The conflict between Israel and occupied Palestine has escalated this week after days of struggle in the streets of East Jerusalem, kicked off by the attempted eviction of several Palestinian families to give their homes to Israeli settlers. These protests have been met with violence and severe repression by the Israeli state and, on Monday, more than 300 pro-Palestine protesters were injured in East Jeursalem ahead of a self-described “Zionist March.” Israeli police also stormed the sacred al-Aqsa mosque. The violence on Monday was done in defense of an ultra-right group of Israeli nationalists who chanted “death to Palestinians,” and celebrated as fires broke out near the al-Aqsa mosque.
Yesterday night, Israel attacked the Gaza Strip with several bombings, leaving at least 26 dead, including 9 children.
These latest military attacks take place in the wake of months of Israel withholding vaccines from Palestinians. This dangerous and racially motivated policy has meant that the already impoverished and malnourished people of occupied Palestine have been ravaged by the coronavirus, even as their Israeli oppressors are able to make big advances in combating the virus.
This latest aggression proves that the policy of two states coexisting peacefully is little more than a liberal fantasia. The reality is that Israel is built upon a policy of occupation, displacement, and dispossession of the Palestinian people. This policy has been endorsed by the United States and executed by the Israeli army which is one of the most heavily armed forces in the world. Much of the bourgeois media would like to portray the conflict as either the result of Palestinan violence or as one where both parties are equally responsible. Both of these narratives of the conflict are false and provide a cover for Israeli imperialism and the way that the United States and the rest of the West has financially and militarily backed Israel time and time again.
Indeed, for all of his performance of being different from Trump, and despite his aid to Palestine, Biden has continued Trump’s policy on Israel — which is itself a continuation of American policy for decades. He kept the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, which legitimizes Israel’s false claims to sovereignty over the city, and the Democratic Congress largely continues to oppose halting military aid to Israel. In this sense, we should be clear: the blood of these dead Palestinians is on Netanyahu, Biden, and the Democratic Party’s hands. The violence that we are currently seeing is the direct consequence of the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Israel, an alliance that both Democrats and Republicans have championed.
As a group of dedicated anti-imperialists based in the United States, we at Left Voice believe that U.S. socialists and activists must organize against these acts of violence specifically, and against the greater project of Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestine. The events in occupied Palestine are all part of the political project of imperialism that both the Democrats and the Republicans have been slavishly committed to defending. We cannot fight for progressive demands at home while turning a blind-eye to imperialism abroad. This is one of the reasons why socialists in the United States cannot support Democratic Party politicians, no matter how many concessions they have promised. We must refuse to trade the lives of workers in imperialized countries for slightly better conditions for workers in the United States. Members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, represented by Bernie Sanders, have been content to make tepid statements when Israel commits obvious human rights violations, but endorse U.S. aid to Israel’s repressive forces and support the strategic alliance with the Zionist state.
We denounce these latest attacks on Palestine and stand in total solidarity with the Palestinians, who must bear both the terrible conditions created by Israeli imperialism and the failures of their own leadership. We must demand that Israel stop repressing Palestinians in Jerusalem, the evictions, and the bombing of the Gaza Strip immediately and that the United States stops supporting this repression.
Workers around the world, but especially in countries that back Israel, must stand up and use their strategic power as the people who power society to fight back these attacks. We must demand not only the immediate ceasing of attacks on the Palestinian people but also the end of all foreign aid to the oppressive regime of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli bourgeoise.