US and World Politics

As Israeli’s Mass Murder Continues, U.S. Makes it Worse

By Chris Kinder

February 5, 2024—The world is riveted, as it should be, on Israel’s horrifying war on Gaza. The fact that Israel, critically supported by the most powerful imperialist state in the world, is committing the worst crime of genocide the world has seen since World War II, has sunk in, even in the U.S.

Most Americans, especially the young adults, are disgusted by what Israel is doing, and showing it, by conducting numerous demonstrations demanding “Cease Fire Now!,” and dropping President Biden’s approval rating into the toilet.

At this writing, in today’s news, there are reports of 8,000 displaced people having to be evacuated from Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis following a two-week siege by Israeli forces, and reports that people in South Gaza are afraid of a looming Israeli assault on Rafa, the city near the border with Egypt. Displaced people are the vast majority in a country where nearly everyone has had their homes destroyed and their living space made unlivable. Making Gaza unlivable is precisely what Israel wants.1

Starvation and expulsion is Israel’s plan

From the very beginning of this phase in the hundred years’ war on Palestine, Israel’s intent of starving Palestinians to death is a major part of its plan, and it is enabled in this by the fact—too often left out of news reporting—that Gaza has been an open-air prison since 2017, when Israeli settlers moved out.2 Israel tightly controls who can go in and out, and how much food, drinkable water and medicines Gaza’s people can receive, and even how many entry and exit points there are in Gaza.

And tightening those supply shipments leading to starvation and disease-causing limits was Israel’s first act (along with the bombing) after October 7th.

Now, at least a quarter of the population of Gaza is starving to death as we speak, and famine threatens everyone there. Diseases from lack of medical supplies are out of control. All this is adding numbers to the tally of victims. Based on statistics from Gaza’s Ministry of Health, over 100,000 Gazan’s have been either killed, wounded, or declared missing—no doubt many are buried under the rubble left by Israel’s terrifying bombing campaign, and what is left of working hospitals are overwhelmed.

Israel’s war strategy is frighteningly similar to how the Jews were kept in concentration camps and poorly fed before being killed in the Nazi Holocaust during the war.

U.S. complicit in this genocide, and spread of war

The U.S. is the main off-theater culprit in this genocide. The immediate response to Israel’s declaration of war was Biden announcing, “We support Israel.” This was a giant understatement, as the U.S. is by far the biggest financier and supplier of weapons that Israel has. The war could not be going on without U.S. support.

Behind U.S. complicity is also hypocrisy of the first order. After howling out loud for weeks that this war must not spread, the U.S. is the chief spreader. When the Houthies of Yemen began attacking ships in the Red Sea that were headed for Israel, in order to prevent the reinforcement or aid they carried from reaching Israeli ports, the U.S. started bombing Houthies’ sites and who knows what else in Yemen.

The Houthie action was an attempt to interrupt or slow down the war, but the U.S. spread the war. Also, Iranian, and allied entities in the Mid-East started attacking U.S. bases which are all over the region, without killing U.S. personnel until just recently, I believe, and so the U.S. bombed 85 Iranian targets in Iraq and Syria. But the U.S. spreading of the war pales before enabling it to exist in the first place with its funding and weapons!

UN/U.S. sabotage
UNRWA’s aid to Gaza

The latest piece of this starvation strategy is Israel’s move to banish UNRWA, the UN’s Relief and Works Agency, from Gaza. UNRWA is the major supplier of life-saving aid in Gaza, like food, medicines, etc., with over 13,000 workers in Gaza. Israel’s fascist government slashed the amount of aid UNRWA can bring into Gaza after October 7th, but it was pleasantly surprised to learn—directly from UNRWA top officials, according to a New York Times report—that a handful of UNRWA workers had been onsite and aided the Hamas operators on that attack.

The international reaction was immediate: withdraw funding! UNWRA’s biggest financier, the U.S., was the first, and a few others also suspended their funding. UNWRA officials said that with this, they would be unable to continue their work in a few weeks. Thirteen-thousand lifeline workers in Gaza were, in effect, tried, convicted, and sent to purgatory so Israel could starve more Palestinians into submission on the basis of an assertion that a handful had helped the fight against an occupying power. Biden has the same blood on his hands that Netanyahu is swimming in.

This report is on a fast-moving situation, and it is time-limited by its date, so big changes will be in place by the time you read this. One example is a recent report in Haaretz—an Israeli news outlet—stating that Israel is now pleading with the U.S. and allies to resume some funding to UNRWA, probably because famine threatens to get too far beyond its control.

Palestinians in Palestine? Can’t have that!

Whatever the story is behind that report, Israel’s drive to force Palestinians out of Palestine is never ending. A Haaretz Today issue dated February 1st reports on the “astonishing path Israel is…forging for the future,” as laid out by its fascistic government. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, one of the hard-right members of Netanyahu’s inner circle, said in a TV interview that “We must not let the aid in through UNRWA … we will get aid in and distribute it by ourselves.” The Haaretz report goes on, “When the hosts argued how dangerous it would be, he [Smotrich] said, ‘Listen to what I am saying: There. Will. Be. a military government in Gaza. because everyone agrees that we need to stay in Gaza and control it militarily, and there is no military control without civilian control.’”3

Smotrich is thus trying to leverage the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza as a launchpad for the future occupation-annexation of Gaza, in connection with the expulsion of the majority of Palestinians, and doing all this in apparent compliance with international law and the International Court of Justice. What he is really doing is implementing the founding program of the state of Israel, which is that Palestine must become dominated by an explicitly Jewish state which claims all the land of Palestine as its own. That in turn takes us back to the origin point of Zionism in the late 1800s.

Enter an upper-class racist from Vienna

The story begins with the Viennese journalist, Theodor Herzl. Herzl was the author of a book, Judenstaat, and the founder of the Zionist project in the waning days of the 19th Century. In the congresses of this new organization, held in Basel Switzerland in 1897 and ’98, Herzl dominated the debates among the various elites with an explicit call for a state for the Jews in Palestine, with the sovereign right to control immigration—and, by the way, no mention of the existing people of Palestine. Later, he did mention them, in the context of getting rid of the unwanted.

Herzl visited Palestine once during this time, but already he had a detailed plan for a complete take-over, writing in his diary that “We must gently expropriate” certain estates, and “spirit the penniless across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our own country.” He goes on to say, “the property owners will come over to our side.”

Note that this upper-class snob refers to the poor population as “it” and that he safely asserts that the upper class will welcome this take-over and accept the banishment of the poor, no doubt with a hearty “good riddance!” Nevertheless, most Palestinians stayed right where they were. But Zionists persisted, and soon became adopted by the British Empire.

Palestinians come from the Ottoman Empire

Palestine at this time was part of the Ottoman Empire, which was beginning to shift out of feudalism toward a capitalist economy. Along with this, the Empire was beginning to divide into nationalist entities, led largely by the area of Anatolia, which soon became Turkey. Although it was still mostly rural, and largely dominated by a landed autocracy, capitalist entities were developing. Palestine was involved with all of this, with the exception that it never was able to develop into a recognized nation.

It is important at this point to recognize that the culture of the Ottomans, even as capitalism and nations developed within it, lacked militarism and the endless wars and cultural conflicts that dominated Europe as it moved from feudalism to capitalism. It always seemed to have a sense of tolerance for differing cultures that Europe lacked. The Ottomans gave refuge to ethnic and national groups that were driven out of Europe’s purges and mass expulsions, such the Jews in Spain who were banished to the last person by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.

Culture clash, and a world war

Culture clash was a part of the story for the Palestinians who hadn’t faced national oppression for generations, but now faced it as WWI—the world’s first inter-imperialist war —invaded their lands. Palestinians were caught in the middle, and as the Ottoman Empire broke up in defeat, and the British and French imperialists chopped it up. Palestinians were stuck with the British “Mandate,” which allied with and promoted the Zionists.

Palestinians negotiated with the British, held half-a-dozen conferences promoting the idea of a Palestinian state, all of which was for naught. The British treated the Zionists as if they were an allied country of theirs, which they might as well have been since they did wind up being one. Only problem, they were stealing the land of an ancient and proud people who had been there for too many centuries to count, and who were the overwhelming majority in the land. The Palestinians were more welcoming and generous as a people than the Brits and Zionists, due to their long history as part of the Ottomans, and lack of background as a feudal-then-capitalist nation. This is not to say that the Palestinian society was not a class society, it was, but the big landowners were equally victimized, except some who sold out to the imperialists.

What’s the plan?

Now comes the question of what is the plan for saving this persecuted and terrorized people? It’s certainly not killing off the Jews, which no one wants, but which some imperialist/terrorists assert is the case. And it is certainly not a “two state solution,” which is a ridiculous folly. Two people—one more powerful and murderous than the other—living side by side with the same paper border that they have now? Really?

First, we must note, that these two peoples lived side by side in peace in the same area for centuries before feudal-capitalist cultures screwed everything up.

Second, the boundaries and inequalities of nationalism and capitalism must be scrapped by scrapping nationalism and capitalism and replacing them with equality and socialism. This means that the state of Israel—along with any entity that equates a political entity with a religion—must be demolished. The Palestinians have never been a recognized state.

Last and most important, a secular, united, and socialist Palestine, uniting all ethnicities and based primarily on none, and linked in with a socialist federation of Mid-East socialist states, must be the goal. It will, of course, be necessary for nationalism and capitalism to be abolished first, in a revolution of the working-class masses.

I won’t live long enough to see this, but I hope you will!

1 Aljazeera is one of the best sources for day-to-day news on this war.

2 The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine is the title of a very useful book, by Rashid Khalidi, which details the long history behind this war.

3 “Netanyahu allies want to use Gaza Aid as Launchpad for Occupation-annexation of the strip,” Haaretz Today, February 1, 2024.