Israeli Communist Party supports Bashar Assad – in Arabic only

The secretary-general of the ICP published an article denouncing the Syrian uprising. The piece did not appear in the Hebrew publications of the party

Veteran journalist Yossef Elgazi (and former Israeli Communist Party member and activist) exposed (Hebrew) the fact that the ICP has taken a double stand on the suppression of the Syrian uprising.

In the beginning of May, the party secretary general, former MK Muhammad Naffa, published an article in a well-known Arabic site, Al Khuwar Al Mathmadan, in which he denounced the uprising. The article drew criticism from many readers, as well as communists in Arab countries. On 2.6.11, Hadash’s site in Arabic published the statement of a meeting of Communist parties in Brussels, which said that “the Communist parties express their support of Syria in the face of the imperialist plots, and demand the cessation of military aggression against Libya”.

On 6.7.11, Hadash’s paper, Al Ithihad, published a shifty article, which in essence called for the end of the popular uprising against the Assad regime. The article was published next to a “report” of the Syrian news agency, Sana, which claimed the rebels killed 120 (what a nice, round number) Syrian security personnel. The Sana piece, which was received with skepticism pretty much elsewhere, was published as is by Al Ithihad.

The main point here is that all of these announcement of support of one of the most corrupt and murderous regimes in the region appear only in Arabic. Those Hadash supporters who read only Hebrew – a small yet influential number – will not hear a whisper of it, unless they follow Elgazi. Basically, Hadash has been caught in what it has been accused of in the past: Speaking in two voices: One to its Palestinian supporters, the other to its Jewish ones.

When Hadash speaks to the Jewish public, it puts in front Dov Henin, a strong, persuasive and magnetic speaker with an excellent resume, one of the best parliamentarians in recent decades. But Hadash has never confronted its old, ugly past as a Communist party parroting the Moscow line, and those shrill sounds – “imperialist plots”, “military aggression” – and the automatic support of old Soviet and current Russian clients should remind liberals and socialists that the old beast was never actually slain. Hadash’s claim – one almost writes “façade of” – being a party of both Jews and Arabs took yet another hit. Furthermore, a party supporting the wholesale slaughter in Syria has no business, not to mention credibility, decrying the much lesser evil of the Israeli occupation. The IDF is a brutish instrument of an inhuman policy, but its evils pale into insignificance when compared to those of the Assad regime. And a party which supports the latter loses all moral ground when it attempts to oppose the former.