A ceasefire, starting on Wednesday night, 21 November, has been announced eight days after the Israeli military started to bombard Gaza. While this is a great relief to many, further outbreaks of bloodshed are tragically inevitable until there is an end to the national oppression of the Palestinians and fundamental system change in the interests of all working class people across the region.
Men, women and children from one end of the Gaza strip to the other have been subjected to abject terror as bombs hit this narrow piece of land from the air and sea.
Over 1,350 “targets” have been struck, killing over 100, injuring over 800 and traumatising the entire 1.7 million population.
Not just suspected militias and their equipment have been targeted, but also the Gazan government headquarters, police buildings and television stations. No matter if children are in the way; eleven members of one family – including four children – were horrifically blown apart in a single house.
Most Palestinians in Gaza have no bomb shelters; nowhere to feel safe. The main hospital has run out of many essential drugs and is desperately short of generator fuel, intensive care beds and basic equipment.
Much of the capitalist media internationally blame rockets fired by Palestinians into Israel for Israel’s ‘justifiable’ action.
They echo politicians like US President Barack Obama, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron – themselves responsible for atrocities in Afghanistan – who have blamed Gaza’s Hamas leaders for the Israeli regime’s slaughter and have barely criticised Israel’s leaders.
What is rarely said and reported is that the Israeli military machine has been almost constantly inflicting brutal repression on Palestinians in the occupied territories over a long period of time. In the few years in between its three-week 2008-09 “operation cast lead” onslaught on Gaza in which 1,400 Palestinians died, and the start of the latest offensive, 319 Palestinians were killed.
Although every loss of life is tragic, the numbers of Israeli Jews killed by Palestinians were far fewer: 13 during ‘cast lead’ and 20 in the period in between offensives.
Even during the week before Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to escalate the brutality on 14 November, the Palestinians were bearing a heavy toll. Seven died at the hands of the Israeli forces that week and 52 civilians were injured.
Then a shockingly brutal offensive unfolded that has been a nightmare for the Gazans and will bring no peace and security for the Israeli people. It was partly fuelled by the power hungry desire of Netanyahu and his fellow ministers to do well in the forthcoming Israeli general election. The 2008-09 invasion was also prior to a general election.
The Socialist Struggle Movement in Israel/Palestine (part of the CWI – Committee for a Workers’ International, to which the Socialist Party is also affiliated) has been participating in anti-war demonstrations in Israel and has called for an immediate end to the bloodshed and for the removal of the present right-wing Israeli government “of big business and the settlements”.
- No more slaughter in Gaza! Escalate the demonstrations!
- End the blockade of Gaza. Open the Gaza-Egypt border
- For the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Palestinian territories
- For a mass struggle of the Palestinians, under their own democratic control, to fight for genuine national liberation
- For independent workers’ organisations in Palestine and Israel
- For a struggle for governments of representatives of workers and the poor that will end oppression, defend democratic rights for all – including minorities, and break with capitalism and imperialism
- For democratic socialism in Palestine, Israel and throughout the Middle East