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Palestine and imperialism

Hamas launched a well-planned and organized attack on Israel. The scale and speed of the October 7 Hamas attack shocked Israel. Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel. Hamas gunmen also crossed into Israel and killed many soldiers and civilians.

More than 13,00 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed in that attack. Hamas also captured more than 130 soldiers and civilians as hostages. The killings of unarmed civilians by Hamas are not justifiable. There is no justification of killing civilians in any military conflict.

In response to the Hamas attack, Israel launched a bombing campaign on Gaza. The Israeli air bombing has caused colossal damages to the infrastructure in Hamas ruled Gaza. Israel has targeted residential buildings, mosques, schools and hospitals. Israel has completely blocked the Gaza Strip. Israel has cut off food, medicine, fuel, water and electricity supplies to Gaza.

Israel is ready to launch a big military offensive into Gaza. The statements of Israeli officials are clearly indicating that Israel wants to take revenge by conducting a genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. Israel’s response to Hamas’ attack on Saturday has been swift and brutal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that Israel is at war. He has promised to reduce Gaza to a “deserted island”. Israel’s Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant put things clearly when he said: “We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.”

But the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are not animals. They are human beings, just as the inhabitants of Israel are human beings. And all human beings are entitled to be treated the same.

The reaction of the imperialist powers against the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel once again exposed their hypocrisy. Britain, USA, Germany, France and other Western powers openly announced their support for Israel. They are saying that Israel has the right to defend itself. They are even trying to stop the protests taking place in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The world’s liberal democracies are violating the basic principles of democracy, free speech and right of peaceful protest.

Let us just take one example to prove this point. When Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, Western powers immediately condemned it and announced support for Ukraine. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Western powers have been supplying Ukraine with weapons, ammunition and much needed financial resources. They are saying Ukraine has the right to defend itself against Russia.

But when Israel launches daily attacks against unarmed Palestinians, the same powers are not ready to accept the Palestinians’ right to defend themselves. It is unfair to draw any parallels between the military might of Israel and the Palestinians. Even Hamas is no match to the military power of Israel. One of the most modern war machines is pitched against mostly stone-throwing Palestinian youth.

On the one hand, we have a modern advanced capitalist country, equipped with nuclear weapons, fighter jets armed with powerful missiles, advanced technology and surveillance equipment, which counts on the full material and financial support of the world’s most powerful imperialist country.

On the other hand, we have the oppressed Palestinians, fighting with whatever weapons they can get their hands on.

While organisations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza are well armed and have at times used rockets to launch attacks on Israel, they are still very weak militarily as compared to Israel. The people of Gaza have been living in a desperate situation for nearly 15 years. Hamas and Israel have fought five wars since Hamas took control of Gaza. The blockade of Gaza and continued military raids of Israel on Gaza and the West Bank have led to the escalation.

On the basis of the self-defence principle, imperialist powers are providing blanket support to Israel. They have refrained from supporting Palestinians when Israel attacks them, kills them and suppresses them. They are condemning Hamas for killing Israeli civilians including children but at the same time these powers prefer to stay silent when Israel kills Palestinian children on a daily basis. Western powers slam Hamas for its reactionary policies but support the reactionary Israeli government.

Imperialist powers are condemning the Hamas attack against Israel as being a war crime but at the same they are rallying behind the reactionary Israeli state as it unleashes bloody vengeance on Gaza. They are emboldening Israel to commit a genocide of Palestinians, including women and children in Gaza. What does one call this policy other than an open and disgusting hypocrisy of imperialism? They have consistently ignored the crimes committed by Israel to occupy Palestinian lands.

As usual, the imperialist powers and Western media are blaming Hamas for the situation we find ourselves in. The Western corporate media is using its muscle and power to blame the victims for the crisis. The media turns victims into aggressors, and aggressors into victims.

While the Hamas attack on Israel may have escalated the situation, the Israeli occupation and imperialist policies are also responsible for this dangerous escalation. The Israel and imperialist powers have broken every promise and pledge made with the Palestinians.

The imperialist powers have betrayed the Palestinian people since the Balfour Declaration was issued on November 2, 1917, laying the basis for a Jewish state in these Arab lands. The state of Israel was established in 1948. But Palestinians are still waiting for the realization of a Palestine state. The Oslo Agreement in 1993 once again promised a Palestinian state. But no real progress was made. The dreams of a Palestinian homeland have been shattered by the indifference of imperialist powers.

Both British and American imperialism supported and nurtured Israel to promote their own interests in the Middle East. In all the Arab-Israeli wars since 1948, imperialist powers sided with Israel against the Arab states. It is an established fact that the active support of British and American imperialism played a crucial role in the victories of Israel in those wars. Israel couldn’t have won without the material support of these imperialist powers.

Khalid Bhatti, "Palestine and imperialism," The News. 2023-10-15.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Imperialist policies , Hamas , Democracy , PM Netanyahu , Israel , Gaza