The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Editorial:
In Israel and the U.S.:
A People that Oppresses Another People Can Never Be Free

Apr 1, 2002

With the invasion of the West Bank city of Ramallah, and finally the siege of the office of Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, the Israeli military began a big offensive against the Palestinian population. Jets, helicopter gunships, tanks and troops have been unleashed.

The Israeli military, one of the largest and best armed in the world, is carrying out a real war against an entire people, the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his main backers, the U.S. government, may claim that this war is a protection for the Israeli peoples. But this is a cynical lie. For what kind of protection or security can the Israeli population have, when it is repressing an entire population, when it occupies its territory, killing their men, women and children? What kind of security can the Israeli people have, when they serve as the executioners and prison guards of the Palestinian people, deepening the ditch of hatred and blood that separates them from their neighbors?

This war, like the wars before, has not brought the Israeli people more security. It has only made them a target of a people who are so desperate, who have so little to lose, that they are ready to kill themselves if they can take a few Israelis with them. The Israeli population has been put in its own prison of fear, desperation and grief.

This is the terrible logic of what the Israeli state has done from its very beginnings, over half a century ago. The Israeli state might have promised to be a sanctuary for the Jewish people, who themselves were the victims of persecution, repression and extermination. But by Zionist terrorist groups who established Israel massacring and chasing out the Palestinians who were already living there, by occupying their lands, this set in motion an unending bloodbath – one which the Israeli state kept going with ever more horrifying means. Even during those rare moments of “peace,” the conflict was simmering underground, ready to break out into new violence, a war without end.

Over the decades, the U.S. government has been the main supporter of the Israeli state, making it by far the largest recipient of U.S. military and economic aid. U.S. politicians cloak this in all kinds of hypocritical language about how much it supports the Jewish people. The real reason is that the U.S. rulers use the Israeli population as cannon fodder to control a whole region so key to the interests of the U.S. capitalists.

But what Israel does is just a small version of what the U.S. does. The Israeli state does in the Middle East what the U.S. military does all over the world, protecting the profits of the big U.S. capitalists, through war, violence and the threat of violence, against peoples everywhere.

U.S. politicians may tell us that the U.S. military is sent around the world to maintain our security. This is as big a lie as the lies the Israeli politicians tell their own people. Just like in Israel, ordinary people in this country pay the price for these wars and repression. We pay the price, both as soldiers and as civilians, like those thousands who died in the World Trade Center.

Despite the assurances of politicians, no country can be a fortress, without it also becoming a prison, no people can repress another people, without becoming also a target for violence themselves.

The terrible war between Israel and the Palestinians is not in any way isolated from what the U.S. government does all over the world. The people in this country, like the people of Israel, can have no security so long as we do not oppose the criminal wars and adventures of the ruling class of this country.