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

The Killing of Aid Workers Was No Mistake

Apr 8, 2024

There has been loud and widespread condemnation in international media over the deaths of seven aid workers in Gaza on April 1.

Israeli officials said the killings were a “tragic mistake,” which certainly doesn’t ring credible. The Israeli military killed these aid workers in three airstrikes that targeted and hit the three cars carrying the victims. And the Israeli military has killed about 224 aid workers in Gaza in the last six months, according to the U.N.

So, the outcry is certainly justified. But why now? After all, in the past six months, Israel’s massive military assault on Gaza has killed more than 33,000 people, more than 40% of them children!

Is it because six of the seven victims were Westerners? Is it because they worked for World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by Spanish celebrity chef José Andrés? Or is it because, in the latest polls, a majority of Americans said they disapprove of Israel’s actions in Gaza, and the Democratic Party is worried about losing votes in November?

In any event, the incident elicited criticism from quarters that, until now, have staunchly defended the carnage in Gaza. U.S. President Biden said he is “outraged and heartbroken” and called the humanitarian situation in Gaza “unacceptable.” U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called for an independent, third-party investigation. British media even quoted three former British Supreme Court justices who called for a halt to British arms sales to Israel so as not to be “complicit in genocide.”

But actions speak louder than words. U.S. officials have made it clear that U.S. arms shipments to Israel would continue. The Washington Post reported that, on the very day of the deadly strikes, the U.S. State Department approved the transfer of one thousand 500-pound bombs to Israel, among other ammunition. In fact, since October 7, the beginning of Israel’s assault on Gaza, the Biden Administration has sent weapons to Israel directly from U.S. military stockpiles, including 2,000-pound bombs.

It’s American bombs that have been killing tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza—the Israeli military is just doing the dirty work of dropping them. And far from restricting the 3.8-billion-dollar annual U.S. military aid to Israel, as some commentators call for, Biden continues to push for 14 billion dollars in additional arms aid to Israel.

The massacre of Gaza’s population is the continuation of decades of imperialist policy carried out by the U.S. in the Middle East. Since Israel’s founding, the U.S. has given Israel 216 billion dollars in military aid, making this small country, the size of New Jersey, by far the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in history. It’s so that Israel can do the job U.S. imperialism has designated to it: keeping the impoverished masses in the Middle East in check while U.S. corporations continue to draw big profits out of this strategic, oil-rich region of the world.