Israel, with the support of all the imperialist powers in the US-NATO axis, is carrying out a genocide in Gaza.
A genuine mass movement is developing in response to the war crimes being committed against the Palestinian people. Spontaneous protests erupted on Friday in the West Bank, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and other countries. In New York City, hundreds of members of Jewish Voice for Peace shut down Grand Central Station. This follows protests involving millions over the past week, and demonstrations are being held throughout the world this weekend.
This movement must be developed and expanded. The World Socialist Web Site, which is published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, calls for strikes and other protest actions by the working class in every country. We urge the organization of mass demonstrations in every city and emergency solidarity protests by college and high school students.
We call for the development of protests and demonstrations within Israel itself. Its soldiers, many of whom are reservists, should defy—as is required under international law—the criminal orders of the Netanyahu regime and the military general staff.
There is no time to lose. Action to stop the war must not be subordinated to the political maneuvers of capitalist governments, whose verbal protests against Israeli atrocities are aimed at deflecting and maintaining control over the emerging mass movement. Opposition to Israel’s crimes must be rooted in the international working class, using the powerful weapon of a general political strike in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
An emergency situation exists in Gaza:
- On Friday, all communications were cut off by Israel, amidst the heaviest aerial bombardment since the assault began three weeks ago. The aim is to clearly prevent information from escaping showing the mass murder of Palestinians, with reports of tank incursions and the possible beginning of a ground invasion.
- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has demanded the evacuation of the last remaining hospital in northern Gaza, the Al-Shifa, on which as many as 60,000 desperate refugees depend. On Friday, the IDF issued a lying statement claiming that the hospital is being used by Hamas, a transparent attempt to justify bombing the facility, as it targeted the Al-Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital, killing 500 on October 17.
- The more than one million people who lived in northern Gaza are being forced to evacuate or be killed, and an estimated 1.4 million people are now internally displaced. Israel has also bombed targets in southern Gaza, including the border crossing with Egypt at Rafah. More than 100 Palestinians have also been killed in raids on the West Bank.
- Hundreds of thousands face starvation, dehydration and disease. United Nations Secretary General António Guterres acknowledged the scale of the catastrophe in a statement Friday, warning that the “humanitarian system in Gaza is facing a total collapse with unimaginable consequences for more than 2 million civilians.”
The United States and its axis of NATO powers—including Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Canada—are full partners and accomplices in this genocide.
On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden attempted to minimize the scale of the atrocity, claiming that he had “no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed.”
Biden is lying. He knows the staggering death toll, even before Palestinian authorities released in response to his claim the names of 7,000 individuals killed so far. For American imperialism, the slaughter of Palestinians, including thousands of children and women, is simply, as Biden himself put it, “the price of waging war.”
On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed, in a 412-10 vote, a resolution declaring it “stands with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”
On Friday, as Israel was bombarding Gaza with the full force of its military, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby declared that the Biden administration is “not drawing red lines for Israel.” In other words, the Netanyahu regime has a blank check for mass murder.
Despite the relentless propaganda, the sentiment of the broad mass of workers and youth throughout the world is on the side of the Palestinians. The ruling class is responding with threats and efforts to suppress opposition to Israel’s genocide.
In Germany, most demonstrations opposing Israel’s genocide have been banned. If people still gather to protest, they are often brutally attacked by the police. Migrant-dominated districts have been put under siege. Heavily armed police patrol the streets and take into custody anyone wearing a Palestinian scarf or flag.
Christian Democratic Union leader Friedrich Merz is demanding that only those who declare their support for Israel’s security can become German citizens.
In France, the police have been given the authority and encouragement of the Macron government to ban protests. The Paris police prefect said on Friday that he would attempt to ban a protest planned on Sunday. Protesters have been arrested just for having Palestinian flags, accused of making apologetics for terrorism.
In the UK, there are increasing demands from within the state for protests to be shut down. On campuses, university authorities have closed down meetings and suspended students for taking part in demonstrations.
In the United States, the Senate passed a resolution Thursday, by unanimous consent, with the support of every senator, Democrat and Republican, slandering students for “expressing solidarity with terrorists” and promoting “antisemitism.” The resolution, proposed by fascistic Republican Senator Josh Hawley, specifically named student organizations at Harvard University, the president of the Student Bar Association at New York University and chapters of the Students for Justice in Palestine.
The resolution was passed two days after Florida’s fascistic Governor Ron DeSantis ordered the disbandment of all Students for Justice in Palestine clubs in the state university system.
The claim that protests against Israel’s actions are antisemitic is a foul slander. It comes from governments that have cultivated and promoted fascists and antisemites. In Germany, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), an antisemitic and fascist party, is one of the most powerful parties in the Bundestag.
In the US, the Republican Party is led by a gang of fascists, including Hawley himself, one of the chief co-conspirators in Trump’s January 6 coup. These are the forces with whom the Democrats have joined hands to denounce students opposed to Israel’s genocide.
In its war against Russia over Ukraine, the US-NATO axis has armed and promoted fascists in the Ukrainian state, which upholds as a national hero Stepan Bandera, leader of the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, which collaborated with the Nazis in the slaughter of Jews during World War II. Last month, the entire Canadian Parliament applauded Yaroslav Hunka, a veteran of the Ukrainian Waffen-SS, which took part in the mass killing of Jews.
Moreover, the mass demonstrations have involved significant contingents of Jewish workers, intellectuals and youth, who are outraged over the effort to associate the Jewish people as a whole with the crimes of the Netanyahu government.
The protests against Israel’s genocide in Gaza must be expanded and broadened. What the world is witnessing in Gaza is imperialist and capitalist barbarism in its most brutal form.
The war against the Palestinian people is a continuation and extension of an expanding global war being waged by the US-NATO axis, which began with the instigation of the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.
The United States is assembling a massive military strike force in the Mediterranean, spearheaded by two aircraft carriers, to prepare for and provoke a war against Iran.
Requiring Israel’s full participation in a war against Iran, the United States has given Israel a green light to eliminate, as necesssary preparation for the next stage of the war, all resistance from the Palestinians.
The explosion of imperialist violence is increasingly directed at the working masses of the world, against all opposition to the ruthless plunder by the capitalist ruling elites.
It is the working class that must be mobilized against imperialist war. The WSWS supports working class action to stop the shipment of any items to Israel that could have any conceivable military use. The massive social power of the international working class must be mobilized in a political general strike.
Workers must demand an immediate halt to the Israeli bombing of Gaza and the demobilization of all Israeli troops and their withdrawal from the border with Gaza. The siege on Gaza must be ended, and food, water, electricity, medical care and all other necessities must be made available immediately. Netanyahu, Scholz, Biden, Sunak, Meloni, Macron and all the leading figures in the US-NATO axis must be prosecuted for their complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity.
A mass movement of workers must be directed against all the capitalist governments and political parties of the ruling class. Workers in the Middle East, moreover, should not allow their defense of the Palestinians to be controlled by their own bourgeois governments, which have cultivated relations with Israel and isolated and betrayed the Palestinians.
The strength and success of the anti-war movement depends upon its development throughout the world as a working class and socialist movement. This is the perspective for which the International Committee of the Fourth International and its affiliated Socialist Equality Parties are fighting.