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Murder on the U.S./Israel Express

By Bonnie Weinstein

Fight Back

Fightback!:
A Collection of Socialist Essays

by Sylvia Weinstein


Note: The articles and reviews we have included in this issue about Israel’s genocidal war on Palestine have been written at different times, so the numbers of Palestinian deaths reported in them vary widely based upon when the articles were written. —Socialist Viewpoint

We may never know the total number of deaths in Gaza because it will take going through all the rubble created by Israeli bombs trying to match body parts to living families through DNA testing, and some of the dead have no living families left. This horrendous and unconscionable death and destruction was made possible by U.S. bombs provided to Israel with our tax dollars. It has become impossible to keep track of the dead in Gaza.

This is a massacre, a genocide—an immeasurable crime against humanity that dwarfs the horrific Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

Gaza will never be the same. The entire infrastructure has been destroyed—homes, schools, hospitals, power plants, water filtration stations, bakeries—all blown to bits with bodies still buried under the rubble.

An entire generation of Palestinian children and their families—those who have survived—will have to bear the burden of the terror and destruction they have experienced at the hands of the Israel and the U.S. for the rest of their lives.

In the meantime, Israel will continue its war with the full support of the U.S. until the Palestinian and Israeli working class together—with the support of workers across the world—demand an end to apartheid, an end to the separate Jewish state—and establish a free, democratic, and secular Palestine with equal rights for all.

This is the only solution to ending this continuous Israeli bloodbath against Palestinians that has been going on since before 1948.1

Israel is an apartheid government

According to Amnesty International:2

“The Palestinian experience of being denied a home is at the heart of Israel’s apartheid system…. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, successive governments have created and maintained a system of laws, policies, and practices designed to oppress and dominate Palestinians.

According to Human Rights Watch:3

“About 6.8 million Jewish Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians live today between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River, an area encompassing Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the latter made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. ...Israel is the sole governing power; in the remainder, it exercises primary authority alongside limited Palestinian self-rule. Across these areas and in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas…these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

The U.S. media coverup of Israeli-Zionist racism and apartheid

The U.S. media consistently uses subtle language to reinforce the Israeli portrayal of Palestinians as less than human—reinforcing Netanyahu’s 2019 statement that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens… [but rather] the nation-state of the Jewish people and only them.”4

In two separate articles on the same day in the New York Times, different language was used to describe Israeli and Palestinian hostages. Israeli hostages were referred to as women and children while Palestinian hostages were referred to as women and minors or teenagers, just as 12-year-old Tamer Rice was referred to as a young Black man after being shot to death November 22, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio, by 26-year-old white police officer, Timothy Loehmann, within seconds after his arrival on the scene.5

The following quotes use different language when describing Israelis and Palestinians in the New York Times:”

“…the release of hostages from Gaza, nearly all of them women and children, in exchange for the discharge of Palestinian women and minors from Israeli prisons…”6

And in a different article:

“Anwar and his cousin, Mourad Atta, 17, are among the 180 Palestinian teenagers and women freed from Israeli prisons in recent days, the largest such release of prisoners and detainees in more than a decade. Their freedom is part of a deal in which the Palestinians were traded for 81 hostages, many of them children, captured during the Hamas-led terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7.”7

Racism and apartheid are an essential part of capitalist rule across the globe—in Israeli-occupied Palestine and here in the USA.

Being anti-apartheid
is not antisemitic

Calling for the end of Israel as a separate Jewish state and opposing Zionism, which upholds the separate Jewish state, is not antisemitism. The Zionist state of Israel not only brutally occupies Palestinian territory but enforces laws that deem Arabs and Palestinians second-class citizens—and, to the extreme—less than human. It is not antisemitic to oppose apartheid.

Governments that have separate laws and rights that allow people of one religion, race, sex, or class to legally oppress people of another religion, race, sex, or class is an apartheid government—and it’s an international crime against freedom, equal rights, and democracy.

All Israeli territory—established by the forcible removal of the indigenous Arab population in 1948—including the Occupied West Bank and Gaza—is Israeli military occupied territory.

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF)—funded by U.S. tax dollars from the U.S. working class—enforces the separate laws designed to oppress and subjugate Palestinians.

The Israeli army, by law, has the right to incarcerate Palestinians indefinitely without being charged. Any Israeli settler has the right to confiscate the land that Palestinian families have lived on for generations.

If a Palestinian family tries to resist the takeover of their land by an Israeli settler, the IDF will be called to assist the Israeli settler. Palestinians do not have the legal right to own land in the Occupied Territories.

In Israel, the legal system for Jewish citizens is enforced by the Israeli judicial system—including the right to legal counsel, the courts, and police protection. Jewish Israelis certainly cannot be held indefinitely without charge and are not judged, jailed, and condemned by Israel’s military courts. They can also own land—if they can afford it.

How the Israeli “military courts” run by the Israeli Defense Force works.

In a December 2, 2023, New York Times daily update-article by Elena Shao, Karen Zraick, Anushka Patil and Gaya Gupta, titled, “Here is a breakdown of the 240 Palestinians Israel released during the pause in fighting,” they describe how IDF “justice” works:

“Israel detained all of the people on the list [the Palestinian prisoners who were released] for what it said were offenses related to Israel’s security, from throwing stones to more serious accusations like supporting terrorism and attempted murder. More than half of the cases were being prosecuted in Israeli military courts, which try Palestinians in the occupied West Bank but not Israeli settlers who live there. Nearly all Palestinians tried in Israeli military courts are convicted, and those accused of security offenses can be imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial. …There were 107 teenagers under 18, including three girls. Another 66 teenagers were 18 years old. The oldest person released was a 64-year-old woman.” 8

Opposing a separate Jewish apartheid state that systematically oppresses Palestinian people because of their religion and race is not antisemitic, it’s anti-apartheid.

Hatred of Jewish people because of their religion is antisemitism and must not be tolerated anywhere—just as racism, sexism and classicism must not be tolerated.

Capitalism champions all forms of oppression and divisions among workers

Capitalism itself is an apartheid, racist, sexist and classist system of oppression by the wealthy elite over the masses of working people—we who create the wealth in the world. And the U.S. is the most militarily powerful, and at the top of that list worldwide.

Laws that govern all capitalist countries are designed and enforced by the capitalist class to oppress the masses by whatever means available to them including war, economic instability, and racism.

Corporations and the wealthy have the resources to hire banks of lawyers to protect their economic interests. They pay into capitalist campaign funds (they routinely donate to all capitalist candidates to ensure all candidates’ allegiances are to them.)

They make the laws that allow corporations to raise prices any time they want while also raising interest rates on credit cards and bank loans. They raise prices on the necessities of life—food, housing, education, and healthcare that workers need to survive.

With their great wealth, the capitalist class controls the police, the courts, and the military.

They rule through the threat of nuclear annihilation at the press of a button. U.S. capitalism, especially, thrives on social injustice pitting workers of all colors, religious beliefs, gender, and sexual preference against each other.

Under capitalism, the only rights workers have is the right to vote for one wealthy capitalist candidate over another. We do not even have the right to a job—that is always up to the capitalist class. Any rights workers do have, have been won by long, hard struggles of workers against capitalist exploitation.

A free and democratic society with equal rights for all is a
necessity if we are to survive.

The fight for social justice everywhere must be the cause of a united, worldwide movement of the working class organizing and acting in our own collective defense against capitalist rule—the rule of a tiny elite over the masses of humanity by the threat of death and the destruction of the entire planet.

Fighting against the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestine must become the rallying cry of organized labor in every country.

A united party of the working class worldwide organizing against capitalist aggression, expropriation and domination of Palestine and the world is the only power strong enough to finally end capitalism’s rampage against the world’s working class.

In a December 1, 2023, article in Common Dreams by Jake Johnson, titled, “UAW Becomes Largest U.S. Union to Back Gaza Cease-Fire:”9

“Fresh off historic contract victories, the United Auto Workers on December 1, 2023, became the largest U.S. union to endorse a cease-fire in Gaza as Israel resumed its bombardment of the Palestinian territory following a weeklong pause. … Dozens of unions have signed onto a petition launched by the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, which demands the release of all hostages, an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza, and a cease-fire that sets the stage for ‘negotiations for an enduring peace.’”

This new resistance against Israel’s relentless killing and destruction in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank is a step forward for labor in the U.S. But it is far short of what is needed to put an end to capitalism’s relentless war on humanity for profit’s sake, which is what this war against Palestine is all about. It’s about who controls the Middle East, its oil, resources, and people.

The U.S. will stop at nothing to maintain their nuclear domination in the Middle East and in the world. That is why they are giving billions to Israel to drive the Palestinians from their homeland and commit genocide against them if they don’t get out of their way.

A democratic, secular world with equal rights for all

A united working class has the power to make the fundamental changes in the world that could bring an end to war. Workers are coming to the realization that capitalism and its relentless pursuit of increasing rates of profits cannot continue without more war, poverty, and oppression everywhere.

Labor’s next step is to work within our communities and our organizations to stop capitalism’s descent back into barbarism leading to the increased threat of nuclear annihilation.

It is capitalism’s pursuit of profits that fuels war and oppression. That is their modus operandi to keep masses of workers from realizing our real power—unity and solidarity in the struggle against capitalism and for socialism. If not, capitalism will continue to profit from war while we workers die, whether we are the targets of their bombs, or their cannon fodder. And the rich will get richer.

A party of, by and for the working class is the only viable solution.

A democratically organized and structured party of the working class in opposition to all capitalist parties must be formed—and it will take the united leadership and rank-and-file of daring labor organizations like the UAW to take the lead and break with the Democratic and Republican parties—because they are parties of the capitalist class.

Labor en masse must finally acknowledge that the capitalist class—with its finger on the button—is the enemy of all life on the planet.

Workers need to form a party of our own that represents our interests—to build a world democratically controlled by the majority, based upon social and economic equality and justice. The world’s working class has the power of our numbers and our labor to make war obsolete and make democratic cooperation our modus operandi. It’s called socialism.



1 Read “Israel Commits Genocide,” by Chris Kinder elsewhere in this issue of Socialist Viewpoint.

2 2https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2022/02/israels-system-of-apartheid/

3 https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution

4 See footnote 1.

5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Tamir_Rice

6 “Some officials hope brief pauses will pave the way to talks on ending the war.”

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/11/29/world/israel-hamas-gaza-war-news

7 Again, released Palestinian hostages held by Israel are labeled “teenagers and women” while Israeli hostages are referred to as, “…81 hostages, many of them children…”

“In the West Bank, Release of Prisoners Deepens Support for Hamas”

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/29/world/middleeast/west-bank-hamas-prisoners.html

8 https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/12/02/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news

9 Read article elsewhere in this issue of Socialist Viewpoint.