Only when the Palestinians are free, will Israelis be free

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
11 October 2023

Israel's Netanyahu said "we are at war" after the unprecedented attack launched by Hamas into Israel on Saturday.

    Before being captured and killed by the Israeli defence force, the Hamas militia managed to wreak bloody and horrific terror in southern Israel, murdering at least 900 (mostly) Israelis, including young people attending a nearby music festival.

    Hamas leaders knew this was a suicide mission.  Worse, they knew it would bring retribution from Israel against Gaza’s 2 million Palestinians, physically confined in the 25x3 mile strip.  Every time Hamas has sent rockets into Israel, the civilian population paid with hundreds, even thousands, of lives.  Unlike Israeli neighbourhoods, Gaza has no “Iron Dome” system to protect it from (the much more lethal) Israeli missiles.

    It’s impossible for us to understand why Hamas would have chosen this action.  Along with many Israelis, ironically, it would probably like to see the far-right Netanyahu government fall.  Although that may still happen, it seems that for now, the effect of the Hamas attack has been to strengthen it.

    Since the systematic raids by armed fundamentalist Jewish settlers (now also represented in Netanyahu’s government) and the murder of 250 Palestinians on the West Bank this year alone, the axis of the Palestinian struggle has shifted away from Gaza.  Was this attack Hamas’ way to bring it back - and to pre-empt opposing Palestinian groups from eclipsing its rule?

    Whatever its reasons, all already seem negated - even the anticipated hostage exchange - by the reaction of the Israeli state, which is now mobilising 300,000 reserves in order to send in ground troops.

Bringing hell to Gaza

Gaza’s hospitals (those which haven’t been bombed so far) are already unable to cope with casualties and medicines have run out.  On Monday, Israel’s Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, imposed a complete siege - no electricity, water, food - because "we are dealing with human animals".

    The dehumanisation of Palestinians has reached new heights.  The most extreme-right Israeli government in Israel’s history has managed to get the backing for its revenge, not only from the world’s imperialist masters to a man and women, but their opposition parties, too.

    Says Labour’s Keir Starmer, echoing Sunak, (who projected Israel’s flag onto 10 Downing Street), “Israel has the right to defend itself”.  So now this merciless offensive by Israel’s military against defenceless Palestinian civilians, men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas, (but are forced by Israel’s permanent blockade of Gaza to submit to its dictatorship), is “justified”!  The reactionary ex-public prosecutor Starmer would know all about such “justice”!

    And let’s all forget, that the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas “monster”, was the Israeli state’s own creation in the late 1980s.  When it wanted to break the agreement signed (after international pressure) with Yasser Arafat’s secular Palestine liberation organisation Fatah, which would have forced it to give (very little!) land back to the Palestinians, Hamas was a useful tool.  Its rise in Gaza allowed the virtual destruction of Fatah and with it, the “peace” accords.

So who are the real terrorists?

Today, the overwhelming support for Netanyahu's retaliatory bloodbath “against terrorism”, is probably meant to act as a warning to Hezbollah and the Iranian regime - or any others who might side with the Palestinian people, let alone with Hamas.  The imperialists do not want another escalating Middle East war - a region not yet recovered from their wars in Iraq and Syria, but which still holds an enormous explosive charge which they may be unable to control.

    But the working class should be in no mistake as to the nature of this thieves’ gallery of imperialists lining up behind what may now be a “unity government” in Israel.  Even a former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, called Netanyahu's Minister of National Security, Ben Gvir and Finance Minister, self-confessed fascist, Smotrich,"terrorists".

    Now, Israeli state terrorism is openly upheld by big US imperialist terror and behind it the terror of ever more bigoted lesser imperialisms like the British.  In fact they consciously continue the same travesty as their forbears, who colluded in the land expropriation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian natives 75 years ago, at the very origin of today's bloody stalemate.

    Together, the US and Britain will continue to defend the proxies they created to promote their global interests (Israel's state is one of the oldest, Zelensky’s Ukraine one of the most recent) - and all the more so, as their capitalist system rots under their feet.

    The working classes of this world (including Palestinian and Israeli) will have to take on the task of kicking out these imperialists and their proxies for good, in order to end this iniquitous system which divides to rule - and on the way, seize the leadership of their ranks out of the hands of all those who advocate terror. And just like West Bank workers today, they’ll need to declare general strikes, while they build their own communist revolutionary parties to lead the fight.