Middle East

Assorted comments on Palestine/Israel crisis

A home destroyed in Gaza

Below is a collection of comments of mine on Facebook (and one email) on the unfolding disaster/Israeli war crimes in Israel/Palestine.

Oct. 13
I just watched a news clip from BBC showing Israeli soldiers massing on the border with Gaza. They are standing smiling and laughing. I just get the impression that they cannot wait for the order to go in and start killing Palestinians. This in no way means support for Hamas, but let’s get real here: Who is the real power there?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/12/israel-gaza-war-updates-hamas/?fbclid=IwAR2vwH6VpTd-XJ6Li8sAbwKTCaxV3ZVjOChSpmOd60z9uUXyg_pzPMYWPG0‘Israel’s energy minister said “no electrical switch will be turned on” in Gaza until all hostages are freed.’

In other words, the Israeli government is holding the entire Gaza population hostage.

Oct 14
All the heads of state in the Arab world are running around trying to inject their governments into the unfolding disaster in Gaza. There is one thing with which I will agree with them: The overall and ongoing crisis will not be resolved within Israel/Palestine alone. It will be resolved on a regional basis or not at all. The question is: WHICH REGIONAL FORCES CAN RESOLVE THE ONGOING CRISIS? The heads of state, including Netanyahu and Biden, believe it must be the regional capitalist class. This class has proven over and over again their reactionary role, including their willingness to use the Palestinians as a bargaining chip to gain an advantage for themselves as well as their reactionary role in general. No, the only regional force that can resolve the situation is the working class through a struggle that links up the fight against Zionism with the fight against their own capitalist class and the rulers that represent that capitalist class.

Biden & co. are gently reminding Israel about the “laws of war”, etc. In other words, not to engage in genocide too blatantly. knowing that the US will not break from them in any way, Netanyahu & Co. will be just as responsive to this reminder as they have been to the gentle reminders as far as building more settlements in the West Bank.


Reports of Israel bombing cars and buses of Gazans headed to southern Gaza.

From Haaretz. You can be certain that at least 90% of these people are at least apologizing for if not cheering on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


After images and reports emerged from Saturday’s bloody Hamas assault on Israel that resulted in the killing of some 1,000 Israelis, including the slaughter of civilians – most leading figures on the left, including Bernie Sanders and Alexandra Ocasio Cortez voiced principled and clear condemnations of Hamas’ brutal acts.

However, despite the reports that began to reveal the appalling scale and reality of the events, there were still a large faction on the left who either dismissed or even cheered the ongoing atrocities, dubbing them acts of Palestinian resistance.

Numerous scholars and writers cited post-colonial thinkers like Franz Fanon and CLR James to justify violence as an act of “decolonization.” Others placed the term “unprovoked” in ironic quotation marks when referring to the massacre of young people at a music festival and entire families murdered in their homes.

Najma Sharif, an American writer, tweeted, “What did y’all think decolonization meant? Just vibes?”


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Statement blaming Israel for violence, endorsed by Harvard students, unleashes backlash

‘So the world knows what happened’: The scene of slaughter at Kibbutz Kfar Azza

Five hours after gruesome attack began, a satellite captured Hamas atrocities in Israel

Some leaders of the progressive European left, such as Yannis Varoufakis, a former Greek minister, stated, “The criminals here are not Hamas…the criminals are Europeans.”

Email sent:
I had an extended exchange with a Latin American socialist that I’ve been communicating with and, to a degree, working with for quite a few years now. Overall, he is a serious and honest person and I have a lot of respect for this comrade. But he’s somewhat of a nationalist I can see. He absolutely rejects any potential for Israeli/Palestinian working class unity, even on a very limited basis. He sees the Israeli working class as one big reactionary and racist whole incapable of any progressive development. I don’t think he is the only one with this view. And we are not talking about the present state of affairs (which I suspect is more mixed than many think); we are talking about a future potential.

One aside: When we’re talking about winning over a section of the Israeli working class, that does not mean the Palestinians have to wait or moderate their struggle – the intifadas, etc. After all, power attracts. Nor should we forget that at the height of the Arab Spring there were mass protests in Tel Aviv around housing costs. Yes, those protests were maiinly of petit bourgeois youth and they were extremely limited in their demands, but I find it hard to believe that they happened unconnected to what was happening in the countries surrounding Israel. And if the Arab Spring had had more clear class demands and were consciously and systematically coordinated on a regional basis, who knows what kind of effect it could have had in Israel/Palestine?

So, in my discussion with this comrade, I asked him if that is the case, if even a limited working class unity is impossible, then what is the alternative? What is the longer term solution? He agrees that the “two state solution” is no solution whatsoever. He agrees that what is required is a movement of the Arab working class as a whole, united with the Palestinian movement. But then he says “the Arab working class will defeat Israel” and create one united nation in what is now Israel/Palestine, but over the resistance of the entire Israeli working class. When pushed to the limits of his view, he says that the Jews will have to go back to Europe or New York City. Quite aside from the fact that many Israeli Jews – and the poorest ones at that – are from the Middle East – what he is proposing is actually a nice way of saying ethnic cleansing. That means a slaughter similar to what Israel is planning in Gaza. Not only that, but it would be led not by radical working class organizations but by vicious fascistic organizations similar to ISIS or Hamas.

But that is not all because before Israel were overrun from the outside it would use every nuclear bomb in its arsenal.

This is the inevitable alternative once one rejects the idea of working class unity and socialism

If Israeli troops occupy Gaza, I’ll bet they start building settlements there again.


Categories: Middle East

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