Palestinian Communists thank CPUSA for solidarity and support
Before the war: Members of the Palestinian People's Party participate in a rally calling for an end to the split between the West Bank and Gaza in the West Bank city of Nablus. | Nasser Ishtayeh / AP

Read more coverage of the Communist Party USA’s 32nd National Convention.

CHICAGO—The ongoing Israeli attack on Gaza may have prevented representatives of the Palestinian People’s Party from traveling to the United States for the Communist Party USA’s national convention here last week, but it couldn’t stop them from beaming a message of solidarity from the other side of the globe.

Expressing appreciation for CPUSA members’ work to win a ceasefire and halt the Biden administration’s weapons shipments to the Israeli military, the PPP dispatched a statement to their U.S. comrades from the city of Ramallah, inside the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“We thank you for your firm position of solidarity with the just struggle of our people,” read the message from the PPP’s International Relations Department to the delegates of the CPUSA’s just-concluded 32nd National Convention.

Palestinian Communists are active on the ground in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and within the war-torn Gaza Strip—as well as in the Palestinian diaspora worldwide. Their party, the PPP, is a member group of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people.

The PPP, which has long had a fraternal relationship with the CPUSA and other parties in the world Communist movement, sent greetings to the members of the U.S. party and congratulated them on the success of their convention.

It noted that the PPP and other groups in Palestine remain engaged in a dire struggle aimed at “ending the ongoing genocide” of their people in Gaza and ending the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem—a struggle which includes Palestinians’ right to the “self-determination” of their own future.

PPP leaders have been outspoken in the world arena in efforts to rally support for the Palestinian people and grow the ranks of those opposing Israel’s war.

PPP General Secretary Bassam Al-Salhi, in a late 2023 interview with international media, said the assault on Gaza proved that Israel has returned to the doctrine of “displacement and liquidation” of the Palestinian people. He said the Netanyahu government was “restoring and confirming the ideology of ethnic cleansing.”

Al-Salhi argued that the U.S. and European reaction to the events of Oct. 7 and Israel’s retaliatory war “left the West completely exposed” for its “double standards”—talking often of human rights but overlooking or even assisting in Israeli war crimes.

Slamming continued U.S. arms shipments, Al-Salhi said that the Biden administration remains committed to the continuation of Israel’s “role as a party that occupies the lands of the Palestinian people and seeks to impose the logic of hegemony on the Middle East.”

In his remarks at the Communist convention in Chicago, CPUSA Co-Chair Joe Sims urged his party’s members to remain committed to the ceasefire fight and positioned the struggle to stop the war in Gaza as a necessary component of the struggle to stop fascism in the U.S.

“The battle lines are clear. We’re fighting a fascist danger at home and a genocidal war abroad. And to defeat the danger at home, we’ve got to defeat the war abroad,” Sims warned in his June 7 speech.

While referring to the danger of a Trump and MAGA revival, Sims was also discussing the slide to the right that’s already happening, especially on foreign policy. “Biden’s Israel policy must be defeated today so that Trump and MAGA can be defeated tomorrow.”

He told CPUSA clubs and districts to keep the pressure on Biden, pro-war Democrats, and right-wing Republicans alike. “In fact, turn it up, turn it way up! Mass public pressure is the only thing this ruling class understands,” Sims said. “It’s all about power and relationships of power. It’s only by building mass working class-led movements that real change can be achieved.”

In his speech, he reiterated the CPUSA’s longstanding support for an end to Israel’s occupation, an independent Palestinian state, and a path to permanent peace in the Middle East.

A resolution passed by the convention delegates on Sunday, June 9, said that a primary responsibility of the CPUSA was to “build a mass movement including Congressional action to cut U.S. military, diplomatic, and economic support” for the right-wing Israeli state.


C.J. Atkins
C.J. Atkins

C.J. Atkins is the managing editor at People's World. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from York University in Toronto and has a research and teaching background in political economy and the politics and ideas of the American left.