Anarchist communist analysis from Syria
The majority of the Arab masses can just observe what is going on, filled with outrage and anger. This is due mainly to the general atmosphere of fear and their marginalization, strongly maintained by the ruling elites. Only a small minority of politically active individuals are participating in protests on the streets.
The number of Palestinian casualities is so high compared to previous Israeli attacks – 385 killed and more than 1,750 injured (these figures are valid as of 31 December). The majority of the Arab masses can just observe what is going on, filled with outrage and anger. This is due mainly to the general atmosphere of fear and their marginalization, strongly maintained by the ruling elites. Only a small minority of politically active individuals are participating in protests on the streets. They are mainly Islamic activists.
This can be understood in two ways: Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest Islamic organization that enjoys an influential presence in the largest Islamic countries, usually in an illegal way. On the other hand, the left in Arab and Islamic countries has changed profoundly since the fall of the Soviet Union: a large part of it shifted from the traditional reformist policies of Stalinist parties to embrace the neo-liberal policies of the mainstream tendency of globalization, but have kept the same old tactics: looking for compromises with ruling elites, or promoting “democratic” change based primarily on neo-liberal policies and accepting American, or in general Western, intervention as the main way of imposing such “change”.
To be fair, there is a tendency to create some influence by Trotskyism and, to a lesser extent, Anarchism; but these new tendencies are still very weak and elitist and lack any important presence or influence on the grassroots movements of the masses. In fact, the Arab masses are left to the propaganda of the Islamists. Liberal and the majority of former leftist intellectuals have opted to support the policies of pro-American “moderate” governments; while those leftists who consider themselves anti-imperialist have acted as mere supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah; they have failed to distinguish themselves from these Islamists, or even worse, failed to promote a real democratic and progressive approach and understanding of the ongoing fight.
It is clear that despite the promises of Hamas that are attributed to their Islamic religious teachings not to the facts on ground, Israel enjoys the upper hand and its forces, with their determination to inflict as many casualities and as much damage as they can on the one and half million poor residents of Gaza, can defeat the resistance in Gaza.
Pro-American regimes, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are doing everything they can to make the mission of Israeli forces as easy as possible; for example, the Egyptian regime is keeping the crossing points of Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip closed to humanitarian aid, in order to keep the people of Gaza facing hunger, darkness and cold, which can weaken their resistance and create resentment against the Hamas leadership. These corrupt dictatorships have today become the symbols of “modernity” with neo-liberals as their masters – the Bush administration and its first ally in the region, Israel, the butchers of Gaza; this proved to be the best propaganda that the Islamists have received in these days.
Of course, Islamic fundamentalists do not have real solutions, nor a democratic one, to the crisis, or even to the issues of fighting poverty or social injustice; but due to the weakness of the left here and its vague understanding, and of their proposed alternative for these issues due to the strong influence of Stalinism and reformism, these Islamists are now in the front line of the demonstrations against the American-backed Israeli aggression. This only reaffirms the importance of organizing anarchist propaganda and activities that can, by word and deed, demonstrate a new, libertarian alternative to both neo-liberalism and fundamentalism.