This speech was given by Johannes Stern, editor of the German edition of the World Socialist Web Site and leading member of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, at the mass demonstration against the genocide in Gaza on November 4 in Berlin.
The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) condemns in the strongest terms Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians.
And we condemn the complicity of the imperialist powers, first and foremost Germany. All governing and opposition parties—from the governing coalition of the Social Democrats, Liberal Democrats and Greens, to the Left Party and the fascist Alternative for Germany (AfD)—have lined up behind Netanyahu and given his far-right government carte blanche to commit the massacre of the Palestinian people.
The scale of the violence is increasingly genocidal in character. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, more than 9,000 Palestinians have already been killed—including almost 4,000 children and over 2,300 women. The majority of Gaza’s homes have been destroyed. The non-stop attacks on hospitals, ambulances, schools and refugee camps such as Jabaliya show that the Netanyahu government will stop at nothing.
It is the height of provocation when politicians and the media support these crimes by referring to the Holocaust or the fight against antisemitism. And when they use the same argument to criminalise any expression of solidarity with the Palestinians.
It is not the masses who are now protesting here and worldwide against genocide and war, including many Jews, who are antisemites. It is the ruling class that is returning to its fascist traditions: supporting genocide, fueling racism against immigrants and refugees, establishing a dictatorship at home and preparing for war again.
“We must become fit for war ... and prepare the Bundeswehr [Armed Forces] and society for it,” threatened Defence Minister Pistorius on Sunday. This is a serious warning, but it also provides clarity. Almost eight decades after the fall of the Third Reich, the ruling class in Germany is once again beginning to act openly as a war power and prepare for major wars.
We condemn this in the strongest terms as well, and we warn: Germany and the other imperialist powers are not only involved in the destruction of the Gaza Strip, but in establishing control of the entire Middle East and ultimately the redivision of the world. In Ukraine, in alliance with right-wing extremist forces, the NATO powers are waging war against the nuclear power Russia. With the genocide in Gaza, they are now opening the second front in a rapidly escalating third world war.
A global mass movement is developing against this. Spontaneous protests, sometimes involving tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of participants, have erupted in countries on all continents in recent days and weeks. Last weekend, millions once again took to the streets. The WSWS and the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei welcome and support the demonstrations and call for them to be extended.
To be successful, however, they need a clear perspective. The genocide cannot be stopped by appealing to governments that make genocide and dictatorship the instruments of their policies. The only way to end capitalist barbarism is to mobilise the international working class on the basis of a socialist programme.
We fight for the following demands:
- An immediate stop to the genocide! Demobilise all Israeli troops! The siege of Gaza must be ended and food, water, electricity, medical care, and all other essential goods made available immediately!
- Netanyahu, Scholz, Biden and all the leaders of the NATO powers must be held accountable for their complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity.
Stop the genocide in Gaza! No more fascism, militarism and war! Stop inequality and capitalist exploitation! For a political general strike and the unity of the Israeli, Palestinian, European, and international working class! For social equality and socialism!