(January 3rd, 2009 leaflet of the Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee)
. On December 27, Israeli Zionist F-16 fighter jets began to drop bombs on the densely-populated Gaza Strip. Targets included police stations, government offices and even a university. Israel stresses these are "surgical strikes" directed solely against Hamas, an Islamist group which which won the last Palestinian elections in a landslide, and which controls the Gaza Strip, but this is a lie. In reality, these strikes are the latest chapter in over 60 years of Zionist military occupation and state terror directed against the entire Palestinian people and their just national liberation struggle.
. The Gaza Strip is a densely-populated area surrounded by Israeli razor wire, machine-gun nests
and guard towers. It is a modern day Warsaw Ghetto, a gigantic open-air prison whose borders
and airspace are controlled by Israel which is backed up by the repressive U.S. client regime in
Egypt. (Israel is the number one recipient of U.S. "foreign aid." The government of Egypt comes
in second place. ) Israel "withdrew" its military and settlers from Gaza's interior in August 2005,
but has maintained a tight grip on the borders ever since. Meanwhile, they intensified their
land-grabbing in the occupied West Bank. Many of the ultra-Zionist settlers "withdrawn" from
Gaza were simply relocated to new patches of stolen land in the West Bank.
Collective punishment behind "cease fire" rhetoric
. In an attempt to crush Palestinian resistance, Israel has subjected the entire Gaza Strip to a
Nazi-style collective punishment: turning off electricity, preventing shipments of food and
medicine, interfering with the work of various humanitarian organizations, etc. They have also
spoken openly about teaching the Palestinians a "lesson" for electing a Hamas government.
Israel calls itself the "only democracy in the Middle East" but cannot even pretend to respect the
results of an election which took place under their own military occupation. Last summer,
Hamas offered to cease attacks on Israel if the Zionists would stop the blockade of Gaza. For
their part, Hamas stuck to their word, while Israel intensified the blockade. This shows that
Israel's aim in these sorts of maneuvers is not "peace" but the total surrender of any force which
dares to oppose them. It is no wonder that, when the six months were up, Hamas did not
immediately renew the ceasefire.
"Surgical strikes" against an entire people
. Gaza's dense population gives the lie to the Zionist justifications for their murderous air campaign. A "surgical strike" is an absolute impossibility in these crowded conditions. The Zionists knew full well that streets would be the most crowded when they launched their murderous attacks in the middle of the day--just as children were getting out of school--but they didn't care. Their actions stem from the logic of a state whose very existence depends on denying the Palestinians their national rights, and which necessarily demands massive violence, as the Palestinian masses are not inclined to surrender anytime soon.
. So far, over 430 Palestinians have been killed and the number is expected to increase.
Moreover, Gazans live under the threat of a large-scale Israeli re-invasion. Zionist tanks are
massing on the borders, and thousands of Israeli reservists have been called up.
Reactionaries defy international mass opposition
. At the same time, there has been a massive international outcry, especially in the Arab world where thousands of people have staged militant demonstrations denouncing Israeli Zionism, U.S. Imperialism and the reactionary Arab regimes which are complicit in these attacks, and which oppress "their" people at home.
. Even in imperialist circles, Israel has drawn some criticism for its heavy-handedness. Some politicians, such as UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown are apparently worried that Israel's actions will only stoke the fires of resistance, thus in the long run endangering Israel, imperialism's attack dog in the Middle East. (This is also the line of some "peace" groups which support Israel's right to occupy 78% of historic Palestine while worrying over specific Zionist actions and their long-term effect on the "security" of this illegitimate and racist enterprise.)
. In the U.S., "our" politicians tend to take a shorter-term view, and both President Bush and
President-Elect Obama have issued statements supporting Israel 100%.
Obama vs. the Palestinian people
. Discussing Gaza during his election campaign, Obama said, "If somebody was sending rockets
into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to
stop that." (Evidently a Palestinian living under 60+ years of Zionist military occupation has no
right to do "everything in [their] power to stop that.") During an infamous speech to the
reactionary American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Obama even went so far as to
say, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided. " (In fact, the
capital of Israel is Tel Aviv and half of Jerusalem is considered by bourgeois international law to
be Palestinian land under Israeli military occupation. Thus Obama's position is to the right of
Bush and the official line of every imperialist country in the world.) In this same speech, he said
that Israel's unprovoked "pre-emptive" strike on Syria in September 2008 was "entirely justified
to end that threat." Now that the attacks on Gaza have begun, Obama is remaining safely silent
while on a luxury vacation in Hawaii. This is the reality behind his campaign's hypocritical
"hope" and "change" rhetoric. For the masses of Palestinians, as well as the masses of people in
this country, Obama represents nothing but more of the same imperialist crap.
Democrats and UN: long-time enemies of the Palestinians
. The Palestinians lost 78% of their country to Zionist Israel in 1948, following a war sparked by
a United Nations plan to partition their country. This plan was made behind the backs of the
Palestinians, in consultation with Zionist leaders and the heads of the major imperialist countries,
especially the U.S. which was then led by Democratic Party darling President Harry S. Truman.
It is ironic that today some look to the UN and/or the Democratic Party to help the Palestinians
when, in reality, they have always been key players in their dispossession.
Overcoming the political barriers to liberation
. The Israeli Zionist bosses and their imperialist backers will never give up anything without a fight. Thus, the Palestinian national liberation struggle must continue, and it will. Historically, this struggle has been one of the most democratic and liberating forces in the Middle East--and this is why it has always been hated by the imperialists and their Arab allies. "Revolution 'till victory!" was the slogan of the Palestinian Liberation Organization back when it was still a revolutionary-nationalist organization. Over the years, however, the PLO and its leading organization, Fatah, have abandoned their revolutionary stands. From the dead-end of the Oslo "Peace Process" Fatah today has degenerated into a corrupt junior partner of Israel in the West Bank, where they still hold power (despite their defeat in the last Palestinian election). Some in Palestine are therefore attracted to Hamas, which is seen as resisting Israeli occupation, and which isn't as corrupt as Fatah. However, Hamas' vision for Palestine is that of an Islamic state which would inevitably oppress the non-Islamic peoples who live there. As opposed to the sell-out collaborationism of Fatah, and the Islamist fundamentalism of Hamas, revolutionary internationalists support the establishment of a secular and democratic state in all of Palestine, in which Arabs and Jews would have equal rights. Historically, this was the line of the PLO before it was dropped in favor of a "two state" solution in the late 70s and 80s. This was called "realistic" but, realistically, the only "Palestinian state" the Zionists will ever tolerate would be a series of miserable little bantustans where Israel controls the borders and airspace while reserving the "right" to re-invade at any time. Thus, a return to the aim of a secular and democratic state is a historical necessity for the Palestinian national liberation struggle.
. In Israel itself, many oppose the brutal occupation of the West Bank and the starvation blockade around Gaza. In Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv, mass actions against the current round of aggression have taken place, only to be met with Israeli police repression. Meanwhile, Jewish workers in Israel are exploited by "their own" capitalists but Zionist ideas and relative material privileges serve to prevent them from fully uniting with their Arab sisters and brothers against the common enemy. But path to liberation for ordinary Israeli Jews is inextricably bound up with that of the ordinary Arabs in Palestine--both the second-class Arab-Israeli citizens and those directly under the Zionist gun.
. In the U.S., the situation is similar in many respects. The imperialists continue to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, and we're told that this organized mass murder is in our "national interests." In reality, it is in the interests of the U.S. ruling class who seek to dominate as much of the planet (and its economic resources) as possible, in competition with world and regional rivals. Meanwhile, we are forced to pay a huge cost both in terms of money as well as the human cost--thousands of young American workers have perished in these wars which are fought in the interests of their class enemies. At the same time, immigrants and national minorities are hounded by brutal police and immigration agents. This is called "law and order" but it fundamentally serves to divide the workers of different nationalities from one another, and prevent them from making cause against the common enemy. It is also an outrage in its own right. Here in the U.S. , our path to liberation necessarily means coming to the understanding that the main enemy is not overseas or across the border, but at home.
. Here in the U.S. , ordinary people need to learn to make common cause with the workers and oppressed of the entire world, and abandon "America first" patriotic jingoism. We must connect the dots between "our" rulers' brutal foreign policy and their repression at home, for "a nation that enslaves another forges its own chains." The workers and oppressed must organize to defeat imperialist war, attacks on immigrants, police brutality, handouts to the super-rich financial parasites and the slashing of social services. And, in solidarity with the bleeding yet resisting masses of Palestine and the world over, we must learn to target and organize to overthrow the political and economic system at the root of these evils: U.S. imperialism and its political representatives, the Republicans and Democrats.
No more aid for Israel!
Denounce the Zionist massacre!
Workers and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!
Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, January 3, 2009
Modified: January 10, 2009.