We Are All Palestinians!

Thousands march in Chicago during a protest in support of Palestinians on May 12, 2021

Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza has entered its second week, continuing a total bombardment of Palestinians. So far, Israel has killed nearly 200 Palestinians, including 58 children, and destroyed over 500 homes in Gaza, leaving 40,000 Palestinians homeless, without access to clean clothes, water, and basic necessities. Thousands of Palestinians have been stopped at checkpoints and blocked from returning to their neighborhoods. And Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised the murderous slaughter of Palestinians will continue, warning that “There is no clear end in sight … It will take some time … We will do whatever it takes …”

The Israeli government claims they are just responding to rockets sent by Hamas, the militant Islamist organization in power in Gaza. This is a total lie! There is nothing equal in this conflict. Over 90% of Hamas-fired rockets are blocked by Israel’s defense system. Israel’s military ranks among the top militaries in the world while Palestinians have no real military and simply resist Israel’s brutal occupation however they can.

For 70 years, Israel has waged a relentless war against the Palestinians, who’ve been driven from their land, deprived of all national rights, and reduced to living as second-class citizens inside Israel, or inside the tiny enclaves known as the “Palestinian territories,” where they are surrounded by Israeli military checkpoints and Israeli settlements. Palestinians in Gaza — practically an open-air prison — have been under an economic blockade for 14 years and survive only on humanitarian aid.

Israeli leaders, backed by a growing racist far right in Israel, thought they could launch a new assault against Palestinians. They banned gatherings around the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem during Ramadan (among the most important Muslim celebrations), and expelled Palestinian families from the city. This was nothing but an attempt to provoke a response to be used as an excuse for an escalation of violence.

Many young Israeli Arabs joined the resistance, confronting Israeli forces and far-right Israeli groups who advocate the total elimination of Palestine, and were shouting “Death to the Arabs!”

It is in this climate that Netanyahu, from the first Hamas rocket, sought to rally the Israeli population behind him in supporting yet another slaughter of Palestinians, which will only contribute to widening the bloody gap between Israelis and Palestinians. Netanyahu knew this policy could only provoke a response from Hamas, which exercises a practical dictatorship within Gaza. Hamas seeks to grow its influence beyond that of the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, which has become heavily discredited from decades of compromises with Israel.

The Biden administration has continued in lock-step with Israel, supporting them every step of the way. In just one week, the U.S. has vetoed three United Nations statements calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — continuing to give Israel an official green light for this senseless massacre. The Biden administration has the blood of Palestinians on their hands.

For over 50 years, the U.S. has vetoed nearly every United Nations resolution condemning Israel’s violence and occupation, using its veto power over 43 times. Throughout this time, the U.S. government, whether in the hands of Democrats or Republicans, has given an average of $3.1 billion in yearly military aid to Israel. The Biden administration has vowed to continue what they call “an unbreakable bond” between the U.S. and Israel. It may be the Israeli army dropping the bombs — but it is the unflinching support of the U.S. that allows them to do so.

Calls for protests in solidarity with Palestinians have spread around the world. The latest brutality by Israel is happening after months of similar repression in Burma, and then in Colombia. For growing numbers of people, the fate of Palestinians has come to symbolize the fate of the oppressed everywhere, the millions left behind by a capitalist system of misery and oppression against all working-class and poor people. The Palestinians’ struggle embodies the revolt of those who refuse to bow their heads.

From Palestine and beyond: Workers around the world must stand together!

Exploitation and oppression have no borders, and neither do our struggles!

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