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

State Terrorism by Netanyahu, Biden, and Macron

Jan 1, 2024

What follows is a translation of the editorial that appeared on the front of all Lutte Ouvrière’s workplace newsletters, during the week of December 20, 2023.

The Israeli army announced the deaths of three Israeli hostages killed by its own soldiers in the Gaza Strip on Friday, December 15. The three hostages had appeared in an area of intense clashes, waving a white flag, and speaking in Hebrew. Identified as a threat anyway, they were shot dead.

Netanyahu spoke of a "mistake," a "tragic accident." But the Israeli army didn’t kill unarmed men waving a white flag by mistake! It killed them because, for the past two months, it has been applying a policy of terror, indiscriminately killing children, women, the elderly, and Hamas militiamen.

The Israeli army has already killed at least 20,000 people in the Gaza Strip—sixteen times as many as died on October 7. And there are certainly more buried under the rubble, including hostages! These indiscriminate bombardments, which surprise and kill civilians going about their day or in their sleep, are political choices. It’s state terrorism.

It is not Hamas that the Israeli army seeks to terrorize. Hamas is a miniature state apparatus and a mini-army, prepared to cope. From the outset, Netanyahu has known that Hamas will survive the deluge of fire, with its key leaders long since sheltered. And he knows that Hamas will remain one of his counterparts—they are already in the current negotiations.

The Israeli government seeks to terrorize the Palestinian population. It needs to break them for many years to come, so that they will resign themselves to whatever solutions Israel and the great powers choose for them.

All the major powers, starting with the United States, understand this need as well. How many times have they themselves used such methods?

How many have there been from Vietnam, to Gaza, by way of Latin America, Iraq, and Afghanistan? And how can we forget the terror into which the United States plunged the Japanese when it dropped two atomic bombs in 1945, one on Hiroshima and the other on Nagasaki?

The American bourgeoisie built its lead over the rest of the world on the capital it had accumulated, but also by using state violence whenever necessary, to get its hands on land, eliminate a competitor or subdue a recalcitrant people. By this ruthless policy they became master of the world.

So yes, what is presented to us as the world’s greatest democracy, American democracy, is responsible for the carnage perpetrated in Gaza. Biden could hold back Israel’s armed wing. The bombing would stop in a matter of days if the United States stopped delivering munitions to Israel. Instead, they voted against a U.N. vote calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, because they fundamentally agree with this policy of terror.

The massacre of the Palestinians shows, once again, that international rules and respect for human rights are just words. Those who decide are the most powerful, the richest and the best armed.

Most of the time, they impose their exploitation and dictatorship from the heights of their billions through the market and competition. This has dire consequences for the people and the future of the planet, who are exploited to the point of exhaustion. But so long as it does not provoke a revolt, the big bourgeoisie can hide its domination behind a pretense of freedom and democracy, as is the case in most rich imperialist countries.

As soon as its domination is challenged, the democratic façade gives way to the direct and violent oppression of a state apparatus reduced to its simplest expression: that of a band of armed men.

Today, the masters of the world use both methods of domination. In the United States and France, where the big bourgeoisie does not feel threatened by a generalized revolt, Biden and Macron lead through the democratic circus. Against the Palestinians, they defend the policy of Israeli bombs and jails.

These two policies are two sides of the same coin: that of the domination of the capitalist system, the big bourgeoisie, and its states. But fierce as it is, this domination is no more eternal than that of emperors or kings.

As long as there are exploited and oppressed people, there will be rebels and the possibility of transforming society. Workers have the means to fight and work for a collective society guided by the interests of humanity. The future belongs to those who are convinced of this.