As continued bombing and blockade bring starvation and death to millions of fleeing Palestinians in Gaza, we must act now to strengthen the movement to end the Israeli occupation.
The present conflict has deep roots. In 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were thrown out of their homes and off their land, deported to permanent refugee camps, and herded into smaller and smaller living areas—their traditional lands taken over by Jewish settlers with full Israeli government backing. Then in the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
Year after year, Zionist settlers have ramped up a campaign of forcibly displacing Palestinians from their homes on the West Bank, all while Israeli soldiers looked on as cruel enforcers. At the same time, the Israeli military blockade in Gaza had turned it into the world’s largest open-air prison. These are the living conditions which set the stage for Hamas’ attack.
Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist at the Haaretz newspaper, acknowledged the role played by Israeli society in the cruel destruction unleashed by Hamas: “Behind all this lies Israeli arrogance. We think we have permission to do whatever we like, that we’ll never pay the price and be punished…a few hundred armed Palestinian militants have breached the barrier and invaded Israel in a way no Israeli imagined was possible. A few hundred people proved that it is impossible to imprison two million people forever without paying a cruel price… We now have to cry bitterly for the Israeli victims, but we should also cry for Gaza.”
A difference between the violence of the oppressed and of the oppressor
The Freedom Socialist Party condemns Hamas’ kidnapping and execution of civilians in the latest attack. At the same time, we see it as a defensive response to unrelenting and growing right-wing Israeli cruelty and violation of Gazans’ democratic rights. Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist organization, became very active in 1987 during the first Palestinian uprising or intifada. In 2006, the group won a legislative election and took control of the Gaza Strip. Their support is due in part to the fact that no other group has come to the defense of Palestinians on the Gaza Strip.
Hamas’ actions pale in comparison with what Israel is carrying out in Gaza now: unrelenting bombing raids and forced, mass migration of two million people with nowhere to go. There are already horrific examples of Israeli collective punishment. Hospitals, homes, schools and other places of refuge are being indiscriminately flattened. Water, electricity, food and medications are being cut.
Before this is over, Israel will have committed the much greater crimes of the oppressor.
End the U.S.-Israel alliance
The Israeli government relies on U.S. funds and warships to prop up its racist, apartheid state and to help suppress any notion of Arab revolt across the region. But it is clear that Israel’s invasion of Gaza might well spark a larger war in the Middle East. Iranian-backed militias have threatened to attack U.S. bases if Gaza is invaded and Lebanon’s Hezbollah has already launched missiles into Israel which responded in kind.
Meanwhile, Biden is rushing more warships and planes to the region, and telling the world that Hamas must be destroyed. His eagerness for war reveals the crucial role Israel plays as a junior partner of Washington’s economic, military, and political interests in the oil-rich but volatile Middle East.
Last year the U.S. funded Israel’s military machine to the tune of $3.8 billion, and Congress is currently considering additional funding in light of Hamas’ attack. These funds, as well as regular, massive arms procurements by Israel, help generate huge profits for U.S. based energy and arms corporations. But more is at stake for U.S. corporations than immediate profits; it is a question of survival of imperialist exploitation in the region.
The hopeful news is that international outrage is building against Israel’s atrocities. Protests around the world are growing in number and strength. A global fightback, both political and economic, is urgently needed. Workers, oppressed people, and champions of human rights across the globe can help by calling on their own governments to break diplomatic, commercial, cultural and sports relations with the Zionist state.
FSP stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We demand:
Stop the bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip now!
End all U.S. military and economic support to Israel.
Support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Full right of return and self-determination for Palestinians.
For one secular, socialist and democratic state with equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis, integrated into a federation of socialist republics of the Middle East.
Issued by the U.S. Freedom Socialist Party