Let Gaza Live!
Cease Fire Now! Stop the Genocide!
Just as many folks who value human rights have condemned the killing of civilians by Hamas, millions here in the US are condemning the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians, along with hostages, carried out by the Israeli regime. The bombardment of Palestinians is in no way proportionate as a retaliatory measure but is being carried out as an ethnic cleansing measure against Palestinians in general. Unimaginable horror has been inflicted with bombs raining down on Gaza and scores of innocent civilians, if not hundreds, killed daily (over 29,000 total and counting). 85% of Gaza residents have now been displaced! For years, the leadership in Israel was content with the rule of Hamas in Gaza as a convenient counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization which in the past called for a democratic, secular regime.
The façade of war with Hamas masks the overall plan to carry out the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, to occupy Gaza with Israeli troops, and to impose a more restrictive apartheid system there. The general goal being to eventually drive out the Palestinian population from Gaza and the West Bank. Israel's ethnic cleansing policy exceeds, in lethal brutality, the now defunct South African apartheid system. With the end of the 7-day ceasefire, Netanyahu made it clear that he cares nothing about the lives of the hostages, international law, or the risk of regional war. As the plan has unfolded, the risk of a regional conflagration has increased. Hezbollah and Israel are exchanging rocket fire across the Lebanese border daily. Elsewhere in the region, Yemenis in the north of the country hijacked a commercial ship in the Red Sea and have since attacked more than 2 dozen others with drones, missiles, and speed boats demanding an end to the war on Gaza. US personnel have been repeatedly attacked in Iraq and Syria as well. The direct involvement of Iran is now on the table. And if that happens, others will join the fray.
In September 2005, Israel completed a separation plan from Gaza in order to preserve the “Jewish state”. It controlled entry and exit points (land, sea, and air) as well as water, electricity, and telecommunications. 8000 settlers were relocated. Israeli control of life sustaining resources inflicted hardship on all Palestinians living in Gaza. In 2006 Hamas was elected. Subsequently, Hamas decided to end elections and close down political space for ordinary working people. This strategy served as an obstacle to the development of a working-class movement capable of achieving liberation for Palestinians. Likewise, their militias cannot end the brutal occupation of Palestinian territories or substitute for the organized action of the Palestinian masses. The killing of civilians by Hamas did not represent resistance but rather, strengthened the forces of occupation. However, no leadership defending the interests of Palestinian working people is acceptable to Israel or Washington and a tough road lies ahead.
What a historical irony emerged that victims of the Holocaust would be founders of a regime which for decades has engaged in violent ethnic cleansing of an indigenous population! In Israel, Netanyahu’s attempts to normalize corruption, dismantle the rule of law, and undermine the unions, are straight out of the fascist playbook. The superficial mask of a “civilized”, “democratic”, and “progressive” Israel has been torn off by the crude and brutal Netanyahu, committing capricious acts of genocide against Palestinians. The hysterical bloodlust campaign, coming from the US corporate propaganda machine, failed miserably to impose a double standard of human rights on thousands of Jewish refuseniks who are mobilizing because they see human rights as a universal standard to be respected internationally.
The hysterical bloodlust campaign here did not shut down the massive response from youth and working people. Because of this, corporate barons, their media, their schools, and their politicians launched a counterattack via Cancel Culture. They are trying to cancel those opposing apartheid and genocide. They have resorted to doxing, firing uncooperative media hosts, and destroying the future careers of refuseniks. Their Cancel Culture campaign includes the lies that we all support Hamas and that we are all antisemites. We can expect attempts to restrict clothing, flags, signs, and speech going forward. The Cancel Culture campaign has only strengthened the resolve of refuseniks. They are delving more deeply into politics and spreading more broadly the forbidden words: “genocide”, “apartheid”, “Let Gaza Live!”, and “Free Palestine!”
The Biden administration and the politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, support the genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. These demagogues give the impression that Israel is on the verge of being wiped out by Hamas. They claim that Hamas hides among civilians and therefore wiping out thousands of innocent civilians is OK. This kind of logic harks back to the days of the Vietnam war when soldiers were ordered to "destroy the village in order to save it". The few who oppose this, like Congresswoman Rashida Talib, need to be commended for their calls for a permanent cease fire and an end to the genocide, despite any political differences we may have with them. They are under great pressure, especially from the hysterical propaganda being spewed by the major media and politicians. They are being falsely smeared as antisemitic and as being supporters of Hamas, just as we are, and will be under constant attack.
Thousands of innocent lives in Gaza have been obliterated because Palestinians are penned up in an open-air prison with no place to go. Thousands of Palestinian civilians who fled northern Gaza will be unable to return as the area is being ethnically cleansed. Before the 7-day ceasefire, thousands who fled to central and southern Gaza were told that this area was safe, but then were murdered anyway through deliberate aerial bombardment. No area is safe. Over 300 Palestinians have been murdered in the West Bank since October 7, including dozens of children. 192 before that were murdered since the year’s beginning. The US State Department complains but Washington will do nothing to stop it. They value the “special relationship” with Israel. That “special relationship” means that tax dollars are funding genocide with no conditions attached. Coddling apartheid in South Africa (“constructive engagement”) never benefited working people. Coddling Israel will change nothing. Waiting for politicians means complicity. We must take matters into our own hands.
The Boston May Day Coalition demands:
* Ceasefire Now! End the Bombing Now! End the Siege Now! Let Gaza Live!
* End All US Arms Shipments to Israel Now! End All US Aid to Israel Now!
* US War Ships Out of the Mediterranean Now! Bring All US Troops in the Region Home Now!
* The Israeli apartheid regime must be sanctioned, and Israeli firms profiting from apartheid must be boycotted. The BDS campaign must continue.
* We recognize that the US government is deeply complicit in the war crimes carried out by the Israeli regime and understand that the US government needs to be held accountable.
* We encourage everyone to participate in the public protests against the genocide in Gaza. End the War Now!
The international movement denouncing Israeli apartheid and the genocide against Gaza is here to stay and is expanding. The youth will not be subdued, and the protests will continue. Israeli controlled Bantustans for Palestinians clash with the image of modern-day culture. For decades many here have educated themselves about the Zionist project calling for an end to US aid for Israel. The myths of American exceptionalism and Israeli exceptionalism are slowly being swept away. Both will end up in the trash can of history, as outdated dogma. Hundreds of thousands have mobilized here in the US and in countries all over the world. Millions more now have a better understanding of the violent nature of Israeli apartheid. 600,000 marched in London on November 11th and large protests are continuing. Politics in the UK have been shaken up because of this, resulting in the sacking of the Home Secretary.
Modern political culture defends religious freedom, secular government, and human rights. After WW II, the necessary tasks of achieving independence, democracy, and secular government in Palestine were aborted by the supremacy of the Zionist project which was imposed on Palestinians as they were awakening to their own national consciousness. Before WW II Jews were often identified with fights for workers’ rights, championing the oppressed, and socialist politics. Today, Israel represents the opposite. However, many thousands of Jews are reclaiming their heritage by joining the resistance against neoliberalism, neocolonialism, and neofascism. They have thrown off the decrepit and dishonest notion that any criticism of Israel represents antisemitism.
Zionism has aligned itself with many reactionary and destructive historical movements since WW II. Israel invaded Egypt and Gaza in 1956 with a goal of Western control of the Suez Canal. Israel supported the genocide in Vietnam, Western European colonialism & neocolonialism, and the genocidal US interventions in Latin America. It was a staunch supporter of apartheid in South Africa, the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the blockades against Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries. The entire list is far too long to note here. And of course, Zionism imposed an apartheid system across the Palestinian territories under its control. From a persecuted minority in Europe, Zionists came to be rulers of a brutal colonial settler state servicing the imperial project of the US State Department. Palestinians cry for freedom, joining millions worldwide seeking freedom from Western imperial domination.
In December, the Republic of South Africa filed a case against the State of Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, Netherlands for the “Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip”. Public presentations were made on January 11 and 12 by South Africa and Israel respectively. In the midst of mobilizations worldwide, the initiation of this case, and the court ruling against Israel, cracks in the propaganda campaign have developed where open debate is beginning to replace vilification and lying smears against supporters of Palestinians. The voices of ordinary Palestinians demanding justice and the right to live have now entered the debate in the corporate media. More politicians are beginning to timidly challenge the “special relationship” with Israel.
In today’s world, antisemitism persists. This poses the question: How can the Jews survive? Serving as a violent proxy for the US in the Middle East and beyond will not bring stability or peace for Israelis. Israel is correctly regarded as a zealot of Western imperial strategy worldwide. Once again, Jews are being placed in the position of being scapegoats for wars and the evils of Western imperial intervention. Does the “Jewish state” serve the interests of working people in Israel? It only breeds separation, concrete walls, discrimination, and conflict. When the wealthy rulers here turn to fascism to resolve their recurring crises, Jews again will be portrayed as convenient scapegoats for inequality and US policy. As a persecuted minority in various regions, Jews face the same fate as millions of others who face violence, persecution, and desperate living conditions worldwide. It is imperative that working people worldwide demand refuge for those who face violence and persecution, no matter their religion or social class. Supporting hateful trends like Antisemitism, Zionism, Arabophobia, and Islamophobia is a deadly trap for working people and the oppressed. All the xenophobic hate campaigns must be rejected in favor of international working-class solidarity. Our survival depends on this.
We must also ask: How can the Arabs and Muslims survive? Are they destined to follow the calamitous path of subservience to monarchies, religion-based states, and dictatorial regimes? Are ethno-states the answer? History has answered otherwise. The Arab Spring demonstrated that rebellion has been brewing and people’s minds have been changing. Working people and oppressed minorities feel the same exploitation and poverty there, as elsewhere. Muslims and Arabs have not fared well in recent years, unless they belong to the wealthy class which wallows in corruption and decadence. Muslims and Arabs living here can only expect the worst from a fascist movement. Working class Arabs, Muslims, and Jews must sooner or later conclude that aligning with the reactionary, antiworker interests of the world will not further their interests as workers and oppressed peoples.
Sooner or later, we must come to see the importance of forming an alliance against the exploiters and oppressors. As working people, we face attacks on our unions, xenophobia and racism, an unfolding climate catastrophe, denial of abortion rights, an emerging fascist movement, and the growing prospect of nuclear war. To survive, we need to unite in support of secular, working-class political programs coupled with international working-class solidarity. There is no other way out for us as working people.