Palestine bleeds and the world watches

Palestinians hold Palestinian flags as they take part in a “Land Day” rally in Sakhnin in northern Israel on March 30, 2023. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

On May 9, 2023, the Israeli Defense Force conducted a two-hour aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip in response to attacks by Hamas after a political prisoner, Khader Adnan, passed away from a hunger strike. Although there had been a fragile, week-long ceasefire from the exchanges of fusillades, this accord did not stop a brutal, disproportionate and unnecessary attack by the Israeli state, called “Operation Arrow and Shield.” The three targets of the attack were killed in the strike, along with no fewer than ten civilians and 20 more injured as a result of the protracted bombardment. It is worth mentioning here that, according to Palestinian media, the three targets were en route to Cairo to establish further peace talks with Israel after the shootings last week and the widespread protests across Gaza. 

It is not yet clear how many Palestinian homes were destroyed as a result of the bombardment, but many videos have surfaced of Palestinians standing in the ruins of their homes, mourning collectively, outraged, distraught and rightfully so. Consequently, the two access points into the Gaza Strip have been closed off by the IDF, at a time when the World Food Program estimates that 63% of Palestinians suffer from food insecurity. Although Hamas has promised a “unified Palestinian response,” the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, has retorted, “Any terrorist that harms Israeli citizens shall be made to regret it.” At the same time, what regret shall be elicited from the IDF for its barbaric slaying of a dozen civilians, and the wounding, traumatization and displacement of dozens more? 

Any student of history, any passive observer of the news shall know that this massacre is only an episode in the series of atrocities carried out against the Palestinian people, for the fundamentalist terror of a relative few, a terror supplied and legitimized by the active genocide against the Palestinian people. In August of 2022, the surprise operation “Breaking Dawn” killed 49 Palestinians, including 19 children. One systemic aspect of the brutalization of the Palestinian people is the process of house demolition, either done to punish communities suspected of harboring and supplying Jihadist organizations or in a much more banal horror, to clear land for the construction of Israeli settlements. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions estimates that, as of 2022, 52,000 Palestinian houses have been razed, a part of 130,000 structures destroyed overall since 1948. The destruction of housing, as a form of collective punishment, is recognized under international law as a war crime, and yet no sanctions have been leveled against Israel as has been done against countries like Venezuela and Cuba for dreaded “authoritarianism.” The destruction of homes, the massacre and starvation of civilians — these are war crimes. This is genocide. To the bourgeoisie, progressive platforms that feed the poor and flout the demands of the IMF are crimes to be punished, but barbarism against civilians is a business venture worth hundreds of millions and billions of dollars in arms deals.

The IDF claims that organizations such as Hamas purposefully put their bases in schools and hospitals as a means of protection via human shields. Despite a lack of evidence to support this claim, there is absolutely no justification for the lack of preference for surgical strikes against terrorist threats as compared to hours-long bombardments with missiles and aircraft, such as the month-long Gaza War in 2014 that killed 2,000 Palestinians (including ten children in a UN school) and 75 Israelis. The IDF certainly has the capacity for such tactics, as for around a year now, near-nightly raids have been conducted into Palestine against such targets it deems are threats to Israel’s security. Human Rights groups have estimated that about half of the 105 Palestinian casualties of 2023 have been civilians. Supposing that surgical strikes are preferable to the colonizing state of Israel, there is no excuse for the preference of warmongering and collateral damage over the sustenance of peace talks.

Indeed, how has the international community responded to the May 9th “operation”? The neighboring and mediating nations of Jordan and Egypt have condemned Israel’s killing of civilians. Tor Wennesland, the UN Envoy for peace talks in Southwest Asia, issued a statement in which he declared to be “deeply alarmed” and called for “restraint on all sides.” The Russian consulate in Ramallah declared that one of its citizens, Dr. Jamal Hasouan, was killed along with his wife and son in this attack. At a time when the threat of war looms between imperialist powers over Russia’s plunderous campaign into Ukraine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict further exacerbates tensions between the NATO imperialist bloc that supports Israel and the Sino-Russian imperialist bloc that orients itself towards Palestine. Major news outlets such as CNN and The Guardian have devoted special attention to the casualties of “Jihadist” organizers and “battle songs” sung at the funerals of children over the genuine crisis fomented by the blockade and bombardment by the Israeli state.

More than the stammering of feckless diplomats, more than threats and excuses from fundamentalists and colonizers, the people of Palestine need and demand international involvement in this crisis. The working peoples of the world must likewise demand the end of disproportionate attacks, the establishment of joint peace talks between Israel and Palestine, the recognition of Palestine as a legal state, and maneuvers towards a one-state solution for a democratic, progressive, independent and whole Palestine, in which the rights of all nationalities and religions are respected. If not for an end to the barbaric suffering of the Palestinian people, then for an end to the refugee crisis created thence, against the build up of inter-imperialist tensions and the strengthening of the capitalist state in America, with over 735 million dollars of armaments sold to Israel in 2021, and 3.8 billion dollars in 2022, for the purpose of “security assistance” to Israel under the Biden Administration. No more excuses of “it’s a complicated issue” or “good and bad on both sides,” no more demonization of the Palestinian people, will be tolerated. Marxist-Leninists the world over, with progressive and democratic forces, assert the just demand for peace and solidarity to the long-suffering people of Palestine.

Categories: International, Israel, Palestine, Zionism

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