Gaza - The Imperialist Massacre Goes on

Up to the present, the Israeli operation “Cast Lead” has produced almost 500 dead, many of them civilian, and 2000 wounded, of which half are in a serious condition. It is a butchery which has had few precedents in the unending conflict in the Middle East. The ferocious Israeli reaction to the launch of Qassam and Katyusha rockets by Hamas after 18 months of political and economic isolation has inexorably destroyed everybody and everything. The missile launches served as a pretext to execute an operation which had already been prepared and planned down to the smallest detail. It was carried out with the greatest determination using new and sophisticated weapons. The operation appears to have no particular purpose but in fact it has a series of aims, some old, some new.

  1. With this action the Jerusalem government aims to finish off its game with Hamas. But not so much because in so doing it will eliminate its most intransigent adversary amongst the Palestinian nationalists (it’s lot easier to pretend to talk to the pliable Palestinian National Authority of Abu Masen) but because it would weaken the capacity of Syria and Iran to operate, as they continue to be Israel’s most important enemies in the imperialist scenario of the Middle East. And in Gaza, Iranian and Syrian regional imperialist ambitions stand behind Hamas, which is financed and supplied by Damascus and Tehran. The latter hope for another Israeli humiliation like that inflicted by their other protégé, Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.
  2. With this military operation, and with the consequent diplomatic and political crisis which it has provoked throughout the Arab world, Israel has ended the talks it was holding with Syria over the restoration of the Golan Heights. These were negotiations which only opened a short while ago after years of absolute refusal to talk. For Israel the Golan Heights have a double purpose. They are strategically fundamental for the control of the Syrian and Lebanon borders, and they have economic advantages such as the control of the water supply and as a source of cultivable land.
  3. At the same time the Gaza crisis represents an attempt by the Jerusalem government to make President-elect Obama face already established facts, even though he has already declared that he is on the side of the US’ historic ally. This tells us a lot about the new administration’s continuation of the USA’s imperialist role in the very important Middle East region, and of the intentions of Israel to stress the key strategic role it plays against Iran and Russia in the “Great Game” in Central Asia for control and exploitation of its oil and gas reserves.
  4. The EU, and especially France, is benefitting from this critical situation by reintroducing itself first diplomatically, and then economically, into a region from which it was expelled several years ago. Leaving aside negotiated solutions which change nothing, the devastating international economic crisis can only accelerate and intensify episodes like this. The logic of armed conflict, of war is on the agenda from Lebanon to the Occupied Territories, from Georgia to Chechnya, from the Middle East to the Caucasus. The stakes that are being played for are not only the nationalist vendetta between Israel and Palestine, or between Russia and Georgia for control of South Ossetia but the redefinition of the power relations between great and small imperialisms in the face of the global crisis.

Meanwhile the Palestinian civilian population and the proletariat are paying the price. As long as the masses submit to the interests of bourgeois religious fundamentalism, to the strategies of the greater and lesser imperialist forces they have no other prospect than that of sacrificial lambs slaughtered on altars. This is the major obstacle to the revival of the class struggle. Either the Arab masses - today it’s the turn of the Palestinians, tomorrow it could be any proletariat somewhere else in the region which will have the misfortune to be at the centre of imperialist interests - begin to take the road of class struggle or, terrible episodes like this are destined to be repeated and to get more devastating with the worsening of the international crisis. Today, more than ever, moribund capitalism can produce only crises, more sacrifices for workers, growing hunger, poverty and wars, in order to guarantee that it still has a future. The future of the Arab proletariat depends instead on the rejection of the politics of sacrifice and for the pitiless struggle against their respective bourgeoisies whatever ideology they clothe themselves in whether secular, progressive, populist or fundamentalist. It has to be based on revolutionary defeatism against all wars, whatever their justifications or origins. The horrendous sacrifices of the proletariat of Gaza tragically teaches us that.