Demanding an end to Israel’s slaughter

January 8, 2009

IT IS impossible to read the news about Israel's attack on Gaza without being thoroughly disgusted and outraged. Not only have Israeli special forces been sent in to surround the city from the north, east and south, but they have stationed ships off the coast of Gaza City, which are pounding the Palestinians with artillery.

A quick look at a map shows that this has little to do with stopping Hamas from sending some missiles into sections of Israel, and everything to do with strangling an entire population of people, with the aim of either destroying the leadership that was democratically elected by the Palestinians themselves or dislodging that support from the Palestinian base. I think drawing analogies between what Israel is doing and what the Nazis did in the Warsaw Ghettos of Poland is entirely appropriate.

Still, I believe Israel has made a dangerous escalation of their strategy to marginalize Hamas and push Palestinians into the arms of Fatah (which they see as a much more compliant political force).

Gaza is not Lebanon, and Hamas is not Hezbollah, but it is not an easy thing to militarily defeat a city of 1.5 million people. From Stalingrad in the Second World War to Falluja today, there are plenty of examples of how workers can resist an occupying power, no matter how awesome its military might.

Many people rightly see the situation for Hamas and the Palestinians as desperate, but their situation is not hopeless. The Palestinian people have shown immense reserves of strength and courage over the course of 30 years of occupation. That resistance is part of why Israel chose to leave Gaza in the first place.

Our job in the U.S. is twofold: to show solidarity for the Palestinian resistance and to politically expose Zionism for its imperial criminality and racist bankruptcy. That is why we must build the largest possible demonstration this Saturday, January 11, in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

I believe doing so puts the question of Palestinian rights back into the center of the antiwar movement and gives us a crucial opportunity to connect the brutality of the U.S. "war on terror" in Iraq and Afghanistan with Israel's Zionist project in the Middle East.
Andy Libson, San Francisco

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