The besieged Palestinians of Gaza – the world’s largest open-air prison, home to 2.3 million oppressed people – are once again being bombarded by the racist and colonial Israeli State following Hamas’s unprecedented and indiscriminate attack.
The barbaric ferocity of the Israeli State’s onslaught is set to surpass all its previous massacres of Gaza – with casualties mounting by the hour as buildings are levelled by the military hardware of the world’s fourth-largest army, part of which is supplied and paid for by the US and the EU. All escape routes are closed off – the Rafah Crossing, the border between Egypt and Gaza, was bombed to ensure this.
These actions are combined with the disgusting racist rhetoric of Israeli Government representatives. As an Israeli Minister, Yoav Gallet, declared, “We are fighting human animals.” The Netanyahu regime is tightening its noose on Gaza by cutting off all medicine, water, fuel, electricity and food entering the Strip. This is an undisguised war crime. Not surprisingly, the major imperialist powers have rallied to support Netanyahu’s actions. Biden has promised an additional $8 billion in military aid to Israel on top of the $3.8 billion it provides each year. Meanwhile, the European Commission initially threatened to cut off all Palestinian aid. This week, its President, Ursula von der Leyen, issued a statement implicitly supporting Israel’s war on Gaza.
The Israeli government is determined to collectively punish Gaza for Hamas’s attack on Israeli cities last weekend that horrifically left hundreds of innocent civilians, Jewish and Palestinian Bedouins, dead. The brutal, indiscriminate killings of working-class and poor people, including children and elderly people, in towns, kibbutzes, and young people attending a musical festival must be completely opposed. These methods will not defeat the Israeli State; quite the opposite, the revulsion to them among ordinary people in Israel and beyond will only strengthen the hand of the oppressors of the Palestinians.
Solidarity with the Palestinians under murderous bombardment in Gaza and with families of those killed from all communities on both sides of the fence.
The Socialist Party and our sister organisation in Israel / Palestine, Socialist Struggle Movement, fully support the right of the Palestinian people to engage in armed defence and resistance against Israeli State terror and the systemic, racist oppression they live under. This struggle should be democratically organised and controlled from below, involving the masses of working, poor and young people in democratic councils of struggle organised on both sides of the Green Line, in towns, villages, workplaces, schools and universities.
It should be based on the methods of previous struggles of the people of Palestine – strikes and mass demonstrations, like the First Intifada in 1987 or the Strike of Dignity in May 2021, the last time the Israeli State inflicted its terror on Gaza. The Israel Builders Association was forced to admit that the strike paralysed building sites, causing estimated losses of nearly $40 million in one day, owing to the fact that only 150 out of 65,000 workers came to work. In the face of even greater repression in the West Bank since the beginning of the year, Palestinians have shut down workplaces, shops and services against the settler pogroms and Israeli Military atrocities.
Revolutionary socialist change
A struggle for Palestinian national liberation must be linked with revolutionary system change in this region, uniting with the working class and poor across the region in a struggle against the common enemy of capitalism and imperialism. They must take power into their collective hands and transform society. This includes the Israeli-Jewish working class, who live under an increasingly authoritarian state that is clamping down on democratic rights, and suffer massive inequality – with 21% living below the poverty line. This is a state whose systemic oppression of Palestinians has created a vicious cycle of conflict, making Israel the most dangerous place in the world to be a Jew.
The rule of imperialism, oppressive regimes like those of the Israeli State and the various Arab states, and capitalism in this region generally, promises a future only of poverty, violence and oppression – and is incapable of meeting national aspirations and guaranteeing the rights of minorities. Their rule must end.
This means taking the region’s vast wealth out of private hands and bringing it into public ownership and democratic control. It means building a socialist Middle East based on the democratic rule of the working class and poor masses.