England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

Israel-Palestine: Building a mass struggle against siege, occupation and bloodshed

Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, which was triggered by the brutal Hamas massacres of 7 October targeting mostly civilians, is in reality a war of revenge massacres, collective punishment and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people. In contrast to the lies of Netanyahu and his backers, this war is not for ‘self-defence’, but for the reorganisation of the siege, occupation and the national oppression of the Palestinian people. It also poses the danger of a new scale of horrors not seen since the Nakba of 1948, such as forced transfer of residents out of the strip.

Giora Eiland, once head of Israel’s National Security Council argued: “Israel needs to create a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, compelling tens of thousands to seek refuge in Egypt or the Gulf – Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.”

Horror upon horror has been heaped on a people who have already been forced to endure 16 years of siege, and who in many cases are themselves refugees, or children or grandchildren of refugees from 1948. Such is the scale of repression in the West Bank that, even before 7 October, more Palestinians had lost their lives in conflict than for any year since 2005. In the longer term, the brutality of the Israeli attack will not silence the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

A huge solidarity movement has emerged internationally and across the Middle East, demanding an immediate ceasefire. Various dictators in the area will be apprehensive of movements of their own populations demanding an end to the slaughter, and the threat that these marchers could pose to their own rule.

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have also been at the forefront of marches and strikes over Gaza. Illegal settlers, with the open support of the Israeli government and the Israeli army continue the annexation drive to push Palestinians out of their villages and land. The West Bank is a powder keg, where the Palestinian Authority lacks any popular legitimacy, and is rightly seen as a regime of collaborators.

Such is the level of intimidation designed to silence any voices raised against the war. And it is mainly directed at Arab-Palestinians within the Green Line who hold Israeli citizenship and anyone daring to speak out. Repression is taking place mainly in workplaces and campuses.

Socialist Struggle Movement, ISA in Israel-Palestine, is energetically fighting the repression. ISA members in Israel-Palestine not only take part in building the fight back against the witch hunt, the war and bloodbath in Gaza. Our members, despite the authoritarian attacks, are committed to building opposition as a part of the struggle against the root cause of this crisis and for a fundamental change of the reality in the region. In the context of national oppression, capitalism and imperialism, there is no future for millions of Palestinians and Israelis. A struggle is needed to solve the fundamental problems. 

There is no military solution to the ongoing cycle of bloodshed and war. A real political solution cannot come as a result of more deals between the corrupt ruling elites in the region, but only as a result of a struggle against them and their agenda.

This struggle is part of a cross-border struggle for socialist change, which will make it possible to control the resources and the wealth of the region on a genuine equal and democratic basis, while guaranteeing equal rights for all nations, including the right to selfdetermination and the right not to live under siege, occupation and bombings.

In the face of the catastrophic pro-capitalist nationalist politics that lead to disasters, oppression, massacres and destruction of life, it is necessary to fight for a socialist alternative putting forward a programme of an internationalist, working-class and socialist struggle on both sides of the national divide.

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