The World Socialist Web Site International Editorial Board condemns the war crimes by the Israeli regime in its homicidal rampage in Gaza, which is being carried out with the full support of the United States and all the imperialist powers. We call on workers and youth throughout the world to mobilize protests to demand these war crimes be stopped.
The aim of the Israeli onslaught is to kill as many Palestinians as possible and to render Gaza dysfunctional and uninhabitable. The Netanyahu regime intends to wipe Gaza off the face of the earth, a fact that is confirmed by the announcement late Thursday that Israel is demanding that the 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza evacuate within 24 hours. It is, in effect, sending Gazans on a death march.
This is a genocidal project. There are 2.2 million people in Gaza, which has one of the highest population densities in the world. Half of the population, some one million people, are younger than the age of 18. Trapped from leaving with the closure of border crossings into Israel and Egypt, they face systematic starvation, constant bombardment and the prospect of an imminent invasion.
Since launching its savage onslaught on Gaza Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces have dropped 6,000 bombs weighing some 4,000 tons on the enclave. According to Palestinian health authorities, 1,417 people have been killed, half of whom are women and children, but the death toll is undoubtedly far higher. The AP released video of the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, with a population of 116,000 packed into 1.4 square kilometers. The AP noted that the camp had been “razed to the ground” by Israeli airstrikes.
The Netanyahu regime has cut all electricity, water and fuel supplies to Gaza, an act of collective punishment that is itself a war crime. The International Committee of the Red Cross warned Thursday that “hospitals risk turning into morgues” as their fuel-powered generators run out and Israel refuses to open humanitarian corridors to evacuate the seriously ill and injured. Life support for babies in incubators and elderly patients has been turned off.
Chilling remarks from across the Israeli political establishment make clear that these horrendous acts are just the beginning of what can best be described as Operation Mass Murder.
Speaking Wednesday after the confirmation of an emergency government with opposition leader Benny Gantz, Netanyahu stated that “every Hamas man is a dead man.” The militant nationalist group that led Saturday’s assault on Israel won the support of over 400,000 Gazans in the 2006 election, underscoring that Netanyahu would have to order the slaughter of hundreds of thousands to carry out his threat. Gantz was no less bloodthirsty, declaring that it was “time for war,” and that Israel intends to “wipe Hamas off the face of the earth.”
These are statements that echo those of the Nazi regime in Germany, whose leaders were hanged at Nuremberg. When the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto rose up in early 1943 against Nazi occupation, followed one year later by the Polish resistance, Hitler’s regime flattened the city in a manner comparable to the destruction of Gaza that is now in its early stages.
The Biden administration and the media, justifying the slaughter, attempt to portray Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians as an inexplicable outrage, expressing nothing else than “pure evil.” But the fact is that the rebellion was provoked by decades of relentless oppression by the Israeli government against the Palestinians.
Just two months ago, nearly three thousand, predominantly Jewish public intellectuals from all over the world signed a letter under the headline, “Elephant in the Room,” which described the conditions that preceded the attack from Hamas. They referred to “the direct link between Israel’s recent attack on the judiciary and its illegal occupation of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Palestinian people lack almost all basic rights, including the right to vote and protest. They face constant violence: this year alone, Israeli forces have killed over 190 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and demolished over 590 structures. Settler vigilantes burn, loot, and kill with impunity.”
The letter continued, “There cannot be democracy for Jews in Israel as long as Palestinians live under a regime of apartheid, as Israeli legal experts have described it. Indeed, the ultimate purpose of the judicial overhaul is to tighten restrictions on Gaza, deprive Palestinians of equal rights both beyond the Green Line and within it, annex more land, and ethnically cleanse all territories under Israeli rule of their Palestinian population.”
All of this is now being deliberately suppressed. A totally false, lying narrative is being concocted, according to which Israel is the victim of Nazi-style attacks from the Palestinians, who in fact have been oppressed and subjected to repeated bombardments and massacres for decades. The Israeli government and its supporters are seeking to exploit the Holocaust to justify their own genocidal crimes.
The Israeli massacre has the full support and encouragement of the imperialist powers in Europe and the United States. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Netanyahu Thursday, as the invasion was being planned, to declare his full support for Israel. Asked in an interview with NBC News whether there were any “red lines” that Israel might cross, Blinken responded that he was “not going to get into any of the operational details, and again, we’re determined to support them.”
In other words, Israel has a blank check for anything it does. In a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Blinken declared: “I come before you not only as the United States secretary of state, but also as a Jew.” Blinken’s explicit association of his personal religion with his official role as a representative of the US government exposes his indifference to and ignorance of the Constitution-based separation of church and state. His statement provides grist for antisemitic propaganda, as it falsely associates all Jewish people with the crimes of the Netanyahu regime.
If he were speaking honestly, Blinken would have said, “I come to Israel not only as US secretary of state, but also as an accomplice in the destruction of Gaza and the mass murder of Palestinians.”
Blinken’s trip followed US President Joe Biden’s speech Tuesday, denouncing the Palestinian uprising as the expression of “pure unadulterated evil.” Speaking Thursday on the sidelines of the NATO Defense Ministers Summit in Brussels, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that “no conditions” would be placed on how weapons supplied to Israel by the US are used.
As the imperialist powers wage ever more openly a war against the world, even the remnants of bourgeois democracy are being dispensed with. Protests in support of the Palestinians were banned this week across Europe and North America, with participants demonized by the authorities as supporters of “terrorism.”
On the college campuses, right-wing Zionists are attempting to create an atmosphere of terror and threats. Student groups and individuals who have spoken out against Israeli crimes have had their names and personal information released and publicized. At a rally at Brooklyn College yesterday, a member of the New York City Council, Inna Vernikov, showed up brandishing a firearm to intimidate students.
To those who accuse opponents of Israeli crimes of being antisemitic, we say that the Israeli government consists of a pack of fascists. This includes Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has ordered his ministry to purchase 10,000 assault rifles to arm right-wing settler militias. Ben-Gvir had previously been convicted of racist incitement for chanting “Death to Arabs” and for supporting a terrorist group.
As for the US and European powers, they are aligned with fascists in Ukraine, exemplified in the standing ovation given last month by the Canadian Parliament, along with representatives from all the G7 countries, for Yaroslav Hunka, a veteran of the Ukrainian Waffen-SS, which was responsible for the massacre of Jews under the direction of Nazi Germany.
The Israeli onslaught on Gaza must be seen in the context of the escalating US-NATO war against Russia, the initial stage of world war. The imperialist redivision of the world will assume the form not just of conflicts between countries, but an ever more direct and violent war against masses of people. The ruling elites in all the capitalist countries, moreover, face an intersecting series of economic, social and political crises which they are seeking to divert through an explosion of military violence.
The ruling class believes that the media is presenting public opinion, but support for the Palestinians is widespread among the population throughout the world, and strikes and protests by workers are on the rise in every country. Within Israel, the Netanyahu regime has confronted sustained opposition from the working class over the past year to its drive to gut democratic rights and establish an authoritarian regime.
The working class must intervene to stop the massacre by demanding an immediate halt to the supply of weapons to Israel. Mass protests and demonstrations should be organized in every city and college campus to demand an end to the murderous onslaught.
These demands are inseparable from the broader struggle to put an end to the intolerable conditions faced by the Palestinians and all forms of oppression around the world, which requires the development of a mass movement in the international working class for socialism.