Backed by the world’s imperialist powers and an insidious scare campaign, Israel is waging siege warfare on the people of Gaza. Al Jazeera reports that more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed already and more than 5,000 are injured, though these numbers are likely higher. Palestinian writer Mohammed El-Kurd reports that the death toll is in the thousands and includes 260 children, seven journalists, and four medics.
The Zionist state has made clear that their intention is to dehumanize and massacre the people of Gaza. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced, “We are fighting against human animals.” The military has amassed 300,000 troops near Gaza and has cut off all access to water, food, fuel, and electricity. They are bombing the small strip of land mercilessly, including the border with Egypt to prevent aid trucks from entering.
The bombings have essentially flattened the Al-Rimal neighborhood. This part of Gaza was characterized by its many recreational areas such as malls and restaurants, as well as residential buildings and offices for aid groups and international media. They have been turned to rubble.
The people of Gaza are familiar with Israeli terror. Since 2007, Israel has maintained control over the strip of land where 2.3 million people live. The Zionists’ strict control over Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters makes the land the biggest open air prison in the world.
In this context, Hamas and Palestinian resistance fighters launched an unprecedented military action in occupied territories around Gaza. Videos went viral on social media showing the resistance bulldozing the border that they have been confined by for years—for some, their entire lives. To Palestinians around the world, this image inspired the hope that one day they might be free of the military occupation and ethnic cleansing that they have lived under for 75 years.
The multi-pronged operation caught Israel and its imperialist allies off-guard. These powers have now begun to retaliate with unmatched and indiscriminate military aggression. Biden, a long-time backer of Zionist occupation, has authorized the U.S. military to send ships and aircrafts to aid Israel, including the largest warship in the world.
Israeli and American politicians and pro-imperialist news outlets have also been waging a propaganda war to rally support for the siege on Gaza. From Biden raising the specter of “ISIS” and terrorism, to viral and unverified claims of beheaded babies, all sorts of lines are being put forward to rally misinformed, knee-jerk approval of imperialist and Zionist violence against the people of Gaza.
Workers and the oppressed around the world are watching this and trying to understand how this fighting came about. It is essential that those looking for a way to oppose the violence and oppression understand that it is a product of the 75 years in which Zionists have forced Palestinians off their land, engaged in “ethnic cleansing” and apartheid, and waged war on the Palestinian people with the backing of imperialism. As long as this has gone on, Palestinians have waged a resistance. Gaza in particular has come to represent some of the worst brutality and inhumanity of the Zionist state of Israel.
Support for Palestine self-determination has grown overtime, and 2021 in particular marked a turning point where people around the world saw the Zionist project for what it is and flooded the streets in solidarity with Palestine. Now, Israel and its imperialist backers are trying to use recent events to bring public support back in their favor and use it to snuff out the resistance in Gaza.
Governments in the imperialist countries are waging a campaign to criminalize and smear any support for Palestine. In Germany, all the establishment parties across the political spectrum have lined up to support Israel. Berlin has banned all demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine, and cops are harassing and detaining youth for appearing to be of Arab origin. France has also banned demonstrations, and the U.K. home secretary is working to ban the Palestinian flag. In the United States, politicians and media have been putting forward the line that solidarity with Palestine is antisemitic. Even supposedly progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul in denouncing the Palestine solidarity rallies in NYC. Despite this effort to silence solidarity with Palestine, there have been massive protests around the world, including the United States, the imperialist European countries, Morocco, Argentina, Turkey, and Yemen, to name a few. In the face of attacks on our right to protest Israel’s violence, these rallies are important. It is essential that we continue holding demonstrations, and that more people join in solidarity.
At Palestinian solidarity rallies we chant, “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry. Palestine will never die!” Now more than ever, people of the world who fight oppression must rally behind this chant and demand an immediate end to the siege on Gaza and imperialist aid to Israel.