Israel, with the support of all the imperialist powers in the US-NATO axis, is escalating its genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza. A genuine mass movement is developing in response. This weekend, millions of people will again march in protests on every inhabited continent, including a mass demonstration in the heart of imperialist war-planning, Washington, D.C.
It is necessary to clarify the political issues raised by this movement. What is it fighting, and what strategy must it adopt?
Israel’s atrocities are being carried out with the full political and logistical support of the Biden administration and all the imperialist governments in Europe. The political purpose is to send a message: There are no limits. Colonialism is back.
On Friday, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel carried out airstrikes targeting ambulances, a UN school, and families fleeing northern Gaza, killing dozens of people. As the bombs were raining down on injured children and doctors, Blinken declared that “the United States firmly supports Israel’s right to defend itself.”
These events were intended to send a deliberate message to the entire world: The United States and Israel will continue to massacre the people of Gaza. American imperialism, with complete contempt for world public opinion, will do what it wants.
The United States’ full support for the Netanyahu government, and the massive military strike force that has been assembled in the Mediterranean, are also intended to send a message to Iran: Stand in our way, and we’ll do the same thing to you. If you oppose us, there will be nuclear bombs headed your way.
American imperialism sees the war in the Middle East as part of its global conflict with Russia and China. As Blinken was leaving Tel Aviv, he wrote on Twitter, “Arms and equipment announced today as part of continued US assistance will help sustain Ukraine’s battlefield needs.” Having suffered a major setback with the failure of Ukraine’s “spring offensive,” the United States is determined to open up a new front in this global war.
The US and NATO powers, confronting a social, political and economic crisis, beset by the growth of opposition in the working class, see through unlimited military brutality a solution to their problems.
Action to stop the war must not be subordinated to any section of the political establishment. Throughout Europe, the parties of the ruling class have responded to mass protests with efforts to ban demonstrations and criminalize opposition to genocide. The United States is controlled by two imperialist parties of the ruling class, the Democrats and the Republicans.
As Israel escalated its genocidal actions, the US House of Representatives voted 412-10 for a resolution declaring that it “stands with Israel as it defends itself.” The US Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a resolution proposed by fascistic Republican Senator Josh Hawley slandering opponents of Israel’s actions for “expressing solidarity with terrorists” and promoting “antisemitism.”
The claim that opposition to the US-Israeli genocide is “antisemitism” is a slander against the Jewish people, masses of whom—both inside Israel and around the world—oppose the crimes of the Netanyahu regime. The real antisemites are those who claim that the Netanyahu government and the Israeli state are acting on behalf of the Jewish people.
Those who slander opponents of war as antisemites are funding neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine—whose hero is the Holocaust accomplice Stepan Bandera—to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. In September, ambassadors from the US, France, Germany, the UK and the Prime Minister of Canada all applauded a member of Adolf Hitler’s Waffen-SS.
The vast majority of the world’s population opposes Israel’s genocide in Gaza. But the imperialist powers, determined to subjugate the world through war, cannot be persuaded to change their bloody course. The growing anti-war movement can only succeed to the extent that it mobilizes the international working class, which produces all of society’s wealth.
The World Socialist Web Site, published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, calls for strikes and other protest actions by the working class in every country. We urge the organization of mass demonstrations in every city and emergency solidarity protests by college and high school students.
We call for the development of protests and demonstrations within Israel itself. Its soldiers, many of whom are reservists, should defy the criminal orders of the Netanyahu regime and the military general staff. It should be remembered that the Nuremberg tribunal set the precedent that “following orders” is not a defense.
The WSWS urges dockworkers, airport staff and transportation workers globally to engage in strikes to cut off the supply of any resources that could support Israel’s genocide. Last month, a group of Palestinian trade unions called on workers throughout the world to refuse to handle war materiel. On October 31, a coalition of Belgian airport ground crew unions called on their members to “stop handling weapons shipments to Israel.”
A general strike has been launched in the West Bank against the assault on Gaza. The vast social power of the international working class must be mobilized behind the Palestinians, including through a political general strike in all the imperialist countries.
The developing movement of workers all over the world must be armed with a socialist, internationalist and revolutionary perspective.
In the Middle East, the genocide in Gaza has exposed the bankruptcy of the fictitious “two-state” solution, in which an apartheid state exists side-by-side with ghetto-like Bantustans in which the Palestinian people are concentrated. The decades of brutal repression and violence targeting the Palestinian people have culminated in Netanyahu’s “final solution”: Israel plans to ethnically cleanse Gaza. Those who are not killed by bombing and starvation will be driven into tent cities in the Sinai Desert.
The interests of Arab workers and the interests of Jewish workers can be secured only through the dissolution of the existing state of Israel and its replacement by a multinational state, with full democratic and social rights for Jews and Arabs, as part of a socialist federation of the Middle East.
This must be connected to the building of a socialist leadership in the working class in every country. The genocide in Gaza is imperialist barbarism in its most brutal form. The escalating global war is the response of the ruling elites to the crisis of capitalism. This same crisis has produced a wave of working class strikes and protests throughout the world.
The growth of the class struggle is the objective basis for putting an end to imperialism. The fight against the genocide in Gaza must be connected to the struggle of workers around the world against exploitation and inequality and developed as a conscious and international political movement for socialism. This is the perspective for which the International Committee of the Fourth International and its affiliated Socialist Equality Parties are fighting.