The recent ceasefire in Gaza has offered welcome respite from the intensive, brutal attacks by the Israeli Defence Forces and has allowed vital if limited humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza strip. However, Israel has continued to harass and terrorise Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza over the past few days and it would be foolish to expect that there has been any fundamental change in their ultimate objective: the liquidation of the Palestinian’s legitimate struggle for nationhood and sovereignty.
Despite the diplomatic posturing of Biden and co. it is clear that the United States imperialists have no intention of decreasing their support for the apartheid Israeli state. The true test of the intentions of the United States is practice and the recent decision by the White House to lift nearly all restrictions on Israel’s access to U.S. weapons stockpiles stored in Israel should leave no room for doubt on this score.
These stockpiles – War Reserve Stockpile Allies Israel (WRSA-I) – were created by the United States in the 1980’s for use in regional conflicts and contain smart bombs, missiles, military vehicles and other ammunition and equipment. While up to now the Israelis had very limited access to weapons deemed surplus or obsolete, Biden is now looking to remove many of these restrictions, waive an annual spending cap on replenishing the stockpile, remove weapon specific restrictions and curtail Congressional oversight. While there is a chance that this could cause issues for U.S. military readiness in the medium to long-term, it is beyond any doubt that the immediate victims of this policy will be the Palestinian people and their aspirations for nationhood.
No doubt the Israeli State will be encouraged by this move by the Biden White House. Having already had carte blanche to brutalise and massacre Palestinian children, women and men and flatten hospitals, homes and other basic infrastructure, this will further embolden them in their frankly genocidal actions. Based on the evidence of the past few weeks there is unfortunately little indication that the EU will provide any substantial opposition to the U.S. – Israel alliance. Once again, International law is trumped by U.S. geopolitical interests.
To expect anything other than an equally violent reaction by the brutalised Palestinians would be at best naïve and at worst the type of empty moralising that distance affords. The situation in the Middle-East which is at the best of times precarious is likely to become increasingly unstable as the United States and Israel are allowed to have their way in the region.
The death toll in Gaza is now approximately 15,000 people, 6000 of them children. In the absence of any meaningful intentions by the political elites in the United States and Europe to oppose the collective punishment and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, this death toll looks set to rise in the coming months. It is worth reiterating the fact that this did not begin with the attacks of October 7th which only inaugurated the latest chapter in the brutalisation of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state.
The upswell of solidarity with the Palestinian people across Europe and elsewhere offers a glimmer of hope in an unbearably bleak situation. These events send a clear message to the imperialists and their vassals that their role in the genocide of the Palestinians will not be forgotten nor forgiven. The past few weeks offer another abject lesson that it is the United States and NATO that represent the greatest threat to peace and democracy across the world. The struggle for justice in Palestine is inseparable from the struggle against the global machinations of United States imperialism. Palestine represents a current front in that broader struggle.
The Workers’ Party offers our unwavering support to the Palestinians at this time and in their struggle for peace, nationhood and sovereignty.