Hadash: Speak out on Syrian atrocities as you would on occupation

This weekend, Yossi Gurvitz accused former MK Muhammad Naffa, secretary-general of the Communist Party of Israel of backing the suppression of the Syrian uprising. Uri Weltmann, a member of the Communist Party of Israel, denies these allegations and clarified the party position in a post published today. Yossi Gurvitz replies below:

I have closely read the words of Comrade Uri Weltmann, and I’ll try to keep my comments brief and to the point:

1. When all the dust settles, is Hadash willing to say unequivocally that it opposes the Assad regime in the same way it opposes the Israeli regime in the occupied territories? If not, why?

2. Your article claims I both lack sufficient understanding of Arabic, and that I have no control of the language at all. The latter is correct, and I never claimed otherwise. This being the case, I have to rely on trusted friends who do understand it. One of them, Uri Sabah – who, unlike me, supported Hadash in the last elections – translated the article which appeared during the weekend as the main item in Hadash’s Arabic site (Hebrew). The piece, which is a statement of the Syrian Communist Party, does not refer to the Assad regime by name, and referred to “attempts to create sectional divides and assaults on the army and security forces” which supposedly were carried out by the rebelling Syrian civilians. On the other hand, the activity of the so-called “security forces” are referred to as “armed clashes” and “attempts to instill fears in the citizenry.” No mention whatsoever of large-scale massacres, torture, and the fleeing of refugees. Why did Hadash decide to put this article in so prominent a position, for so long?

3. Given that the position of my post was that Hadash was saying two different things in Hebrew and Arabic, I fail to see the point of referring me to an article by Tamar Gozansky, written in Hebrew.

4. The so-called denunciation by Muhammad Naffa of the actions of the Assad regime goes: “We support that the brave Syrian people will receive all of their rights, and we oppose the corruption, the State Security courts, the arbitrary arrests, the emergency laws, and the attacks on the freedom of expression, and other freedoms.” Again, this omits any mentions of massacres, torture, and expulsion, and is mild indeed when compared to the rhetoric of the CPI towards the Israeli occupation regime.

5. I am pleased to hear that Naffa’s statement of the beginning of May 2011 was finally published on the CPI’s website, and that it will also appear soon in print. One wonders whether that would have happened without Algazi’s post.