Middle East

A new crime of Zionist state

June 04, 2010

On May 31, the Israeli navy opened fire on an international flotilla
composed of nine vessels in which around 700 activists and well-known
personalities, from over 40 different countries, in solidarity with
the Palestinian people were traveling; the flotilla was trying to
deliver a cargo of around 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the Gaza
Strip and in that way break the brutal air, land and maritime blockade
imposed by the State of Israel and Egypt since the beginning of 2007,
with the explicit support of the United States and the European Union
(EU).

The humanitarian fleet, organized by the Free Gaza movement and a
Turkish NGO, was intercepted by elite units of the Zionist military
while it was sailing through international waters, some 60 kilometers
from the Israeli coast. Armed commando groups were lowered from
helicopters, they boarded the Mavi Marmara vessel, in which mostly
Turkish passengers were traveling, and opened fire. According to the
official statistics during the brutal raid 9 activists were killed (4
of which were Turkish nationality) and many were injured. During the
operation the Israeli forces arrested over 600 people, who where
interrogated and finally eventually deported by the Israeli
authorities.

The ultra-right Netanyahu-Lieberman government had already announced
that it was not going to allow the humanitarian flotilla, which it
considered a "political provocation" against Israel, to arrive at
Gaza, and it had been planning for the military operation for days.
The objective was to set an example of force to prevent an increase in
solidarity actions with the people of Gaza, and most importantly to
maintain the maritime blockade.

This new crime created an angry response from a wide sector of the
masses throughout the world, delegitimizing Netanyahu’s right wing
government even more. Even governments that are friendly with the
Zionist state, like the British government, called to lift the Gaza
blockade and the Egyptian dictator, Honsi Mubarak’s, reactionary
government was forced to partially open up the Rafah border in order
to allow desperate Palestinians to search for basic goods.

But beyond the indignation and expressed anger, Isreal once again
avoided international punishment. After an emergency session that
lasted 12 hours, the United Nations Security Council, behind an active
United States policy, mainly towards Turkey, released a declaration
that only expressed grief for “the loss of lives and the injuries that
resulted in the Israeli military operations use of force in
international waters†, they called for the Israeli government to
perform and “impartial investigation†of the events and they stopped
short by considering the situation in Gaza just as “unsustainable†.

The terrorist State of Israel is trying to cover its crimes up as acts
of "self-defense," and justify the massacres by accusing activists of
having ties with "terrorist organizations" like Hamas and Al Qaeda.
For example when it bombs the Palestinian civilian population, when it
"extrajudicially" murders activists and leaders of the Palestinian
national resistance, or when it represses the Israeli Arab population.

Furthermore, the United States and the “international community†apart
from a little criticism, recognizes Israel’s right to defend their
“security†from the supposed “terrorist threat†. The North American
Vice President, Joe Biden, even stated in an interview that Israel has
a right to stop the flotilla “because it is at war with Hamasâ€
(Harretz, 2-6-10).

In a message to the country, Netanyahu, made it clear that beyond the
criticism that his government has received, his stance will not
change. He reaffirmed that “the flotilla objective wasn’t to send
humanitarian aid, but to breakdown the blockade†, and if this were to
happen “Gaza would turn into an Iranian port in the Mediterraneanâ€
(Haaretz, 2-6-10)

Regional Crisis

The incident threatens to cause a huge crisis between Israel and the
government of Turkey that would have consequences on the United States
policy in the Middle East. For years, Turkey was a key ally of Israel
in the Muslim world, and since 1996 it has had a military cooperation
treaty. Turkey had acted as a mediator, in order to restart the
dialogue between Syria and Israel, in conflict over the occupation of
the Golan Heights. However, these relations have been deteriorating
since the last Israeli military incursion in Gaza, at the end of 2008.
After Netanyahu took office as Prime Minister, based on a coalition
between Likud and the Israeli extreme right, tension only increased.

For his part, Turkish Prime Minister R. Erdogan’s policy is to repair
relations with other Islamic and Arab countries, among them, Iran and
Syria, as shown by the military accord signed by Turkey and Brazil
with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, which eases the
international pressure that the United States had been exerting to
succeed in imposing sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This reorientation of Turkey’s international policy, which some of the
media is calling “neo-ottoman†, it not only responds to the regional
interests, but is a reflection of the internal confrontation between
the official Justice Party and the Development (AKP), secular but
moderate Islamic tendency, and the Turkish armed forces, staunch
supporters of alliance with Israel and enemies of the state taking a
religious character.

Turkey is an important United States ally in the region, that
historically has been considered to be a bridge for western interests
in the Muslim world and to thus help maintain regional stability.

The Netanyahu government has been complicating Obama’s plans to try
and consolidate a negotiation that would put an end to the Palestinian
conflict, which would rely on the collaboration of the reactionary
Arab governments and the corrupt Palestine National Authority, under
the direction of the PLO, established as a pseudo-government client of
Israel and of imperialism in Cisjordan.

The growing tensions in the Middle East reveal the difficulties that
North American Imperialism is facing in their attempt to impose their
interests in the region.

Israel’s crimes and imperialist hypocrisy

Since 2007, the state of Israel has kept the population of Gaza under
siege. With the backing of US imperialism, the European powers, the
Arab governments, and Mahmud Abbas, the chairman of the Palestinian
Authority, the Zionist state, together with Egypt, decided to seal off
the Gaza Strip by air, sea and land and in that way to force the fall
of the legitimate Hamas administration, which had won the general
elections in 2006.

With the blockade, Israel transformed the Gaza Strip, a small portion
of territory where about 1.5 million Palestinians live under crowded
conditions, into an open-air prison. The consequences of this criminal
policy of "collective punishment" are devastating. According to
statistics from the United Nations, about 70% of the population of
Gaza lives on less than one dollar a day, 75% depends on humanitarian
aid to survive, and 60% does not have access to potable water.

Apart from the blockade are added the effects from the most recent
Israeli war against Gaza, 2008-2009, known as "Operation Cast Lead,"
during which the Israeli army systematically bombed the civilian
population, and destroyed a United Nations refugee center, as well as
schools, hospitals and Hamas government buildings.

With Obama, the State of Israel continues to be an unconditional ally
of US imperialism, which justifies every Israeli criminal action as "a
legitimate defense" in view of the "terrorist" danger, and that even
vetoes any international condemnation against Israel in the United
Nations, while they try to impose sanctions against non-allied regimes
like Iran or North Korea.

The supposed "peace" proposal of the United States for the Middle East
is to isolate Hamas and finalize negotiations with the pro-imperialist
leadership of the PLO, which presides over the Palestinian Authority
on the West Bank. This agreement would involve the annexation of the
Jewish settlements and a “security†zone to the State of Israel, the
renunciation of Palestinian population’s right to return, who were
expelled from its lands during the foundation of the State of Israel,
and acceptance of a fictitious state, lacking territorial unity and in
the custody of the Israeli army.

However, the right-wing coalition that governs Israel does not want
even this negotiation and continues to promote an aggressive policy of
extending the settlements in Palestinian territories. Furthermore,
through the powerful US Zionist lobby, Israel is exerting pressure on
the Obama administration to define a more aggressive policy against
the Iranian regime, which Israel sees as a direct threat to its
security.

But neither these frictions nor any formal declaration will call into
question the strategic alliance between US imperialism and the State
of Israel, which has historically acted in defense of imperialist
interests against the peoples of the region.

Around the world, thousands have gone out to the streets to repudiate
this new crime of the Zionist state. It is necessary to intensify the
international mobilization in active solidarity with the Palestinian
people. Against the hypocritical declarations of the imperialist
powers or of the United Nations, which have justified the violence of
the terrorist State of Israel, while condemning Palestinian resistance
against their oppressors, mobilization is the way so that, unlike the
war on Lebanon or the innumerable military incursions in the occupied
territories, this time the aberrant crimes of the State of Israel will
not remain unpunished.

For a workers’ and socialist Palestine

Since its foundation in 1948 on the basis of the expropriation and
expulsion of the indigenous Arab population, the State of Israel has
pursued a colonial and expansionist policy. Besides the territories
annexed after the Six Day War and other military incursions, the
Zionist state has had a policy of colonization, with which it
constantly adds more territory to its future borders, protected by a
concrete wall.

The alleged “two state solution†propagandized by imperialism, Arab
governments and the Palestinian National Authority, is profoundly
reactionary. The supposed Palestinian state is only a collection of
isolated cities, encircled by the “apartheid wall,†without
territorial unity and in the custody of Israeli soldiers that control
entry into and exit from the territories.

The bourgeois nationalist leadership of the PLO has openly betrayed
the Palestinian people’s struggle. Mahmud Abbas, current President of
the Palestinian Authority, is one more agent of imperialist and
Israeli policy. Given this betrayal by the historical Palestinian
leadership, Islamist leaderships, mainly Hamas, have grown stronger.
Hamas won the 2006 elections and remains in government in the Gaza
Strip after the unsuccessful attempt of the Al Fatah militias to
topple it. Although we revolutionaries defend these organizations
against the attacks of imperialism and the Zionist state, we oppose
their reactionary strategy of establishing an Islamic state.

The existence of the State of Israel, a colonialist and racist enclave
in the service of imperialist interests in the Middle East, is
incompatible with the national rights of the Palestinian people. We
revolutionaries demand for the ending of terrorist State of Israel,
and we defend the fundamental right of the Palestinian people to their
national self-determination and to having their own state, a secular
and non-racist state in the entire historical territory of Palestine.
But that legitimate national aspiration will only be realizable in the
framework of a workers’ and socialist Palestine, where Arabs and Jews
will be able to live together in peace. It is necessary to fight for
the revolutionary unity of the working class and the oppressed masses
of the region, to confront imperialism and the reactionary,
pro-imperialist Arab governments, with the perspective of workers’
revolution and the struggle for a Socialist Federation of the Middle
East.