In the course of four weeks of brutal and one-sided violence, from late December 2018 to January 2019, Israeli forces killed more than 1,300 Palestinians while losing only a handful of soldiers.
In a statement denouncing the war, the WSWS wrote:
The combined air and ground attack on the densely populated and virtually defenseless enclave is a war crime. The incursion of Israeli troops, tanks and artillery, on top of the ongoing bombardment from air and sea of civilian targets, sets the stage for a sharp increase in the bloodletting...
As always, the Israeli regime's use of military violence is accompanied by a staggering level of cynicism, hypocrisy and deceit. A state that possesses one of the most modern and sophisticated military machines in the world is once again casting itself as the victim...
A million-and-a-half people are imprisoned in an area the size of metropolitan Detroit—a sliver of land wedged between the desert and the Mediterranean Sea. They are prevented from leaving by Israeli troops to the north and east and troops of Egyptian dictator Mubarak to the south.
The statement pointed to the central responsibility of the outgoing Bush administration in the United States, which gave its full backing to the Israeli military assault, as well as the complicity of president-elect, Barack Obama, who maintained a public silence on the grounds that there was “only one president at a time.” The WSWS commented: “Here the legal principle—silence denotes consent—applies in full. It should be noted that Obama had no similar compunctions only a few months ago when it came to promoting the handout of hundreds of billions in taxpayer funds to his supporters and friends on Wall Street.”
On January 10, the WSWS published a statement, “A socialist answer to the Gaza crisis,” which was distributed at international demonstrations against the Israeli war on Gaza. The statement rejected any attempt to equate the policies of the Israeli state with those of the population as a whole, pointing to the immense inequality within Israel:
Israeli society is wrought by profound social divisions. Its government is thoroughly embroiled in corruption. One of the aims of the onslaught on the Gaza Strip is, in the middle of an election campaign, to divert attention from the seething social tensions inside Israel itself.
Zionism has proved to be a trap for the Jewish people. Socialists have always warned that the Jewish question cannot be solved by setting up a capitalist national state on a religious basis. The overcoming of anti-Semitism and the persecution of Jews is inseparably bound up with the abolition of capitalist class society and the fate of the international working class. The Holocaust was made possible only by the prior destruction of the German workers’ movement by the Nazis.
A subsequent comment exposed the perfidious role of the various Arab bourgeois regimes in the Middle East, whether monarchies or military-run police states.