After the events of October 7th, 2023, the Israeli occupying force wasted little time in launching an indiscriminate bombing campaign against the 2.1 million Palestinian civilians in Gaza as a collective punishment, targeting ambulances1, apartments, schools, mosques, hospitals, and media outlets, turning the existing blockade into an active and deadly siege. Israel has cut off all water, power, fuel, and food supply to Gaza, a further crime against humanity, and the specter of starvation and genocide looms. Telegraphing further escalation, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip2; only a day earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian civilians in Gaza to “leave now.”3 Leave to go where exactly?
At the time of this writing, thousands of people have already been killed inside and near the Gaza Strip. International law is clear on the legitimacy of occupied peoples to liberate themselves from “colonial domination, apartheid, and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.”4 International law is also clear on the prohibition of punishing a civilian for an offense he or she has not personally committed and the prohibition of reprisals against protected persons and their property.5 But since the beginning of 2023, the Israeli police, military, and armed settlers have killed, on average, one Palestinian a day. Since Israel imposed the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the occupying force has bombed Gaza a total of seven times: 2008, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2021, 2022, and 2023 — and Palestinians have never been able to leave for safety.
However, Netanyahu’s faux-humanitarian warning to Palestinians, “leave now,” touches the roots of the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” In 1948, Zionist paramilitary groups ethnically cleansed over 750,000 Palestinians from historic Palestine and established the state of Israel, a historic event known as al-Nakba in Palestinian collective memory6. It is the reason why nearly 67% of Palestinians in Gaza are descendants of families that were ethnically cleansed from the villages where Israeli kibbutzim and cities stand today. It is the reason why Israel is a military garrison state that maintains an apartheid system today, where Palestinians are harassed, robbed, and murdered by Israeli soldiers and settlers every day, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.7 It is the reason why, despite Zionist attempts to deny their existence, Palestinians have continued to resist, persevere, and yearn for Return.
Now is not the time for supposedly balanced, measured statements that obfuscate the truth of the conflict. The failure of international bodies and leaders to hold Israel accountable to international law and to apply UN Resolution 194, the right of Palestinians to return to their ancestral homes, has resulted in what we are now bearing witness to. This has been the status quo for Palestinians for 75 years, and it must end.
Israel is able to maintain this barbaric status quo because of the diplomatic, military, and financial support of the United States since 1967. The United States uses this alliance to project its military power into the Middle East, as it seeks to do in all geostrategically important areas of the globe.
As American socialists, we understand the fight for socialism is international, and we understand the unique role the United States plays in administering a global capitalist empire. To assist Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination, our primary role is to pressure the US for a change in its foreign policy. To this end, we unequivocally support the BDS movement and call on American civil society to join the targeted boycott of Israeli goods, companies, and institutions.
The response of the Biden administration to these events still unfolding has been to supply Israel with more money and weapons.8 9The United States must end its policy of arming the apartheid, settler-colonial ethnostate of Israel. We fully condemn the capitalist Republican and Democratic parties, who are largely culpable for the continuation of violence and dispossession perpetrated upon Palestinians. America’s expanding military-industrial complex continues to act as a force of destabilization and oppression throughout the world, and major arms and military technology manufacturers like Raytheon make billions of dollars in profits from exploitation and war.
As socialists living in the heart of a global capitalist empire, we stand in opposition to the imperialism of the American ruling class, and we stand in solidarity with all oppressed people.
Palestine will be free — from the river to the sea.
Central New Jersey DSA
- https://www.businessinsider.com/doctors-without-borders-hospitals-ambulances-targets-israel-hamas-gaza-2023-10 ↩︎
- https://www.aljazeera.com/program/newsfeed/2023/10/9/israeli-defence-minister-orders-complete-siege-on-gaza ↩︎
- https://gulfnews.com/world/mena/israel-palestine-conflict-more-than-530-killed-after-hamas-launched-unprecedented-attack-on-israel-netanyahu-retaliates-declares-war-1.1696670798153 ↩︎
- https://www.un.org/unispal/document/auto-insert-184195/ ↩︎
- https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/gciv-1949/article-33 ↩︎
- https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Ethnic-Cleansing-of-Palestine/Ilan-Pappe/9781851685554 ↩︎
- https://jacobin.com/2023/10/west-bank-apartheid-israel-idf-oslo-accords ↩︎
- https://themessenger.com/politics/biden-administration-discussing-military-aid-package-to-israel-after-hamas-attack ↩︎
- https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-67049196 ↩︎