Revolution #152, January 11, 2009
Message to Our Readers:
Crucial Challenges Posed By Israeli Attacks
As we write—on January 4, 2009—Israel has not only continued but escalated its criminal attacks on the Palestinian people. The ground invasion now under way threatens to bring even more terrible destruction—more killings than the over 400 already reported, and more destruction of infrastructure leading to more disease, starvation and needless death. The pro-Israel New York Times reported on January 4 that most of the newly arriving casualties in Gaza’s hospitals were civilians.
The U.S. has backed Israel both with new, sophisticated military weaponry AND with full diplomatic support. The Bush administration has been hard core in its insistent support for these marauders. And Barack Obama, who found it quite possible to push his agenda on the economy and to comment several times on Mumbai before being inaugurated, has suddenly gone quiet. He has been content to let Bush carry the ball, murmuring that “we only have one president at a time” while letting his spokespeople and the media remind everyone of his support for Israel—keeping his hands clean while in fact supporting these crimes.
Meanwhile, opinion-molders in the major media tell us that there is more at stake here than meets the eye—that this is also a proxy battle between the U.S. and the forces that it backs in the Middle East (principally Israel, but also Egypt, Saudi Arabia and some other Arab regimes) against Iran. As they do so, both Bush spokesmen and Israeli politicians attack Iran and Syria for supposedly arming Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza. The danger of this crime spiraling into even wider and more criminal war is very real. Remember: knowledgeable people on all sides have warned that an all-out attack on Iran could begin in the form of Israel claiming to be defending itself.
In short, the U.S. is, through Israel, aiming to tighten its imperial domination of the entire strategic region. And Israel, for its part, aims not only to aid U.S. imperialism in that, but to strengthen its own fortress-like settler state, even more ruthlessly oppressing and dominating the Palestinians. While Hamas and the Iranian government do not offer a road to liberation—in fact, they are themselves representatives of reactionary social relations and do not break with imperialism in any fundamental way—it is U.S. imperialism (often, as in this case, acting through Israel) which has done by far the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity. None of this slaughter now being carried out by Israel, and backed by the U.S., is in any way justifiable and none of it is in the interests of the people of the world.
These crimes will almost certainly have major effects and ramifications—not only in the Middle East, and among the masses there, but also around the world, as well as within the U.S., among different sections of people, and not only in a longer-term sense, but in the next immediate period as well.
What you, the readers of Revolution, do will matter a great deal in determining the nature of those effects and ramifications. Whether the world sees political protest and resistance, and mass outpourings of opposition and outrage in different forms in this country...or whether it sees continued support for and passive complicity with these attacks coming from the people here...all this will matter greatly in regard to how people all over the planet understand things, and see their options. And you have a role to play in that.
Spread the Truth
The level of ignorance among people in this country about Israel—about both the basic facts behind its founding and its ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people—is astounding and appalling. But it is not surprising; people are systematically lied to about every major question in this society, and this is especially so concerning the state of Israel. This is because Israel is a crucial spearhead of United States imperialist interests in the Middle East, and maintaining support for Israel among the people in this country is a key political objective of the ruling class. This is so important that there is barely a murmur of dissent, if that, allowed within the ranks of U.S. rulers, be they Republican or Democrat.
But now, with the eyes of the world fixed on Gaza, there is both a challenge and opportunity to pierce that ignorance. At the same time, there is an urgent need, as we said, for mass outpourings against Israeli-U.S. aggression in the region. And the two go hand in hand.
Revolution provides invaluable resources in giving people the truth. In just the last year, Revolution ran numerous articles that have gone into the truth in depth, as you can see in the accompanying article, “Resources: Israel and the Middle East.” We aim to continue and intensify this in the current crucial period—both in our weekly paper and as often as possible on our website.
Right now we call on readers to make creative efforts to get what HAS been written out as widely as possible. Get it to community groups, to teachers, to bloggers, to artists and writers, to activists. Get it to those who are still inebriated on the Obama kool-aid, but retain a desire to see justice for the Palestinian people, and challenge them to act. Enlarge things like the quiz on Israel in Revolution #137 (July 27, 2008) and take them out to universities and street corners, and spark debate.
As we say elsewhere on our website, never again must it be the case that the Holocaust (or the ludicrous and outrageous claims of “self-defense” on the part of Israel) are invoked to justify, and deter and silence criticism of, the truly Nazi-like policies and actions which the rulers of Israel, and its founders, have carried out over 60 years and more—and which they are now carrying to new depths of brutality and depravity...Never again must this happen without this being met with determined and passionate opposition (yes, including on the part of Jews who can be won and mobilized to oppose this).
Needed: Massive Political Resistance
It is really crucial that there not only be continuing and hard-hitting exposure, including refutation of the propaganda and lies of the Israeli regime and its defenders and apologists, as well as those of the major spokespeople for U.S. imperialism—but that there also be mass outpourings of political opposition and outrage. It is really crucial that, in the United States as well as throughout the world, people take to the streets in political action, and that real efforts be made, and continued, to make this grow, even exponentially, and to become as mass a phenomenon as possible. These efforts have to go beyond “going through the motions”—they must have real passion, appropriate gravitas, and meaningful political impact—which involves the ability to sharpen things up politically and get the political dynamic going in the way that is really required. And as this political resistance mounts, our paper—and our website—will report on it. To make that possible, readers of this paper must take responsibility to report such actions.
To be very clear here, all this is not in opposition to, but in a fundamental sense is predicated on, a correct understanding and application of the essential principles of Enriched What-Is-To-Be-Done-ism, which includes the critical role of the revolutionary press: the more and the better we do compelling exposure and analysis, the more it will contribute to, and be fundamental to, people feeling compelled to act and to being organized and mobilized, and organizing and mobilizing themselves and others, to act in politically meaningful and “impactful” ways—and, of course, it is crucial in all this that, as people resist from many different standpoints, the communists be “out there” among the masses, as communists and wielding our full communist analysis and line, in an all-around and consistent way, including in a concentrated way through the use of this newspaper.
As we noted above, Obama is attempting to play this both ways—tacitly supporting the attacks while laying low in order to maintain his guise of being something new and different from Bush. In fact, Obama has made clear from the very beginning of his campaign that on the question of supporting Israel and maintaining it as the key enforcer for U.S. imperialism in the Middle East, there is no fundamental difference between him and Bush. Communists, and radicals who understand that Obama is nothing other than the incoming chief executive of a monstrous empire, must seize on this opportunity to expose this to those who have been seriously misled by the whole thing around his election.
In particular, note the frequent citing in the media of Obama’s quote last summer, to the effect that if someone were sending rockets at his daughters, he would take action to stop it. This statement is outrageous in its selective logic—how many children have been murdered already in Gaza by Israeli bombs and, for that matter, how many children have been murdered by U.S. rockets in Afghanistan, a country where Obama threatens to send 20,000 more U.S. troops? Second, it is designed to appeal to and promote the backward patriarchal logic that permeates this country, including way too much among the oppressed. And finally, this virtually calls for the Israeli attacks!
As we head into the inauguration, which will be a period of highly charged ideological and political struggle, it will be critical to hammer at this among those who have been won to support Obama—many of whom have been sympathetic to the Palestinian people in the past and have been in denial about Obama’s actual stance on this question. This can be and must be an occasion to stage a political and ideological intervention with those who have become “Obamically inebriated,” struggling with them to be true to their best principles and unite to oppose this outrage.
Raise Funds for This Voice!
As you move into action on all this, remember that this paper is in the middle of an urgent fund drive—a fund drive absolutely necessary to expand the reach and influence of this voice. The intensified work around Gaza should not be a distraction from this—but should in fact be an impetus, emphasizing all the more the need to take this drive out more boldly and more broadly, winning people to support the work of this paper in fulfilling the great need of exposing the depth and source of these crimes, showing the need for revolution and revolutionary communism, and building a revolutionary movement.
We will be posting specific materials on this—and we are calling on readers now to take initiative on this and report to the paper, sending us your letters and your ideas.
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