The Internationalist  
  November 2012  

For International Workers Action to Defeat Israeli Assault/Occupation!

Zionist Mass Murderers Strike Again:
Defend Gaza!

Palestinian mourners chant slogans during funeral of people killed in Israeli air strikes, November 17.
(Photo: Ali Ali/ EPA)

U.S./NATO Imperialists, Israeli Zionists and Arab Islamists: Hands Off Syria!

Defend the Palestinian People – For an Arab/Hebrew Workers State in a Socialist Federation of the Near East

NOVEMBER 17 – As soon as the U.S. elections were over, the Zionist Israeli government launched a rain of death against the beleaguered Palestinian population of Gaza. The killing of the military leader of Hamas was accompanied by a full-scale barrage of indiscriminate aerial bombing. So far, the death toll in the tiny Gaza strip is over 30, including nine children killed by the supposed “pinpoint” bombardment. Tens of thousands of Israeli reservists have been called up and a ground assault may well be imminent. Meanwhile, U.S. imperialism stands fully behind the Israeli militarists, while threatening Syria. Gaza must not stand alone! Class-conscious workers should mobilize their power in concrete action to defend the Palestinian people and defeat the Zionist militarists and their imperialist backers.

If U.S. president Barack Obama began his re-election campaign with the murder of Osama bin Laden (see “Barack Obama’s Global Assassination Bureau,” The Internationalist, November 2012), Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu launched his campaign for the January 2013 elections by the terrorist assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari. Jabari was the head of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, the governing Islamist party of Gaza. Israeli leaders and the pro-Zionist imperialist media pretend that the attack on Gaza was in response to rockets from Gaza aimed at Israel. This is an absurd pretext, since rockets have killed a grand total of 13 people over the last four years, less than the number of fatalities in an average week of Israeli traffic accidents. Rather, the serial murderer Netanyahu, who is responsible for killing thousands of civilians, prefers to run for reelection with bombs dropping and Palestinians dying.

But the blood-drenched premier is hardly the only Israeli politician who classifies as a war criminal. His partner in crime is war minister Ehud Barak, the former leader of the “Labor” opposition, who ran Israel’s 2009 Operation Cast Lead that slaughtered upwards of 1,400 residents of the Gaza. And the current leader of the Zionist capitalist “Labor” Party, Shelly Yachimovich, hasn’t uttered a word against the murderous attack on Gaza, nor against the expansion of settlements in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank. All Israeli capitalist politicians are responsible for this latest crime of Zionist militarism. In contrast, there have been  demonstrations of several hundred protesters in Tel Aviv and Haifa against the Israeli attacks. They have faced bloodthirsty fascistic counterdemonstrators calling for the extermination of Arabs, leftists and homosexuals.

Thousands demonstrate outside Cairo mosque denouncing Israeli attack on Gaza, November 16. Muslim Brotherhood government calls for ceasefire while keeping Palestinian population of Gaza locked up. (Khaled Elfiqi/EPA)

In Egypt, while the Cairo masses denounce the Israeli attacks, the Islamist leaders now in office are proposing a long-term ceasefire with Israel. The proposal is being prepared by Morsi together with Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the emir of Qatar and Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. This is same gang of Islamist capitalist leaders who have joined with U.S. imperialism in trying to patch together a pro-imperialist puppet government to prepare the way for a full-scale U.S./NATO attack on Syria. And while the Zionists bomb Gaza, the Egyptian government keeps the Palestinian population there imprisoned behind barbed wire and steel barriers.

Some leftists, such as Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialists (who notoriously supported the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi on the second round of the presidential election earlier this year) have said the government should be “cutting all ties with the Zionist enemy, abolishing the Camp David agreement, deploying the Egyptian army in Sinai and permanently reopening the Rafah crossing” (Socialist Worker (U.K.), 17 November). Genuinely revolutionary communists are absolutely for opening the gates to the Gaza Strip, but the idea that the Egyptian government would undertake military action to defend the Palestinians is deeply false. Under nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt ruled Gaza with an iron hand, and ever since it has cooperated with the Israeli occupation and starvation blockade. However, Egyptian workers and youth could march on the Gaza border, cut off Egyptian supplies of gas to Israel, and block U.S. and Israeli ships from the Suez Canal.

The Israeli warmongers are always ready to use the genocidal Nazi Holocaust against Jews in Europe as an excuse for their latest murderous rampage. Yet the Zionist militarists have a racist mentality that in many ways reflects that of the anti-Semitic German (and other) fascists, only directed against another Semitic people, the Arabs. In promising to repeat the attacks on Gaza, Israeli army leaders talk of “cutting the grass,” by periodically mowing down those who resist Zionist occupation. The rocket attacks by Hamas, Islamic jihad and others are ineffective and counterproductive, but they are often greeted by desperate Palestinians filled with justifiable rage against the Israeli starvation blockade. While giving no political support to the reactionary Islamists, or to the Palestinian Authority which has become a puppet of the Israeli occupiers, any socialist opponent of Zionism must stand for military defense of Gaza and all the Occupied Territories.

Not only is the savage Israeli assault not a response to rocket launchings from Gaza, it may have been intended to undercut negotiations for an extended ceasefire. As revealed in an article by Gershon Baskin (“Israel’s Shortsighted Assassination,” New York Times, 17 November), the slain al-Qassem Brigades leader Jabari had received a draft ceasefire proposal, drawn up by Baskin and the Hamas deputy foreign minister and supported by “key Hamas leaders,” including detailed provisions for the Gaza government to enforce a ban on rocket launchings. Such an agreement would have turned Hamas into a joint client of Egypt and Israel. Yet even that would not satisfy Zionist leaders who are bent on war.

The present assault on Gaza is only the prelude to a wider conflagration in the Middle East. In the days before the assassination of Jabari, the Israeli military shelled Syria from the occupied Golan Heights. Meanwhile, the Zionists are chomping at the bit to attack Iran, supposedly to destroy its nuclear facilities. Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons, and is prepared to use them on civilian populations, while Iran has none. The real threat to (non-existent) peace in the region is Israel, which has launched war after war. And while politically opposing the mullah regime in Tehran (as well as the Islamist-led opposition), we insist that Iran has every right to develop nuclear weapons against the very real military threats it faces from Israel and the United Sates. We call as well for the exploited and oppressed throughout the region to join with workers and opponents of imperialism everywhere to demand that U.S./NATO imperialists get out of the Middle East.

Internationalist Group at November 15 NYC protest against Israeli attack on Gaza. (Internationalist photo)

Over the last year and a half, most of the left has supported a supposed “Arab Spring” and “revolutions” in Tunisia and Egypt. Yet while the dictators were toppled, the dictatorships remain. Today “moderate” Islamist rulers sit atop military-based regimes allied with the imperialists. And Libya, after a horrendous bloodbath, has become a NATO protectorate run by competing gangs of Islamist terrorists. Now the opportunist leftists are pulling the same sham they did over Libya, claiming to oppose Western intervention while supporting Syrian “rebels” who are begging for Western arms. The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International demand: U.S./ NATO imperialists, hands off Syria. And while not advocating an on-going boycott of all things Israeli or divestment, which are (fruitless) attempts at engineering imperialist pressure on Israel, we call today (as we did at the time of the June 2010 Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, see “Oakland Picket Blocks Israeli Ship”) for workers action to defeat the Zionist assault, particularly a labor boycott of transport to and from Israel.

As we wrote of the last major Israeli attack on Gaza:

“The first task today must be to defend the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupier and oppressor. Recognizing the Palestinian right to self-determination and to a Palestinian state, proletarian internationalists also recognize the right to existence and national self-determination of the Hebrew-speaking population while opposing a religion-based, ethnically exclusive regime such as Zionist Israel – a state founded on the basis of stealing the Palestinians’ lands and expelling the people – which is inherently oppressive to the non-Jewish population and Arabs in particular.

“The Trotskyists of the League for the Fourth International stand for an Arab-Hebrew workers state in a socialist federation of the Near East.”

–“Zionist Mass Murder: Break the Siege, Defend Gaza!The Internationalist No. 28, March-April 2009

We seek to build a common Trotskyist party in all of Palestine as we fight in the United States to break with the Democratic and Republican parties of capital, to form a revolutionary workers party. Above all, it is necessary to mobilize the working class to defeat marauding U.S. imperialism, without whose backing the kill-crazed Zionist rulers of Israel would never be able to get away with mass murder the way they have for decades. Smash imperialism and Zionism through international socialist revolution!

To contact the Internationalist Group and the League for the Fourth International, send e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com