Mon May 27, 2024
May 27, 2024

Palestine: Six Months of Genocide and Resistance

The genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, which has been executed by the State of Israel, has now been happening for six months. The genocide has been carried out in large part by the devastating bombardments that destroyed 70% of all buildings in Gaza, including streets, homes, schools and hospitals, drinking water networks, electricity, and sanitation.

On top of the military occupation and execution of thousands of Palestinians, another tool of genocide has been the blocking entry of humanitarian aid, including food and medicine, which has thus subject the 2.3 million inhabitants of Gaza to death from hunger and diseases, while children have been the most affected. In Gaza alone, 33,000 Palestinians have been murdered by Israeli forces, the majority of whom were women and children, in addition there are thousands of people who have gone missing under the rubble of buildings. (1)

Israeli aggression is also taking place in the West Bank, where the violent joint action of the Israeli military forces and Zionist settlers have led to the murder of around 400 Palestinians, and the kidnapping of more than 8,000 Palestinian men, women, adults and children.

In occupied Palestine (called the State of Israel by the UN), Zionist police forces have imposed violent repression on Palestinian neighborhoods and cities, with raids on homes, arrests of Palestinians, and the banning of any type of demonstration against the genocide in Gaza, whether on the streets or on the internet.

In the city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Israeli military forces have prevented free access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, before and during the holy month of Ramadan, which ended on April 10.

In neighboring countries, Israeli military forces have regularly attacked Lebanese and Syrian cities, without a proportionate reaction from local governments or Hezbollah.

Netanyahu and Zionism Are Responsible

On March 14, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, one of the most prominent Zionist politicians of Jewish origin, called for the removal of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and new elections. He claimed that “Netanyahu is an obstacle to peace”.

This statement contains a truth and a lie. It is true that the genocide in Gaza debunked the positive image of Israel almost everywhere in the world (important countries such as Russia and India are still exceptions), including in the United States and Western Europe. Without the support of the hearts and minds of millions around the world, the Zionist state is heading towards its demise. (2)

On the other hand, it is illusory to dissociate Netanyahu’s genocidal action from the genocidal nature of the Zionist State. The State of Israel without Netanyahu would continue to be a State that applies policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid against the Palestinian people. (3)

There have been important Zionist mobilizations against Netanyahu within occupied Palestine by important opposition sectors, including Israeli capitalists concerned about the impact of the genocide on their businesses, the middle class of European origin in Tel Aviv, families of Israeli prisoners in Gaza, sectors of the military establishment and from the security agencies Mossad and Shin Bet, and even from left-wing Zionists. (4)

At the same time, the vast majority of the Israeli Jewish population supports the State’s genocidal policies. The devastating bombings on Gaza were supported by 94% of the Israeli population of Jewish origin. The blockade of humanitarian aid is supported by 72% of Israeli Jews. (5)

Benny Gantz himself, the most popular Zionist politician among Israelis and also the Biden administration’s option to replace Netanyahu, advocates stopping all humanitarian aid until Hamas hands over all the Israeli prisoners. Therefore, Netanyahu seeks his political survival by presenting himself as the only Israeli politician capable of opposing pressure from the United States and European countries, and preventing the immediate ceasefire and the creation of a Palestinian mini-state in Gaza and the West Bank.

Genocidal Joe

The best definition for American President Joe Biden’s policies was given by the protesters who interrupted his electoral activities shouting “Genocide Joe!”

Since the start of the genocide, Biden has sent 100 shipments of weapons to Israel (one every two days) and asked Congress for an additional 14 billion dollars in military aid to Israel, in addition to the 3.8 billion sent in weapons every year. The most recent load includes 25 F-35A jets (the most advanced produced in the world), 1800 MK 84 bombs weighing 925 kilograms, and 500 MK 82 bombs weighing 227 kilograms.

Additionally, Biden suspended funding to the UN Palestinian refugee relief agency (UNRWA), which is the main source of humanitarian aid to Palestinians, and enlisted the support of his allies Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Estonia, Japan, Austria and Romania to do the same.

At the Security Council, Biden vetoed 4 ceasefire resolutions and recently abstained from a resolution for a ceasefire that the United States considers to be non-binding.

Faced with the loss of public opinion inside and outside the United States, Biden is working to save the image of Israel and his electoral campaign altogether. Biden is not opposed to the Israeli military aggression but understands that it must be carried out in such a way as to confuse public opinion and reduce international mobilization against the genocide, particularly in the United States, Europe, and Arab countries. To this end, Biden is pressuring Netanyahu to focus on military actions that kill a smaller number of Palestinians, and that allow the entry of enough humanitarian aid to prevent the mass death of Palestinians from starvation. Furthermore, Biden wants the Israeli government to declare itself in favor of peace with the Palestinians and the two-state solution by opening negotiations with the collaborationist Palestinian National Authority.

Faced with Netanyahu’s opposition to any of these measures, Biden’s speeches and actions are merely symbolic. Among them are a call for the return of funding to UNRWA by some of its allies such as Australia, Canada and Japan, the abstention in the U.N. security council on March 25, and the announcement of the construction of an improvised port in Gaza that constitutes an illusory solution that actually serves to protect the interests of American energy companies. (6)

The impact of his support for the genocide in Gaza could be decisive for his performance in national elections. His opponent, Donald Trump, has presented himself as the one who would put an end to the war and Hamas altogether. Recently, Trump called for Israel to stop its war in Gaza before it loses its international reputation.

Imperialist Countries Seek to Disguise their Support for Israel

The unpopularity of the genocide has impacted the position of the main European countries. The United Kingdom, France, and Germany maintain unconditional support for Israel but have sought to distance themselves from the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

The most emblematic case is Germany. In a sharp change, 69% of German public opinion does not consider Israel’s military action in Gaza to be justified. Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock stated that the situation in Gaza is hell and that international humanitarian law must be followed. Despite this, the German government continues to export weapons (it is the second largest exporter after the United States), cut funding to UNRWA, and persecute Arab refugees. (7)

Putin also supports Israel and has maintained an agreement with Netanyahu that allows Israel to bombard Syrian territory every week without any hindrance from the two Russian bases in Syria and their anti-aircraft batteries. But Putin has taken advantage of the hypocrisy of Biden’s position to wear him down, and hide the genocide he himself is conducting in Ukraine by deliberately seeking the end of the Ukrainian people and their culture.

China has defended the ceasefire but maintained all its agreements with the State of Israel and has opposed the action of the Yemeni Houthis who have blocked the Bab al-Mandeb Strait at the entrance to the Red Sea in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Francesca Albanese and the International Court of Justice

On March 26, the combative U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories that were occupied in 1967, Francesca Albanese, presented her report called “Anatomy of a Genocide” in which she stated that the acts of the State of Israel in Gaza can be characterized as genocide. She based her argument on Israel’s carrying out of three acts which have been vetoed by the Convention for the Prevention and Suppression of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the UN in 1948: the murder of members of a group; serious bodily or mental harm to group members; deliberately inflicting devastating living conditions on the group to cause its physical destruction, in whole or in part.

Albanese also cited the blocking of humanitarian aid and the public speeches by Israeli authorities that dehumanize Palestinians, which is fundamental to the characterization of genocide. She further stated that the ongoing genocide is part of the process of ethnic cleansing and apartheid carried out by the State of Israel against Palestinians for seven decades.

Following the guidelines of international law, Albanese called, in her report, for an arms embargo on Israel together with the application of sanctions by U.N. member countries. (8)

Two days later, despite this scathing report addressed to the U.N. human rights commission, the International Court of Justice limited itself to demanding the State of Israel allow for the unrestricted entry of humanitarian aid, with the opening of more entry points into the Gaza strip. They also demanded that Israeli forces refrain from genocidal acts… They said nothing about the ceasefire or the immediate departure of Israeli troops from Gaza, much less about an arms embargo against Israel, measures that are necessary to make humanitarian aid viable.

The Complicity of Arab Regimes and Popular Resistance

The rule among Arab regimes has been: “Smash your people, but talk about Palestine.” Before the genocide in Gaza, only three Arab League countries were not in the process of normalizing relations with Israel: Kuwait, Tunisia and Algeria.

Since Hamas’ counteroffensive on October 7, normalization processes have been paralyzed, but Arab regimes have limited themselves to calling for a ceasefire and a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue. At the same time, they have sough to take advantage of the crisis. The Egyptian regime has charged between 5,000-10,000 dollars for a Palestinian to leave Gaza. Saudi Arabia has sought a security agreement with the United States and nuclear technology.

The Syrian and Lebanese regimes Turn a Blind Eye to Israeli Attacks on their Countries

During the last week of March, Israeli forces shelled Sayyidah Zaynab, south of Damascus, and Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, where more than 40 people were killed. On April 1, Iran’s embassy in Damascus was bombed and among those killed were Islamic Revolutionary Guard generals Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi. The Syrian regime limited itself to diplomatic protests, while the Russian military forces, which have two military bases in the country, did nothing. The Iranian regime promised to avenge the deaths in a joint message with regional militias linked to Iran.

In Lebanon, Israeli attacks have happened daily and have already hit several cities in the country, from Sour (Tyre), Naqoura and Nabatiye in the south, to Beirut (where they assassinated an important Hamas leader in early January) and Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley. Hezbollah has responded with limited attacks in the border region. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah reaffirmed his moral support for the Palestinians, but warned that he will only attack Israel if Israel attacks Lebanon…

The Palestinian Authority is no different. Despite the genocide in Gaza and the violent occupation of the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas has maintained the security cooperation with the Zionist State and appointed a new prime minister trusted by U.S. imperialism to try to bring the Gaza strip under his control.

The only Arab force that effectively supports the Palestinians are the Yemeni Houthis, who are the de facto power in the most populated areas of Yemen and who have blocked the passage of vessels through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, one of the world’s main trade routes.

By contrast, the Arab masses have been expressing their solidarity with Palestine. The vanguard at this moment are the Jordanian people who hold daily demonstrations around the Israeli embassy in Amman and who openly criticize the monarchical regime. (9)

Palestinians in the Resistance

Palestinian resistance remains active in the Gaza strip. Hamas fighters and allied organizations regularly carry out operations against Zionist forces despite the latter having vast military superiority, guaranteed by weapons sent by Western imperialist countries, particularly the United States. Another face of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza is its population, which is facing all types of military violence, lack of food, medicine and housing, and yet continues to support the actions of the Palestinian resistance.

In the West Bank, the Palestinian people continue to demonstrate despite violent Israeli repression, both by the army and Zionist settlers. In the part of Palestine that has been occupied since 1948, there were small mobilizations that were harshly repressed. In Al-Quds (Jerusalem) there is an explosive situation around the Al-Aqsa mosque whose free access has been hampered by the Israeli military forces. Diaspora Palestinians (who live as refugees outside occupied Palestine) have participated intensely in solidarity mobilizations around the world.

In the midst of this extremely difficult situation, the Palestinian population is becoming politicized and drawing conclusions. This is what opinion polls among Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank show. On the one hand, 83% of Palestinians are satisfied with the Yemeni Houthis and 56% with Qatar. On the other hand, the level of satisfaction with Hezbollah (48%), Iran (30%), Jordan (22%) and Egypt (12%) are in the minority. (10)

The same survey also shows that support for the October 7 counter-offensive (71%) and for Hamas (52%) remains high, while the majority of Palestinians want Mahmoud Abbas to resign (84%) and the dissolution of the Palestinian National Authority (58%).

Support for the two-state solution has also grown (45% overall, 62% in Gaza and 34% in the West Bank) but 52% of Palestinians continue to oppose the two-state solution. 24% support the formation of a democratic state of Israelis and Palestinians with equal rights. 33% understand that the priority is the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were expelled since the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. The most popular means of achieving any of these objectives continues to be armed resistance (46%) in contrast to negotiations with Israel (25%) or peaceful resistance (18%).

The Victorious Battle for Hearts and Minds

The strong mobilizations for Palestine throughout the world, particularly in the United States, Europe, Arab and Muslim-majority countries, have been the main support point for Palestinians in their struggle for emancipation.

Along with the Palestinian resistance, international solidarity has won the hearts and minds of the majority of people and increased Israel’s isolation. This pressure has led several countries to demand a ceasefire and the unrestricted entry of humanitarian aid.

The Beginning of the End of the State of Israel?

Several elements point to a historic crisis in the State of Israel.

The Israeli genocide in Gaza has become, alongside Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an engine and symbol of the crisis in the world order, as it highlights the weakening of hegemonic imperialism, the United States, and increasing inter-imperialist disputes.

The unconditional support for the State of Israel by European imperialism has been strongly questioned by growing popular pressure for partial measures against Israel such as the boycott of products from Israeli settlements, the suspension of arms exports, and the recognition of the Palestinian State.

The loss of majority support from the masses around the world for the actions of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, coupled with the loss of demographic hegemony within the historic territory of Palestine, is a first step towards the beginning of the end of the State of Israel. (11)

But the battle has not been won. Hegemonic imperialism and more conscious Zionist sectors are working to remove Netanyahu and save the image of the State of Israel, without any change in content in its racist nature. Furthermore, the unrestricted supply of weapons by imperialist countries guarantees vast military superiority to the Zionists, and imperialist diplomatic support works towards normalization with Arab regimes.

Finally, Netanyahu is not dead. Isolated in the world and unpopular in Israel, Netanyahu relies on the Jewish Israeli masses to continue the genocide in Gaza and the daily massacres in the West Bank. Furthermore, Netanyahu has invested in the regionalization of the war by promoting attacks on Lebanon and Syria, with direct provocations against the Iranian regime.

Therefore, it is not possible to predict the final result. On the contrary, the future remains uncertain. The Palestinian struggle faces three enemies: the State of Israel and its imperialist sponsors; the Arab regimes; and the Palestinian bourgeoisie expressed in collaborators of the Palestinian National Authority. They are all weaker and discredited, but remain active.

To move towards the military defeat of Israel and the end of the Zionist State, the outbreak of the third Palestinian Intifada throughout Palestine (Gaza, West Bank, Al-Quds/Jerusalem and Palestinian territories occupied in 1948) is necessary, along with a new wave of revolutions in the Arab world and the maintenance and expansion of solidarity mobilizations around the world. The Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the West Bank, the strong mobilizations in Jordan, the blockade of the Red Sea by the Yemeni Houthis, the massive mobilizations in Europe and the United States, and the emergence of an active anti-Zionist Youth are steps in this direction.

On the other hand, a Palestinian revolutionary party that recovers the strategy abandoned by the Palestinian left of a workers’ and popular revolution throughout the region against Israel and the Arab regimes, expressed in the slogan “The road to Al Quds/Jerusalem starts in Amman, Beirut, Cairo and Damascus” is still missing. This party will have to be built in the heat of Palestinian resistance.

In this way, the Palestinian resistance, with the support of the Arab revolutions, international solidarity, and anti-Zionist Jews, will be able to achieve a free, secular and democratic Palestine, from the river to the sea, and a Federation of Arab Socialist Republics.

NOTES:

  1. https://litci.org/pt/2024/03/11/palestina-a-arma-da-fome-no-genocidio-em-gaza/
https://time.com/6559293/morning-consult-israel-global-opinion/
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20240131-72-of-israelis-say-aid-deliveries-to-gaza-must-be-stopped-survey-finds/
  1. https://pcpsr.org/en/node/969
  1. https://www.timesofisrael.com/jews-now-a-minority-in-israel-and-the-territories-demographer-says/

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