The Imperialist Massacre in Gaza

They create a desert and call it peace

Tacitus on Roman imperialism - AD 98

Even by the standards of the last 60 years the massacre of the innocents in Gaza has no precedent. The killing of 1300 Palestinians of which at least one third are children, the injuring of at least 5000 more, and the attacks on those trying to carry out humanitarian relief, demonstrate a new level of barbarism towards the Gaza ghetto. The ceasefire has not ended the agony as the Israelis (abetted by Egypt) keep the borders closed. For the half million without running water, the 50,000 homeless and the overstretched hospitals suffering is not over.

Israel - Child of Imperialism...

There has been much quotation of the Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak’s famous dictum that if he

had been a Palestinian [he] would have joined a terrorist organisation.

He already has. The most effective terrorist organisation in the Middle East is the Israeli Defence Force. But Israel does not act alone. It also acts, as it has done since its foundation, for the imperialist interests of the USA. The evidence lies not just in the US’ modern weapons, like drones which daily guide the strafing of Gaza, but also in the diplomatic manoeuvres of the Bush regime. The last sorry act of this gangster government was to abstain in the UN Security Council on the resolution calling for a ceasefire. The Bush Administration colludes with the Israeli Government to establish “facts on the ground” to confront the new regime of Obama.

And what are the “facts”? Hamas has lost some of its leaders, and is said to be physically weakened, but that doesn’t mean it is politically weaker. On the contrary two years of blockade of Gaza by the Israelis has done more to weaken Hamas than any attack. In the weeks leading up to the end of the ceasefire Israel was gradually tightening its grip so that basic supplies were running short. Although the Israelis ended the ceasefire with the killing of 6 Hamas fighters on 5 November 2008 Hamas’ response with rockets was the only one open to them other than face the further slow economic disintegration of the territory. But this is “assymetrical war” with a vengeance since 4 Israelis died from rocket attacks (a further 9 soldiers were killed once the ground invasion began) whilst in Gaza the death toll was a hundred times greater.

...As is Hamas

Contrary to what many on the left are saying this is not a struggle for national self-determination on either side. Israel could not survive a single week without the massive US arms shipments it receives, whilst Hamas is financed by Syria and Iran. These two states have their own agendas for domination in the area. Some argue that Hamas is the lesser evil, in that it is the weaker of the protagonists, and therefore whatever the reactionary political nature of its Islamic fundamentalism it should be supported. This means abandoning the Palestinian workers whose interests are by no means the same as Hamas, as the strikes by like the public sector workers recently showed. Equally we condemn the utter ruthlessness and barbarism of the Israeli state but support the Israeli workers who also oppose this war, and have struck against their own state. Such actions are the beginning of what we call “revolutionary defeatism” which calls not just for peace but for its achievement through the overthrow of the regimes on both sides. This is what workers did at the end of the First World War to finish that imperialist slaughter. This is what we will have to do again to save the planet from the descent into capitalist barbarism which has been made even more certain by the global economic crisis.

Many will argue that in current terms this is utopian but after 60 years of imperialist struggle over Palestine-Israel what other solutions do the capitalists have to offer? Some argue that once the Palestinians have “a land of their own” then the conflict will end. But what kind of two state solution is this when Israel will control all the water and other natural resources? Having one state in the territory is even less likely as both the mullahs and the rabbis want an exclusive and religious state. The only solution is a “no state” solution i.e. a totally different world in which private property is abolished along with standing armies and national frontiers. As Marx said “workers have no country” but we do “have a world to win”. Increasingly we have a world to save and only the global working class united beyond trades, religious, ethnic and national boundaries can do it. Now that is worth fighting for.

Issued by the Communist Workers’ Organisation
British affiliate of the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party
January 2009