For an internationalist Left

Statement on Palestine by Die Linke Wedding and Linksjugend Wedding (English version)


The European elections are over. In Mitte, we look back with some relief at a stable result without significant losses. In Wedding, we even managed to make gains in some polling districts. And yet, we cannot be particularly pleased these days. Fascist forces are on the rise across Europe, and the nationwide result for Die Linke is disastrous despite the few rays of hope.

Given that securing peace was the main issue for voters, we interpret this result, among other things, as a critique from many people regarding our party’s contradictory stance on Israel’s war and occupation policies and other peace policy issues. As party activists on the ground, we too have felt increasing frustration in recent months and especially during the election campaign. We are frustrated, because principles such as the rejection of arms deliveries, opposition to all forms of oppression, and the advocacy for democratic and equal conditions in the context of the war in Gaza have been continuously attacked by members of our party in public. Had these positions been internalized within our party, our stance at the outbreak of the latest escalation would have been unequivocal: ceasefire now, support for a democratic political solution that also takes into account the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and a clear rejection of all attacks on civilians by both sides. Instead of adopting such an internationalist stance, immediately after October 7, our deputies in the Bundestag joined all other parties in parliament, including the AfD, to call for arms deliveries abroad and repression at home. Our party therefore has undeniably made itself complicit in the tenfold increase in arms deliveries to Israel since October 2023 and in the massive escalation of state attacks against both the movement in solidarity with Palestine and the Palestinian community.

In view of the threat that this public stance poses to the credibility of Die Linke as an internationalist party, we have, over the past months, raised our voices against war and occupation, alongside many other comrades at protests and events. In addition, we have continually voiced our concerns within the party. For example, we initiated the resolution “Immediate Ceasefire and an End to the Support for the War in Gaza,” passed by the general assembly of Die Linke Mitte on March 23. We ensured that the election material, at least in Berlin-Mitte, was supplemented by posters calling for an end to German support for the war in Gaza. Together with many other comrades in the Left, we called on our group in the Bundestag to submit a motion for the recognition of Palestine.

While we have strived at every step to ensure free exchange of opinions within our Basisorganisation and to participate at all levels in the formulation of party positions, we must make clear that the way internationalist positions have been dealt with by significant parts of the party has taken on worrying features in recent months. In this context, we list the following examples:

  • The participation of two Berlin councillors in the alliance “Against Anti-Semitic Terror” and specifically their signing of a declaration that effectively legitimizes state repression against the Palestine Congress (Palästinakongress), which members of Die Linke were involved in organizing, and calls for counter-protests. Both councillors allied with German right-wingers from the CDU and FDP to accuse the organizers of the congress, many of whom are Jewish leftists, of “spreading anti-Semitic hatred.”
  • The organization of a blockade against a left-wing pro-Palestinian demonstration in Halle by a local councillor.
  • The support of a councillor in Saxony, who is the party’s anti.fascist spokesperson, for a prohibition of Handala Leipzig.

While public agitation and defamation fuel state repression against leftist activists within and outside the party, the necessary debate within the party itself is being restricted. Thus, a narrow majority of delegates at the Berlin state party conference on April 27 voted against even addressing the two Palestine-related motions from Mitte and Neukölln, which had found broad support in their respective districts. Some of those who oppose real debate inside the party are loudly demanding the criminalization of Palestine solidarity and are supporting Israel’s war in public.

The latest election results show that erasing internationalist positions from our public profile and supporting the German Staatsräson only further undermines our party’s credibility. Now more than ever, a strong Left Party is needed to transform the rejection of German support for Israel’s war within the broader population and the growing solidarity movement into a unified political expression; a Left Party that boldly stands against oppression and repression and for an immediate and lasting ceasefire; a Left Party that stands united where it counts, because it can endure a democratic culture of debate. We conclude from the election results that not only are we interested in a Left Party like that, but so are countless comrades outside our party, with whom we have been on the streets for months, as well as large parts of the population seeking an alternative to militarism and arms deliveries.

To reach these people and to win them over to an internationalist Left Party, we, as BO Wedding, want to be clearly visible as members of our party within the solidarity movement from now on. We follow the example of our comrades from Neukölln, who have long participated in weekly peace demonstrations with party flags and banners. With them and all other comrades, we want to say clearly: If Die Linke is to remain a socialist party, the defense and expansion of internationalist positions within Die Linke must become a priority for the entire peace movement.


Basisorganisation Wedding

Linksjugend Wedding

You can read the original German version of this text here.