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Palestinian Liberation is Inseparable From the Climate Struggle

Israeli genocide of Palestinians rests heavily on perpetrating an ecocide both locally and globally.


I’ve sat countless times in meetings of environmental groups, while people discussed how to attract a more diverse range of people to become active in advocating for climate policy. Many groups, which tend towards white and middle or upperclass, find that they have trouble connecting with other activists, despite the fact that the existential threat of climate change is intimately involved with nearly every other struggle. I’ve also heard some of the reasons for this disconnect from activists in other areas; the issue of the climate isn’t as urgent as others, or that they don’t feel as welcome in such homogenous spaces. And another, less palatable one: that climate activists are too often single issue, making the lack of intersectionality alienating.

…Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza has “produced more planet-warming gases than 20 climate-vulnerable nations do in a year.”

A lot of the overlap between climate topics and other struggles is nuanced. It’s not always easy to connect things like poorer health and life expectancy in underserved communities to the food system, or heat deaths to urban planning that favors some neighborhoods over others. As a giant monolith of a topic, climate change can often seem pretty invisible. But one area where the connection cannot be ignored is war, and specifically Israel’s genocide of Palestinians. Surprisingly (or maybe not?), many climate activists are trying their very hardest to do exactly that.

Every step of conflict generates greenhouse gas emissions. Weapons need to be manufactured, which uses energy and also carbon-intensive materials. They need to be transported from one place to another, which is done via jets burning heavy fuel, or ships, which release not only carbon dioxide but also sulfur into the atmosphere – a cause of acid rain. Then there is the cost of transporting and housing troops, which again includes transport plus electricity, food, and clothing. Bombs and other weapons cause fire, smoke, and create rubble, resulting in a massive carbon explosion. Watching a video of a bomb detonating, you can literally see the black smoke rising into the air to obscure the sun. Even coal power plants don’t look that bad.

According to data shared with The Guardian, Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza has “produced more planet-warming gases than 20 climate-vulnerable nations do in a year.” That’s equivalent to 150,000 tonnes of coal and was “probably a significant underestimate.” The article was also written in January, so that figure has no doubt risen significantly in the time since then. And these kinds of figures are just the ones that we know. What we don’t know is how much greenhouse gas comes from militaries around the world because governments refuse to say, citing national security. One researcher has estimated that the U.S. military “contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than over 150 countries.” This report on the carbon footprint of EU militaries had to extrapolate much of the data, and notes that “no EU militaries attempt to report on the GHG emissions related to weapons use on the battlefield.”

And besides the catastrophic loss of human life from this genocide, apartments, schools, and other structures are also being flattened to the ground. These are made mostly of concrete, and are greenhouse gas bombs themselves. They release plant-warming gasses both when they are destroyed and when they’ll need to be rebuilt in the future. To put how much of an impact buildings have on the planet in context, the construction industry is responsible for around one third of global emissions (33%) – more than transportation (24%) and agriculture (21%). The U.N. estimates that rebuilding all the destroyed homes in Gaza could take 80 years. Between the (underestimated) emissions from active war, and the future emissions from rebuilding alone, every climate activist should be doing everything they can for Palestine.

But the deep connection between Palestinian liberation and climate advocacy didn’t start on October 7th – Israel’s occupation of Palestine has always been a climate issue. Back in 2002 the situation had gotten so severe that the UNEP was asked to undertake an in depth study on environmental issues in Palestine. Klaus Töpfer, then Director of the UNEP, wrote in the foreword that “the deepening crisis and the human suffering in the region cannot be neglected and the international community should do its utmost to assist those who are affected. The peaceful end of the occupation and cessation of all violence must be the ultimate objective. Environmental cooperation can be a tool in the peace process.”

A main environmental issue in occupied Palestine that has only worsened over the last months is water contamination, both of the groundwater and the ocean. Israel controls all of the water supply, leaving the Palestinians to pump groundwater, drawing from sensitive aquifers in the area. The overdrawing of groundwater is a concern in itself, but this has historically been compounded by heavy, often illegal use of pesticides and fertilizers in the West Bank, which run into the Palestinian water supply and contaminate it. In such an arid area of the world, this isn’t only bad for people, but also native plants and animals who rely on the scarce water to survive. Adequate waste facilities aren’t supplied to Palestinians, and treatment plants are often overloaded, flowing into the ocean. It’s also been reported that Israeli settlers discharge wastewater onto Palestinian land or into the ocean. With the escalation of Israel’s assault on Gaza, chemicals from weapons and illegal white phosphorus have also made it into water, and Israel has cut off the water supply entirely. The remaining water is so contaminated that many are being forced to drink seawater, or from puddles, and it’s not known when the aquifers will recover.

Another existing issue that has been made exponentially worse over the past months is that of waste. The Palestinian trash collecting system suffers near-constant disruption because of changing Israeli checkpoints, and closing off of various areas to Palestinians and Palestinian vehicles. This has routinely led to dump sites being created outside of managed landfills, which leak methane, a greenhouse gas over 28 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Even worse, because of the lack of infrastructure and disruptions, trash is also burned, which releases toxic chemicals into the air. The recent destruction of buildings in Gaza has created an unimaginable amount of rubble and other waste, and these underlying problems mean there’s nowhere for it to go.

But perhaps the most devastating impact to the environment in Palestine has been to the region’s biodiversity. Water pollution and that from landfills has major effects on plant and animal species, which are under threat in occupied Palestine. Israel also routinely clears large areas for security purposes, destroying native trees and shrubs, and flattening the land. It also limits Palestinians’ access to the ocean, which means that the area near the shore is heavily overfished. And as native people, Palestinians have developed plant species to cultivate for food over generations that are suited to the region. One of those species is olive trees, whose oil has formed a significant part of the Palestinian economy and culture. Some of the trees are centuries older than the Israeli occupation. Because of checkpoints, many farmers have long had troubles tending to their farms, meaning the loss of the trees, along with heritage varieties of fruits and vegetables. Israelis also routinely uproots and destroys the trees, sometimes thousands at a time. This has only increased since October 7th, with the FAO and UN estimating that over one third of agricultural land in Gaza has been destroyed.

There aren’t many cases where the connections between a liberation struggle and the climate are clearer: Palestinian liberation is intimately connected to the environment, not only within Palestine, but also with repercussions extending far beyond it. Those in the climate movement have the chance to deepen the solidarity with other struggles, and to make the push for environmental protection more intersectional. Even though they’ve gotten massive pushback, some like Elisa Bas and Greta Thunberg, have already done so. But more is needed, especially within Germany, where climate activists mostly remain silent. But to care about the environment, and especially to call oneself a climate activist, goes hand in hand with support for Palestine.

The Unpublished Answers

Only in the movies you can beautifully love your offender.


Let me show you the meaning of ‘running in place.’

I wrote the interview ‘Liberating People, Not Territories’ for Freedom Press in just one evening. In the process, I stopped to dance three times, pleased with how the text was turning out. But the interview ‘These Are Truly Dangerous People’ for the Left Berlin took me 9 days. 9 damn days!

Despite the challenging process of writing the interview, I still consider it a logical continuation of the one for Freedom Press.

What took me the most time was one, seemingly simple, question. It went like this:

If you could return to Ukraine without consequence, would you?

And here are the multiple answers. The point is that these answers are different, but each of them is truthful. That’s why I want to share them with you.

Answer 1: If I can believe that I am more than my nationality. If I persuade my readers that culture knows no boundaries. Then one can conclude that home for me doesn’t end with Ukrainian borders. Moreover, my home doesn’t even begin there.

Answer 2: Last month, when I was watching Ukrainian news, they were discussing the opportunity to put guys in prison up to 8 years who did not return from Europe to go to war. Do I need to comment on this?

Answer 3: The last time I watched Ukrainian news, they discussed the fact that Ukrainian citizens abroad who publicly speak or write something different from the official narrative about Ukraine will be imprisoned for a term of 10 years to life.

Ukraine is a threat to my life. I have no sentimental feelings towards someone who bullies me. Anyway, it doesn’t sound like I could return to Ukraine without consequence. Even my literary imagination is not able to answer the question posed in the interview directly.

I’ve provided abbreviated versions of the answers. In reality, there were many more of them. And it was like this for every question.

That’s why I called it a practice in ‘running on the spot’. If you’ve ever been in a car stuck in the mud, wheels spinning hopelessly, you know the feeling.

It shows that even if your contribution against war seems trivial, it’s still worth making. As you can see, the interview is ready. It’s published. An elegant interview about inelegant matters. Similarly, your victory may be not something astonishing, but it will be an inevitable continuation of the previous step.

Here you can read the interview and find out how exactly I answered that not so simple question – “These are truly dangerous people”.

This piece is a part of  a series, The Mining Boy Notes, published on Mondays and authored by Ilya Kharkow, a writer from Ukraine. For more information about Ilya, see his website. You can support his work by buying him a coffee.


Bloque Latinoamericano Manifesto, Part 1

As part of an ongoing transformation, Bloque Latinoamericano are publicising their political manifesto.


This manifesto is from the Bloque Latinoamericano, which has been translated by theleftberlin team. We will be publishing it in three parts – this is part 1.


Our organization has changed over time, based on the needs, wishes and experiences of its active members in relation to the social context in which we live. These needs arise from the double anchoring of the Bloque Latinoamericano as part of a bridge of historical and political connections between the territory from which most of us come or to which we are politically and/or emotionally connected, Latin America, and the territory in which we currently live, Berlin.

This process of collective construction has led us to to reflect and make decisions regarding our organizational structure and decisions, as well as in terms of how we can advance the political goals we have set ourselves. We accept these transformations as something necessary, because we as a collective are a living organism, in constant movement, and can change our structure if necessary.

This gave rise to the need to systematize our organizational experiences in a document that would convey the changes, assurances, commonalities, routes of struggle and analyses that move us. A document that helps to understand our current process, both retrospectively and with a view to the future.

The purpose of this document is to explain where we come from, what we do and what we, in the framework of our political goals, seek in order to achieve a profound and revolutionary transformation of society, the society in which we live and which lives within us. This document allows us to look at the traces of the journey we have traveled. It allows us to understand the process that we have have gone through in almost five years of collective life, thanks to the many comrades who have contributed their perspectives, their passion, their ideas and their work to our organization and continue to do so.

How we came to be the organisation we are

The Bloque Latinoamericano was born in November 2018 as an alliance space between collectives and individuals linked to the political processes of different territories of Latin America-Abya Yala. It emerged from the need to develop a policy of active solidarity with our territories and to organize the resistance of migrants in Germany in the face of the advance of the right on both sides of the ocean.

Over the course of time, we developed our own political goals and defined tasks to achieve these goals, which led to a change in dynamics, toward practices common to a collective. We therefore decided to focus our efforts on two fundamental axes: migrant self-organization and solidarity as well as political work with Latin America-Abya Yala, with trans-feminism and anti-racism as the overarching perspectives of all of our political work. The context of the pandemic was an opportunity to, more than ever, open up and politicize the discussion about collective care in political work, which became another central axis for the development of our collective.

Today we define ourselves as a political organization in which we, the members, share political goals and are joined together in tackling political practice in a way that’s common to all of us. As we recognize that many of our goals, especially the short-term ones, are shared by other organizations, we actively participate in networks and alliances and help to build them. In order to make our demands visible, we take part in campaigns, which we see as important tools for political struggles in various areas of society. Through our political practice, we have understood that these three levels complement each other and are necessary for social change. Without organization, the networks, alliances and campaigns that we can build have no body to give them continuity over time. It is political organization that provides us with the tools to build networks and alliances with those who think differently from us, and more importantly, to mutualize the tools for even more effective and more powerful campaigns.

Important concepts to understand this document

Although we make an effort to use language that is as simple as possible and to remind ourselves how we spoke and thought before we started moving in political spaces, we are aware that this text uses some political concepts that may not be understood by everyone in the same way. This is due to the fact that this text connects diverse social experiences from different Latin American countries with the language and political traditions of Germany, which also enrich us as a collective.

For this reason, in the following paragraphs we briefly clarify what we mean when we use some specific terms. Because we also believe that it is part of our political task as a political tradition. We believe that all of these terms can be transformed. Even if they serve us today as a magnifying glass with which we view our present, they can be transformed or discarded at any point in time, according to our needs.

In this document we talk about the construction of people’s power. This concept, which is widespread in the Latin American social movements, is hardly mentioned in the perspectives of the left in Germany. The building of people’s power means organizing from below, starting from the oppressed who, through their prevailing normal state can succeed in break through mobilization, that creates spaces of their own power that are autonomous and subversive to the dominant social order. Countervailing power consists of transforming the places of life (of work, study, recreation) into an alternative social power; into spaces that allow us a glimpse into other forms of the organization of society. This power can be local, communal or regional, until it manages to become a second territorially anchored power at the national level, which questions the legitimacy and monopoly of the state itself.

People’s power presupposes a political subject: the people (el pueblo). For us, el pueblo is the collective identity that makes so much sense in Latin America when it comes to talking about a of a political subject of transformation. The idea of el pueblo unites all the people who suffer at different levels under the violence of this imperialist system. We are all part of the people – all of us who experience this violence and who, through this identity, seek a response of solidarity based on love for others and the possibility of building an alternative society.

In the following pages, the concept of imperialism plays an important role. If one speaks of imperialism from the perspective of Latin American territories, it is not an academic discussion, as is the case for many people in Europe. We have experienced imperialist policies on our territories in Latin America during all the genocidal coups d’état of the 1970s, during which  the US government used Plan Condor to kill an entire generation of people who were fighting for the construction of socialism, and thus turned our continent into a neoliberal laboratory. The imperialist policy is also present in the economic economic and political blockade of Cuba that has existed for more than 60 years. And it was also evident in the attempted coups d’état in Venezuela in 2002 and in Bolivia in 2019, which were supported and promoted by organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS). This imperialist system has centers, i.e. countries where the extractive wealth, generated by their sponsored policies, is accumulated, and peripheries, which have a strong economic dependence on these central countries. A clear example of this dependence is the foreign public debt, which is almost always illegitimate and in some cases even illegal.

We use the double term Latin America-Abya Yala. The term Abya Yala refers to the name that was used for the area we now call Latin America before its colonization. We believe that the reuse of this term is also an attempt to recognize ourselves in a history of resistance against the workings of colonization.

We see ourselves as a collective that combines different elements of organization from political, social and common interest groups. When we say that we are a political organization, we mean that we are a collective that sets itself long-term and short-term political goals in order to change reality. This means projecting ourselves into the future and building an organization that is able to integrate the experiences of different generations, struggles and movements. When we speak of common interest organizations, we mean, for example, trade unions or student centers. That means, organizations that fight against economic or institutional actors for the improvement of the conditions that affect their members in a particular area of life such as work, study or, in our case, migration. When we talk about social organization, we rely on the concept of the social movement, which is used in Latin America to refer to organizational processes that take place in resistance to neoliberalism, in struggles for access to education, housing, work or culture. The movements are often characterized by the fact that they identify with their expropriation (landlessness, unemployment, homelessness) or the threat to the logic of communal life (community movements, assemblies) and emerge in the geographical or social peripheries and penetrate the centers. The precise way in which these different elements are combined is an open question to which we will find answers through political praxis, i.e. through the combination of practice to transform reality in our context and of reflection on that very practice.

The first chapter of this document contains our political-ideological perspectives. This designation combines two elements that although different, work together in our daily practice. By political practice we mean a concrete debate that attempts to change reality. Ideology has to do with the paradigms that guide us. They are the lenses through which we read reality in order to work on the construction of a new system, a system based on new values and desires within the framework of a project of a world without oppressors and oppressed. Within the political ideological practice, we identify tactical elements that aim to achieve an immediate goal and strategic elements aimed at achieving long-term goals.

In this text, we will use the terms political activism and militancy as synonyms. While in some contexts the word militancy refers exclusively to the willingness to use violence in political struggle, in other contexts it is a generic term that encompasses political activism. In this text we use the term in this second sense.

We have decided to use non-binary language throughout the text. This means that we amend words that presuppose the gender identity of a person so that this is no longer the case. We do not believe neither that the construction of a male ‘we’ in this patriarchal society includes women and others, nor that a generalized feminine includes identities that feel outside the gender binary. For this reason, and because language also has the power to change reality, we believe it is important to neutralize gender in our linguistic practice.

About our internal operating principles

In this chapter, we describe the internal dynamics, or the organic life, of our collective. The following sections condense our understanding of the tools we have had to acquire in order to create an organization that provides space for diversity in ideological positions and perspectives but achieves unity in action and facilitates reflection on our own practice and the human relationships we build around them. These are imperfect tools that are constantly being revised.

Decision making

In the Bloque Latinoamericano there are various spaces in which decisions are made: The plenums for evaluation and projection, the monthly meetings and the meetings of the working groups.

The plenums take place once or twice a year and serve to evaluate the work performed and the (re)definition of the organization’s strategic objectives as well as the projection of specific goals and lines of work for the next period. The meetings take place once a month and discuss topics that affect the organization as a whole. These may arise from the political situation or from the work of the working groups. The meetings have a consultative character and decide on the the routes that the organization should take with regard to the the topics discussed. This space is reserved for reserved for political discussions. An attempt is made to keep organizational or operational debates to a minimum.

The working groups implement the political goals defined in the plenums and assemblies and have relative autonomy to make decisions about their specific work and address issues arising from their interventions in grassroots movements or in processes of processes of political struggle and mobilization.

During the debates in the three decision-making bodies we endeavor to reach a consensus, giving all participants the time they need to understand the discussions and participate. If a consensus is not possible, we make decisions by majority vote. We are of the opinion that this is the most democratic way to, on one hand, avoid giving individuals the power of veto and, on the other hand, to ensure that minority positions are aired and taken into account when evaluating the decisions made. Debates can be resumed in any of the instances if it is believed that more time is needed for the discussion.

Criticism and self-criticism as tools of reflection

We fundamentally assume that growth comes from criticism. This can apply to ourselves, to our projects, to our comrades, and to the organization of which we are a part. In order to be an instructive tool, we believe it is fundamental that critique is practiced in organic spaces of the collective and not in informal spaces. It is important to understand that a critique of an action of the Bloque, no matter from which comrade it came, is ultimately a critique of ourselves. In this way, criticism is depersonalized and becomes a political tool to improve our collective practice.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to practice critique of certain comrades. Explicit criticism is always better than rumors, intrigues, and comments made behind their backs. In this case, we try to keep in mind that the mistakes that comrades make in their political actions are made with the intention of working on improving our collective. It is likely that the more criticism we receive the the more we do. This can sometimes be a sign of personal and collective growth. But even taking on tasks cannot be a justification for not wanting to review our ways and behaviors, if they have caused our comrades to criticize us.

For criticism to be constructive, it must be accompanied by a suggestive proposition. This means that, as much as possible, an attempt should be made to formulate alternatives to improve what is being criticized. It is desirable that this proposal is  collectively formulated and a debate about how we can become better arises, and not simply that the criticized behavior is simply dismissed or completely devalued.

It is important to engage with criticism of the Bloque from people or groups outside of it, even if we do not agree with it. This means that we must take the time to reflect on it and identify the relevant elements contained in this criticism, address them and work to incorporate them into our effors for transformation. In this way, we transform any criticism from the outside, whether constructive or destructive, into an opportunity to develop further.

Collective care and conflict resolution

The creation of spaces in which we feel comfortable and in which there is affection is part of our transformational horizon for society. Even if it is not possible to create spaces that are completely safe in the sense that they are free from all violence, our obligation is to make all spaces in the Bloque as safe as possible and, above all, to equip ourselves with tools to eliminate all forms of violence that we reproduce step by step.

In this way, we want to build the society that we are fighting for in the here and now.

The Bloque Latinoamericano has a group and a guide for collective care and conflict resolution, in which the aim is to support comrades who need it in the search for a solution to a conflict that cannot be addressed or resolved between the people involved. The aim of the group is to mediate, intervene and create spaces to resolve conflicts that may arise between comrades.

In addition to the actions of the group, we collectively reflect on the ways in which emotions permeate our political practice, and we try, through political education and reflection on our practice to identify and eliminate the forms of violence that we reproduce. Every member of the Bloque Latinoamericano must have a deep commitment to the fight against transphobia, misogyny, racism and classism.

We do not envision a society without problems and conflicts, but we envision a society in which there are more and more tools that enable us to forge bonds of solidarity and understanding. That is the goal we are working towards.

The process for participating in the Bloque Latinoamericano

Our collective has an open structure, i.e., all those who agree with the with the political goals and working methods of the Bloque can join. The process for participating in takes place gradually, as we are a multi-level structure that one has to get to know and understand bit by bit. The first way in which everyone who is interested in our collective can participate is attending into our grassroot groups or the open meetings of the working groups. These take place regularly and everyone is welcome. Participation in internal group meetings and assemblies is intended for those who are involved in working on the political goals of the organization and are interested in contributing to maintaining its structure by taking on internal tasks. 

At regular intervals, we organize events where interested people have the opportunity to to get to know us, to learn how the Bloque Latinoamericano came about, what it does and how one can join. The character of these meetings can be different (it can be an informational event, painting banners together or a picnic), the important thing is that we create spaces to get to know each other and exchange ideas. Other than that, we also see it as the task of all those who have been in the collective for a while to accompany the newcomers. We know that entering into a new space can cause doubt and confusion, and we consider it fundamental to build up empathy and understanding.

Spain and Selling Arms to Israel

We need deeds, not words


Historically, and especially since October 2023, Spain has been a supporter of the Palestinian cause. Already days after 7 October, both the left-wing press and left-wing political forces made statements putting the Hamas attack in context. These classified it as resistance against the occupying power, and even compare it to the Warsaw ghetto uprising. This was unthinkable to see or read in Germany. In Spain, people on the left, from the most radical to the most centrist, support the Palestinian cause without fissures. In fact, after the arrival of democracy in Spain, following the death of the fascist dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, Spain began diplomatic relations with Palestine in 1977.  Only nine years later, in 1986, did Spain establish diplomatic relations with Israel. This support was across the political spectrum. The left supported Palestine because of the struggle against occupation and apartheid. The right because of its deep antisemitism, and not because it believed in the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people. Even Franco, a rabid antisemite, refused to recognise the state of Israel during his almost 40 years of dictatorship, unlike most European governments at the time.

Today, a large part of the Spanish right is still antisemitic but is being dragged along by the latest trend – the Zionist movement. On the weekend of 17-19 May, a congress of the European far right was held with the participation of famous antisemites including Viktor Orbán. It was attended by Amichai Chikli, Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, who is supposed to fight antisemitism. Chikli was invited as a symbol of the Spanish ultra-right’s support for Israel in its offensive on the Gaza Strip. For those who claim to defend the Jewish people to meet with fascists and neo-Nazis, only undermines the real fight against growing antisemitism.

The current socialist government of Spain is one of the leaders in the European Union in the defense of the Palestinian people in the ongoing genocide. On 22th May 2024, together with Ireland and Norway, Spain recognised Palestine as a country, a welcome decision. But one that leaves a bitter taste of white phosphorus and rivers of Palestinian blood that had to be spilled for the Palestinian people’s rights to finally be recognised.

But this government is playing both sides of the game. While it trumpeted that it had halted sending arms to Israel after 7 October, reports in various newspapers suggest that this is not entirely true. In fact, not only did it continue to send arms worth almost a million Euros, but the defence ministry’s awards of contracts to Israeli companies or their subsidiaries in Spain have not ceased to this day.

According to the information published in the, “bombs, grenades, torpedoes, mines, missiles, cartridges and other ammunition and projectiles, and their parts, including shells, pellets and cartridge cases” were exported for use in “weapons of war”.

The article continues: “The Secretary of State for Trade assured this newspaper that the export “corresponds to licences authorised before 7 October” and maintains that it contains “material for tests or demonstrations, in no case for final use or to be used in the conflict”. The next day they contacted the newspaper again to specify that what was sent was “medium calibre non-explosive ammunition”.

The same article argues that the sale had been authorised prior to 7 October is not a reason to proceed with it. Since the regulation on the control of the arms trade in defence, states these authorisations can be cancelled if there are “reasonable indications” that the material is going to be used in actions “that disturb the peace”. Such is the case of a possible genocide, announced by the Zionist leaders from day one.

And the fact is that Spain, like most of the West, enjoys a fruitful arms trade relationship with Israel. We sell our weapons, Spain is the 7th largest arms exporter in the world. In return we buy from Israel weapons and technology “proven in combat”, namely on Palestinian bodies, paying money with which Israel finances the occupation and apartheid.

As the newspaper El Salto points out, “In a contract signed in November alone (2023), Spain bought Israeli Spike LR2 missiles for 287.5 million euros. According to the Centre Delás Negocios report, in addition to the army, the clients of the Israeli military and security industry include the Ministry of Defence, the CNI, the National Police Corps, the Guardia Civil and the various regional police forces”.

In the Borkum scandal, a German cargo ship rang alarm bells because of leaks that it carried arms from India to Israel. It passed through European ports, including Spain. That highlighted the current government’s apathy in moving from words to deeds. The government was not inclined to inspect the cargo ship once it was in port, not even to silence the alarm bells.

The Spanish government twittered insults on the intelligence and integrity of anyone concerned about the allegations. That included the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Palestine Albanese, the European Legal Support Center (ELSC) team of lawyers, the three parties to the left of the PSOE, Podemos, Sumar and Anticapitalistas, as well as the BDS Spain movement. The tweets branded anyone calling for the inspection of the ship as conspiratorial and transmitting fake news.

In the end, after tense hours and a lot of mud, the Borkum did not stop in Cartagena, but it did stop in the Canary Islands. There the government assured that the papers were in order, despite the fact that according to leaked information the papers were stamped on 31 May 2023 and the cargo codes did not coincide with what the ship had declared. By pure coincidence, the government assured us during those hours that it would not allow the Danish ship Marianne Danica, which was carrying 26.8 tonnes of military equipment bound for Haifa (Israel), to stop over. Since last week, numerous ships have been spotted making similar routes that curiously avoid passing close to Yemen, as Luis Arbide of the Delás centre shows.

It would be useful to have explanations from the Spanish government as to what material passes through our NATO air and sea bases, knowing that the US is Israel’s main arms supplier. For example, we now know that the US ship transporting weapons straight to Gaza, vía the infamous pier “built for aid”, stopped at the military port base of Rota, in southern Spain.

What this incident shows is first that Spain and Spanish companies continue to do business almost as usual with the genocidal state. Secondly that it turns a blind eye to the ships that avoid the route where they can be intercepted by the Huthi. This is not legally or morally correct. That would require at least to inspect them and seize the contents if they are materials to be used in the massacres that we watch helplessly on our screens every day.

How should Socialists React to Britain’s coming Election?

Sunak must go, but Starmer will be little better


The sight of a sodden Rishi Sunak dripping wet in the pouring rain telling us to vote for his Conservative Party because it had a plan for the future sums up the current situation of the Tory Party. Sunak, rain running down his Armani suit, called the election and asked us to vote for him on the basis that he was going to fix things. Seemingly forgetting that it is his party that has been in power for 14 years.

Britain is still staggering from the  financial crisis of 2008. On average a worker is now £14,000 worse off per year due to that crisis in the worst period for wage growth since the Napoleonic Wars.

As evidenced on Wednesday the Tories are washed up. They have for several years now been unable to put forward a coherent plan for British capitalism, instead lurching from one right wing culture war policy to another.

The horrific Rwanda deportation plan was never a practical policy even in right wing terms, it was instead a signal to the right wing voter that the Tories hated foreigners as much as they do. The horror of the Johnson premiership and the comic opera term of Liz Truss followed by the nothingness of Sunak clearly demonstrated that the Tory Party is running on empty.

An election is to be welcomed, in fact it has been long called for, but what attitude should the Left take?

It is almost a certainty that the Labour Party will win the election with a large majority. Unfortunately this will be under the leadership of Kier Starmer, a man who has bent over backwards to have no policy that might offend any boss anywhere. This spineless attitude was compounded when Starmer slavishly followed the line of the imperialist states in backing Israel’s right to commit genocide in Gaza. Asked by radio host Nick Ferrari whether cutting off power and water was “appropriate”, Starmer said: “I think that Israel does have that right. It is an ongoing situation.”

This was massively unpopular with Labour voters, with many tearing up their membership cards and a swathe of councillors resigning the Labour whip and sitting as independents. Labour has since tried to row back from that line to a position of simply equivocation but continues to back the Israeli state.

Nevertheless, for the majority of voters, the priority will simply be to get rid of the Tories. Socialists should definitely be in this camp! Millions and millions of workers will be there.

However to simply cheer Labour on is impossible. The Labour Party under Starmer has adopted policies that are little different from the Tories: they only say that they will carry out the cuts more slowly and with a smile instead of a snarl. They will continue the racist immigration policies of the right and they nothing to relieve workers from the oppressive anti union laws enacted in the last few years.

Labour no longer even defends the integrity of the National Health Service. Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has said that the NHS needs to use the “capacity” of private health care providers, and will shovel millions of pounds into their coffers. Labour is also fast back tracking on its green policies. Keir Starmer has already announced that he is scaling back Labour’s £28bn annually green investment programme.

Fortunately a space has opened up to the left of Labour. The massive pro Palestine movement in the UK and worldwide has provided the space for serious challenges to Labour. “No ceasefire, no vote”, has become a popular slogan. There was already a fallout from Labour as Starmer and his cohorts used the charge of antisemitism to witch-hunt Jeremy Corbyn and the left out of the party. The collapse of the potency of that slander as it is used to justify the genocide in Gaza has opened the eyes of many more. Starmer’s positions on Gaza have led to widespread disillusionment with Labour especially in strongly Muslim areas but not confined to them.

This challenge will be led by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbin who has announced he is to stand as an independent in his constituency of Islington North. Every socialist will be supporting him. Unfortunately, however, Corbyn left it to the last minute to announce his candidacy although it was long expected. This delay means that there is no time to build his challenge as a national one. If he had gone earlier a network could have been created with a national presence.

Nevertheless a Corbyn victory will be a slap in the face of Starmer. Corbyn has been a dedicated and very hard working MP in his constituency for decades. In fact one of the most common sights in Islington is to see Jeremy cycling past on the way to visit some constituent or other. It is probable that he will win.

Starter himself will be challenged by the left wing activist Andrew Feinstein in Holborn and St Pancras. The former anti apartheid activist will fight a good campaign. A whole host of other candidates will stand as a left alternative from Luton to Liverpool and they should be supported.

George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain will also stand in a large number of places. I don’t think this is an appropriate vote for leftists. Whilst Galloway is very good on Palestine, he has adopted a whole range of homophobic, transphobic and anti women stances. He has also adapted to the right over immigration in a manner similar to Sahra Wagenknecht in Germany. We can’t throw the oppressed under the bus because Galloway says the right things about Gaza.

Important as the election is, it is not the most important thing happening in British politics. This remains the necessity to continue building the massive movement in support of Palestine. It is this movement, here and worldwide, that is opening up the cracks in the international imperialist order. The ICC decision to pursue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and co is one example of this. The imperialist arguments around Israel are no longer common sense.

The decision to carry on marching, with the 15th National Demonstration for Palestine being called for June 8th in London is welcome. It is the movement for Palestine that has opened up the challenge to the left of Labour and it is important that the movement remains on the streets and is not sidetracked into simply electioneering. The movement can bring about a wholesale change in politics not simply focusing on who forms the next government. The student encampment indicates the possibilities here.

So, in my opinion, get the Tories out, vote as left as you can but carry on building the movement for Palestine!