The nearly three-month slaughter in Gaza was already unbearable, but in these last two weeks Israel has expanded and intensified its barbaric, murderous war, taking it to a whole new, even more openly genocidal level.
Cities, towns, apartment buildings, refugee camps, hospitals, farmlands, even beaches and shorelines have all been bombed or bulldozed, often destroyed. Israel routinely used its most devastating 2,000-pound bombs in areas it’s claimed were safe.1
As a result, at least 21,672 people have been killed, including 8,800 children. More than 7,000 are missing, probably buried under rubble. Whole families have been wiped out. Over 56,000 have been injured, at least 8,600 of them children.2
Half of Gazans—over a million people—are at risk of starvation because of Israel’s ongoing, U.S.-backed blockade of water, food, medicine and fuel. Nine out of ten report regularly going without food. Israel’s blockade and bombings have destroyed Gaza’s water system and crippled its medical system, leading to mass dehydration, the spread of contagious disease, and children having to suffer amputations—without anesthesia.3
Nearly 90 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been forced from their homes—told to evacuate south only to be bombed, shelled, or shot at as Israel’s war expands across Gaza, leaving them nowhere else to go.4
“We are all terrified,” one woman says, not knowing when and where the next bomb will fall. “We have nothing to keep us warm and dry,” said another woman. “We are living in conditions that I could have never in my entire life imagined were possible.”5
Biden and the U.S.:
Publicly Counseling “Restraint” and “Protecting Civilians”—While Backing, Arming, and Running Interference for Israel’s War Crimes and Genocide
Israel claims it’s only targeting the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas and its fighters. This is a lie. They are waging a war of genocide6 against the entire Palestinian population. Israeli officials are increasingly open about this fact. (See “The Increasingly Open Push to Drive the Palestinians out of Gaza Altogether”). Despite mass starvation in Gaza, the IDF officer overseeing aid shipments into Gaza coldly claimed: “In terms of food, the reserves in Gaza Strip are sufficient for the near-term.” As contagious diseases spread across Gaza, an adviser to Israel’s Defense Minister writes, “Severe epidemics in the south of the Gaza Strip will bring victory closer.”7
This genocidal war is a horrific and extremely murderous leap in Israel’s 75-years of atrocities, military occupation, ethnic cleansing and war crimes against the Palestinian people. And it's been given full backing by Biden and all the major ruling class figures in the U.S.—with major financial, political and military support.
The sheer genocidal terror—being seen by the eyes of the world—is exposing the true nature of the U.S. and Biden as vicious war criminals, ripping off the façade of the U.S. as some “defender of human rights” to people all over the world, and in the U.S. Millions have protested the U.S.-backed Israeli slaughter of Palestinians—including people within the U.S. government’s institutions.
From the perspective of the larger U.S. interests—as “legit gangsters” seeking to control the world up against equally vicious rivals—this is causing real problems. So they publicly counsel Israel that too many civilians have been killed and that they should scale back their campaign. And they do have real differences with the rulers of Israel over how best to crush and oppress Palestinians.
For instance, during his recent trip to Israel, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin publicly stated protecting Palestinian civilians in Gaza was “both a moral duty and a strategic imperative” for Israel. And this image of the U.S. as a force restraining Israel is promoted by imperialist media outlets such as the New York Times, which recently ran a piece headlined Defying U.S. Pressure, Israel Deepens Gaza Assault (December 30).
But—also from the perspective of the “larger interests” of U.S. empire, these differences and “concerns for the Palestinian people” are secondary and utter hypocrisy. The “bottom line” is that the U.S. is fully and aggressively supporting Israel’s genocidal war and is drenched in Palestinian blood. Despite what, again, are real differences, the U.S. is stuck with and sticking by Israel. The Middle East is a strategic region for dominating the world. And Israel has played an essential role as an “outpost of stability” for U.S. interests in that region. Of all the American “allies,” Israel is the only country in that region where a significant percentage of the population do not hate America.
Despite his lip service about Palestinians, Lloyd Austin gave full-throated backing to Israel and its war: “America’s commitment to Israel is unwavering, and no individual, group or state should test our resolve. … we’ll continue to provide Israel with the equipment that you need to defend your country, Mr. Prime Minister [Netanyahu], including critical munitions, tactical vehicles and air defense systems.”8
As millions face starvation and disease in Gaza, the U.S. has blocked UN Security Council resolutions calling for a cease-fire in the conflict. It has refused to demand Israel lift its criminal blockade of food, water, medicine and fuel.
In recent negotiations over delivering humanitarian aid, it even threatened a veto if language calling for another temporary “pause” in the fighting was included. As a result, the resolution that did pass the Security Council on December 22 (which the U.S. abstained from voting on, allowing it to pass) was basically a propaganda ploy: Since there was no pause in the fighting, it would be impossible for relief groups to deliver much needed food, water, medicine, fuel and other aid. “Right now, we cannot deploy humanitarian aid. It’s impossible,” said the medical coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Jerusalem. “People need to be able to get food and water without the fear of being bombed or killed or shot at any moment.”9
As the U.S. was blocking and preventing humanitarian aid from getting to the people of Gaza, it invoked an emergency provision in order to speed through $147.5 million in artillery shells and related equipment so that Israel’s genocidal assault wouldn’t be “paused.”10 (And the Biden administration and most of the U.S. ruling class is still working to pass a bill with billions more in military aid for Israel and for Ukraine.)11
Why Is the U.S. Backing Israel to the Hilt?
The revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has analyzed the real reason the U.S. backs Israel so unwaveringly:
Why is Biden, and basically the entire government and ruling class of the U.S., supporting Israel in carrying out genocide against the Palestinian people, before the whole world? This is not because of “the power of the Jewish lobby”—or because of some ignorant, ridiculous and outrageous notion that “Jews are controlling everything.” It is because Israel plays a “special role” as a heavily armed bastion of support for U.S. imperialism in a strategically important part of the world (the “Middle East”). And Israel has been a key force in the commission of atrocities which have helped to maintain the oppressive rule of U.S. imperialism in many other parts of the world.
This—maintaining and enforcing the murderously oppressive domination of U.S. imperialism—is the same motivation for why Biden is pushing to further escalate the proxy war the U.S. is waging against Russia in Ukraine, as well as further preparation for war with China, even at the cost of risking the very existence of humanity.
All this is basic truth about essential reality. And it sharply highlights once more the profound importance of my statement that We, the people of the world, can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to continue to dominate the world and determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible. And it is a scientific fact that we do not have to live this way.12
The Grave Danger of Full-on Genocide and the Urgent Need for Stepped-up Resistance and Revolution
The genocidal U.S.-Israeli war on Gaza is a telling exposure of the criminality, illegitimacy and bankruptcy of U.S. capitalism-imperialism and the state of Israel. Think about the horrors we’ve seen over these past three months. What will the “months more” Netanyahu is threatening look like?
And take seriously Bob Avakian’s warning that these imperialists are, right now, “risking the very existence of humanity” to maintain their empire of exploitation and oppression.
As we’ve written: “Netanyahu (aka Netan-Nazi) and Israel’s rulers are seizing on Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel—which included the war crimes of taking hostages and the murder of civilians—to attempt a “final solution” to the “Palestinian problem.” This means, at a minimum, reducing the Palestinians to such a state that they can no longer pose any obstacle to Israel’s objectives. Beyond that, it could mean mass expulsion and/or slaughter on a massive scale, beyond even what Israel is now carrying out.” (Emphasis added)
In this new year, the need to step up mass resistance against this genocidal war as part of preparing for revolution stands out with great urgency.
“We are living in conditions that I could have never in my entire life imagined were possible.” —Palestinian woman in Gaza
If you are not actively protesting and speaking out against Israel’s war in Gaza and against your own U.S. government for arming, funding and supporting it, here is what you ARE supporting:
You Are Supporting the Indiscriminate Bombing and Shelling of Civilians: Israel claims it’s only targeting the reactionary Islamic group Hamas and its fighters. That’s a lie. It’s targeted cities, towns, hospitals, refugee camps, apartment buildings, farmlands, even beaches with bombs from above and tanks and bulldozers from the ground, striking more than 22,000 targets. In the first six weeks of the war, Israel routinely used its most devastating 2,000-pound bombs, including in 208 areas it had designated as safe for civilians. These bombs are capable of killing anyone within 3,000 feet! Read more