Socialist Equality Party/International Youth and Students for Social Equality UK public meetings: How can the genocide in Gaza be stopped?

Millions of workers and young people in the UK and worldwide have protested Israel’s genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in Gaza. Their anger is directed not only against Netanyahu’s fascist government, but at its backers in Britain’s parliament and Israel’s paymasters in the United States.

Yet the Israeli war machine grinds on and the mountain of Palestinian corpses grows ever higher. As of January 10, more than 30,000 Palestinians—two thirds of them women and children—have been killed and around 60,000 wounded. Israel’s murderous military blockade is threatening hundreds of thousands more with death by thirst, hunger, and disease.

Britain’s Stop the War Coalition (STWC) and its political leader Jeremy Corbyn have limited all protests to calls for placing pressure on the Conservative government and its de facto allies in Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party to shift from their naked support for Israel and instead demand a ceasefire.

This is a dead end. Governments around the world are prepared to call for “humanitarian pauses” or even ceasefires in the United Nations, knowing full well that the US-NATO-Israel axis will ensure the genocide continues.

In the mouths of everyone from President Macron in France to the despotic rulers of the Arab regimes, calls for a ceasefire are a transparent cover for their active collusion with Israel in its efforts to ethnically cleanse Gaza, to be followed by the West Bank and Israel itself.

Pressure on the streets expressed by marching will not change this. On November 15 last year, days after almost a million people had marched in London, the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) ceasefire amendment to the King’s Speech was rejected by a massive 293 against to just 125 in favour. Close to three quarters (142) of Labour MPs followed Starmer’s order to abstain and only 56 voted for a ceasefire.

Not a single “left” MP responded to this open support for genocide by breaking from the party. The misnamed Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, including Diane Abbott, Richard Burgon and Apsana Begum, refuse to even oppose Starmer publicly for his criminal collusion with war crimes. Corbyn, who has already been kicked out, is still pathetically insisting that MPs will eventually be “forced to listen.”

Stop the War are reduced to urging people to contact Labour MPs and make clear that a vote for Labour will be conditional on candidates backing a ceasefire. With an election not likely until the autumn, Gaza will by then have been completely reduced to rubble and occupied, with the Israel Defence Forces likely turned to annexing the West Bank.

More dangerous still is the threat of an escalation into a regional and world war. Britain and the US have seized on the conflict to put into effect longstanding military objectives targeting Syria, Lebanon and Iran, aimed at total imperialist domination over the resources of the Middle East. They have taken the first steps in launching such a campaign with the bombing of Yemen, as they continue to assemble a massive naval and military presence in the Mediterranean.

The war on Gaza is one theatre of an expanding global conflict between nuclear powers. On mainland Europe, NATO is waging war in a proxy conflict against Russia in Ukraine, while the AUKUS military alliance is spearheading a military build-up against China.

Corbyn and a handful of Labour “lefts” will do nothing to challenge Starmer, just as they did nothing to throw out the Blairite warmongers when they led the party.

Neither can any trust be placed in left-talking trade union bureaucrats like Mick Lynch of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union who claim to be friends of Palestine but refuse to mobilise their members to blockade Britain’s arms manufacturers and the despatch of British ships, aircraft and troops to the Middle East.

Every initiative taken to mobilise popular opposition to Netanyahu and his allies in London and Washington is vital, including boycotts and legal challenges, such as that taken out by South Africa at the International Court of Justice. But no legal campaign, no appeal to the United Nations, and no combination of rival capitalist powers to the US, including China, can bring an end to the genocide.

The only force capable of doing so is the international working class, which must be mobilised independently in a political struggle against the capitalist class, in the imperialist centres and in every other country, and against all the governments and parties that defend the profit system that is the root cause of military barbarism and war.

Ending the mass murder and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and opposing the expanding war waged by the NATO powers and their proxies demands a global, socialist anti-war movement. Students and young people must take the lead in turning out to factories and workplaces, arguing for working-class action, including strikes and boycotts of arms companies, docks and airports, and for a political struggle against the Tory government and the equally criminal Labour Party.

To discuss these vital questions, make plans to attend the meeting in your area.

Monday February 12, doors open 6:30pm for 7:00pm start
Friends Meeting House (behind Manchester Central Library)
6 Mount Street
Manchester, M2 5NS

Register to attend: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-can-the-gaza-genocide-be-stopped-tickets-795467162697

Wednesday February 14, 6:30pm
Marchmont Community Centre
62 Marchmont Street
London, WC1N 1AB

Register to attend: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-can-the-gaza-genocide-be-stopped-tickets-795426280417

Saturday February 17, doors open 12:30pm for 1:00pm start
Spectrum Centre
1B Margaret Street
Inverness, IV1 1LS

Register to attend: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-can-the-gaza-genocide-be-stopped-tickets-795614342917

Wednesday February 21, 7:00pm
Sheffield Workstation (Showroom 5)
Paternoster Row
Sheffield, S1 2BX

Register to attend: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-can-the-gaza-genocide-be-stopped-tickets-796907500787