) come before human lives?

To add insult to injury, Zionist groups refuse to describe the Armenian Genocide as a Holocaust. They wish to reserve the word “Holocaust” for the Jewish genocide during World War II. In these grotesque cases, the blood of an Armenian peasant or worker is not different from the blood of any other worker, including a Jewish one.

As communists, we condemn all forms of racism and of racist terror. Under capitalism, wars serve a clear interest of the ruling class — the arms industry, soldiers and everything serve the bosses’ interest to profit off of workers. There’s no consideration to human lives lost, homes destroyed and people becoming refugees.

Billions of workers all over the world have suffered, and still suffer, from oppression, discrimination and racism. We must fight against capitalism and build a world with no borders, wars and nationalism — a world where the working class will take its destiny into its own hands!

Housekeeping Worker from Tel-Aviv-Jaffa

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