Israel & Palestine

The surge of the movement of Palestinian youth and workers against Israeli occupation, which culminated in the unified Palestinian general strike of 18 May, is continuing. It is now expressing itself in a growing mood of criticism and anger in the West Bank against the corruption of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which governs parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The PA’s security forces have been brutally clamping down on any manifestation of internal opposition to discredited President Mahmoud Abbas, and the ruling Fatah party. The arrests and beatings of activists and the PA’s active collaboration with the Israeli state in suppressing the ongoing protests have undermined

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On Sunday, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) elected a new government with a narrow majority of 60 against 59 – ending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 year-long hold on power. His rule was characterised by right-wing policies and the brutal oppression of the Palestinians, based on the personal standing of Netanyahu as Israel’s strong man. The final example of this was the recent bloody bombardment of Gaza. What will the new government bring? And why did Netanyahu lose his grip on power?

We recently received the following article written by an Egyptian Marxist on the events in Israel/Palestine over recent weeks. Although it was written on 18 May – the day of the general strike that united Palestinians, and before the ceasefire – and events have since moved on, we nevertheless believe it will be of general interest to our readers. For further analysis on the unfolding of events since the general strike, click here.

After eleven days of the ruthless bombardment of Gaza – which has killed more than 240 Palestinians (almost half of whom were children and women) and left thousands severely injured – Israel has eventually agreed to a ceasefire. The bombardment caused the displacement of 75,000 people. Their homes have been destroyed and severe damage has been inflicted on essential infrastructure: schools, hospitals (including the only COVID-19 testing and vaccination centre), electricity and clean water supplies. The population of Gaza will pay a heavy price for many years to come for Israel’s attack.

Over the last few days, dockworkers of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) in the port city of Durban have refused to handle cargo from an Israeli ship, in protest against Israel's bombardment of the besieged Gaza strip over the last few weeks. Currently, the ship is still lying in the Durban harbour waiting to take on cargo. 

Mass demonstrations were seen in cities across Britain over the weekend, as thousands took to the streets to condemn the crimes of Israeli imperialism, and to show support for the Palestinian liberation struggle. Intifada until victory!

The following is a statement by the International Marxist Tendency on Israeli violence against the Gaza Strip in recent days, which is continuing to escalate. We say: stop the bombing, end the occupation – workers and youth of the world, mobilise and fight for a free Palestine as part of a socialist federation of the Middle East!

The Israeli bombing of Gaza has already killed at least 48 Palestinians – among whom 14 are children – and injured hundreds, while six Israelis have been killed by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. The international media has once again presented the bombings as a legitimate retaliation against Hamas’ decision to fire rockets into Israel. However, as usual, they give a completely one-sided view of the real causes of this escalation of the crisis in Israel and Palestine.

On 11 April a huge explosion at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran caused a power cut. When the power suddenly stops, this causes the rotors of the giant machines used to enrich uranium to stop spinning which, according to Iranian officials, caused 60-70% of them to be destroyed. They were quick to blame “countries” which were aiming to ruin renewed efforts to save the nuclear deal through “nuclear terrorism”. This was a clear implication that Israel was the culprit. Not long later, Israeli press confirmed this was indeed the case.

Starting on 14 July, Bastille day, protests by thousands of Israeli youth and workers have been shaking the Israeli regime. While with every new demonstration, more anti-Netanyahu protesters joined (the last one was attended by 10,000-15,000). Far-right counter protests could only mobilise between five and 500 people. Here, we publish a report by one of our supporters from Jerusalem which we received a week ago, followed by an analysis by Franz Rieger.

The coronavirus has led to shutdowns, movement restrictions, and shortages of medical supplies and food around the world. However, for one place in the world, this was the norm before the pandemic.The Gaza Strip, already under heavy restrictions and shortages since the beginning of the blockade 13 years ago, now must also contend with the threat of COVID-19.

In this talk from Revolution Festival 2019 in London, Fred Weston (editor of marxist.com) discusses the crisis in Israel-Palestine, which is back on the agenda thanks to Trump's proposed 'peace plan'.

On 9 April, a new parliament will be elected in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister from the nationalist Likud party, has to face corruption charges. In order to hold on to power, Netanyahu is trying to lean on the support of several far-right parties. At the same time, Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan, a more moderate and liberal, but still nationalist alliance is leading the polls.

On 3 December, 20,000 people in Tel Aviv protested against violence towards women. The protests followed the murder of two girls – Silvana Tsegai, 12, and Yara Ayoub, 16. This year, 24 girls and women were murdered in Israel, which is a sharp increase compared to the years before. For days, protests were going on and a women‘s strike was called for the following day.

A lot of fuss is being made about what one can and cannot say about the state of Israel. Especially virulent is the campaign against Jeremy Corbyn’s so-called “anti-semitism” in Britain. In reality this is a blatant attempt to silence any criticism of Israel and its discriminatory policies against the Palestinian people. In light of all this, Francesco Merli looks at the new law that openly discriminates against Palestinians living in Israel, officially reducing them to the status of second-class citizens.

In the third episode of IMTV  the International Marxist Television channel, hosted by the UK section of the IMT, Socialist Appeal Francesco Merli provides a Marxist analysis of the situation in Israel and Palestine.