From A World to Win News Service:

Gaza and all of Palestine still need liberation

September 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


27 August 2014. A World to Win News Service. Israel's bombardment of Gaza has stopped with the signing of an open-ended cease-fire agreement with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority. No one can regret any interruption in Israel's murderous attacks, which have killed almost 2,200 people in three weeks, some 500 of them children. But the blood that has been shed demands that the results be looked at objectively from the point of view of what it will take to liberate Palestine.

Hamas has celebrated this cease-fire as a victory, and so have many supporters of the Palestinian cause abroad. It seems that Israel did not achieve its immediate aims in this campaign, especially the destruction of Hamas, and the mood in Israel is now considerably darker than in Gaza. But what has really changed?

The agreement is, after all, a rerun of previous Israeli agreements, in 2012 and at the end of previous campaigns against Gaza: Palestinian fisherman will be able to sail in the coastal waters within 10 kilometres off the Gaza coast, and Israel has promised to allow some limited and as yet unspecified humanitarian supplies and construction materials to filter through the border crossings it controls. But the siege of Gaza has not been lifted.

As if to underscore this point, just before signing the cease-fire Israel bombed the only door to Gaza it does not control, in Rafah, on the Egyptian border. Although the border crossing was not completely destroyed, it goes nowhere but to Egypt. As the official sponsor of the cease-fire, the U.S.-backed Egyptian military regime will surely do its best to basically enforce the Israeli blockade.

Israel's separation wall still surrounds most of the West Bank, which remains under occupation. The settlements remain and Israeli settlers will still be allowed to burn down Palestinian olive trees and lynch their Palestinian neighbours. Within the formal boundaries of Israel itself, including Jerusalem, the Israeli state has never been more brutal toward Palestinians.

The status quo for Palestinians is unbearable. How will this latest cease-fire change that?

The outcome so far may be viewed by Hamas as some sort of victory in terms of achieving its own goals, because its goal is religious rule and not the national liberation of Palestine, let alone a new and liberating society. But even in this regard it would be a big mistake to underestimate Israel's viciousness and thirst for revenge in the completely unjustified guise of "self-defence", which can only mean "defence" of the oppression of a people.

Most likely for Hamas, and explicitly in the thinking of some advocates for the Palestinian cause, the underlying reason for considering the cease-fire a victory lies in the idea that Israel's massacres have produced "a shift in public opinion" that would oblige the U.S. and the European Union to change their policies on Israel.

In an article on the valuable, multilingual Web site, its co-editor Mouin Rabbani wrote, "If in the aftermath of this crisis the U.S. responds with a renewed diplomatic initiative, it is unlikely to cut Israel as much slack as in years past. If it decides not to engage—and perhaps to reduce its protective embrace of Israel while Netanyahu remains prime minister—the prospect that the Palestinians and others will attempt to fill the vacuum with an agenda that seeks to end the occupation is greater than at any point since the 1993 Oslo agreement. The possibility that this Israeli government can pre-empt such scenarios with a diplomatic initiative enjoying significant international support is zero." (Posted 26 August)

The problem with this one-sided conclusion is this: the U.S. and its allies have to take public opinion into account in their backing for Israel, but they will not and cannot stop protecting Israel. Any concessions they may pressure Israel to make would be for the purpose of ensuring the survival of the Zionist state. The current situation in the Middle East makes Israel even more central to their regional domination. The U.S., UK, France and Germany are not going to give up Israel just because of "shifts in public opinion".

Furthermore, it is inconceivable that Israel will not try to use its military strength to enforce its domination of the Palestinians. This is because Israel's existence as a "Jewish state" depends on crushing the rights and lives of the Palestinians who were driven out of their homes and national territory.

In fact, through the decades since the U.S. brokered the Oslo Agreements, Israel has made few if any significant concessions to the Palestinians. Every time the Palestinian Authority has made concessions, Israel has only turned around and humiliated it further. As for Hamas, its methods of war reflect its war aims—to pressure Israel and force it to accept Hamas' rule.

For the U.S., while it may have some tactical differences with Netanyahu based on broader American regional interests, being able to both support Israel unconditionally and hypocritically "distance" itself from the Israeli government has worked out so far.

The U.S. and its allies will never come to the aid of the Palestinian people in any real way, and the failure to understand that can only harm the Palestinian cause.

Yes, "public opinion" is extremely important, especially if that means more and more people around the world coming to an attitude of total opposition to Israel and what it stands for, and beginning to "connect the dots" between its crimes and all the crimes committed by the capitalist/imperialist system in every country and against the planet itself. In rallying support for Palestine, including demands for lifting the blockade of Gaza, for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and in other ways, a full understanding of the nature of the problem can only strengthen the fight.


A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

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