Interviews with Khaled Barakat
“For the past month, the world has been witnessing the true criminal and vicious nature of the Zionist regime: war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide perpetrated by a brutal, monstrous regime that Western imperialism has established in our homeland,” said Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer and member of the Executive Committee of the Masar Badil, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, in a series of interviews on Al-Mayadeen, Palestine Today, Al-Manar, and with the Masar website.
“For the past 75 years, these imperialist powers have established a colonial project in our homeland, and the Palestinian people have been confronting this genocidal regime. What is happening in Gaza today is not taking place for the first time. It has happened many times in our history. Palestinians will never forget the hundreds of towns and villages that were burned down, destroyed and erased in 1947 and 1948. Palestinians also will never forget the many massacres carried out by the Zionist against them, from Deir Yassin, to Kufr Qasem, to Sabra and Shatila, to the many massacres in Gaza in the 1950s, the 1960s, and throughout the history of Zionism, up until the present day,” Barakat said.
October 7: the launch of the new Palestinian revolution
“October 7 was not only a brave and heroic operation, a massive offensive undertaken by the Palestinian resistance, but it will always be remembered as the day of the launch of the new Palestinian revolution, the day when Palestinians revived their revolution, 30 years after the futile path of Oslo and the so-called ‘peace process,'” he said.
Barakat urged the Palestinian revolutionary youth to carry on the banner and the flame of revolution. “From generation after generation, Palestinians will fight until Israel is defeated. ‘Israel’ has no right to exist in our homeland. In the end, it will pass through in our history just like every colonizer and invader that came to our land for thousands and thousands of years,” he said.
“This well-funded, trained Zionist army, equipped with the latest in military technology from the United States and every imperialist power, is now being confronted and defeated on the ground by the Palestinian resistance. There is nothing brave about bombing children and families from 10,000 feet in the sky, sitting in a U.S.-made and -funded war machine and pushing a button to kill. The real bravery is seen in the fighters who are resisting today, carrying on the path of October 7, and who continue to emerge from the rubble, confronting their tanks, burning them and destroying them at point-blank range,” Barakat said.
“The ‘Israeli’ command must read ‘The Art of War’ by Sun-Tzu. You can have a very strong army with hundreds of thousands of soldiers. But when you have an arrogant, ignorant leadership, when you have a commander that is working for his own personal interests and the preservation of his political career through Palestinian blood, your defeat is imminent. A small, brave, organized fighting force can defeat a well-equipped, large army. This is a lesson of history, what we have learned and what humanity has learned, from Algeria, to Vietnam and today in Palestine,” he noted.
‘Israel’ is doomed to be defeated
Barakat said that ‘Israel’ is doomed to be defeated in what he called the Palestinian October battle. “Every day, we see from the resistance that they have a very high morale, despite their grief and outrage at the genocidal assault on the Palestinian civilian population. The resistance is unified, completely: Islamic, nationalist and leftist forces, fighting together, on one path, one united front. Palestinians fight together because they know what ‘Israel’ wants is to erase them. This is a battle of existence for us and for the resistance. And therefore our people have no choice but resistance, no choice but steadfastness, and no choice but unity,” Barakat said.
“‘Israel’ is being exposed all over the world. Their strategic position has been diminished and their dominance in the region has taken a very strong blow. They are living a very severe internal crisis from which they will not emerge,” he said. He added, “The statements by this fascist Zionist minister, Amichai Eliyahu, threatening to nuke Gaza, only underlines the nature of this entity and exposes the reality of its nuclear program, developed and protected by and with Western imperialist powers. The Zionist commanders and ministers who told him not to repeat his statements did not do so because they are opposed to nuclear warfare against the Palestinian people but because they are achieving the same effect by throwing tons and tons and tons of bombs and explosives on Palestinian homes, schools, universities and hospitals in Gaza.”
Palestinian resistance blocks the road of normalization
“Yes, the Palestinian resistance has blocked the path of normalization and defeat in the region,” he said. “This was an intentional action to block ‘Israeli’ advancement in the region. The Palestinian resistance is going to emerge from this battle strengthened. From every battle in which the resistance has been engaged, in 2008, 2014, 2021 and beyond, the resistance has accumulated greater experience and capabilities. They draw lessons, improve their strategies and coordinate better, and with this experience, they had two major achievements: one, implementing a strategy to defend Gaza, developed for the past eight years and not the past weeks or even the past two years, developed after the 2014 aggression; and two, the central leadership command on the ground and the relationship between the popular cradle and the resistance.”
“The relationship between the people and the armed resistance can be described as the relationship between blood and flesh. They cannot be separated in the body. The people know that their great sacrifices will not go in vain,” Barakat said.
“It is clear to everyone that the United States is leading this war and the Zionists are just a tool: criminals, gangsters and hired mercenaries. Zionists are mercenaries of imperialists. The Zionists have repeatedly declared that their ‘culture and values’ and ‘friends and allies’ are in the West. Palestinians, however, belong to Palestine, their homeland, their ancestral and native land. It is clear that the imperialist powers did not envision granting their own land to the Zionist project that they claim to love so much, but instead implanted it in our region and against our people,” Barakat said.
Palestinians in exile and diaspora regaining their role
He predicted that Palestinians in exile and diaspora have also begun to regain their involvement in all forms of struggle, including armed struggle, particularly in Lebanon. “This has already been apparent, and we can expect a rise in the armed struggle in the Golan Heights, potentially in Jordan and elsewhere in the region. This reflects the restoration of the struggle in the Arab region to its compass, to the primary contradiction, with the Zionist regime and with imperialism. For the past 12 years, Arabs in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Egypt have been directed to kill other Arabs, directly fueled, funded and overseen by the United States, the CIA, European powers, and their reactionary regime puppets in the region. Today, our Arab youth are turning to the primary contradiction, and we believe that Arab youth across the Arab homeland will join the Palestinian struggle and the Palestinian resistance. Those who can organize, those who can write, those who paint and compose: every skill needs to be mustered in this battle to stop the aggression and to emerge victorious,” he said.
“We see Zionists in North America and Europe inciting against the Palestinian people and supporters of Palestine, promoting hatred and racism. They believe that the relationship with Western imperialism is going to save them and create a victory for them. They look back at the founding of ‘Israel’, at the Balfour declaration. They look at their support from the U.S., their support from France especially the building of their nuclear facilities. And when we express our anger at the atrocities of the Zionist regime, they know that the French police and the German police and the U.S. police are going to be tools of oppression to serve the interests of imperialism and of the Zionist project,” he said.
Zionist war criminals will be prosecuted in the courts of a liberated Palestine
He called on the movement to “emphasize the calls to end the genocide, stop war crimes, stop imperialist participation, free all Palestinian prisoners, and to free Palestine, to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea,” saying that “It is not enough to call for a ceasefire. We must be clear that we are calling on the U.S. and ‘Israel’ to cease their fire. We want the liberation of Palestine.”
Barakat noted the role of some Jewish anti-Zionist organizations and individuals that are joining the mobilizations for Palestinian liberation, emphasizing the importance of taking a clear position against Zionism. “To not condemn Zionism by this point is an act of cowardice and opportunism. The same applies to those Palestinian liberal voices and so-called Muslim and Christian voices that refuse to be clear on Palestine. We know that our allies are all of those who confront imperialism; the Black liberation movements, the Filipino movement, the liberation movements and workers’ movements all over the world. We salute all of those who are fighting together against all forms of repression against the illusions promoted by the capitalist media,” he said.
“We need a popular tribunal for war criminals. We do not trust the ICC, although we will be happy to see them arrest the Zionist war criminals and hold them accountable. But we know that these systems were made to arrest Africans, and not Tony Blair, George Bush and their Zionist cronies. Zionist war criminals and those who support them will one day soon be prosecuted in front of the world, in the courts of a liberated Palestine. Today, the rise of resistance in the region means that Arabs are on the forefront of fighting imperialism, Zionism and reactionary regimes. Arabs should be proud to be in the forefront, fighting with words and bullets for liberation,” Barakat said.