Workers Vanguard No. 1049

11 July 2014


Israel Out of the Occupied Territories!

Defend Palestinians Against Zionist Onslaught on Gaza!

JULY 8—As we go to press, at least 27 Palestinians have been killed and many more wounded in Israel’s latest terror bombing of its Gaza concentration camp. To those at the helm of Zionist Israel, their repeated attacks on Gaza are just “mowing the grass,” a “sort of maintenance,” as a former military commander put it. Indeed, the current assault, a projected long-term offensive dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” is standard procedure for the rulers of capitalist Israel, a Zionist garrison state founded on the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland.

The pretext for the current wave of Zionist terror was the June 12 abduction of three teenage yeshiva students hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank and the discovery of their bodies 18 days later. Although no evidence has been revealed about who committed the killings, Israel’s rulers effectively delivered a verdict of collective guilt on the Palestinian population. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out more than 2,400 raids on homes, medical offices and schools and arrested some 600 Palestinians, killing at least seven, while also bombing dozens of sites in Gaza prior to the current attack. Now, the mobilization of 1,500 infantry and police reservists and plans to call up an additional 40,000 IDF reservists threaten a major bloodbath of Palestinians. Meanwhile, most of impoverished Gaza’s ambulances will not be running due to lack of fuel and its hospitals have declared a state of emergency. The working class internationally must stand in defense of the besieged Palestinians against the Zionist terror machine!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly declared the Islamic fundamentalists of Hamas guilty of the killings of the three Israelis, even though Hamas, which runs Gaza, never claimed responsibility. As calculated, his pronouncement touched off a round of terror by fascistic West Bank settlers and other reactionary Jewish mobs directed against Israeli Arabs as well as Palestinians. The chauvinist frenzy culminated in the abduction and hideous murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir of East Jerusalem. Seized by ultra-Zionists on July 2, the youth was later found burned to death, touching off angry protests by Palestinians in the West Bank and in some Israeli cities that continue to rage. Anger was further stoked by a brutal police attack on Muhammad’s American cousin, 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, at a protest in East Jerusalem.

The ever-expanding Zionist settlements in the West Bank have increasingly ghettoized the native Palestinian population, from the walls surrounding the territory to the “bypass roads” and military zones that are off-limits to them. The very existence of these settlements is a constant reminder to the Palestinians of their dispossession. All Israeli troops and settlers out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem!

Gaza is all but defenseless against the Zionist military juggernaut, sealed off by the sea and by its borders with Israel as well as Egypt, whose military regime is hostile to Hamas. While Hamas forces can at most launch crude rocket attacks, the Zionists are armed to the teeth, including with the Near East’s only nuclear arsenal. As Israeli forces bombed the Gaza ghetto from the air and sea, today’s Haaretz printed a statement by President Obama lauding the $3 billion annual U.S. military aid to the Zionist regime for “making Israel safer” and serving to “save lives.” With breathtaking cynicism, he went on to declare his support for the Palestinians’ “right to self-determination” while intoning that any Palestinian government must be pledged to “nonviolence” and recognition of Israel! In opposing its “own” capitalist rulers and their military alliances, the U.S. working class must oppose all U.S. aid to Israel. As supporters of just causes, we Marxists do not equate the violence of the oppressed with the violence of the oppressors.

We take a side militarily with Hamas against the Zionist terror campaign, while giving not the least political support to these Islamic reactionaries or to Palestinian bourgeois nationalism. We fight to bring the class axis to the fore. National emancipation for the Palestinians requires the proletarian overthrow of the Israeli capitalist rulers and also those of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, which are home to millions of Palestinians. The Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab populations are interpenetrated peoples, laying rival claims to the same territory. Under capitalism, the exercise of the national rights of one necessarily comes at the expense of the right of self-determination of the other. Only in a socialist federation of the Near East can conflicting claims over land and resources be equitably resolved, and all discrimination on the basis of language, religion and nationality be done away with.

Israel is a class-divided society, with workers exploited by the capitalist ruling class. The hard but necessary task of breaking through the chauvinism that poisons the consciousness of Jewish working people is not made any easier by the criminal, indiscriminate bombings carried out by Hamas and other Palestinian forces against Israeli civilians, which drive the Jewish population further into the arms of their rulers. What must be done is to forge revolutionary Marxist parties in Israel/Palestine and throughout the Near East, in opposition to all forms of nationalism and religious fundamentalism and committed to the struggle for socialist revolution on a world scale.