18 | 10 | 2019

According to the results of the general elections of September 17, the Joint List supported by the Communist Party of Israel received 10.62% of all valid ballots cast, giving it 13 seats in the 22nd Knesset, the same number it won four and a half years ago when it first ran for the 20th Knesset in March 2015, thereby making it once again the third largest bloc in Israel’s parliament.

With all the votes counted from last Tuesday’s (September 17) general election, the Joint List received 10.62% of all valid ballots cast, giving it 13 seats in the 22nd Knesset, the same number it won four and a half years ago when it first ran for the 20th Knesset in March 2015, thereby making it once again the third largest bloc in Israel’s parliament.

The 13 elected members of the Knesset from the Joint List are: Ayman Odeh (Hadash), Mtanes Shehadeh (Balad), Ahmad Tibi (Ta’al), Mansour Abbas (Ra’am), Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash), Walid Taha (Ra’am), Ofer Cassif (Hadash), Heba Yazbak (Balad), Osama Saadi (Ta’al), Yousef Jabareen (Hadash), Said al-Harumi (Ra’am), Jaber Asakala (Hadash) and Sami Abu Shehadeh (Balad).

On September 12, the Communist Party of Armenia issued a statement in which it treated the political process that Armenia went through since the collapse of the USSR. The Party notes the positive and negative aspects of the Pashinian government.

The Party underlines that after the dissolution of socialism in Armenia, like in other Soviet Countries, the situation worsened for people. The economy was brought to a standstill and the structures were left to rust, hence Armenia became a country of mass unemployment and mass poverty. Armenia also went to war with Azerbaijan to defend the people of the enclave region of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the elections that followed the dissolution, the Communist Party's seats dropped from 136 in 1990 to 10 in 1995. The suppression of the Party, which started after the collapse, resulted in the confiscation of buildings, offices - including the headquarters and the branch offices - throughout the country as well as all other assets that belonged to the Party.

The Joint List’s electoral platform in the recent campaign called for the banning of the sale of Israeli arms to regimes that are known to commit atrocities and otherwise abuse human rights.

In recent years, Israeli companies have sold weapon systems, arms and ammunition to four countries, among their other customers, that are particularly problematic: Myanmar, where the regime has ethnically cleansed its Rohingya Muslim minority; South Sudan, which is engaged in a bloody civil war; Cameroon, which has committed atrocities in separatist regions; and the Philippines, which has engaged in extrajudicial killings and heavy-handed tactics in its brutal crackdown on guerrilla fighters and social movements.

Kav LaOved (KLO – Workers Hotline) has disclosed that hundreds of persons from peripheral capitalist countries are brought to Israeli kibbutzim and other farming enterprises as “volunteers” for agricultural work and are paid 1/3 of the local minimum wage, or just under 10 shekels (about US$ 2.75) an hour. KLO exposed this situation and submitted a demand for clear and standardized regulations in this matter with both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Labor and Welfare. KLO’s submission was made jointly with The Hotline for Migrants and Refugees.

Leaders of the Joint List expressed deep satisfaction on Tuesday night, September 17, with the interim results of the elections for the 22nd Knesset. They announced that they will be meeting in the coming days to decide on their coming moves.

The Joint List MK’s and many Hadash and Communist Party of Israel activists also said they were delighted that far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems not to have a majority to form a coalition. “We’re back to being the third largest party in the Knesset,” said Joint List head, Hadash MK Ayman Odeh and expressed hope that “the era of Netanyahu is over and he will now either have to go home or to prison.” Odeh agreed with observers that, if the final results indeed match the exit polls, Arab voters will have “prevented Netanyahu from forming a government.”

According to media reports, a large-scale drone attack was launched in the early hours of September 14 against oil refineries of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company Saudi Aramco near the cities of Abqaiq and Khurais in the eastern part of the Kingdom. The Houthi Ansar Allah movement, now fighting against forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Arabian Coalition supporting him in Yemen, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Riyadh has already called this terrorist attacks. No one was killed during the attacks on the oil facilities, according to Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister. The country’s emergency services managed to contain the major fires at both refineries and to eliminate any risk of a large-scale industrial disaster. According to media reports, Saudi Arabia was forced to cut crude oil exports by 50 per cent. There are plans to compensate for these reductions using Saudi Arabian oil reserves during the upcoming repair work and reconstruction.

Six Communist and workers' parties have issued a joint statement in Paris warning against the continuing threat of a new war in the Middle East. Meeting at the Fete de l'Humanite, representatives of parties from Iran, France, Lebanon, Cyprus, Iraq and Britain expressed their concern at the rising tension between the governments of the US and Iran. They also condemned the 'economic warfare' being waged against the people of Iran as the result of US and European Union sanctions and pledged solidarity with forces in that country struggling for democratic and human rights.

'The sanctions are ruining the Iranian economy with high inflation, factory closures, mass unemployment and scarcity of medical supplies, devastating the lives of working people', accused Tudeh Party of Iran international secretary Navid Shomali.

Facebook announced on Thursday, September 12, that it was suspending a chatbot operated by far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official page for violating hate speech policies, after a message spread by his campaign warned that Arabs citizens of Israel “want to annihilate us all.” The head of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), who had complained to Facebook about the bot, welcomed the move.

“After careful review of the Likud campaign’s bot activities, we found a violation of our hate speech policy. We also found that the bot was misusing the platform in the time allowed to contact people. As a result, we suspended the bot for 24 hours. Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate action,” a company spokesperson said.

A message appearing on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook page on Wednesday, September 11, called on voters to prevent the formation of a “secular, weak, dangerous, leftist government, supported by Arabs who want to destroy us all – women, children and men – and that will make possible a nuclear Iran that will annihilate us.” The message, which was reported in the daily, Communist newspaper, Al-Ittihad sought to rally votes for the Likud in next Tuesday’s, September 17, general election.

Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) condemned the message, saying, “We have contacted [the management of] Facebook demanding they act immediately to put an end to this racist and dangerous incitement by Netanyahu against the Arab population.”

It is with concern that the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) is following the path that the European Union (EU) has been treading in order to create conditions to criminalise solidarity with the Palestinian cause, while turning a blind eye on the illegalities and crimes of the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people.

Examples of this are the assimilation, denunciation and condemnation of Israeli policy, anti-Semitism (EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, and subsequent decisions by several member states); legislation against the international “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement” (Germany and France); the ban on participating in any political activities or events, enacted against the Palestinian writer and activist Kahled Barakat (Germany); the threat of a residence ban against Charlotte Kates, coordinator of the International Network for Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners (Germany); the charge against Ángeles Maestro Martín and two other women of collaboration with a terrorist organisation for raising funds for the reconstruction of what the Israeli forces had destroyed in the Gaza Strip in 2014 (Spain).

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