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
Nov 13, 2023
What follows is the editorial that appeared on the front of all SPARK’s workplace newsletters, during the week of November 6, 2023.
Israel has turned Gaza into a killing zone, and Gaza’s children are its first victims.
In the first 25 days, almost 3,700 Palestinian children died under Israel’s bombardment. That’s more than the total number of children killed each year since 2019 in all the world’s other wars. Over 5,500 adults were also killed. But the dead children expose Israel’s lie when it claims to be carrying out a war on Hamas.
The war on Gaza is a war in which the Palestinian population is made to suffer collectively for Hamas’s commando raids on Israel.
Yes, the Hamas raids were terrible. Civilians and children were victims there also. But that cannot justify Israel’s decision to massively bomb densely populated urban areas in which a civilian population is trapped.
Israel did not decide on this war alone. Its military has long been intertwined with the U.S. military. U.S. Special Forces squads are ‘embedded’ in the Israeli military command helping to direct the current war on Gaza. Israel’s armaments come from U.S. sources. Funds for advanced weapons come from the U.S. treasury. And just to make the point, Biden offered 19 billion dollars in extra aid as Israel was ramping up its attack. The U.S. military anchored an armada of ships in the region, preparing for a wider war.
From the early years of the 20th century when the first Jewish settlers were sent to colonize Palestine, their choices were never theirs alone.
Behind them was the Zionist movement, whose aim was to create a Jewish state in the Middle East. Behind Zionism at that time were French and British imperialisms. Its funding came from France’s and Britain’s wealthy classes. At the end of World War II, old U.S. troop ships dumped tens of thousands of Jewish people onto Palestine.
The settlers’ aim may have been to flee Europe and its Holocaust. But England, France, and then the U.S. had other aims for what these settlers would become—a guard tower for imperialism, their colony in the midst of the region’s various peoples.
The big imperialist powers aimed to keep hold of the region’s oil; they intended to maintain control over the Middle East’s strategic position in the flow of trade from Europe to Asia.
Many of the first Jewish settlers attempted to join with the Arab people already there, trying to build a nation for the two peoples together.
But the Zionist militias, aiming for a Jewish-only state, violently drove Palestinians away from their homes. Two-thirds of all Palestinians were rapidly turned into refugees, thrown into camps throughout the Middle East. Those left behind were condemned to an inferior status.
This was terrible for the Arab peoples. And it was no solution for the Jews, attempting to flee the ghettoes and pogroms of capitalist Europe. It simply turned them into a military outpost for the big imperialisms, tying the Jewish people’s fate to what imperialism wanted in the region. As different peoples in the region attempted to break free of imperialism’s control, Israel was called on to provide the foot soldiers in war after war after war.
Having made the decision a long time ago to set up a Jewish-only state, Israel has found no way to survive other than by doing imperialism’s bidding. But that brought the Israeli people no peace—just as Hamas, trying to build a Muslim-only nation in tiny Gaza, has brought no peace to the Palestinian people.
Imperialism’s watchword has always been ‘divide and conquer,’ setting the different peoples against each other.
The only prospect for any of the peoples in this Middle East is to break out of the shackles built by imperialism, to struggle alongside other people, each against their own leaders who deceive them with nationalist panaceas.
And that involves us—we sit in the midst of the biggest imperialism, the one preparing right now for a wider war, the one that tries to use us to control the whole world. The way we will find our freedom is to throw our lot in with the struggles of all the other peoples of the world.