The brutal slaughter of peace activists by the Israeli Defence Forces is only the latest scandal resulting from the blockade of Gaza. In this article we outline the Socialist Party’s opposition to the siege, how it can be defeated and the need for a socialist alternative in the region.
US imperialism’s refusal to condemn Israel’s attack on the aid flotilla has also meant that the United Nations Security Council has shown its true colours, i.e. its imperialist credentials having bowed to US pressure and failed to pass a resolution condemning the Israeli government.
The boats that the IDF attacked were carrying food, medicines, and materials to build pre-fabricated homes for the people of Gaza. One and a half million Palestinians remain prisoners in the largest open-air jail in the world. The blockade of Gaza has meant unemployment rates of over 50 percent.
The World Bank has stated that 90 percent of water in Gaza is not suitable for human consumption, 70 percent of the population have to rely on charity for food supplies. The
IDF has destroyed 15,000 homes. The illegal weapons used against Gaza have killed hundreds and wounded thousands of civilians, including children.
Capitalist powers fail Palestinians
This latest massacre has shown how far the Israeli state is prepared to go to maintain the siege of Gaza. It has also shown again the pitiful role of the major capitalist powers, which have done no more than express ‘regret’ at the loss of life. Contrast this to the many thousands of workers and young people worldwide who have taken to the streets in protest to demand that the siege is lifted.
The imperialist powers, and the corrupt ruling elites that they lean on in the Middle East, are motivated by their own economic interests – particularly oil. The rights of the peoples of the Middle East – above all the Palestinians – are relentlessly trampled underfoot.
Build a mass movement to break the siege
Every important gain made in the history of Palestinian struggle has been the result of active mobilisation of the mass of Palestinian people. This was demonstrated particularly during the first Intifada, but also, much more recently and on a smaller scale, in the mass action which temporarily broke through the Rafah border.
For the Palestinian masses the only way forward is for a mass movement of workers and the poor, inside and outside of Gaza. Such a movement is the only force able to break the siege and force open the borders. It would appeal to the masses for the region to join the struggle for liberation and for an end to capitalism and barbarism.
The need for a socialist alternative
The Socialist Party is part of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), which struggles against oppression and for democratic socialism in more than forty countries. CWI members are organising and taking part in demonstrations against the murder of the peace activists worldwide, including in Israel. Tnua’t Maavak Sozialisti (Socialist Struggle Movement, the Israeli counterpart of the Socialist Party) demonstrated against the armed attack on the aid convoy and also against the continuing government siege of Gaza and the occupation of the Palestinian territories on the West Bank.
Part of a strategy for effective mass action to win liberation for the Palestinian masses would involve an appeal to the working class and poor in Israel to oppose the warmongering being carried out in their name, and a call for them to remove the Israeli capitalist class as their part of a struggle to overthrow all the corrupt ruling elites of the Middle East. The building of mass independent workers’ organisations – in the territories, in Israel, but also across the Middle East – is urgently needed as a first step towards a socialist solution to the nightmare facing the Palestinian masses.