Fire has once more rained down on the people of Gaza and they are mourning their dead. The Israeli state has used, as it always does, the rocket attacks launched by Hamas as an excuse for intervening. It claims to be carrying out "targeted" bombardments. Who can believe that lie?
The Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated territories in the world, is 40 km long by 10 km wide. How could bombs differentiate between civilians and Hamas militants, when there are no shelters and no escape?
Firing rockets at Israel, as Hamas is doing, is an indiscriminate terrorist policy. But bombing an area like Gaza is terrorism on a much larger scale: it’s nothing more than state terrorism.
Saying that both sides are equally to blame when a supposedly democratic and excessively armed state is relentlessly destroying an already devastated territory is saying “might is right”. And, above all, ignoring the perfectly legitimate Palestinian revolt.
Their revolt is constantly repressed by the Israeli state. But it’s also politically hijacked by Hamas. The latest acts of revolt did not come from Gaza or Hamas, but from Palestinian families living in East-Jerusalem who opposed their deportation. Their resistance then set fire to “mixed cities” such as Lod, Jaffa and Saint Jean d'Acre, as well as to the West Bank. It was to gain control over the revolt that Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israel.
Hamas has deliberately appropriated the protestors’ voice. It has transformed the mass mobilization into a confrontation between Hamas and the Israeli state so that it can impose its policies, its own methods, its own domination on the Palestinian people. Yes, the Palestinians have the Israeli state as their enemy, but they also have Hamas as their adversary.
With the rise of violent and hateful clashes between far-right Zionist groups and young Palestinians, many Israeli Jews now realize they’re under the threat of a communal war – a war for which they’re in fact already paying the price. But it’s hardly surprising.
For 70 years now, the Israeli government has been colonizing more land in the West Bank and making it impossible to create a viable Palestinian state. It has annexed East Jerusalem, imposed the blockade of Gaza and locked its inhabitants in an open-air prison. It imposes a policy of apartheid in Israel, where Jews and Arabs don’t enjoy the same rights. And regularly, when the threat of revolt seems too high, the government goes to war against the Palestinians.
In order to stay in power, Netanyahu has for years relied on the supremacist Jewish far right. He’s offered them ministries, turned a blind eye to their violence and supported their every step towards territorial expansion, i.e. colonization.
This reactionary escalation led last week to a frightening showdown, with some shouting “Death to the Arabs” while others shouted “Death to the Jews”. One can only hope that this will serve as an electric shock, because there’s no future for the two peoples unless they reach some form of understanding.
Is this possible? Yes, on one condition: that they reject the colonial policy adopted by Israel with support from the great imperialist states.
The leaders of Israel have built their state by denying the Palestinians' right to their own state, and by acting as regional intermediaries for the imperialist powers, first and foremost for the United States. This is why we can’t count on the so-called "international community" to put any pressure on the Israeli government.
Netanyahu can also count on the French government for unconditional support. The ban on the pro-Palestinian demonstration last Saturday in Paris bears witness to this. Calling the protesters "anti-Semitic", as Interior Minister Darmanin did, is a despicable contribution to the oppression of the Palestinians.
The Israeli and Palestinian leaders are driving their people into a bloody stalemate with the complicity of the imperialist powers. It’s vital for there to be more and more people aware of this among Palestinians and Israelis.
The solution can only come from both peoples looking for ways to live together peacefully on the same land. For this to happen, they need to oppose those who are dragging them into a war between communities. They need to fight together against the oppression suffered by the Palestinian people. They need to affirm that the two peoples must have the same rights, because "A people which oppresses another cannot emancipate itself".