What is going on?
Palestine is the world’s largest open-air jail. Two million civilians living there are being targeted by Israel in reprisal for surprise attacks conducted by Hamas, an Islamist group originally founded by Israel to undermine the previous leadership of the Palestinian liberation movement.[i] Israel has openly declared that it considers its enemy ‘animals’ and will shut off access to water, gas and electricity.
In Britain tens of thousands have taken to the streets in towns and cities across the country to protest against the British governments involvement in the punishment of Palestinian civilians, in the denial of their rights and sovereignty and in sympathy with their cause. Whilst the television, parliament, business and the political establishment back Israel to the hilt, it is clear that a wide section of British public opinion is in sympathy with Palestine. In an attempt to shut down dissenting voices, the ruling class are seeking to brand those who expose Israeli crimes as supporters of terrorism with the goal of strangling British free speech.
Imperialism is the global exploitative system of capitalism. It has carved up the world into areas of influence which are looted by rival imperialist powers, principal the United States, Britain and the EU imperialist bloc.
The rivalry between these blocks is one of the principle sources of conflict, war and mass migration. The capitalists are the very people who exploit British workers, loot our public services, and export industry and jobs abroad. This is all in the pursuit of making maximum profits. The people who run these companies are the ruling class.
The struggle of the Palestinian people for their sovereignty is a struggle against the occupation of their country by imperialism and for independence. British workers and the Palestinians therefore share a common enemy.
[i] By Thomas Fazi Many people don’t know this but Hamas is largely a creation of the Jewish state. For years, Israel encouraged Gaza’s Islamists as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah, helping to turn a bunch of fringe Palestinian Islamists in the late 1970s into one of the world’s most notorious militant groups, which has killed far more Israeli civilians than any secular Palestinian militant group.
Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Segev, who was the Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980s, later told the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief that he was giving money to the Muslim Brotherhood, the precursor of Hamas, on the instruction of the Israeli authorities. The funding was intended to tilt power away from both Communist and Palestinian nationalist movements in Gaza, and especially from Arafat (who himself referred to Hamas as “a creature of Israel”), which Israel considered more threatening than the fundamentalists. “The Israeli government gave me a budget”, the retired brigadier general confessed, “and the military government gives to the mosques”.
“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation”, Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for more than two decades, told the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Back in the mid-1980s, Cohen even wrote an official report to his superiors warning them not to play divide-and-rule in the Occupied Territories, by backing Palestinian Islamists against Palestinian secularists. “I… suggest focusing our efforts on finding ways to break up this monster before this reality jumps in our face”, he wrote.
They didn’t listen to him.
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