Why is US imperialism so intent on wiping out the Gaza masses?
A call for an emergency international conference in support of Palestine and to end the genocide.
Let us be clear. US imperialism consistently arms Israel with at least $3bn each year. In addition, companies like Anglo American deliberately sends much of the world’s diamonds to Israel adding another billion dollars every year to its arms industry and billions more to its GDP. Most imperialist banks and industry channel funds via Israel by supporting its arms industry which has the reputation of being tested and proven on Palestinians and the broader Arab masses. It also artificially keeps Israel alive. Annual imports of Israel are worth $90 bn while its annual exports are $60 bn. This means an annual subsidy of $30 bn to keep Israel alive. Any other state would long have faced the wrath of a structural adjustment programme of the IMF and World Bank. Not so Israel. It is a country on life support, kept alive by imperialism. Without this support by imperialism Israel would not exist, overnight. Imperialism thus controls its every move.
What is the role of Israel in the Middle East?
It comes down to re-evaluating the essence of the Second World War. We have all been raised on the notion that it was a fight between democracy and fascism. The bourgeois historians claim that fascism was defeated in 1945. Yet 3 years later, the very victors of the Second World War, US and British imperialism used fascist methods, arming a group of thugs, the Zionists, to expel and attempt to exterminate the Palestinians. 750 000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and hundreds of their villages destroyed.
During the first genocide of the 20th Century, not a single imperialist power intervened against German imperialism when they perpetrated the genocide against the Hereros in Namibia. In fact it was regarded as normal capitalist business. The only problem came when, having conquered every square inch of land around the world, the only way the imperialists could expand their profits and their sphere of influence was through encroaching on and attempting to take away from another imperialist power. Inter-imperialist rivalry was the essence of the first and second world wars. It was NOT about smashing fascism at all. It was not even about stopping the Holocaust. If US imperialism and the other imperialist powers willed it, they would have intervened earlier to stop the Holocaust. In fact all the imperialist powers put restrictions in place to limit the number of Jews they accepted who had been fleeing the Nazis.
After the defeat and dismemberment of the Ottoman empire Palestine was colonised by British imperialism. On the 26th May 1908 a major oil discovery was made in Iran by British imperialism. This sparked a rush among all imperialist powers to explore and gain control over the oil in the Middle East. US imperialism found the biggest oil reserve in the world, in a drilling in Saudi Arabia on the 3rd March 1938. The question for the imperialist was how to gain control over all the oil reserves and how to convert the land into capital under their control. The imperialist used various mechanisms, including installing of monarchies that were their pliant stooges/puppets.
Their problems with Palestine were as follows:
- Highly militant working class, combative and pushing towards independence from colonialism;
- Its strategic position, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Egypt and bordering the main oil producing regions, nearness to the area that would soon become the Suez Canal.
- The land was under peasant and communal relations.
It was also a time of capitalist decay. Capitalist development therefore could not take the same slow path as it did in France, Germany or England. There could be no independent development of capitalism because any independent development would threaten imperialist control of the region. It would threaten it in 2 ways;
- A developing capital would become a competitor. It would also challenge the nature of capitalist relations in the region which is currently based on extraction of raw, unprocessed material. It would thus challenge the current relations which are based on maintaining a pool of largely unskilled labour in a perpetual state of semi-starvation. A decrease in the rate of starvation in the Middle East would also impact on the rate of profit of imperialism- reducing it, thereby adding to its systemic crisis. Thus independent capitalist development had to be supressed by the dominant imperialist power.
- Independent democratic control by the masses would threaten imperialist control in the entire region that was dependent on dictatorial capitalist regimes that were (and still are) puppets of imperialism.
The establishment of Israel would therefore achieve a number of objectives:
- The mass displacement of Palestinians would rapidly convert the land to capital.
- This capital would be under the control of imperialism.
- The threat to the regional capitalist dictatorships, puppets of imperialism, would be neutralised,
- The militant mass of Palestinians would be neutralised.
- A permanent military base of imperialism would be set up with the main objective of terrorising the masses in the Middle East and acting as the bulwark of reaction there.
- It would later become the terrorist arm of imperialism- anything deemed too sensitive or bloody or ghastly for imperialism to get away with directly, in the face of their home proletariat, was given to Israel to do. So imperialism, the real perpetrator would be able to wash their hands of the deeds.
Problems of leadership among the Palestinians
The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) was set up by the Arab League in 1964. This League was and still is a tool of imperialist puppet regimes to prevent independent development and radicalization of the Palestinians and the Arab masses in general. In other words, the PLO was set up to help prevent liberation of the Palestinians and to keep the masses chained to a petit bourgeois leadership that was nationalist and that had no plan for the seizure of power by the masses through revolutionary means. From the start it was a pressure organisation for the incorporation of the Arab bourgeoisie into the capitalist relations in the region. In other words, they wanted to be part of the capitalist regimes that were dominated and controlled by imperialism.
The rise of the Lion’s Den in the West Bank and of a highly organised militias in Gaza and Lebanon immediately poses a threat to the Arab bourgeoisie such as the PA who are collaborationist. It is this break from the Arab bourgeoisie that opens up the prospect of proletarian revolution for the masses in historic Palestine. However the prospects of socialist revolution depends on unity of the local and regional working class as well as on international factors, which we explore later.
Religion as a means to divide and control
Imperialism turned a blind eye to the development of Islamic resistance movements (and even encouraged their development) as it would help divide the masses in the Middle East and divert the revolutionary masses into permanent divisions on religious grounds and thus act as a means to prevent revolution from taking place. Thus it suited imperialism to provide direct and indirect assistance for decades in promotion of Jewish exceptionalism (Zionism). The decades of racist indoctrination of the Jewish masses in Israel was supported by its various agencies around the world, such as the UN, the WTO, the ICC, the universities and the multitude of intellectuals, some of them, like Noam Chomsky, posing left but ultimately promoting and safeguarding imperialist interests in the Middle East. All the major imperialist powers such as France, Germany, Britain, USA, Japan all supported Israel and the permanent division of the masses in the Middle East. All of them have divided up the Middle East among one another and all of them, as seen by the current war on the Palestinians, have united against the Palestinians and the masses there. There has been decades of racist discourse by imperialism that cemented the notion that Palestinians are sub-human, only worthy of either being slaves or being exterminated. The same playbook of Nazi Germany that regarded Jews as sub-human and enabled millions of the German middle classes to be able to exterminate them, has been applied by imperialism as a method of war against not only the Palestinians, but also against whoever they regarded as necessary of being subjugated by force. Three generations of Israelis have been reared on the racist ideology that is the driving force behind the current genocide against the Palestinian masses, not only in Gaza, but across historic Palestine. Imperialism deliberately cultivated decades of hostility between the Hutu and Tutsis in Rwanda. This was the basis of the 1994 genocide when 1 million people, mostly Tutsis were killed in Rwanda in 100 days while the imperialists sat on their hands and did nothing. In fact, US imperialism deliberately armed the RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) that subsequently came to power in Rwanda. The invasion by the RPF of the Eastern Congo helped imperialism clear the land of millions of people and shepherded in the multinationals that today control the world industry of computers and technology. In the process over 6 million Congolese died (1997 to 2006). Rwanda and the DRC shows us that genocide is part of modern capitalism. It is an essential part of their arsenal to gain control of any region on earth. The united front of imperialism and the Russian mafia regime against the Syrian masses is another important lesson. A democratic Syria, controlled by the masses places every reactionary regime in the region at risk of being overthrown. The main perpetrator of genocide is US imperialism. It follows that the only way to stop the genocide against the Palestinians is to challenge US imperialism and to defeat it.
Why does US imperialism feel they have to punish the Palestinians in this brutal way?
On the 7th October 2023 the Palestinian resistance, supported by the masses, broke down sections of the walls around Gaza, attacked and took over between 11 and 21 military bases in the south of Israel. The fourth biggest army in the world, the jewel of US and British imperialism was dealt a military defeat. A psychological blow from which they will never recover. The notion that the Israeli army and imperialism cannot be defeated, was shattered in one day. US imperialism has 1000 military bases around the world, including in Botswana. Germany and Japan are still under US military occupation. Armed surrogate forces of the US imperialism are gradually pushing French imperialism out of Africa. Here a ragtag force of militia, who don’t even have a formal army, no navy, no airforce, defeated the might of US imperialism in one day. The implications are that all the US military bases, the cornerstone of their world domination, despite having spent consistently 10 times more than Russia and almost 4 times more than the UK, Germany, France and Japan combined, per annum; three times more than China per annum; could not only come under attack from local militia but could be defeated by them.
In other words, the one defeat of US imperialism could lead to a widespread challenge and defeat of their current world domination.
The reason why US imperialism is deliberately targeting civilians, medics, schools, babies, women, journalists, churches, mosques, is to attempt to send a message to the entire masses of the world that this is what will happen to you if you dare challenge or attempt to rise against them. This genocide is turning the masses of the world against US imperialism. Around the globe hundreds of millions of youth, of new activists, are coming into the movement against US imperialism. The past 40 days of genocidal attacks has done more for the growth of anti-imperialist forces than 40 years of political education.
The carpet bombing and indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Gaza undercuts the very purported values that imperialism claims to be built on. The entire mass in the imperialist centres, including their armed forces, are seeing events unfold in Gaza that go against their ‘democratic’ values. Already over 60% of the USA mass are in favour of a permanent ceasefire, in other words, they oppose the carpet bombing of Gaza, they support a free Palestine. The postal workers union and sections of the UAW are already opposing the war on Gaza. There are many student demonstrations breaking out across not only the USA, but in the UK, Australia and in increasing numbers of countries around the globe. Meanwhile the two headed monster the Republicans and Democrats compete with one another of who is more genocidal. The imperialist base themselves on electoral support. They are calculating on what they perceive to be a rightward shift internationally. They look at Milei in Argentina and Wilders in the Nertherlands and the composition of the Israeli regime, the Modi government of India. But they are miscalculating. The parliamentary parties are so discredited (doing nothing in the face of the lowering of real wages and other attacks by monopoly capital and their handling of the Covid pandemic) that the most advanced elements are moving towards anti-parliamentary movements. The trend has been, from the Occupy Wall Street movement, to the BLM to the feminist movements. And now the broad pro-Palestine movement is largely extra-parliamentary and to an extent anti-parliamentary. There is a rise of sit-ins, blocking of highways and metro stations and other direct action methods. Thus the right appears to be gaining but that is just because the left was moved increasingly beyond parliamentary politics- a very healthy development.
The Zionists are expendable cannon fodder
All youth in Israel undergo military conscription. From birth they are brainwashed in Zionist ideology which regards Palestinians as sub-human; they regard everyone else who is not Jewish as ‘goyim’ or a lesser species whose only role is to serve the Zionists. It is an entire armed population whose real role is to act as the hammer of imperialism to control the masses in the entire region. Israel was founded based on the mass expulsion of 750 000 Palestinians in 1948. Before this there was a long history of resistance by the masses in the Middle East to imperialist rule.
In 2006 the Israeli army suffered a heavy defeat and was forced out of Lebanon. The resistance was already learning not only the art of war but managed to get hold of anti-tank weapons and the necessary training. The signs were already there. The Israeli youth, and worker, long privileged by the annual $30 bn subsidy by imperialism, living a comfortable life, was not really keen on sacrificing their lives for Zionism. Yes they were comfortable in bullying women and children and pensioners and unarmed masses but against an armed force with a bit of training, they were not so keen.
So what has led to a decline of Zionism among the youth?
Firstly it has been the growth of industrialisation where Palestinian and Jew work side by side. The realisation, despite the heavy indoctrination, has been that the Palestinian, like any other person on earth, is actually a normal and peaceful person. Actually, someone, heaven forbid, with a culture, with a history! There have been, as has been perfectly normal in the past, inter-marriages between Palestinian and Zionist- invariably the Zionist becomes an ex-zionist once they realise their doctrine is racist and without rational foundation.
Secondly has been access to education and world culture by the Zionist youth, that makes them realise just how irrational Zionism is. The access to social media which, despite all the restrictions, allows a greater degree of free thinking, has also undercut Zionism.
The Zionists were sacrificed by imperialism on 7th Oct, before then and continues to be sacrificed since then up to now
On the 7th October when the military bases were overrun and land was being taken over by the resistance, imperialism gave the directive for the killing of resistance fighters and captives who were on the agricultural land around Gaza. They gave this directive because they could not tolerate not only a military defeat but where a lightly armed militia actually re-captured land that had been stolen in the Nakba of 1948. If they allowed this then this would encourage not only uprising across historic Palestine but around the world against US imperialist interests. The political evidence that the Israeli army shot its own citizens from the 7th to 10th October has been adequately presented by Max Blumenthal and the Grayzone. We argue that imperialism gave the order. As we argued above it is imperialism that controls every aspect of Israel’s military and of its economy. The killing of Israeli citizens, Zionists, by the Zionist army, was not a random event of inexperienced soldiers but a cold calculated decision. To monopoly capital the rule of imperialism is more important than anything else, including the life of any Zionist. The carpet bombing of Gaza and deliberate targeting of medics, journalists, women and children, was another cold calculation by imperialism. The sending of an army of 350 000 against the masses in Gaza, despite the overwhelming odds in their favour, brings daily reports of deaths and injuries of Zionist soldiers. It turns out that to fight a militia which has a little bit of training is not so easy. The heart of the Zionist army lies in their privileged lifestyle not on the battlefield.
Yet the heart of the Palestinian resistance lies in essence in freeing Palestine, from the river to the sea. This means incorporating all who live there as well as the 7 million Palestinian refugees outside of historic Palestine. A secular state that respects religious differences ; where a constituent assembly would democratically decide on key questions; this to be elected based on representation of 1 delegate per 10 000 people, subject to instant recall and not earning more than a wage of a skilled worker.
Such a democratic form would threaten the dictatorial regimes in the region and indeed the fabric of the zionist regime which is fascist through and through as its essence is based on the destruction of the Palestinian.
So the Zionist youth is ultimately sacrificed for being a policeman for imperialism, a fascist iron fist. Except such youth is now doubting their role, especially after the emerging evidence that the heads of the Zionist army and imperialism gave the order for the deliberate killing of Israeli citizens to that they can keep their place of hegemony not only over the Arab masses but also over the Zionist masses themselves. The Zionist youth need to break from Zionism and from US imperialism. The march of the ‘Bring them home now’ movement to Jerusalem placed huge political pressure on the genocidal regimes of Israel and the USA, despite being still dominated by Zionist ideology, is a step towards breaking from Zionism and from US imperialism. This march is what probably saved the lives of the captives who would otherwise have died under the carpet bombing by US-led forces in Gaza. It contributed towards the saving of lives of hundreds of Palestinians in the gulags of Zionism. It contributed to the saving of many lives of Palestinians who would have perished had the indiscriminate bombing continued unabated. The danger is now of course that imperialism will blame the Palestinian resistance and continue their carpet bombing, claiming that enough had been done by them to save the lives of captives. The ‘Bring them home now’ movement focuses only on those held captive by the Palestinian resistance. The entire Palestinian resistance is essentially a movement for the return of the millions of refugees back to historic Palestine. It is not a movement for the extermination of Zionists or for extermination of Jews. It is for a peaceful co-existence as neighbours as fellow community members in historic Palestine. Both Bring them home movements have more in common with one another than the genocidal aims of imperialism that only seeks control of the region at any cost. The moment has arrived for the tearing down of the walls of division, the walls around Gaza, the walls in and around the West Bank, from both sides. That is how to ‘bring them home now’. Imperialism does not care for any captive on either side. They do not care how many of the flowers of youth of Palestinians are killed; even less, they do not care how many of the Zionist youth perish on the battlefield in their name. The time is long overdue to break from the Zionist regime and break from US imperialism. That is an important lesson.
The international question and the victories won by the world proletariat- rethinking BDS
What was decisive in the crushing of the Paris Commune in 1871 was the combination of the French and German colonial regimes despite them being at war with each other. The German regime freed the captive French army and also sent troops to assist in the siege of Paris. The Paris Commune, despite having the support of the rural masses, were unable to hold out against the overwhelming force of the combined colonial armies. The proletarian forces in Germany were too weak at the time to pose a sufficient threat to the German regime.
The defeat of US imperialism in Vietnam in the 1970s was not solely due to the guerilla tactics of the Vietcong. Ironically, the carpet bombing of Vietnam and the indiscriminate killing of medics and bombing of hospitals pushed the masses closer to support the resistance. What was decisive was the growing resistance among the working class in the US, which impacted and split the middle class and split the military in the US. The horrors perpetrated by US imperialism in Vietnam raised questions in the minds of the US soldiers who brought their trauma back to home soil. Gradually the masses began to realize the essence of imperialist terror against the Vietnamese and they began to move to active opposition to the war. The 1970’s brought the rebirth of the workers movement in South Africa and also saw revolutionary uprisings in Portugal and its former colonies Mozambique, Angola, Guinea Bissau. The 1975 revolutionary moment in Portugal brought liberation to its colonies. Revolutionary movements in the US, France, the UK, Germany, Japan, is the path to bring liberation to Palestine and all the masses in the Middle East.
The French imperialist have a decisive say in Lebanon, Syria and Iran. US imperialism has a decisive say in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and the Emirates. The UK is the junior partner of US imperialism in the region.
An opportunity presents itself to simultaneously strike a blow against the imperialist regimes on home soil and among all their puppet regimes in the region. Already, the regimes in Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Jordan, are in such fear of the masses and a possible revolutionary uprising against them that they have been forced to make unprecedented statements denouncing their ally the Zionist regime. However none of them have cut economic ties with Israel. The Sisi regime limits the amount of aid reaching the masses in Gaza, they limit the number of internationals entering and those wanting to leave. Sisi is a partner in the current genocide. Sisi must go. The Egyptian masses should march to the Rafah border and tear down the gates and break the siege.
Boycotts and Sanctions by capitalist companies played no role in the liberation of the masses in South Africa. The role of BDS is a deliberate popular myth that reduces the mass to passivity while placing hope for liberation in the hands of the very capitalists responsible for genocide.
From 1985 to 1993 there was a revolutionary uprising in South Africa. It was the threat of revolution that made the imperialist start to divest and then it was to rebrand their agencies to pose as local, to save them from the threat of takeover by the masses. It was also to remove the rising threat on home soil. The revolutionary uprising in SA made the masses in the imperialist centres begin to question the role of their own regimes.
The SA regime, armed and funded by imperialism, and principally US and UK imperialism, waged a bloody war on the masses. The imposed 2 states of emergencies and rounded up and arrested thousands of the masses and activists. Over 40 000 died in political violence at the hands of the state and Inkatha, an armed fascist force that was later integrated into the state apparatus in 1994.
However, it was the combined strength of the workers uprising across SA with the threat of revolution on home soil of each of the imperialist powers that forced a change of relations, from slave capitalist to free capitalist relations. The threat against the imperialist regimes by the working class and masses on their home soil was what forced an end to the apartheid regime in South Africa. Only an international threat by the masses in the imperialist centres can help end the genocidal regime of Israel and of the USA.
Why was there no Socialist revolution in SA in the 1980s and what can we learn from this
In the 1980s there was the mushrooming of grassroots organs of workers control. Street and block committees were formed where communities exercised direct control of their lives as well as prepared self defence against the attacks of the state and the fascist agencies of imperialism. The organs of workers power were developing. The central problem was the Stalinist notion that workers should not take power but power should be placed in the hands of the nationalist leadership of the ANC. The ANC had no interest in taking power but its program was for incorporation into the capitalist apparatus.
The only way for the Gaza masses to resist is to organise at street, block, camp and sub region and regional sector, to integrate running their lives with the necessary task of self defence. It is correct to defend Hamas and all the resistance fighters from the attacks by imperialism and its Zionist allies. It does not mean political support but the independent organization for defence and for grassroots control. The task of the international proletariat and the broader masses is to organise for the political defeat of their regimes, all of whom are aligned with the imperialist aim of keeping the masses in the Middle East and the world in chains. This means the setting up of independent workers parties in every country and linking them towards the establishment of a new international. The immediate objective is for a permanent ceasefire and the active disarming and dismantling of the Zionist regime. It means the active tearing down the walls around Gaza, from both sides, the tearing down of the walls in and around the West Bank, the withdrawal of Zionist forces from the Golan Heights, the tearing down of the border walls from Rafah, to Jordan to Lebanon. It means the active return of the millions of the Palestinian refugees to historic Palestine. It means the setting up of a Constituent Assembly in historic Palestine where delegates from all communities, bar the representatives of the bourgeoisie, 1 per 10 000 of the masses, subject to instant recall and earning the wage of not more than a skilled worker, convene to set up an interim government and to discuss and implement the joint decisions of the Assembly. In the UK and the US the central task is the setting up of new workers parties, that are not only opposed to the genocide but actively support a free Palestine. The formation of these parties to be based on the direct action against imperialism and its agencies.
The first step however, has to be an immediate convening of an emergency conference of all pro- Palestine organizations, including the Jewish organizations and activists who support Palestine. This is to prepare an international, coordinated campaign to defeat the genocide and to advance the self defence and self determination of the Palestinian masses. The central theme has to be: Down with the genocidal regimes of US and UK imperialism. This is the only way to stop the genocide. Down with all the puppet regimes – the PA, the Israeli regime, Sisi, the Jordanian monarchy, the Saudi monarchy, etc.
We salute the concrete solidarity by the Houthi movement that limited the movement of shipping through the Hormuz strate. We salute the many grassroots actions that limited the arms and other products for Israel. The movement should explore many more avenues to deal a blow to imperialism that controls the world. The shipping traffic through the strates of Gibraltar should also be limited. The apartheid state of Israel should be persona non grata everywhere in the world. Down with US imperialism.
Two central demands for the Emergency Conference to consider:
- Bring them home now- this means the immediate return of all refugees and their families to historic Palestine and the release of all captives on both sides;
- Convening of a Constituent Assembly based on one recallable delegate per 10 000 people of all people in historic Palestine, based on point 1. This means the disbanding of the Israeli regime and the PA and the setting up of an interim government that is elected by the Constituent Assembly.
Free, free Palestine, from the river to the sea. Free the world from imperialism, from north to south, from east to west. Forward to a new revolutionary workers’ international. Forward to Socialism.
2 December 2023.
Workers International Vanguard League