The Guardian • Issue #2100

Israel’s slaughter goes on – Opposition grows

Palestinian rally, Boorloo/Perth 18 May 2024.

Palestinian rally, Boorloo/Perth 18 May 2024. Photo: Vinnie Molina

The slaughter in Gaza goes on. The lies, distortions and hypocrisy from Israel and its allies go on. The anniversary of Nakba, the catastrophe of dispossession on 15 May 1948 has been and gone, been commemorated as never before in all countries. An overwhelming number of states now share a desire to recognise Palestine.

US BACKING

US President Biden made a great show of declaring that Israel must show a degree of “compassion” as it continues its filthy work in Gaza. He made a show of announcing that some weapons would not be delivered to Israel. Days after that statement came the news that a new shipment, worth US$1 billion would soon be on its way to the Israeli military so that the genocide can go ahead. The package, will include $700 million in tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and $60 million in mortar rounds. This is on top of the billions of dollars of military aid already approved.

Netanyahu, in a press conference, spoke of his 40-year relationship with Biden and that there had been times when they have had disagreements. He spoke warmly of a relationship that could withstand differences. The strength of this relationship is being played out in a most obvious way.

Any disagreements between the two regimes are really quite slight. They certainly do not get in the way of a close alignment of ideology and of strategy. Israel understands that they can rely on the USA to commit whatever crime it considers necessary. Biden has reiterated his “ironclad” support for Israel.

Netanyahu and his military spokespeople have stated that with or without any additional hardware from the USA, they have the capacity to destroy what is left of Gaza, the West Bank, and to threaten, bomb and terrorise Lebanon and Syria. They have nothing to fear about the solidarity of their ally or a lack of new weapons.

NO ESCAPE

Israel’s murderous campaign in Gaza has seen hundreds of thousands of civilians driven out of Rafah to the north of Gaza. They are trying to find shelter amid the rubble of Israel’s earlier bombardments. There is no safe place. A simultaneous assault was launched in both Rafah and in Jabalia in the north. An already traumatised and shattered population are moving both north and south in a vain attempt to escape the slaughter.

While all this continues, the bourgeois media carry stories of a temporary dock built by US military forces that allows aid shipments to enter Gaza. It provides some assistance but, more importantly for the United States’ propaganda machine, it provides good pictures. Less photogenic images come from across the border, inside Israel. There have been attacks, by extreme right-wing Israelis on aid shipments. Trucks have been ransacked and their cargo destroyed.

While the Nakba was being commemorated, hundreds of extremist Israeli settlers attacked the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. They raised the Israeli flag over the mosque, while Israeli soldiers stood by.

OPPOSITION GROWS

As Lenin says “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” The people of Palestine have always had the support of progressive people around the world, but the movement for change and for liberation has assumed an almost universal character.

This universal movement is seen on the streets, on university campuses and on the floor of the United Nations. Governments have been forced to acknowledge the right of Palestinian statehood.

Despite the rhetoric; that to speak against Israel is an expression of antisemitism, and despite the same arguments that anti-Zionism is antisemitism by another name, the truth is sweeping all before it.

The heroic actions of thousands of students around the world who are occupying university campuses are linked with nation-states demanding justice for Palestine. Students are refusing to be bowed, despite threats against their continued student-status and to future careers. For them, the issue is a defining one. For those arrested on pickets protesting Israeli ships, the issue is a defining one. For all people of conscience, the issue is a defining one.

INTERNATIONAL LAW

A letter co-signed by the governments of Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland has been sent to the Netanyahu government. It also carries the signatures of six G7 states: UK, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Japan. There is, of course, one G7 member that did not put pen to paper, but that country is the US, the imperialist armourer and quartermaster of Israel .

The letter demands that Israel must comply with international law in Gaza and address the devastating humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave. It will have no meaning for Israel. It is impervious to even universal condemnation. The signatories to the letter have not changed their political or economic spots, but they are increasingly aware of the turning of the tide of global opinion.

South Africa, among the first nations in the world to take a principled stance, continues to make its case. A hearing in the International Court of Justice has been told that the Palestinian people face ‘annihilation.’ South Africa has called for the court to impose emergency measures to protect Rafah, and to insist that Israel allow unimpeded access for UN officials, aid organisations, journalists, and investigators.

Speaking to the court, South Africa’s legal representative, Vaughan Lowe, stated that Israel’s declared aim of “wiping Gaza from the map is about to be realised … evidence of appalling crimes and atrocities is literally being destroyed and bulldozed, in effect wiping the slate clean for those who’ve committed these crimes and making a mockery of justice.”

Israel’s response was to declare South Africa to be the political and propaganda arm of Hamas!

ISOLATED

Israel, isolated in the world, save for its most lethal of allies, the USA, and a handful of America’s client states, continues with its genocidal campaign. It is banking on being able to ethnically cleanse Gaza and then the West Bank, to build a fortress state. It evokes a racist ideology that sees a ‘Greater Israel,’ stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean and free of Palestinians. However, history is marching in a different direction. The writing is on the wall for such regimes. The days of colonial expansion and dislocation of populations are coming to an end. Netanyahu, attending a Memorial Day ceremony, proclaimed the ‘war’ against Hamas was a struggle to secure Israel’s ‘existence, liberty, security, and prosperity … Our war of independence is not over yet.’

While Netanyahu looks for ‘prosperity,’ many thousands more innocent lives will be lost. What Netanyahu cannot see, what Biden cannot see, is that things are changing. The people of the world, in their millions are changing.

Palestine stands as a symbol for all struggling people. Palestine will win. The people are no longer afraid, and that is what strikes fear into the wretched souls of the Bidens and Netanyahus of this world.


Egypt to join ICJ genocide case against Israel

Egypt, which normally keeps quiet on matters to do with Israel, has formally joined the case against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Egypt Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the decision “comes in light of the worsening severity and scope of Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, and the continued perpetration of systematic practices against the Palestinian people, including direct targeting of civilians and the destruction of infrastructure in the Strip, and pushing Palestinians to flee.”

It has also been reported in Al Jazeera that both Colombia and Turkey have formally requested to join the case.

In January, the ICJ found, in an interim ruling, that there was a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza. It ordered Israel to take provisional measures including preventing genocidal acts from taking place.

The USA has condemned the South African case against Israel, calling it “meritless” and “counterproductive.” Israel has ignored the provisional ruling.

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