Why is imperialism invading Rafah? A discussion and some suggestions

Every single weapon being used by the Zionist army in the attack on the unarmed Palestinian masses in Gaza has been supplied by imperialism, directly and indirectly. The jets are being maintained by teams from imperialist companies and the jet fuel comes directly from US arms companies. Imperialism is invading Rafah and is perpetrating the genocide there.

The bourgeois media, many governments and even the UN and its various arms have criticised the Palestinian resistance for 'hostage-taking'. They lose sight of the fact that Palestinians live under military law of Israel. This means that thousands have been and still are arrested without charge. Thousands of Palestinian prisoners are held in the zionist gulags without charge for months and sometimes years. If Palestinians disagree with any Israeli policy they could be assassinated, again with no recourse to any court anywhere in the world. The case of journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh, is but one of many examples. She was killed by an Israeli army sniper two years ago while merely reporting the news. Once again, no bourgeois structure in the world holds the zionist state accountable. The killers are still part of the state, often even getting promotion for their acts of violence. There is NO legal means for Palestinians to challenge the systemic mass hostage-taking by the Israeli state. The method of the  Palestinians taking captives from among the zionists has been the ONLY way to force the release of some of their comrades. It has been going on for many years. Note the contrast. The Palestinian resistance, despite their little resources, have always treated their captives well. On the other hand, the zionist regime have often subjected the Palestinian prisoners to torture, abuse, denial of medical treatment, and yes, in several cases the prisoners have suffered sexual assault at the hands of their captors. If anyone has any legal method of stopping the zionist method of military rule, let them propose it. There is none. Military law over Palestinians must end. 

The question has to be answered as to why imperialism is invading Rafah at this moment?

  1. One of the aims is to kill off the remaining captives. This is consistent with the murder by the IDF of the 3 captives who tried to approach them in daylight, hands in the air while speaking in Hebrew. The entire colonial project of imperialism is based on the dehumanisation of Palestinians. This process is artificially sustained. After 7 months of mass slaughter the narrative of the captives who only speak highly of the Palestinian resistance breaks down this process of dehumanisation. The captives would come into contact with many others and just by telling the truth would unmask the Zionist project as a fake, as a death cult. Dead captives would tell no tales. This is why one of the aims of the invasion, despite the resistance offering to free them in a mediated process, is to kill off the remaining captives.
  2. The second aim of the imperialist is to kill off as many as possible of the most progressive and most militant resistance fighters. Imperialism realises that they have to make peace at some stage. They prefer to negotiate with those who are more accommodating. In South Africa, in 1993, Chris Hani, the top leader of the SACP, was assassinated and in the years up to the negotiations process many of the Left were either pushed out of the movement or killed off by the state. It must remember that US imperialism was one of the main sponsors of the apartheid state in South Africa.
  3. The third aim is to attempt to split the masses and to beat them into submission. This has been the ongoing theme since 1948 whenever the Palestinian masses have rebelled against the slavery conditions imposed by imperialism.

The question then is how to illustrate to the masses of the world and the masses in Israel the above points. A possible framework could be to unilaterally declare:

  1. A suspension of firing of rockets into civilian areas
  2. A unilateral offer to start the process of freeing the captives, whether alive or dead, with minimum conditions. For example, one every 3 days. It is not for us to say which minimum conditions or how minimum it should be. At a later stage there can be a return to discussions on a broader process. Already Israeli doctors are exposing the torture chambers in the Zionist gulags. Already even CNN has exposed that there were no rapes and that the entire campaign was based on lies. 60 journalism professors across the USA have already written to the New York Times objecting to the fake reports on Oct 7.

If imperialism refuses these minimums then it will be clear to the masses of the world what their real intentions are. The political protests will intensify as the real character of imperialism is held up to the spotlight in front of the masses of the world. It will also be clear to the masses in Israel that imperialism has no regard for the captives and even for their lives. It will be clear to the Israeli soldier that they are merely cannon fodder for the aims of imperialism. Already many youth do not want to return to Gaza and the IDF has been forced to recruit from among the war veterans who are themselves reluctant. There will be a more open process of the rank-and-file soldier questioning the leadership of the regime.

The Palestinian and Israeli masses, despite their perceived differences, have more in common with one another than they have with the masters of war, the imperialist banks and Lockheed Martin and Boeing. These companies see both Palestinian and Israeli as cannon fodder for their war machine.

The central demands uniting both masses are:

  1. An immediate ceasefire
  2. The convening of a Constituent Assembly involving the Palestinian masses and the masses of Israel, including the Palestinian refugees. Grassroots councils of delegates, subject to instant recall and limited to earning the wage of a skilled worker, to be the basis of this process. The Netanyahu regime and the Palestinian Authority are obstacles to the unity of the masses. This means ending military law over the Palestinians. 

We support the call of the Palestinian trade unions for a General Strike on the 15th May. We call on the masses in the entire region, including in Israel, to join the strike. We call for the masses around the globe to engage in solidarity actions in support of the strike. The Zionist regime and the PA must fall.

Workers of the world unite. We have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a world to win.

[We elaborate further in a call to the youth at the university campuses around the globe and a call to the Israeli masses in separate articles on our website]

Issued by Workers International Vanguard League

12 May 2024.

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