Jun 7, 2021
The following is a translation from Lutte Ouvrière, the newspaper of the French revolutionary group of the same name.
Under American pressure, the Israeli government agreed to put an end, as of Friday May 21, to its bombardments on the Gaza Strip. Hamas, for its part, pledged to stop its rocket fire.
Israel’s missile interception system, as effective as it is, did not prevent the rockets from claiming 12 lives among its population. By showing that it could target the population of the cities of Israel, Hamas wanted to politically exploit the outrage of the Palestinians at the crackdown carried out by the Israeli police on the Mosques plaza in Jerusalem. But the toll of terrorism practiced on a large scale by the Israeli state is beyond that of Hamas: Israeli missiles, shells and drones have killed more than 240 Palestinians, mostly women and children, often entire families.
For the two million inhabitants of the Gaza enclave, the ceasefire does not mean the end of the ordeal. According to United Nations accounts, 24 health centers, 50 educational establishments, and Gaza’s only Covid-19 screening laboratory were affected by the bombings. There is a dramatic lack of water, fuel, electricity and concrete. However, the Israeli authorities have not announced an easing of the blockade they have imposed on this territory for years.
This ceasefire can only represent a very relative truce before further outbursts of violence, because nothing at the origin of the current murderous escalation has been resolved. The fate of Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah, in East Jerusalem—threatened with eviction in favor of Jewish settlers—awaits the decision of an Israeli court. Protests by Palestinians to oppose the creeping colonization of the Arab part of Jerusalem and the West Bank continued, despite the crackdown on Israeli soldiers whose fire left more than 25 dead.
For his part, the Israeli Prime Minister has found an almost personal interest in prolonging the state of war. With the March elections failing to secure a majority and his political future appearing to be jeopardized by his legal wrangling, Netanyahu is hopeful that the reflex of unity provoked by the conflict will help him stay in power.
But whoever the future leader of the government is, he will be the hostage of the far-right parties which, thanks to the number of their deputies in Parliament, are in a position to demand in particular a new acceleration of colonization.
Fortunately, part of the Israeli population is aware of the impasse it is being driven into. A demonstration brought together several thousand people on Saturday, May 22 in central Tel Aviv to call for coexistence between Jews and Arabs and demand equal rights. It is in the path of a common struggle, both against the colonialism of the Israeli state and against the oppression suffered by the Palestinians, that the only hope for the Palestinian and Israeli populations lies.