U.S. and World Politics

Palestinians Deserve to Survive.
The Zionist State—Never

By Chris Kinder

April 8, 2024—The U.S./Israel war on Gaza rages on, now in its sixth month, and shows no sign of abatement. Israel is pursuing its long-held goal, by any means necessary, of forcing the indigenous Palestinians out of what they view is their land including forced evacuation, starvation, and outright mass murder. And the U.S. government is in this up to its eyeballs, which is why it is a U.S./Israel war. The U.S. doesn’t have “boots on the ground,” but without the funding and supplies of weapons and ammunition and the U.S., there would be no war.

Israel’s many attacks on Palestinians

Although Israel has mounted many attacks including invasions against Gaza which have slaughtered thousands of civilians along with military in the past, this war is for the first time killing more civilians by far than it has fighters. This genocide is a challenge to the whole world: will this mass murder of a whole people, tens-of-thousands killed so far—as you read this going into its seventh month—be allowed to continue unabated?

This would be much harder to do without U.S. heavy weapons sent to Israel soon after the October 7th attack by Hamas, which included 2,000 pound “bunker buster” bombs designed to blow up fortified infrastructure. The U.S. gladly continues to send these bombs, which Israel is using to turn neighborhoods into huge piles of rubble with dead humans buried in them. Meanwhile, Israel has targeted over 60 percent of homes and residential buildings in the Strip. The bombing of the Al-Taj tower in Gaza City on October 25th killed 101, mostly women and children, and injured hundreds, and it doesn’t avoid refugee camps either, such as its attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp on October.

Israel says its enemies are “human animals”

Israel’s war is a little like prison guards murdering prisoners by shooting them through the bars, because the Gaza Strip—the most densely populated place on Earth—is an open-air prison with no escape route.

So far, Israel has obliterated about 80 percent of medical facilities, 68 percent of telecommunication infrastructure, as well as half of the roads and commercial, industrial, and agricultural centers throughout the Gaza Strip. Most of these facilities were occupied by civilians and had no military value. The municipal and governmental facilities destroyed undoubtedly contained Hamas operatives, but most of them would be government officials, not fighters, as Hamas was duly elected to govern. This fact is ignored in almost all U.S. media reports, many of which refer to Hamas’ rule as the result of a “coup.”

Who do you believe?

The question of Hamas coming to power legally or through a coup d’état is just one more reason to beware of lies told in wars. So, what is the evidence in this case? In 2006, elections were held in Palestine on local levels and for seats in the Legislative Council (PAL), the ruling body of the Palestinian National Authority (PAN). Although Hamas had boycotted the previous election, it entered this one as the “Change and Reform” list against Fatah and five others. Hamas won 74 out of 132 seats as against 45 for Fatah. Independents won four, and most others none. The election was overseen by over 17 thousand domestic observers, complemented by 900 credentialed international monitors.

An exit poll of voters showed that large majorities of those asked said that corruption would decrease under Hamas. Large majorities said that there should be a national unity government, and rejected Fatah’s refusal to support unity, the majority also said yes to “under Hamas, internal security will improve.” Interestingly, majorities said yes to support for a peace agreement with Israel, which is a stark shot away from Hamas’ position that Israel has no right to exist.1

The 2006 election was deemed to be honest by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in partnership with the Carter Center, and a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report to Congress which concluded that the election was free and fair.

A worsening of genocide

As I write this, several events are thought to represent a turning point in this genocidal war. First is Israel’s second invasion of Al Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, a complex of buildings located in Gaza City in the north. The first invasion of this essential institution happened back in November, which was deadly and horrible, but left the hospital functioning despite the lack medicines, anesthetics, vaccines, and other necessities due to Israel’s prevention of essential aid supplies.

This time it was much worse. Israeli troops stormed at dawn on March 18th, and after two weeks of terror, every single building in this large complex was bombed, burned, and rendered unusable. About 400 were killed—medics and wounded and sick were killed—and 300 arrested. After the abrupt withdrawal of the IDF on April 1st, people from the surrounding area where many live and others have sought shelter went to the complex to check on the damage.

“We did not expect this”

“We did not expect to see all of this…It is crystal clear that the Israeli army is the most unethical army in the world,” said a local journalist on the scene.2 Another said, “The occupation has violated everything in the Gaza Strip, and nobody in the world seems to be determined to stop them. Rather, major global powers are complicit and partners in massacring our Palestinian people.”

“The Al Shifa Medical Complex is the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, and it is the lifeline of the health sector in Gaza,” said one local journalist. He should have said “was,” because now, “everything in the complex is destroyed. All the buildings of the hospital were bombed and are no longer useable. …now, it is destroyed, and the occupation has completely taken it out of service.”3

Three days later, the Electronic Intifada released more eyewitness reports. “Salem Baraka has seen the kind of horror no parent should ever have to endure: The Israeli military killed his son Karim right in front of him.” Like many others, Salem and his son Karim had fled from his home in Jabaliya refugee camp and taken shelter in Al Shifa hospital. They were inside the hospital when it was stormed by Israeli forces on March 18. He said he had spent the following week “waiting to die.” The situation was “worse than hell.”

“Quadcopter drones were firing wildly striking anything that moved,” he said. “The Israelis smashed the glass in the windows and destroyed the walls in the department where we were hiding. A shell fell on us and killed my son in front of my eyes,” he added. “I could not save him. He bled to death.”

Tanks against unarmed victims and their bodies

The Electronic Intifada report goes on: “Among the terrible scenes he witnessed were Israeli tanks driving over the bodies of people who had been killed in the hospital’s courtyard. Because the hospital could not function, infections soared among people who were wounded. In many cases, injured people were devoured by parasites due to the lack of treatment.

After the hospital had been under siege for approximately a week, the Israeli forces used loudspeakers to summon everyone into the courtyard. The Palestinian men were ordered to strip. Then they were beaten. Women were subjected to both verbal and physical abuse, according to Salem.

Salem recalled that he “trembled in horror when one of the soldiers called my name.” He was interrogated for around 48 hours. “I was not allowed to sit down or turn to the left or right,” he said. “My hands were tied behind my back. I was blindfolded and completely naked.” Salem added that he repeatedly heard gunfire and that his interrogator “threatened to kill my wife, who is ill and lives with her family in northern Gaza, if I did not cooperate.”

“Throughout the interrogation, I was thinking about where the soldier would shoot me. In the head, chest, or heart? I did not believe him when he said the interrogation was over. I realized that I had miraculously survived death.” Salem was given a choice of evacuating to southern Gaza or being killed. Salem had to walk to southern Gaza, but he was not allowed to see his son’s body for a final goodbye.

Three strikes kill seven
aid workers

The same day that the Israeli military pulled out from the wreckage of Al Shifa, another earthshattering event happened—seven workers with the World Central Kitchen aid group were leaving after delivering 100 tons of food to a warehouse in central Gaza when multiple Israeli air strikes hit all three of their well-marked cars, killing them. They had communicated with Israeli officials about their mission beforehand and had permission to go.

Another seven dead in six months of fighting that has left hundreds-of-thousands of Palestinians dead and tens-of-thousands more wounded: why is that earth shattering? It’s because six of them were from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and an American/Canadian dual citizen; and all of whom, except for Poland, were from countries supporting Israel in this war. (The seventh person killed was a Palestinian driver.)

Suddenly, it’s “Houston, we have a problem!” Killing the aid workers was “unacceptable” said Biden. “If we don’t see the changes that we need to see, there’ll be changes in our own policy,” (Blinken); and an “outrage” said U.S. defense Secretary Austin, as he was sending more two-thousand-pound bombs and 50 fighter jets (a first) over to “Bibi” Netanyahu in the largest and most expensive military shipment to Israel to date in this one-sided war.

Biden’s administration had plenty of time in the past six months of Israel’s genocidal war to become even more outraged than it was over a targeted murder of seven aid deliverers, but it only managed to mumble something about Israel going “over the top.”

Bunker buster bombs slaughter civilians

The bunker-buster bombs, supposedly used to penetrate to the tunnels below ground allegedly being used by Hamas, are killing everyone in homes and apartments in order to target just a few or even just one Hamas member living there, for which their “human shield” civilians are considered expendable. But except for Israel’s chief backers—mainly the U.S. and German administrations—most of the world knows that this war is a genocidal campaign to kill and/or drive out all Palestinians from their homeland and turn it into a Jewish-Zionist-state.

As Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said just two days into this war, “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly.” To this declaration of the war crime that is this conflict, Gallant might well have added that destruction of all of Palestine’s essential infrastructure, apartment buildings, medical facilities, schools, mosques, are going to be included.

The sight of children digging through the rubble that was once their homes to find food sums it up.

“Why should Israel be allowed to exist?” asks Hamas

The question now is, as Hamas says, why should Israel even be allowed to exist? Nazi Germany created sights of starving children wasting away in concentration camps, and it was abolished, albeit in an unsupportable inter-imperialist war. The Confederate States of America was abolished in a revolutionary war, which was the real revolution in the U.S. that 1776 was not. The monarchial state of Russia was abolished in a two-stage revolution which overthrew the centuries old Czarist state, then smashed capitalism in the first successful socialist revolution—the Bolshevik revolution—in 1917.

Now, we need to see the Palestinians defeat apartheid Israel. We need a socialist revolution in the Middle East and the world, and we need to replace the Zionist state with a revolutionary socialist state of Palestine. But we also must understand how this barbarism by a state dedicated to, and populated largely by a people who were the victims of the Nazi holocaust just nine decades ago, came about. To understand how this incredible crime happened in 2024, we must breakdown the history.

It started before Israel actually existed. A journalist from Vienna named Theodor Herzl came up with a plan in the 1890s to save the Jewish people by moving them from the antisemitism in Europe and around the world, to Palestine. It sounded like a plan to some, but it had a major catch—Herzl wanted to make Palestine a Jewish-only state.

Though he had visited Palestine once (and only once,) Herzl knew very well that Palestine was already occupied. Herzl was known as the author of a book, Der Judenstaat, published in 1896, which made his plan clear, including directions for how to get rid of the native population:

“We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our own country.” For the elite property owners, Herzl, says that they “will come over to our side,” or be “expropriated.” To make clear that this was to be exclusively Jewish, he insisted his state have the “sovereign right” to control immigration. The Jewish state, Herzl wrote, would “form a part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.”

Herzl gets an answer,
and ignores it

While Herzl was founding the Zionist organization in the late 1890s, he received a letter from a prominent Palestinian who was an acquaintance of Herzl’s, named Yusuf Diya al-Din Pasha al-Khalidi. Yusuf Diya was conscious of the pervasive Western, and especially Christian, antisemitism, and his letter seemed to appreciate Herzl’s plan, but he insisted that Herzl recognize the fact that Palestine “is already inhabited by others.” He asserted that it was “pure folly” for Zionism to plan to take over Palestine, and that “the unhappy Jewish nation” needed to find refuge elsewhere. He concluded with, “In the name of god, let Palestine be left alone.” Herzl’s reply was no reply at all. He didn’t address Yusuf Diya’s argument, and instead established a pattern of dismissing the interests, and even the existence of the indigenous population of Palestine. 4

The violent imposition of the state of Israel on Palestine was still decades away, but capitalist imperialism was an essential element in making it happen from the very beginning. Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire, which was an old, multi-national entity, that was only beginning to break up, with national interests in sectors of it emerging. Most of these nationalities were targeted by the European imperialist countries seeking to spread their spheres of interest for exploitation. After lengthy negotiations, the Sykes–Picot treaty5 was agreed to among the powers, chiefly Britain, and France. This agreement was kept secret to prevent the Ottomans, which all these powers knew was going to be completely divided up by them in the “Great War”—World War I—that they all knew was coming. It was officially ratified during the war.

The Palestine region, with a smaller area than the later “Mandate” for Palestine, was to fall under an “international administration,” which effectively meant Britain (which also grabbed Jordan and others, while France got control of Syria, Turkey and more.) Most of the divided up Arab territories became nations, but Palestine remained under British domination.

A solution is difficult,
but necessary

Given what they have had to go through, Palestinians are amazing. They survived British occupation and have survived six wars/invasions counting the 1948 war, in which Israel killed and drove out almost all the Palestinians from their newly formed “mandate.” Israel is now trying to kill or drive out everyone from Palestine. Palestinians deserve to live, while its attacker, Israel, needs to be abolished.

Palestinians and Jews have lived side by side in the past and could do so again. The Jews then were a small minority in the Ottoman Arab state, but they were welcome there, as were Christians and other minorities, and that is true today in Palestine. Israel is the exact opposite, with 1.6 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel (total population of 9.5 million) but who are treated as second-class citizens. What is needed now is a united and free socialist Palestine!

1 for all the information on the 2006 election. Israel’s wars have prevented elections since then.

2 Abdallah Aljamal,”‘Most Unethical Army in the World’—Palestine Chronicle Assesses the Damage at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital,” Palestine Chronicle, April 1, 2024.

3 The Electronic Intifada credits Doaa Shaheen, a journalist from Gaza, for this report, at: April 2, 2024.

4 These quotes come from Herzl’s diary in 1895, and other writings as reported by Rashid Khalidi, in The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine, A History of settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917—2017. As a descendant in a prominent Palestinian family that goes back to this time, Khalidi has produced here a very informative and essential history of Palestine and its terrifying occupation by the Zionist state.

5 The Sykes–Picot Agreement was a 1916 secret treaty between the United Kingdom and France, with assent from the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, to define their mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in an eventual partition of the Ottoman Empire.–Picot_Agreement