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

Biden Continues to Arm the Mass Murderers

May 20, 2024

This article is translated from the May 15 issue, #2911 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the Trotskyist group of that name active in France.

Since Tuesday, May 7, bombs and shells have been falling on the town of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army has also launched an offensive against the Jabaliya refugee camp in the north of the Palestinian enclave, supported by tanks and aerial bombardments.

Other fighting is also taking place in Gaza City, even though the Israeli army took control of the area in the first weeks of the war. The army claims to be carrying out these operations to prevent Hamas from reconstituting its forces. Above all, however, they show that the Islamist organization is far from being “eradicated,” contrary to the proclamations of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. “We have seen Hamas return to the areas Israel has liberated in northern Gaza,” declared U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In reality, Israel’s leaders are waging war first and foremost on the Palestinian population, subjecting them to indiscriminate bombardment and depriving them of food and medical care. Since the start of the operation against Rafah, the situation has worsened still further, as humanitarian aid no longer enters Gaza at all. According to UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, almost 450,000 people have been forced to leave the Rafah area, having already fled several times in the face of advancing Israeli troops.

U.S. President Biden, campaigning for re-election, is seeking to avoid alienating the segment of his electorate that is outraged by his support for an army that has been massacring an entire population for seven months. After suspending a shipment of bombs, he threatened in an interview on CNN on Wednesday, May 8 to stop delivering bombs and shells to Israel in the event of a major offensive in the densely populated areas of Rafah because, he claimed, American weapons had already caused civilian casualties, and “that’s wrong.” CNN also broadcast a report on Sunday, May 12, denouncing torture-like detention conditions in a Palestinian prison camp in the Negev desert.

Netanyahu replied to Biden’s threats by saying that the Israelis would know how to fight “with their fingernails.” But in reality, he knows he can count on continued American military aid. The latest illustration of this guaranteed support was a State Department report submitted to Congress on May 10, which concluded that American weapons had “probably been used” by Israel in “violation of international law.” But since this has not been formally demonstrated, arms shipments can continue, allowing the Israeli state to continue massacring Palestinians in Gaza with impunity.