Yeni Demokrasi: On the Kurdish National Movement’s Attitude towards Palestine

We hereby publish an unofficial translation of an article by the democratic newspaper, Yeni Demokrasi, New Democracy, from Turkey:

The Al-Aqsa Flood and its consequences have some important characteristics both in the Palestinian resistance and in the history of national liberation struggles. The scope of this action, which included attacks on Zionist settlements and Israeli police stations by crossing the Gaza Strip border, caused a strong political alignment. While we watched the reformist left’s high octave support for Palestine, we remembered its indifference and even silence towards the Turkish aggression against Rojava as a remarkable hypocrisy.

Hamas, which constitutes the main force of the operation, generally caused an ambivalent attitude on this side, and we also saw those who did not take a stance at times. The Kurdish National Movement also tookits place in this table. In the discussions, the political stance of the Kurdish National Struggle, which suffered the same fate as Palestine, was oppressed and ignored by 4 different states, was more important than the reformist side. We witness the results of the aws in KCK’s paradigm in the statements and evaluations made since the first day of the war. Statements that were sometimes contradictory and included evaluations of individual resistance forces rather than the legitimacy of the resistance and the national cause came to the fore.


The decisive factor in KCK’s attitude towards resistance is undoubtedly the statements made by KCK (Koma Civakên Kurdistanê – Kurdistan Communities Union; translators note). The KCK Co-Presidency, in its statement dated October 13, said, “As of October 7 2023, thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinian, lost their lives in the attacks carried out by Hamas and the subsequent attacks launched by the State of Israel against Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip.” It evaluated the war as a mutual massacre by saying, “The mutual attacks resulted in a complete massacre.” Undoubtedly, both this assessment and identifying the resistance with Hamas are quite problematic. Firstly, this attitude includes equating the oppressor and the two oppressed nations, which is a very problematic position. For 75 years, Zionist Israel, with the open support of imperialism, has occupied Palestinian lands and legitimized oppression and massacres in these lands, which it divided into two as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It turned Gaza into the world’s largest open-air prison and displaced people from their lands through blockade and hunger. When the perpetrator of all these, the oppressor nation, the State of Israel, and the Palestinian resistance forces are evaluated equally and the actions of both sides are called “massacre”, the legitimacy of the struggle of the oppressed nation is “destroyed”. This also means questioning the legitimacy of the Kurdish National Struggle against the Arab, Iranian and Turkish ruling classes. Just as the Kurds in Turkey are fighting legitimately for their national rights against a regular army under unequal conditions against the tyranny of the Turkish Republic, the situation in Palestine is no different. Most importantly, the fact that Israel is an oppressing nation, state shows us that the KCK’s attitude of equalizing the parties is wrong. Secondly, identifying the entire resistance with Hamas only and evaluating its methods as “wrong” means disregarding the joint action of the Palestinian resistance forces in the ongoing unequal war. Although the specific weight of Hamas in the operation and its specifically political nature are open to discussion, evaluating the legitimate resistance of the oppressed peoples of the world in an unequal war as “wrong methods” and seeing the resistance as solely Hamas means using expressions from the hegemonic discourse of imperialism and the puppet media. This is a form of usage that should be avoided by organizations that wage a national struggle and derive their power and legitimacy from the oppressed nation. What is happening is not a war between Hamas and Israel, but a war between the Palestinian national resistance and Israeli Zionism.

Kurds, in four parts, and Palestinians are nations whose state-building rights were usurped by imperialists and their local servants, and whose struggle experiences intersect in some historical sections in this context. There were partnerships between these nations in the struggle for liberation, sometimes at the organizational level and sometimes at the experience level. Just as the Kurdish National Struggles are under the leaderships and understandings from different perspectives in four parts, the struggle of the Palestinians has developed against Israeli Zionism with organizations from some different views. The fact that the KCK particularly emphasized Hamas in its statement and developed an ambivalent and indecisive stance is undoubtedly due to the “Islamic” aspect of this organization. When Hamas’s national struggle is put aside and its purely religious aspect is highlighted, it falls into the same mistake of the national chauvinists who oppressed the Kurdish National Movement, specific to the Sheikh Said Rebellion. Ibrahim Kaypakkaya approached this legitimate rebellion, which was ignored due to its religious aspect and the claim of “collaboration with the British”, without making any concessions to chauvinism, pointed out the national nature of the rebellion and emphasized that it had a national democratic content under all circumstances. Comrade İbrahim Kaypakkaya’s discussion of the nature of the national movement in his brochure “National Question in Turkey” has a clear perspective at this point. The fact that the Kurdish movement considers the Palestinian National Struggle as a narrow Islamist monolithic structure and distances itself from it creates a contradiction in its own structure. As in the Kurdish National Movement, we also encounter the representation of different classes and social segments in the Palestinian National Struggle, both vertically and horizontally. This is valid for every national movement. This could also be the determining force of a resistance, like Hamas in Gaza. This is not an obstacle to solidarity with that struggle. While the KCK should have urgent agendas and active support in terms of being a dynamic part of the Kurdish National Struggle, its ambivalent behavior prevented the people from showing strong solidarity.


In the specific case of Palestine, calling for disarmament and peace for the oppressed nation in conditions where Israel constantly oppresses and sustains itself through war basically means disarming the oppressed. KCK’s call for peace and its “two sides” approach are problematic, primarily because they mean disarming the Palestinians. Just as the “peace” call of the liberal and reformist forces, which consider the actions of the Kurdish National Struggle on legitimate grounds as “terrorism”, is meaningless and aims to disarm the oppressed, the Palestinian National Struggle’s saying “you need to make peace”, based on the resistance of the Al-Aqsa Flood, serves a similar purpose, which is primarily the Kurdish National Struggle’s call for “peace”. It is a discourse that must be opposed by the struggle. While the current stage of the Palestinian resistance, its gains and military successes means new opportunities, the emphasis on “peace” should be replaced by the continuation of the legitimate struggle. The most advanced level of solidarity that includes this understanding is among the basic duties of oppressed nations. The essence of this solidarity is also present in the contribution of the Vietnamese resistance to Palestine and Palestine’s contribution to the ongoing struggle in four parts of Kurdistan.

The most important point that stands out in the KCK statement is the “democratic nation confederalism” proposed as a third way. This understanding, which gives color to the entire statement of the KCK, is a method that is far from reality and does not contain a revolutionary solution to national issues, as it excludes the Right to Free Secession, which basically includes the right to establish an independent state. This understanding, which includes a political proposition that is even more backward than the imperialists’ imposition of a “two-state solution” in Palestine, is a part of KCK’s approach to national issues in Rojava and Turkish Kurdistan. This political attitude does not contain a solution and is also the source of KCK’s balanced attitude in the Middle East. This attitude is also the reason why it does not show further solidarity with Palestine. The leaderships of the Kurdish National Struggle in all parts have established a very weak bond with the Palestinian cause, both due to their ties with the imperialists and the position taken by the reactionary forces in the region. In this respect, the statements of the KCK, which has the most democratic content among these forces, reducing the Palestinian resistance to Hamas, equating the oppressor and the oppressed, and calling for an unresolved peace, are the source of our criticism.

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