Zionist Israel Slaughters Nearly 400
Palestinians, with U.S. Backing
End all U.S. Aid to Apartheid Israel!
A Socialist Action Statement
December 30, 2008
[Note: We are posting this statement for our readers’ information. It has been edited somewhat for Labor Standard (edited passages in red). And of course, as of Jan. 7, 2009, a week later, the death toll for Palestinians was reported at nearly 700 (mostly civilians, mostly women and children), with nearly 3,000 wounded, many maimed for life. The death toll for Israel was reported to be 10. — The Editors, Labor Standard]
Since withdrawing from direct occupation of Gaza in 2005, the Israeli government has maintained indirect control over this small strip of land with its population of about 1.5 million, treating it as an open-air prison and most of the time as a shooting gallery. Now Israel’s Zionist rulers are making Gaza an extermination camp. The December 27-30 premeditated slaughter of nearly 400 Palestinians, with more than 1,000 wounded, has horrified the world, and especially the Arab masses, who sympathize with the Palestinians.
As of December 30, there is no end in sight. The slaughter continues.
The Palestinian people have been relegated to the status of vermin in their own land by the Zionist colonizers and their U.S. imperialist backers.
In the Zionist treatment of the Palestinians the Arab masses recognize the contempt that the imperialists have for them, and the sight of it rubs salt in their wounds. They have suffered this bitterness and have harbored a justifiable hatred for their oppressors for decades without finding an effective outlet. Today their outrage can only become deeper; in time it will eventually overwhelm the neocolonialist rulers of their own countries, who connive with the Zionists and the imperialists.
The hopelessness to which the Zionist colonization condemns the Palestinians mirrors the hopelessness of all the Arab and Muslim peoples and all Third-World peoples suffering under the economic dominance and exploitation of the imperialists. Egypt, by far the largest Arab state, in particular seethes with such frustration, both because of the collaboration of its brutal dictatorial rulers with imperialism and the failure of the promises that the road out of poverty would be opened by cooperation with world capitalism’s economic overlords in the so-called Infitah (open door policy), which paralleled the peace with Israel. The Camp David Accords with Israel were a political capitulation; the Infitah, which opened up Egypt to imperialist economic exploitation, was a corresponding economic capitulation.
Egypt, the only Arab state to border on Gaza, is openly collaborating with the ongoing Zionist massacre. The international press has reported that Egyptian border guards are firing on Palestinians trying to flee. That is a violation of a fundamental human right, the right of flight, the right of refugees to international protection. Paradoxically, the Zionists’ real objective is to drive out the Palestinians, but they want to crush them first. Palestinians will fight to stay in their country, to hold on to their land, to resist the Zionist colonizers. But some may want to flee to save their lives or the lives of their children. If they want to, they have that right, and it is protected by international law and humane tradition. It is an outrage that Israel and Egypt are denying them this basic human right.
Egypt could also end the Zionist economic siege of Gaza. It need only open the border. Palestinian forces were able to force their way through at one point and keep the border open for a few days. But Egypt closed it again and reinforced it. That is another outrage. It goes beyond capitulation to Zionism; it is active collaboration with it.
Even the capitalist press has pointed out that Israel’s present campaign is the greatest slaughter of Palestinians since the 1982 massacre in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Lebanese fascists with the open complicity of the Israeli army. That is the measure of the challenge today. Can world public opinion allow such a massacre to go on in the full view of the world’s peoples? If it does, that will be a grave setback for the advance of civilization in general. Alleged provocations by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups are no excuse for indifference. Futile acts of resistance can be expected from any human beings subjected to intolerable conditions. Similar acts can be seen every day even in American prisons. And the imprisonment of the Palestinians is far worse. The futility of individual acts of resistance is an indication of desperation. It should arouse sympathy and not censure.
Humanity is one. If one section of humanity is subjected to torture, all of humanity suffers, all humanity is endangered. It is time for all people of good will and reasonable sense to rise to the defense of the beleaguered people of Gaza. They can force their governments to pressure Israel to end its siege.
Israeli is and has always been a racist Zionist colonial settler state. It was established in 1948 with imperialist agreement by the physical removal of a large part of the Palestinian people from historic Palestine. Shortly after the original “partition,” which divided Palestine in roughly two parts, the imperialist-armed Zionist army organized a war to destroy hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages in order to occupy additional portions of Palestine. What remains of Palestine today is less than 20 percent of the original homeland to millions, the majority of whom today live in exile and constitute the largest refugee population in the world.
Socialist Action has never recognized the legitimacy of the Zionist State of Israel, just as we reject extending any legitimacy to nations conquered and occupied by imperialist colonizers anywhere in the world, past and present.
We unconditionally support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, that is, to a democratic secular Palestine to be reconstituted on the original Palestine lands and with the right of all Palestinians to return. Socialist Action simultaneously struggles for a socialist federation of the Middle East and for a socialist Palestine, where Arabs, Muslims, Jews and all others can live at peace in an egalitarian society free from capitalist profit and exploitation.
·An immediate end to all
U.S. military, economic and political aid to Israel!
·Immediate withdrawal of all U.S. military installations and equipment from Israel!
·Sever all relations with Israel!