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

A People Massacred and Starving

Mar 11, 2024

This article is translated from the March 6 issue, #2901 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

On Thursday, February 29, the Israeli army opened fire on Palestinians rushing humanitarian aid trucks in northern Gaza, killing more than 110 people.

Since the start of the Israeli offensive, the population of the Gaza Strip has lacked electricity, water, food, and medicines. Famine is worsening; fifteen children have died of malnutrition and dehydration in the space of a few days. The Israeli government blocks more than a thousand containers of humanitarian aid in the port of Ashdod. It accuses UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, of complicity with Hamas. They throw up obstacles to prevent food aid distributions, which are said to have dropped by half in February.

It’s no wonder that as the convoy approached, thousands of people tried to grab what they could. Israeli soldiers responded by firing on the starving crowd, claiming to have felt threatened. This massacre is also indicative of the increasingly widespread state of mind among Israeli troops. Videos posted on social networks have soldiers showing off while they commit abuses against Palestinians. Like all colonial wars, this one transforms many soldiers into torturers who trivialize violence and display contempt for Palestinians. As a result, this war fuels the rise of extreme right-wing ideas among the Israeli population.

On the other hand, after more than five months of war, some Israelis are expressing their hostility to Netanyahu by demonstrating almost weekly to demand the Prime Minister’s departure and the holding of early elections, the next of which are not due until 2026. Some demonstrators no longer hesitate to declare themselves openly opposed to the war. On Saturday, March 2, several thousand people once again marched in Tel Aviv, some brandishing placards bearing the slogan: “Only peace can bring security.”

Part of Israeli opinion may feel encouraged to declare itself in favor of negotiations by the changing rhetoric of U.S. leaders. On Sunday, March 3, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris called for “an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is currently on the negotiating table.” She referred to the meeting organized on the same day in Egypt between representatives of Hamas, Qatar, and the United States to reach a truce. This could begin on March 10, the start of Ramadan, but this is far from certain.

The United States is putting pressure on its ally Israel to accept this truce, as it wishes to prevent the conflict from spreading to the whole region. But they didn’t want to impose it, and they continued to support their war effort by supplying arms and munitions. In this way, they allow a mass slaughter to take place, in which they are, in fact, accomplices and whose end always recedes into the future.