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U.S. and Wold Politics

Israel Commits Genocide

By Chris Kinder

The term “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was a euphemism used by the Nazis after their plan to force Jews to leave the German Reich failed to move fast enough. It referred to systematic annihilation, and it managed to kill six million Jews, one third of Jews in Europe, before the war. Now Israel is pursuing a “final solution” of the Palestinian question. There are just no other words for what is happening in the Middle East today. They may not use ovens to burn them alive, but Israel under its far-right Zionist rule is committing genocide of the Palestinian people just the same, with mass murder and collective expulsion from their land.

Israel’s stated aim in this war is to destroy Hamas both as a military power and as a the government in Gaza, in order to protect Israel from attacks such as that of October 7th, which they assert is the reason for their massive assault. But what they are actually doing has exposed these miserable lies to the entire world. And the U.S. is in it all the way.

Hamas struck a spark

Hamas’ one day invasion, which the Israeli government knew was coming soon, gave them the green light. They immediately launched one of the most horrific bombing campaigns the world has ever seen, barring only the U.S. nuclear bombing of two cities in Japan, or the fire-bombing of Dresden in 1945. The similarity of Israel’s bombing with the atom bombings is striking. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden were strictly civilian targets, with no military presence in them, and they were executed at the end of the war, when there was hardly any opposition left.

The destruction wasn’t really the point. The real purpose was to inform the world that the U.S. was now undeniably the ruling imperial power in the world.

It is the same with Israel’s war. The people of Gaza are the target, but they have virtually no defense capability. They have no air force and no artillery to shoot down Israel’s bombers. Israel is freely bombing apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, bakeries, mosques and electric power and water supply stations. They even bombed a Greek Orthodox Christian church which was sheltering displaced people, killing 18. Israeli war minister Yoav Gallant could do a fly-over in a helicopter with no danger to survey the horrific damage Israel’s bombs were inflicting. He thought the rubble that he saw was just fine.

Israel’s lame excuse for this indiscriminate mass murder is that Hamas is using civilians as human shields, for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Hamas is just the excuse for wiping out a people Israel has long sought to get rid of. And the purpose is to assert Israel’s power over, and ownership of, all of Palestine. And, by example, dominance in the Middle East with U.S. global power supporting Israel all the way.

Israel set the world on fire

For bombing hospitals, Israel uses the excuse that Hamas is using them for military purposes, which would make them legal targets under international law. They said that the biggest hospital complex in Gaza, Al Shifa, had its command center in tunnels underneath the buildings. We know that Israel knew there were tunnels there, because former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak admitted on a TV news show in November that “We built them decades ago,” referring to the time when Israel directly occupied Gaza. But after Israel occupied the hospital the so-called proof of Hamas having been active in the tunnels was unconvincing, and no doubt fabricated.

An article in the Israeli daily, Haaretz, written by its military editor and containing only military sources claims the opposite, citing the wide and expansive facilities in the tunnels without acknowledging that they were built there by Israel itself. Three bags with some weapons and Hamas uniforms were said to have been found there but could easily have been placed by the military unit that did the “finding.”1

Israel’s campaign of murderous terror is accompanied with a total blockade of the Gaza Strip. This is already an open-air prison. Israel controls everything that goes in and out, and a blockade on everything—food, water, medicines, fuel, cooking oil, sufficient access to the sea for fishing—was declared right at the beginning by Israeli war minister Yoav Gallant. Gallant declared “We are fighting human animals.” Since Israel only allowed a necessary minimum of goods into this prison in the first place, the blockade immediately began to cause shortages, and soon threatened many with starvation and disease from drinking wastewater. Soon sewage water was running in the streets. It is a clear case of collective punishment, which is just one of the war crimes Israel is guilty of.

Genocide requires de-humanizing

Gallant’s de-humanizing of Palestinians pervades Israel’s conduct of its campaign of massacre against people of Gaza. He also revealed Israel’s true goals when he said, “Gaza won’t return to what it was before the war. Hamas will no longer exist. We will eliminate everything.” The size of the bombs Israel is using against civilians is another sign of this. Even hardened military experts are shocked by Israel’s actions. In the first two weeks of the war, roughly 90 percent of the munitions dropped in Gaza were satellite-guided bombs weighing one thousand to two thousand pounds, according to a New York Times article. The Times said that this information was “according to a senior U.S. military official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.”2

The huge bombs quickly caused total devastation of North Gaza particularly, although bombing of the entire strip has been ongoing from the beginning. By the 1st of November, half of the buildings in northern Gaza had been crushed to rubble. A photo of the city of Jabaliya showing a forty-foot-deep crater, and a huge area full of completely wrecked buildings, easily reminds one of Hiroshima after the A-bomb. A few people are seen picking through the rubble for anyone who might be trapped underneath.

The U.S. has also supplied thousands of smaller bombs to Israel, but there was “little evidence that they are being used frequently.” Everyday journalists in Gaza reported private homes destroyed, some containing whole families and others seeking shelter, and in a few weeks two thirds of the people of north Gaza had been displaced.

Yet another Nakba

To the Arabic speakers of Palestine, this Nakba (catastrophe) is not new, but it is clearly the worst. Overall casualties are very high for the time so far. In just the eight weeks of this conflict prior to the temporary ceasefire—or “pause,” as Biden called it—Israel managed to slaughter over 15,000 people according to Hamas health authorities. This could be an undercount, as Hamas relies mainly on statistics from hospitals, and so could easily have missed many dead buried under the rubble.

The “pause” of the slaughter was vigorously opposed and delayed by Netanyahu. But after pressure from the U.S. and Israelis anxious to get their side’s prisoners back from Hamas, it finally began on November 24th. It was originally set for just four days, and was extended to seven, and came to an end on Friday, December 2nd. While this truce was in affect, Netanyahu loudly and frequently shouted to the world that Israel would restart the war as soon as it was over, giving the finger to peoples’ hopes virtually everywhere in the world and especially in Palestine that the truce would become permanent.

The truce included permission for humanitarian aid to get into Gaza—even some fuel for hospitals—but it was just a drop in the bucket of what was really needed. The pause was mainly about a prisoner exchange: 240 Palestinians, mostly men and boys were released, along with 71 women and children released by Israel. Hamas released 105, leaving the majority, mostly men and some soldiers still held. Naturally, each side blamed the other for the end of the truce, a lame excuse on Israel’s part, as Hamas had offered three different avenues for continuing a cease fire. Wars are about lies and bullets.

Palestinian prisoners in Israel are really hostages in its unending war against Palestine, as seen by the fact that nearly all of those released in the prisoner exchange had never been charged with any crime. Charges are not required under the so-called administrative detention policy, which allows the Israeli military to lock up any Palestinian (this policy is only used on them) indefinitely without charge or trial.

War—peace—war

Israel did restart the war immediately after the truce, with an “intense” bombing, focusing now on southern Gaza, and claiming to have hit 400 targets already in the first day. The focus of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is now on the southern part of Gaza, which, as the whole world knows, was where Israel told civilians to go for safety during the seven weeks of carpet bombing in the north. Civilians in some areas of Khan Younis, the largest city in the south, are now being told to evacuate. This would be a second instance of being told to move for their safety—this is in a region where most of the population were already refugees from earlier acts of tyranny by Israel.

Haaretz reported that according to the Health Ministry in Gaza, 900 Palestinians have been killed since the cease-fire ended, and that fatalities have surpassed 16,400, with more than 41,000 wounded, since October 7th. Haaretz also noted the death of a prominent scientist. An AP report gave a glimpse at how Gaza residents are suffering in this war. A woman staying near to Khan Younis is quoted as saying she fled from the north in October and wasn’t going to do it again. “The occupation tells you to go to this area, then they bomb it. The reality is there is no place safe in Gaza.” A boy leaning over the dead body of his brother cried, “You bury me with him!”3

Majority of killings are women and children

The number of deaths inflicted on Gaza in eight weeks is thousands greater than those killed by all sides (which included ISIS) in the nine-month long battle of Mosul, Iraq, in 2016-17. Moreover, in Israel’s wars of 2008-9, 2014, and the fighting of 2021—all of them horrific—casualties on the Palestinian side were mostly young men. This time, the dead and wounded are a majority women and children, at nearly 70 percent. And there is a shocking 80 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people who have been driven from their homes.

What kind of government would do this kind of thing, if not fascist? Israel under Netanyahu’s second government is a fascist, rightwing Zionist version. It is the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, and this fact is at the root of this vicious war. Two government ministers, Bezalel Smotrich (finance minister, who is also responsible for the West Bank) and Itamar Ben-Gvir (national security minister and head of the police) are from the fascist movement of Meir Kahane4.

Netanyahu himself has always leaned to the right, but now his government has sucked in Benny Gantz, a retired general and supposed liberal who ran against Netanyahu in the last election, to make a “war cabinet.” Gantz should fit right in, as the commander of the previous massacre of Palestinians in Gaza in 2021 as defense minister, also under Netanyahu. This doesn’t much alter the fascist nature of this government.5

Fascists need no excuse

This government did not need an excuse to mount a massacre of people it considers to be “human animals,” but it was handed a very big one when Hamas and its allies conducted a murderous raid, breaking into Israel using trucks and bull dozers all along the eastern border on October 7th. They attacked some 40 or 50 different communities, kibbutzim, and in-between areas, killing an estimated 1200 civilians6, including women and children; raping women, and burning down houses to kill the people hiding in them. They also gunned down some very surprised soldiers.

There was hardly any difference between this, and the massacre Israel is conducting now, except for its size of course. You can’t commit the genocide of a people in one day with a couple hundred murderers, but this attack was equally indefensible. Hamas members are among the Palestinians fighting for their lives in Gaza now, and as such must also be defended from the Israeli attack, but politically there should be no support for Hamas’ action on October 7th.

Beside the fact that Israel needed no excuse to start this war, the Israeli cabinet knew ahead of time that Hamas was planning the attack, and knew what it would look like as well, according to a Haaretz opinion piece on November 22nd. The report says that Netanyahu was given a report from IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate that said there was a possibility of a Hamas attack. A New York Times report further asserted that Netanyahu had a 40-page battle plan, code-named “Jericho Wall,” that detailed a possible Hamas attack on southern Israel communities. Hamas even posted a video on social media that a showed fighters breaking through a mockup of Israeli defenses with explosives and pickup trucks. Intelligence operatives apparently concluded that Hamas was incapable of pulling off such a complex operation, and Netanyahu publicly declared he had never seen any such report in October.7

Behind closed doors, anything is possible

Behind closed doors, I’m sure Netanyahu and his fascist ministers were secretly hoping that this attack would happen, because it would galvanize the Israeli people behind the war the government was looking for and stop the mass opposition to Netanyahu’s unpopular judicial “reform” bill that was on the table. Such an attack, besides mobilizing the populace, would help keep Netanyahu out of jail over his three legal charges for corruption, and in office as long as the war went on. So far, it’s working. Netanyahu is still unpopular, but he is still in office, his protestors number in the hundreds, not thousands, and there is mass support for the war.

There is no specific evidence for this “closed door” plot I just suggested as a possibility. History will be the judge. But there is a real and compelling example of this trick being used successfully by Israel’s best friend, the U.S., to get the country into World War II in 1941, which the majority did not want. They purposely let Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor take place, in order to rile up the antiwar populace. U.S. Intelligence had already deciphered the Japanese code, and so knew the attack was coming. The military put the U.S. aircraft carriers out to sea on an exercise so they wouldn’t get sunk in the attack, and took no other specific measures, like reinforcing or even warning the military in Pearl, since that could have given away U.S. knowledge of the coming attack. Japan walked into the trap, and immediately, most U.S. people were gung-ho for war.

The attack of October 7th was not the real beginning of this war, however. That has to be attributed to the Israeli government, which coming into office, immediately riled up the fascistic Israeli settlers in the West Bank to escalate their attacks. Now, they are not just stealing land, they are destroying and burning down homes and declaring that “You are going to Jordan!”

These settlers have been moving into the West Bank over the years since 1967, and the purpose of this colonizing strategy has been the same throughout—to block the expansion of the Palestinian population, and to incentivize Palestinian emigration by inducing a sense among the Palestinians of living in a ghetto. Immediately after taking office, Netanyahu’s IDF troops were also involved, supporting the settlers, protecting them, issuing weapons, and taking prisoners.

U.S. at fault

The United States’ responsibility for this genocidal war is massive. It does, in fact, “own” this war equally with Israel. The U.S. provides Israel military aid at the rate of about 3.3 billion per year, as of the 2022 allotment, for a total of $120 billion over seven decades. After October 7th, the GOP-dominated House passed a bill for $14.5 billion more. Democrats stopped that in the Senate because it lacked funds for Ukraine, and Biden has proposed 106 billion to include Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine. However this deal works out, note that the U.S. provides more military aid to Israel than it provides to any other country. Biden roared “We stand with Israel” immediately as Israel started its offensive.

Even though the U.S. is now having some second thoughts about what Israel is doing, and is lecturing that it should never conduct a mass expulsion of Palestinians or order a change of the borders of Gaza, it still denies that this is a genocide, and its backing of Israel is permanently locked in. Around the world, those who oppose U.S. imperialism also oppose Israel’s war.

In order to fully understand this, we have to review a bit of history. Over 2,000 years, Palestine was populated by Arabs, Christians, and Jews who for the most part got along well with each other. But Israel is a now Zionist state, and Zionism must be clearly understood as a reactionary nationalist movement very similar to fascism. It sought an exclusively Jewish state to be established in Palestine soon after the first world war had destroyed the Ottoman Empire, and left Palestine as a “protectorate” or “mandate” (read colony) of Britain.

Fascism—Zionism—Israel

The Zionist organization, which had its first congress in the 1890s, was a reaction to antisemitism in Europe. It was led by an elitist, Theodor Herzl, who argued for a Jewish state in Palestine as the solution for the persecution of Jews. A Zionist organization sprung up in Palestine, and it reflected the Jewish state idea by trying to build dominance of the Jews over the Arabs, with limited success.

By the 1930s, conditions for Jews were worsening, especially in Germany under the Nazis. In 1938, Nazi Brownshirts conducted terrifying attacks on Jews, in the streets, at their homes, and smashing the windows of their stores, etc., called Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass.) This, and the antisemitic terror that plagued most of Eastern Europe, created a stream of Jews desperate to find another place to live. But Jewish refugees had hellish trouble doing that, including in the U.S. and Britain.

More than 900 Jewish refugees on a ship, the St. Louis, tried to enter the U.S. in 1939, but they were refused entry, and the ship was sent back to Europe. That set the pattern that continued during and after the war. The victorious allies kept many Jewish survivors of the concentration camps in camps for months. Others were turned away by western countries. The difficulties Jews faced after the war drove thousands to seek acceptance in Palestine. Having lived in Europe for up to 2,000 years, Palestine was not the first choice for most of them, but it was exactly what the Zionists—and Britain and the U.S.— wanted.

After a war, refugees

The pressure of refugees seeking to get to Palestine in 1947 became too great for Britain to handle. The U.S.—the new dominant imperialist power in the world after the war—moved in as Britain turned Palestine over to the UN. Later that year, the General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into two independent states, one Jewish and the other Arab. This choice, dividing a state by ethnicity and religion was a terrible crime, but it served to take the “Jewish Question” off the table for Britain, Europe and the U.S. This suited the Zionists perfectly.

There was always a fascist element in Zionism, and now it had gained strength as a reaction to German Nazism. In 1948, just a year after the Jewish state was formed, it was under the extreme right-wing Zionist Herut Party, which called on the Jewish state to seize all the land of historic Palestine. Under these rulers, the first action of the months-old official Zionist state was to drive out the Arab population from the part of Palestine that they controlled by terror and force: the first Nakba.

Thus, from the beginning, Israel’s basic “goal,” in this war, as Netanyahu calls it, is not just to demolish the current Hamas leadership, it is to kill or drive out all the Palestinians from what it considers the exclusive land of the Jews.

Down with Israel’s war! Free Palestine!

The U.S. knows this is Israel’s real plan, which is why they are squirming and pleading to Netanyahu to refrain from expelling Palestinians or meddling with Gaza’s borders, and to be “more careful,” to avoid murdering civilians beyond a certain necessary minimum. Israel is saying something like “OK, sure, no problem,” as it continues its slaughter unabated. The U.S. green light to continue the war is all that Israel needs, and it is not dimming. The genocide shows no sign of ending soon.

What should become of Palestine to end this and prevent it from ever happening again? Some may scoff but let them. Palestine could and should be a peaceful socialist state, composed of Jews, Arabs, and others, with religious and political freedom and no attachment to any one religion. This will require, of course, an end to this vicious war, and abolition of the illegal Zionist Israeli state, without forced migration of any people, but with the right of return to Palestinians who have been repeatedly forced out of their homes and off their lands.

This may seem far off, but a worker’s revolution could make this happen faster than one might expect. The Bolsheviks of Russia did it in 1917, creating the world’s first workers state, which lasted five years as a healthy, democratically led state under control of the soviets (workers’ councils). It can happen again. Revolutionary socialists from all of Palestine, including Israel, could make it happen. Long live a free soviet socialist worker’s state of Palestine!



1 For a full report on the assault on Al Shifa, and its tunnels see:

https://consortiumnews.com/2023/12/01/peddling-propaganda-about-al-shifa

2 “Big Bombs in Urban Areas Raise Civilian Toll in Gaza,” New York Times, November 26, 2023.

3 “Israel expands offensive to all areas of Gaza,” Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, December 4, 2023. See also, “Israel at war: What you need to know, Haaretz, warupdates@mc.haaretz.com. And “Israel Launches Intense Strikes In South Gaza,” New York Times, December 3, 2023.

4 Meir Kahane was a Jewish supremacist who espoused violence and wanted to establish a theocratic Jewish state. Kahane’s legislative proposals focused on Jewish education, an open economy, transferring the Arab population out of the Land of Israel, revoking Israeli citizenship from non-Jews, and banning Jewish-Gentile marriages and sexual relations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meir_Kahane#:~:text=Kahane%27s%20legislative%20proposals%20focused%20on,Gentile%20marriages%20and%20sexual%20relations.

5 See “Defend The Palestinians Against U.S./Israel Genocidal War on Gaza” The Internationalist, June-October 2023, for an excellent piece on this war in its first weeks.

6 Read “Israel Admits to ‘Immense’ Amount of ‘Friendly Fire’ on October 7” elsewhere in this issue of Socialist Viewpoint.

7 See Note 3, and https://apnews.com/article/new-york-times-hamas-attack-israel-gaza-6088cad78f5e4153d671fe9b5b819308