The Palestinians are being sacrificed for the sake of imperialism

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
November 6, 2023

How far will the Israeli government go in this mass slaughter? In Gaza, the hail of fire has claimed nearly 10,000 lives. Tens of thousands have been wounded and cannot get the care they need and the whole population lacks shelter, water, food and medicine.

As the Israeli army turns Gaza into an open-air cemetery, colonists in the West Bank are expelling Bedouins, terrorizing and killing Palestinian peasants, with the complicity of Israeli soldiers.

In Israel, the two million Arab citizens who live there have been ordered to keep a low profile and stay quiet. The fate of the workers from Gaza who were working in Israel on October 7 is also an example of the collective punishment inflicted on the Palestinians. Four thousand of them were imprisoned for 25 days, interrogated as if they were criminals and some were tortured.

The revenge that is being taken against the Palestinians, a population which has been oppressed, colonized and controlled for decades, is sparking more and more opposition and revolt around the world. It’s an expression of the anger people feel against Netanyahu’s policies but also against the major imperialist powers that continue to offer their unconditional support to Israel.

Sure, more and more leaders are calling for a "break" or a "humanitarian pause"! But it’s pure hypocrisy and Macron is a champion in that field. He wants to organize a humanitarian conference because according to him “the fight against terrorism does not justify sacrificing the lives of civilians." It's all bad play-acting because Macron has no power in these matters and even more so because the only way to stop this massacre is to demand a ceasefire.

And the United States is in complete control when it comes to that. The US contributes $4 billion a year to help finance the state of Israel and intends to provide an additional $14 billion. They supply a large part of Israel’s weapons. They have sent two American aircraft carriers to the region, provided access to American satellites and rushed over special military advisers.

So, yes, if the US wanted to, it could stop Netanyahu and the Israeli army. But even if they fear that the indiscriminate repression of the Palestinian people could eventually set the entire region ablaze, they stick to their policy of supporting Israel and defending its crimes because they don’t want to let go of their most loyal ally in the region.

The Middle East – where 40 % of the world’s oil consumption comes from – is a crucial region for major world powers. The Suez Canal is a key corridor for world trade. As the trade war with China rages on and Western countries fight against Russia through Ukraine, the US won’t be revising its strategy in the Middle East.

The Palestinians are thus being sacrificed for the sake of imperialism and this has been going on for 75 years. So yes, their fate is a symbol of imperialist domination around the world. A symbol of the arrogance of major world powers which act as if they owned the world and treat peoples as mere pawns to be maneuvered and as if they were irrelevant.

The deaths in Gaza echo those in Yemen, the Congo, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mali… Palestinian refugees are a reminder of the millions of women and men driven from their homes by war and poverty. They, like others, have become refugees for the rest of their lives.

So, the emotion and solidarity with the Palestinians expressed in so many countries, and even here, must bring us to the awareness that the exploited around the world share a common fate and struggle: to end capitalism and the imperialist order.

We can only stand in solidarity with the Palestinians' struggle to assert their right to a national existence alongside the Israelis. But even the peoples who fought hard for their independence in the past remain economically dependent on rich countries. And how many of their nationalist heroes became horrible dictators? We shouldn’t be surprised because securing a small spot as a nation in a world dominated by imperialism means remaining trapped in relations of subordination by that very domination.

In order for oppressed peoples around the world to gain complete emancipation, imperialism must be overthrown.

Because we live in one of imperialism’s bastions, we have a role to play in this struggle: we must build a party the aim of which is to overthrow capitalism and establish, on an international scale, a socialist society led by workers. A party that will counter the bourgeoisie's policy of division by standing for the unity of all the oppressed and all the workers around the world.

Nathalie Arthaud