Gaza – Which Side Are You On?

The brutality of Israel’s genocidal war on the Palestinian people is expanding. The situation in Gaza is a full-fledged humanitarian catastrophe due to intensifying bombing raids, a ground invasion, and the blockade of essential supplies. More than 11,000 people have been killed, including over 4,500 children.

Thousands of people are unaccounted for, trapped under the rubble of their homes, schools, and buildings where they sought shelter. Israeli forces have escalated their strikes on hospitals in Gaza where wounded Palestinians are being treated, infants are cared for and civilians are seeking refuge. At least six hospitals have been attacked by Israeli tanks and airstrikes in the past days. There are no functioning healthcare facilities remaining.

Israeli politicians and military spokespeople’s claims they are only attacking military targets is a lie.  No one is safe as they level Gaza into rubble. The United Nations (U.N.) has reported that more than 100 of their staff providing humanitarian aid on the ground have been killed since the start of Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza. A U.N. spokesperson stated last week, that “if there is a hell on Earth, it is the north of Gaza.

Since October 7th, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli settlers have also killed at least 174 Palestinians in the West Bank. Most recently, the IDF carried out a drone strike and then raided a refugee camp in Jenin in the West Bank with troops, armored vehicles, and bulldozers. At least 2,000 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank since October 7th.

Amidst this carnage, there are two sides. On one side, are the governments of the imperialist world, led by the United States. On the other side are the millions of people around the world who are actively opposed to this savage attack on a civilian population.

Since October 7th, the U.S., backed by other western powers like the U.K. and Germany, have increased their shipment of weapons to Israel to carry out these attacks. Germany’s arms exports to Israel are already 10 times the amount they sold to Israel in 2022. And the U.S., the largest supplier of arms to Israel, has also sent aircraft carrier fleets and a nuclear submarine to the area.

Representatives from the U.S. and their European allies have also continued to legitimize Israel’s attacks and given them diplomatic cover on the international stage. The U.S. and many European leaders have constantly defended Israel, vetoing any resolutions in the U.N. that condemned Israel or just called for a ceasefire. And despite the increasing coverage of the Gaza devastation, most major media’s coverage is biased toward Israel.

On the other side of this conflict, we have begun to see a response by ordinary people against Israel’s war, and against their governments’ support for it. On November 4th in Washington D.C., an estimated 300,000 people demonstrated in what was the largest pro-Palestinian protest in United States history. On November 11th, one of the largest political protests in British history took place in support of the Palestinian people, with an estimated 500,000 in the streets.

Jewish activists in support of Palestine have conducted “sit-ins” at the U.S. Congress, and in several major train stations on the East Coast. Other activists have disrupted rallies and fundraisers being held for U.S. politicians, demanding a ceasefire. Groups of activists have attempted to disrupt weapons shipments to Israel or to stop the production of military equipment by blocking roads into weapons manufacturing facilities. Despite the opposition of some school administrations, high schools, colleges and universities have seen walkouts, rallies, and teach-ins opposing the genocide.

The responses we have seen thus far, and the size of the protests around the world, shows us that there is widespread outrage in the U.S. and beyond concerning the atrocities in Gaza. As the war on Palestinians continues, it is clear that each of us must choose which side we will be on. Here in the U.S, in the belly of the beast, we have a moral obligation to oppose this U.S.-backed Israeli genocide, carried out in our name.

We must stand in solidarity with the Palestinians in their struggle – whether by organizing support for them, actively protesting, or donating money to organizations providing humanitarian aid in Palestine. We must also be part of organizing an international movement for the liberation of Palestine. Our efforts can’t stop there. We need to put an end to the threat of war, climate change, exploitation and oppression that results from the capitalist domination of the planet.

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