The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Slaughter in Gaza
—Produced in the U.S.

Feb 18, 2024

The agony of Gaza was frozen for all-time in a photo. The lifeless form of a young Palestinian girl named Sidra is impaled on fence barbs; the stumps of her legs turn helplessly in the wind, shredded to bits by shrapnel.

The photo horrified much of the world, even in Israel itself. In the U.S., the media focused attention on the Super Bowl.

Today, Israel’s bombing concentrates on Rafah, the southernmost part of Gaza. Almost a million and a half Palestinian refugees have been huddling there in tents and makeshift huts, driven into Rafah by Israel’s military campaign to clear Gaza. But from Rafah, there is no escape. Gaza’s borders are closed and fortified.

Netanyahu declared that Israel won’t stop until Hamas is rooted out. It intends, Netanyahu claims, to prevent another October 7. That was the day Hamas carried out a violent, murderous attack, killing hundreds of Israeli civilians, taking hundreds more hostage.

Today, Israel is murdering thousands. In less than four months of bombing, Israel killed almost 29,000 people in Gaza, seriously wounded another 100,000. It leveled housing, public buildings and infrastructure throughout Gaza. It turned Gaza into a charnel house.

This is state-organized terrorism, violence perpetrated by one of the most heavily armed regimes in the world, directed against a civilian population. Israel is making the Palestinian population pay for what Hamas did.

Tragedy compounds tragedy. The suffering of the Palestinians does not pay for the suffering of the Israelis. It simply lays the groundwork for more suffering in the future by both peoples.

The Israeli people and the Palestinians are caught in a deadly dance which is not of their own making. It is the product of what the big capitalist powers have done to the Middle East, starting even before World War I.

Using the war, the European powers carved up the Middle East, drawing national boundaries where no nation states existed, installing dictatorial regimes—kings, princes, sheiks and other gangsters. And the French and British militaries were stationed there to back them up.

After World War II, the U.S. joined the imperialist hyenas feeding on the Middle East. It set up its own dictators. It established Israel as its own proxy in the Middle East, arming it to the teeth, using it as a cop to keep control over the region. When protests broke out, when strikes spread, when the peoples of the region pushed themselves forward, the U.S. military was on the spot, directing the repression.

Netanyahu heads a government whose very existence is dependent on decisions taken in Washington. Almost all Israel’s military hardware and ammunition is provided directly or indirectly by the United States. If the U.S. were to shut off its tap, the flow of weapons would come to a halt. Without ammunition, the Israeli offensive would collapse within days.

Over half of direct support for Israel’s economy comes from the U.S. If that were to be withdrawn, Israel’s government revenues would slow to a trickle, its banks would collapse, production would shut. Even agriculture would dry up. The economy would go into a death spiral.

If the U.S. doesn’t stop Israel’s campaign in Gaza, it’s because the U.S. government, defending the interests of U.S. capitalism, approves.

Capitalism created the deadly situation that pervades the Middle East today. It created similar situations in other areas. It creates impoverishment, racism and violence in this country. This country, the richest in the world, is also one of the most violent—one of the contradictions of capitalism. Capitalism spawns impoverishment and wars. It sets people against people.

If you want an end to the evils created by capitalism, you must carry out your fight, knowing that capitalism itself must be eliminated.