Jul 21, 2014
Israeli troops have once again invaded the Gaza Strip, after weeks when Israeli planes rained bombs down on Gaza.
People are packed more densely into this small territory than almost anywhere else on earth. The Israeli claim of “targeted bombing” is a hypocritical lie. Most of the hundreds of victims who were either killed or severely wounded were civilians. Children’s bloody bodies were pulled from their ruined homes.
The murder of three young Israelis in the West Bank followed by the revenge killing of a young Palestinian were the sparks that ignited the Israeli-Palestinian powder keg. But this is only the latest episode in the war that the State of Israel has waged for decades against the Palestinian people, supported by all the big powers. The Palestinians are cut in two in the West Bank and Gaza, and are cut off economically and surrounded by walls and barbed wire. They are a people deprived of all rights, who are forced to submit to constant humiliations.
For decades now, two people have coexisted in a small territory, some 200 miles long and 50 miles wide. The Palestinian people are locked in an open-sky prison in their own country, while the other people, the Israelis, have become prison guards.
The State of Israel, with the most modern and efficient army, with planes, helicopters and drones, hasn’t been able to prevent the Palestinians from revolting against this oppression. It has only succeeded in provoking organizations among the Palestinians that use on a small scale the same methods Israel uses on a big scale.
The extent of the Israeli repression led the leaders of the imperialist powers to issue statements dripping with hypocrisy. But hypocrisy barely tells the story of the Western leaders’ imperialist policy – a deadly and conscious one carried out over a long time.
The heads of state of the U.S., France and Great Britain – the Democratic Party taking over from the Republican, the Left after the Right in France, the Conservatives after Labor in Britain – all consistently carry out the same deadly policy. In such a strategic place as the Middle East, overflowing with oil, the policy of the big imperialist powers has always been divide and rule, cutting up the population, turning states against one another, all to protect the hold of big corporations over the region’s resources.
Their policy has always been to leave a part of the enormous accumulated wealth to the local potentates, selling them arms to wage war against one another, and above all against their own peoples, who die from poverty.
In this game of divide and rule, the State of Israel has always played a special role. It is imperialism’s most reliable ally and its strong arm against the neighboring Arab peoples. Further, Israel allows the most reactionary Arab regimes to hide their policies behind denunciations of Israel. This is the reality of the imperialist relations that underlay the fratricidal confrontations between two intermixed peoples, whose overwhelming majority would have every interest in fraternally getting along.
Look at the pictures shown on TV, the haggard eyes of children, women and men who flee the bombing.
The source of the tension isn’t the specifics of some incident, but its permanence. From Iraq to Africa, passing through Syria, how many other war zones have risen up, where people or fractions of the population are pitted against one another in the name of nationalism, their ethnic group or religion? When imperialism poses as a peacemaker, as the U.S. does in the Middle East, it is only as a fire-setting fireman.
Capitalism isn’t only exploitation, oppression and the increase in inequality. It is also imperialism. The wars it gives rise to threaten all of humanity.