The following is a rough translation of a statement by the International Workers’ Unity-Fourth International (UIT-CI).
The Zionists Israeli armed forces launched a new military aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As with every attack, Israel asserts that it aims to “defend” and “eliminate terrorists.” President Obama used the same arguments to justify the attack Israel’s genocidal aggression.
Many civilians were killed— including a child under two years old, the son of a BBC photographer— due to the Zionist bombing. A 13-year-old, Hameed Abu Daqqa, was was shot dead from a helicopter while playing soccer with his friends.
According to the pro- imperialist press, the new offensive began because rockets fired from the Gaza Strip killed three Israelis 25 miles north of Gaza in the town of Kiryat Malachi. Casualty figures show the absolute disproportion; in just a few days, there are more than 50 dead and over 400 wounded in the Gaza Strip by Israeli bombings.
What the pro-imperialist press is hiding is there has been permanent Israeli airstrikes in “small scale” for some months. Actually, to debate “who started it” is absurd in a war of 65 years, which began precisely with the Zionist occupation of Palestinian land and the expulsion of the Palestinian people.
Israel has called up 75,000 reservists and is preparing a new invasion of the Gaza Strip as in 2008. The Israeli air force claims that Israeli warplanes have destroyed hundreds of targets including the offices of Prime minister. Gaza is a small territory, 40 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide, where 1.5 million Palestinians are piled in a sort of giant concentration camp which is surrounded by Israel militarily. The Gaza Strip is one of the so-called “occupied territories”; the other being the West Bank, with 2.7 million Palestinians, torn by hundreds of Zionist colonies, divested 80% of its water sources, and crossed by a wall and walled roads militarily controlled by Israel.
The Gaza Strip is governed by Hamas, a Palestinian party that won the election but is considered a “terrorist” group by Israel and the U.S with through its media. Since five years ago, the Gaza Strip has been suffering from an Israeli economic blockade that punishes its civilians, depriving them of many goods and services, from medicines to industrial parts and raw materials. The aim of this punishment, presented by Israel as a way to prevent the entry of weapons, is actually part of Zionist politics for 65 years to make life impossible for the Palestinians to finish expelling what little remains of their territories national occupied since 1948 by the Israeli state, with European Jewish immigrants.
Which confirms the historical necessity of, first, putting an end to the racist state of Israel and second, achieve a single secular, democratic and non-racist Palestinian state.
The reasons behind the new genocidal attack
This new offensive, absurdly called “Defensive Pillar”, occurs when a few days ago, a new truce— brokered by Egypt— between Israel and the Hamas government in Gaza had been agreed. A few hours after truce agreement, the Zionist army killed Ahmad al-Jaffari, the head of Al Qassam Brigade (the military wing of Hamas) launching a missile at his car. Interestingly Al-Jaffari had been one of the negotiators of the truce with Israel, a fact that was even mentioned by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Prior to all this, eight Israeli soldiers invaded the Gaza Strip. Then there was an exchange of fire with Palestinians that killed a 12 years old Gazan boy. The Palestinians responded by throwing rockets into Israel. But the 12th was agreed that Israel violated the truce by killing Al Jaffari.
The breaking of the ceasefire is similar to what happened in 2008 when Israel sent troops to invade Gaza against Palestinian militants, prompting a response from Hamas with rockets fired against southern Israeli towns. This in turn was used by Israel to justify a major offensive called “Operation Cast Lead”, which lasted three weeks and left over 1,400 Palestinians dead, including at least 300 children.
This means that, as had happened countless times in the past 65 years, the military crisis was manufactured by Israel which is having elections on January 2013. The ruling Zionist right, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is seeking a military conflict to try to silence the great popular discontent in Israel by the capitalist crisis in the country and the impoverishment of the popular sectors, calling for unity against “Islamic terrorists “and win the elections. The other objective is to maintain and even strengthen the United States’ huge military officially aid to Israel which is said to be 3,000 million dollars a year but in reality it is much higher through concealed or disguised shipments of material aid supposedly for civilian use.
The military defeat and subsequent retreat from Iraq by the U.S as well as the Arab revolution with the fall of the dictator Mubarak primarily in Egypt (which was the main ally of the United States and Israel); the popular uprising in Syria against the Assad dictatorship that guaranteed order in the other border of Israel abruptly changed the political context of the region’s military to the detriment of the U.S. and the Zionist state. Israel now needs to strengthen its historical role of being the military guardian of imperialist interests in the oil-rich region of the world. The Zionist sector in power actually wanted to attack Iran with American support. But it was Obama who did not want to involve the U.S. in a new war of that augur an uncertain future after its defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama knows that an attack on Iran would end up burning the entire region with along with an advancement of the revolutionary process. The attack on the Gaza Strip is less risky for Israel militarily, however, it is yet to be seen what kind of reaction it will trigger its population. One indication of the new situation in the region (unlike the Israeli attack and invasion of Gaza in 2008) is the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador to Israel and the visit of the Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil to a hospital in Gaza, as “sample solidarity, “he announced. This timid gesture of the Egyptian government is motivated by his need to show to its own population a minimal gesture of solidarity with the Palestinians given the ardent sympathy of the masses with the Palestinian people and hatred of Israel.
International Solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza
The Israeli attack requires an urgent response of solidarity with the beleaguered Palestinian people of Gaza. Worldwide protests are necessary and united action to extend the struggle for the boycott of Israel, demanding governments to break off any diplomatic, military, economic, sports, academic, cultural ties, etc. In the past, both South African and Scandinavians dock workers have repeatedly chosen not to load ships to Israel; In 2008 in Great Britain some universities decided to not have academic exchanges with with the Zionist universities. We call on governments, who are part of the MERCOSUR trade pact, particularly those of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, to immediately denounce the Free Trade Agreement between Mercosur and Israel. But of course, it is the Arab peoples who must express their internationalist solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza as well as with the popular rebellion in Syria. What is at stake in both cases is the future of the Arab revolution. In fact, the defeat of Israel or the fall of Al Assad in Syria would be a powerful boost to the Arab revolution. In countries where they have managed to bring down the old dictatorships like Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, this solidarity already begun to express in the streets and even in the form of Libyan fighters to volunteer in Syria. The Egyptian people must impose the opening of the border of Egypt and Gaza (the only one not controlled by Israel) to allow the flow of any kind of help, food, medicines, health volunteers and also weapons and volunteers to support the Palestinian resistance against Israel.
Stop attacks on the Gaza Strip!
For the total and unconditional lifting of the blockade on Gaza!
Down with the Assad dictatorship in Syria!
Zionists and imperialists in the Middle East go home!
International Workers Unity-Fourth International (UIT-CI)
November 19, 2012.