THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India – On March 30, as part of their 18th Congress, the Communist Party of India (CPI) held a special meeting in solidarity with the people of Palestine. The CPI invited the Communist Party of Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Communist Party USA to speak and share the platform.

“We are wounded people, but not defeated,” said Dr. Hani-al-Hassen, a special envoy sent to India by Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat. Hassen said only a small but powerful grouping supported the Israeli government’s war against Palestine. “The majority of Israeli people are for a peaceful solution to the issue. Some army officers are against the occupation of our land.”

The Communist Party of Israel delegate, Dr. Mohammed Bhakri, called for a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied land of Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem as the only way to bring lasting peace in the region. The Communist Party of Israel has been a consistant force for peace and solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, oftentimes supplying humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the occupied territories.

The CPI’s rally attracted media attention, including television and print media. CPI General Secretary A.B. Bardhan noted the importance of the fact that, because of the communist movement’s principled stance on international working class solidarity, they could bring together Israelis, Palestinians and Americans.

CPUSA delegate Terrie Albano strongly condemned the role of the Bush administration and their “active complicity” in supporting state terrorism and genocide towards the Palestinian people.

“We condemn all forms of terrorism, including state terrorism,” Albano said. “The Bush administration too is a sponsor of state terrorism. The Bush administration cares neither for the rights of the Palestinian people nor for the rights of the Israeli people.”

Albano described the growing movement in the U.S. of peace, civil rights, religious, Jewish and Arab groups, left and trade unions rasing their voice in opposition to the Bush administration’s support for Israel’s war.

India’s two major communist parties – the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-(Marxist) have made the Palestinian solidarity struggle a major priority as have many of the communist parties around the world.