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
May 24, 2021
The following is the editorial from SPARK’s workplace newsletters for the week of May 17, 2021.
As of May 16, Israel has unleashed over 1,000 bombing and artillery strikes into Gaza, home to 2 million Palestinians, leaving over 181 dead, including 52 children. The current fighting started after 300 Palestinians were attacked and injured by Israeli police outside a mosque in Jerusalem. Hamas, the governing body in Gaza, responded by firing rockets into Israel, killing some Israelis. There has also been fighting in the streets of some Israeli cities as Palestinians have been attacked by right-wing Jewish settlers and the Israeli police.
The current fighting is a continuation of the war against the Palestinian population that has been going on for 73 years. In 1948, the state of Israel established itself by going to war against the Palestinian people. Thousands of Palestinians were killed and over 700,000 Palestinians were thrown off the land they had lived on for years. The land was then given over to Jewish settlers, many of them refugees and survivors of the Holocaust during World War II. The displacement of the Palestinians went on with the approval of the major imperialist powers—the U.S., Britain and France.
In 1967, using weapons supplied by the U.S., Israel went to war against the surrounding Arab states. As a result of that war, Israel expanded its borders and took more land, displacing hundreds of thousands more Palestinians.
Today the Palestinian people are forced to live in terribly desperate situations. Many live in Gaza, which is little more than a concentration camp, where electricity is on for only 3 to 6 hours a day, 97% of the population has no clean running water and almost 50% are unemployed. Other Palestinians live in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, where they are continually having their homes and their land stolen away and handed over to Jewish settlers. Many hundreds of thousands more Palestinians live as refugees in the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Some Palestinians live inside Israel itself and are treated as second class citizens, under what the Human Rights Watch organization calls Israeli “apartheid.”
The Palestinian population has, time after time, fought against their oppression, with many protests, and major uprisings in 1987, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2014. Each of these uprisings has ended with many Palestinians killed, at a rate 20 or 50 or 100 times higher than that of Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Today the U.S. government is defending the actions of the Israeli government, while also calling for “peace” in the region. But there is not “peace” and cannot be “peace” in the Middle East because of the actions of the U.S. government itself. The Israeli regime could not have survived and maintained its oppression of the Palestinians without the sophisticated weapons and the massive military aid that the U.S. gives to Israel, about 250 billion dollars since 1948, much more than any other nation gets.
The U.S. government supplies money and weaponry because it uses Israel as its “policeman” in the Middle East, a cop to defend the interests of U.S. corporations, especially the big oil companies.
To maintain their economic control, the U.S. government, helped by Israel, also uses policies to divide the populations of the Middle East along ethnic and religious lines. The results for the people of the Middle East have been constant war, millions of refugees and extreme poverty.
The population of Israel also is victimized by the role played by the Israeli government. The working class in Israel is weakened and kept divided along religious lines, between Jewish workers and Palestinian workers. The Israeli population is constantly told to prepare for war, told that they are surrounded by enemies on all sides.
But the real enemy stands behind the scene. It is U.S. imperialism, pulling the strings and fostering divisions in the Middle East, all to maintain the profits of U.S. corporations. The same U.S. government and corporations that attack the working class in this country are responsible for the bloodshed in the Middle East. They are the enemy of the working people of all countries.