Israel Threatens to Drag the World Into its War

The Palestinians are being bombed and starved by Israel with the support of U.S., European and some governments in the Middle East. The horror they are raining down on the people trapped in Gaza is justified as a response to the October 7th attack by Hamas, the party that rules Gaza. Now, the stakes are even higher. On April 2nd, Israel’s military attacked Iran, by bombing the Iranian consulate in Damascus, the capital of Syria, killing 13 people, including a general from the Iranian Quds Force, Iran’s military intelligence.

Iran’s government responded with a demonstration of force, firing 300 drones and missiles at Israel. Most of these were shot down by Israel, aided by Jordanian and U.S. military forces. For a week, the world watched and waited – would Israel launch a full scale attack in response and drag the world into a major war?

Finally, the Israeli military conducted a small, but significant, symbolic strike – attacking an Iranian military base near the city of Isfahan where Iran maintains a nuclear facility. For now, both Iran and Israel have signaled that they won’t escalate the conflict further. However, these incidents show the danger of a wider war in the Middle East, always threatening to break loose.

Iran and Israel have been in what has been called a “shadow war” for decades. This war is rooted in the history of U.S. domination of the Middle East, and opposition to it by Iran and other states.

The state of Iran was founded in a revolution, in 1979. The population overthrew a ruthless regime, imposed on the Iranian people by the U.S., that had allowed foreign oil companies to exploit Iran’s vast oil wealth. An Islamic political force seized power and became an oppressive elite, hijacking the revolution for their own interests. Under the Islamic Republic, Iran took control of its oil, and it has never been forgiven for this by European and U.S. corporations and their governments. Iran’s military is one of the biggest in the Middle East, making it a powerful opponent of the U.S. and its ally, Israel.

The state of Israel is the most important military ally of the United States in the Middle East. It receives $4 billion dollars in aid from the U.S. each year. About 16 percent of Israel’s military budget is paid by the U.S. The bombs falling on Gaza, which have killed 34,000 people, are bought and paid for with U.S. tax dollars. Israel is also a nuclear power.

The conflict between Iran and Israel has played out throughout the region. Iran supports Hezbollah, a militant force and political party based in southern Lebanon, where Israel has waged war and seized territory. Iran supports Hamas in Gaza against Israel. Iran is allied with the Houthis in Yemen who have attacked U.S., European, and Israeli ships during Israel’s war on Gaza.

The current hostility between Iran and Israel is a continuation of a war already being waged on the people of the region by the U.S. and its allies.

After Israel’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria, and Iran’s retaliation, France, Britain, and the United States declared their intention to defend Israel. Their muted criticisms of Israel’s genocide were set aside as they declared support for the Israeli regime in this conflict with Iran.

With the crisis on hold for now, Israel has turned its attention back to its bloody work in Gaza. Israel’s troops are beginning a new and more horrible slaughter in the city of Rafah, where half of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants are taking refuge. For weeks, they have been bombarding and raiding, preparing to carry out the threatened invasion. The population is on the brink of starvation, with famine imminent. The elderly people and children are dying while food deliveries and medicine are held up by Israel’s army.

We cannot remain silent. Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. We cannot tolerate Israel’s policies towards Iran, which also threaten to instigate a massive war.

We need to respond. We need to demand an end to U.S. support for Israel and its genocidal policies. We need to talk with our friends, family, co-workers and students. Together we need to break the silence, to state clearly that we will not tolerate this injustice. We need to say NO to their callous inhumanity and readiness to cause unimaginable destruction. The future is up to us.

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