The WSA Solidarity Committee strongly denounces the Israeli military’s merciless assault on the Gaza Strip, beginning on Monday, May 10, which has killed at least 137 Palestinians, including 36 children. This new shooting war— the fourth since 2008, and the third overseen by the far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu— began in the context of a Palestinian uprising against the imminent colonial displacement of several refugee families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
On Monday, Israeli police, who were engaged in brutalizing Muslim worshippers observing Ramadan at the al-Aqsa mosque, defied Hamas’ ultimatum to withdraw their forces, leading to mass-rocket fire into Israel. 8 Israelis (Jewish and Palestinian), including a child, plus an Indian care worker have died in these barrages. The advanced “Iron Dome” system— funded and developed in no small part by the US government and aerospace corporations— has intercepted most incoming fire. In the Occupied West Bank this past week, the Israeli State has killed at least a dozen Palestinian protesters.
Emboldened by his enabler, the U.S. government, Netanyahu has been especially cruel during these latest escalations. Yesterday, May 15, Nakba Day— which marks the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948, and the start of a vast ethnic-cleansing campaign that formed the basis of the Jewish State— an Israeli strike on a refugee camp in Gaza took the lives of ten members of the al-Hadidi family: eight children, and two women. Faced with the deliberate targeting of their homes, thousands have fled with their families to shelter in U.N. schools, but many have nowhere to go. Unlike other victims of war throughout the world, Palestinians in Gaza cannot flee the warzone. They lack the shelter and warning systems that simultaneously protect Israelis. Many Palestinian residents of Gaza, interviewed by Al Jazeera, have expressed the direness of the situation. “’It has been absolutely ruthless,’ [Abedrabbo al-Attar said].”
In a brazen bombing Saturday afternoon, Israel demolished the very building housing the offices of Al Jazeera, the Associated Press, and Middle East Eye in Gaza. Though the affected journalists appear to have escaped in time, this attack is part and parcel of the Israeli State’s “information war,” designed to cover up its past, ongoing, and future atrocities in the besieged enclave. Al Jazeera is now broadcasting from al-Shifa hospital, supposedly the “safest place” in the territory.
Not only is violence flaring in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, but inter-communal violence has also broken out in Israel proper, otherwise known as the “1948 territories,” between Jews and Palestinians. In Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Lod (Lydda), marauding Jewish Israelis, enabled and protected by the police, have terrorizedPalestinian homes and workplaces during these Muslim holy days of Eid al-Fitr. Such mobs have carried out lynchings and stabbings and fire-bombed Palestinian residences. Meanwhile, five synagogues in Lod/Lydda have been burned. In response, the authorities have declared a state of emergency in the city.
As the Libertarian Workers Group observed in 1982, Israel “is merely a unit in the international pecking order of competing nations, with the superpowers on top.” Its disregard for humanity, as evinced in Gaza, Sheikh Jarrah, and the West Bank, is consistent with the history of settler-colonialism and the establishment of State bureaucracies across the globe. Now, in the wake of the Trump regime and the parallel rise of the “Alt-Right,” and considering the far right’s contempt for “cultural Marxism,” anti-Semitism is on the rise internationally. But the Jewish State does not solve for this problem. Rather, through its egregious violations of international humanitarian law, it provides ammunition to anti-Semitic opportunists throughout the world. We must reject both the Israeli State’s crimes, as well as the supremacists who would utilize such atrocities for nefarious purposes.
To construct freedom for all in Israel/Palestine, the first step is an immediate and enduring ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. This would involve the Israeli military indefinitely ceasing all military operations in and against the Gaza Strip, and Hamas and affiliated groups likewise ending rocket fire into Israel. Moreover, Israel must suspend its campaign to expel Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah and the rest of East Jerusalem to make room for Jewish settlers, and Jewish Israeli lynch mobs must forthright withdraw from the streets.
We support a vision of Jewish and Palestinian workers, peasants, and oppressed people questioning and ultimately breaking with supremacist, nationalist, and militaristic imaginaries and ideologies, and coming together in joint struggle to overcome power, privilege, and hatred by building mutual aid, inter-communal solidarity, and collective self-management.
Externally, we welcome U.S. workers supporting Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel, and publicly protesting against the ongoing violence in Occupied Palestine.
– WSA Solidarity Committee