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

To End the U.S. War on Gaza...

May 12, 2024

Biden announced a “temporary pause” in a small shipment of bombs that Israel has been using in Gaza. But this is not an end to U.S. complicity in the tragedy of Gaza, nor in the wider tragedy of which Gaza is emblematic.

Israel’s war on Gaza, funded by the U.S., is a war on Gaza’s people. Of the 35,000 corpses found in Gaza, 70% were either women or children or very old men. Over 80% of civilian housing is unlivable. All but one of Gaza’s hospitals have been obliterated. Most of Gaza’s water, electrical and communication systems barely function. Gaza’s people have been turned into refugees—driven from north to south, now back to north.

The tragedies we see today, including the one of October 7 when Hamas attacked Israeli civilians, were produced by policies of the two big capitalist powers that control the region, the U.S. and Britain.

In order to defend their interests in this oil-rich region, which is at the center of world trade, both countries long depended on their own armies. They carved up the Middle East into countries that divided peoples from each other. They put in place Arab dictators who answered to them. And at the end of World War II, both also sought to use Zionism, the nationalist movement that worked to carve a Jewish state out of Palestine.

Theodor Herzl, one of the early founders of Zionism, called the part of Palestine that would become Israel, “a land without people for a people without land.”

But Palestine was not a land without people. Some millions of people were living there. In order to turn the region into a Jewish-only state, Zionist militias drove Palestinians out of what became Israel, just as people in Gaza today are being violently driven away by the Israeli army.

The migration of Jews from Europe to Palestine at the end of World War II started as a way to escape the fascist savagery that capitalism let loose throughout Europe. Israel was established at a time when the big powers of the world had all closed their borders to Jewish migrants.

It was not inevitable that the migration of the Jewish people would end up in today’s tragedies. The Jewish people who came to Palestine at the end of World War II might have coexisted in a multi-ethnic state with the Arab peoples already there. In fact, it was the goal of many Jews who came to Palestine.

But the organized Zionist movement, funded by wealthy Britons and Americans, attacked the Palestinian people living there. Vigilante terrorism, carried out by the Zionist militias, tried to turn Palestine into this “land without a people.”

Zionist policies allowed the Jewish migrants to exist inside their own nation, but only by pitting them against other peoples of the region, requiring the Jewish people themselves to live in an unending state of war.

The Zionist project guaranteed that Israel, in order to maintain itself in a world it had forced to become hostile to it, would look to the biggest capitalist powers of the world to arm it and back it up. In exchange, it became the instrument of those big powers, their watchdog in the region.

Zionism has created tragedy on top of tragedy for the Palestinian people, but also for the Jewish people. And Zionism has led the Jewish people into a dead end. But Zionism is not the root cause of all these tragedies. Capitalism is.

We won’t see an end to such wars so long as society is organized by the capitalist class.

In other words, the end to wars, like the end to all the barbaric practices produced by capitalism, depends on the working class. It is the only force that has the capacity to get rid of capitalism. When the working class regains a true sense of its own power, and of its own capacities, it will build a collective society in its own image, based on mutual self-respect among all the world’s peoples.