This is a slightly edited version of the article from 10/8/23 titled Stop Israel’s War Against Palestinians!
In the wake of the indiscriminate attack by Palestinian military forces from Hamas, which has left some 1,200 people dead and 2,000 wounded, the Israeli government is promising to make the Palestinian people, whom the State of Israel has colonized for decades, pay “an unprecedented price,” and is blaming them for Hamas’s attack. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has announced that Israel has begun a “long and difficult war,” and promises to turn Gaza into “rubble.”
Israeli airstrikes have already killed 1,500 Palestinians in Gaza, and wounded thousands more, bombing residential buildings, schools, hospitals, even a Red Crescent ambulance. Water, food, and electricity have been shut off to Gaza for days. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing their homes with no safe areas to take shelter as Israeli bombs rain down everywhere.
This conflict is sometimes portrayed as a clash of two equivalent powers, but this hides the hideous reality. The state of Israel was founded in 1948 on the historic land of Palestine. While Zionists claim that the land belonged to them because of their religious beliefs and since Jews had suffered the Holocaust, that did not give them the right to begin their process of genocide against the Palestinians. Since 1967, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been militarily occupied and controlled by Israel. Israel has used the occupation to further its genocidal erasure of the Palestinian people to take more of their land, and force Palestinians to live like prisoners, under constant violence, or trapped in Gaza, under a constant state of siege.
For months, Israel has been in a state of political crisis, led by far-right, religious and settler parties. Settlers illegally take Palestinian land while the Israeli military protects them. Since January, many Israelis have protested this power grab by the far-right, which seeks to impose an authoritarian, religious regime in Israel to further their goals. Israel is divided between the old order that was secular, liberal, and more democratic for the Jewish citizens of Israel, and the new far-right order, which is religious, authoritarian, and repressive. But neither side has anything to offer Palestinians, including the two million Palestinian citizens in Israel who live as second-class citizens, with the worst jobs and the worst education, facing daily discrimination and racism.
Hamas’s attack has embarrassed Netanyahu’s government, and now the Israeli state is using this attack to accelerate their genocide of Palestinians. Ultimately, Hamas has no solution to the occupation. They are the rulers of a prison, seeking only to maintain their credibility, and pressure the Arab states to maintain their minimal material support for Palestine.
The problem from beginning to end is the colonial, genocidal state of Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian people, with, in the words of Biden, “rock solid and unwavering” support coming from the U.S. The U.S. and other imperialist powers have funded and supported Israel for decades as a military ally in the Middle East, and are now rallying behind Israel in its latest massacre of Palestinians.
But the Palestinians are not alone. The same imperialist powers that support Israel dominate the people of the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out in demonstrations from Iraq to Tunisia. If the poor and working people of the Middle East have their say, then the Palestinians will find their liberation alongside the Egyptians, Iraqis, Syrians, Tunisians, Lebanese, and all those who share a common history in the struggle against imperialism, against Israel and the shameful governments that oppress the people of the Middle East for the benefit of imperialist powers, like the U.S. Faced with this scenario, the population of Israel would have a choice: They could renounce their past, oppose their government, and build a peaceful future in equality in the Middle East, or they could choose to live in permanent military conflict, ruled by an increasingly authoritarian government built on genocide.
The Palestinians deserve every bit of solidarity we can offer. We can support their call to boycott, divest from, and sanction the state of Israel. We can demonstrate in the streets to show they aren’t alone, and denounce any support of the Israeli regime. But these efforts are not enough. In a real sense, their struggle is ours because we have the same enemy — the capitalist class and its governments in the U.S. and elsewhere who dominate the Middle East while we live under ever-increasing exploitation. The deepest act of solidarity is to struggle against the capitalist system, and to build a world free from exploitation and oppression.