Presentation on Zionism and Gaza Situation – 12th May 2024

We are now witnessing the brutal forced evacuation of East and Central Rafah, the Southernmost city in the Gaza Strip, adjoining Egypt, to a tiny coastal enclave.

This is going to be another, even more brutal massacre that those that have taken place previously further North. Because the population has nowhere really to flee to

So far, Israel has not been able order them to leave Gaza for Sinai/Egypt.  

That is significant and a product of their being outmaneuvered by Hamas, who jointly put together a plan to end the Israeli massacre with Qatar and Egypt.

It had implicit US support, arguably, as both Qatar and Egypt are strong US allies.

But Israel rejected the plan.

It would have been a defeat for them.

A permanent ceasefire means a defeat for Israel.

The US and Israel’s other imperialist allies know that a permanent ceasefire means Israeli defeat.

That is why the demand for it is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

But Israel is now over-extended both militarily and politically, and under enormous pressure.

Rafah is the last fig leaf to disguise Israeli defeat.

 They can again kill many civilians, but they have no chance to wipe out Hamas. They will take casualties here also.

The attempt to divert attention from this by aggression against Iran has failed.

So, we are back at the sharp edge of the genocide again.

They were resuming demands for evacuations in Gaza City yesterday, Dropping leaflets telling people to flee, so they can ‘deal with’ Hamas.

Déjà vu. They are supposed to have won that months ago. But no.

The Biden administration is desperately trying to reconcile the irreconcilable. They are desperate for this carnage to end, not because of any humanitarian motive.

But because it is radicalizing their population and upsetting Biden’s election campaign.

It should be clear now that in the seven months of wanton slaughter than have gone on since 7/10 they have no qualms about the Israelis massacring Palestinian civilians.–

As long as they thought it might win them something.

But now it is clear that Israel is not going to defeat, let alone ‘eliminate’ Hamas.

Their bloodthirsty, barbaric, racist army, the most cowardly and immoral in the world, can butcher tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of civilians, in the most rapid slaughter since Rwanda in 1994, but they cannot defeat the Palestinian resistance.

What is happening instead is that the young population of the West is being radicalized.

From being exposed to this butchery and genocide.

The US ruling class is trying to ban TikTok because it has kept US youth informed of the crimes Israel is carrying out in Gaza, and indeed the accelerating repression in the West Bank as well.

But it is too late. The cat is out of the bag already, Once people see what Israel is doing, they cannot un-see it. The Zionists complain of youth being  ‘radicalised’ by their crimes and ridiculously compare the results of their own work with 1930s anti-semitism.

Totally insulting to the most basic intelligence since Zionist barbarism is similar to Nazi barbarism.

 Student youth are organising protest camps in hundreds of Unis and Colleges in the US.

Pitched battles are taking place with violent cops, acting under orders from Zionist and White Supremacist politicians the length and breadth of imperialist North America, from Colombia University in New York to UCLA on the West Coast, from Texas to Canada.

There are Gaza protest encampments in Harvard and Yale, the US’ most elite universities. They all demand divestments of University assets from Israel and Zionist companies, and an end to the frequent military-academic collaboration that regularly goes on.

This has spread to Europe. In France and Germany, there have been pitched battles between students and the cops.

In Spain, 76 universities have acted collectively to suspend ties with ‘complicit’ Israeli universities via the Conference of University Rectors.

In Britain, student protests and encampments are likewise spreading throughout the country. Protests are underway at Oxbridge universities, among other places.

Sunak is complaining and trying to incite repression here also.

Oxford and Cambridge, Sorbonne, Harvard and Yale, as well as less salubrious universities are heavily involved. The elite – this is destabilitising the youth of the bourgeoiisie’s most treasured.

Student protests are still continuing though the imperialist world and spreading even though repressed quite savagely.

Young people are prepared to risk their futures, because they are less and less convinced that they have a future in a society dominated by genocidaires and corporate climate deniers.

This is evidently a global student movement. It has been compared to the student movements around the Vietnam war. I think it may prove even more significant than that!

 But it is misleading, and misreading, the situation to see it as simply a student protest movement.

It is a movement of the intelligentsia that prefigures what society itself is thinking, in its depths.

 This is actually confirmed by many public opinion polls in the advanced countries, Israel’s allies, sponsors, and lackeys, where clear majorities strongly disapprove of Israel’s genocidal onslaught, and consider it to be a genocide,

The decision in January of the International Court of Justice, to state publicly that there is a plausible, prima facie case to accuse Israel of genocide, was a reflection of that popular pressure, months before the student movements took off.

This is a very bourgeois institution, designed from the start as a kind of safety switch for imperialism so it can amnesty itself, indict its opponents and excuse its allies.

The ICJ’s ‘provisional measures’ were and are a joke, responding to South Africa’s indictment by calling on Israel to stop what they are doing and protect the civilian population they would like to dispose of.

Fat chance – if they were remotely inclined to any of that, this issue would not exist in the first place.

So is the International Criminal Court, for that matter, which has threatened to indict Netanyahu, Gallant and others.

Their usual activity is in trying to indict the West’s opponents, like Putin, Milosevic, and various black African leaders.

They have not (yet) actually indicted Netanyahu and may indeed back off under pressure.

But the possibility is real, as shown by the letter of 10 GOP senators threatening the ICC with military sanctions if they do.

However, the fact that the bodies feel compelled to say anything remotely in the right ball part if a reflection of the mass sentiment.

Not just the overwhelming sentiment in the global South, over which South Africa has made the running politically, and  very strongly in terms of perceived ‘morality’, which should not be dismissed.

But in terms of the knowledge that the ruling classes in general, in the imperialist West, have about the huge damage that is being done to their moral authority over the masses at home.

Mass student protest movements are often the harbinger of much more convulsive social and political movements.

I could go through a long list, from the role of ferment among students and intelligentsia in influencing the masses and leading to the growth of a mass communist movement in Russia in the late 19th/early 20th century,

There is the huge role of students in assembling the intellectual forces for anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements throughout the world.

And in a more recent time frame, there is the role of the mass student movement in France in the late 1960s, the student radicals who fought the CRS in Paris and other places, in a mixture of home-grown social discontent and anti-imperialist radicalism centred again on Vietnam.

This student movement managed to coalesce with a mass movement of working-class discontent, and the working class anger in France burst out in a huge outburst, a general strike, that forced Charles De Gaulle himself to flee the country.

Until the dependable forces of the French Communist Party were able to restore order and get the working class to return to work.

This activity led to the discredit of the very reformist CP at the time and the growth of large organisations of the far left in France in the 1970s.

That is not the subject of this forum, we are in very different circumstances today. What we are faced with now is understanding where we are at now, and what to fight for.

What is possible, and likely, is major working-class movements akin to May 1968 with revolutionary implications, from this crisis.

We must be alert and participate in them to the best of our ability when that happens, as communists.

We are a very different situation now. The US achieved full world hegemony after the destruction of the USSR, and Zionist power in the world was massively enhanced through its factions within the US and European imperialist ruling classes.

As long as the USSR existed, the bipolar world, Zionist power was somewhat overshadowed by the need for the US to concentrate on its own offensive against the workers states.

When the USSR collapsed, we had the situation of the unipolar world, where the US’s world hegemony appeared unchallenged.

We had the situation beginning in the early 1990s when Israel appeared to be able to get the United States to fight its wars for it.

There was an element about that in the 1991 Iraq war; Israel had a definite interest in cutting Iraq down to size and given the US’ own recent alliance with Iraq, the manner in which Hussein was lured into Iraq by the US ambassador April Glaspie was suspicious, to say the least.

The second Iraq war, however, in 2003, the successful US/UK invasion and then failed occupation  of Iraq, has Zionism and necons written all over it.

It was always Israeli policy to find ways to prevent any successful regional power from emerging that could challenge their ‘right’ to dispossess the Palestinians.

This drove all their wars, but finding a sympathetic hegemon to wage them was not so simple.

It proved not so simple in 1956, when the US and USSR united against Britain and France to put them back in their box.

They had more luck in 1967, still with tactic French support, but seemingly acting alone to defeat Nasser, Assad and the King of Jordan.

But the ambiguity of the relationship with the US was shown by the USS Liberty

In 1973 they were threatened with reversal of 1967 by forces that were still seen as Soviet allied: Nixon saw Israel for the first time as a strategic ally and put US forces on alert to stop them being defeated.

But the 1990s until the mid-20-teens were the heyday of Zionism, coinciding with the ‘unipolar world’, when the world appeared to be Israel’s oyster and the US would fight its wars for them.

Those days are over. Because the unipolar world is ending. The ‘Arab Spring’, that inchoate upsurge of mass ‘democratic’ struggle in the Arab world, exploited by imperialism, also showed the beginning of the end for this hegemony.

The destruction of Libya followed the pattern of Iraq.

But the failure in Syria was because Russia reasserted its power, against the US, the neocons and the Zionists, and refused to allow them to destroy Syria, which would have been a major triumph for the Zionists.

We do know the evidence that Israel gave material help, and medical help, to the mercenary jihadists in this war. The destruction of the Assads was always a key priority of Zionism. No Sinai type deal was possible over Golan for this reason.

This is a key reason why the struggle against Zionism, and the struggle against the NATO war in Ukraine, have proved interdependent.

It is the demise of US Hegemony which is leading to the decline of Zionism also.

There is the ideological overlap between the Ukrainian proxy of the US, and Israel.

Zelensky is a Zionist who was carefully groomed to camouflage the Nazi character of the Maidan regime in Ukraine after 2014.

Zelensky expressed his solidarity with Israel after 7 Oct.

Ihor Kolmoisky, the Israeli-Ukrainian oligarch who stumped up the funds to found the notorious Nazi Avov Brigade.

Whose original symbol was the Wolfsangel, which was the symbol of the Das Reich division of the SS that committed atrocities in occupied France, among other places.

This confluence between Nazism and Zionism has a long history, and goes back to the 1930s and then WWII, with Zionists collaboration with the Nazis in order gain approval for their state project in Palestine.

Tony Greenstein, who I have had many disagreements with on Zionism and Anti-Semitism, wrote a worthwhile and serious book on this, Zionism and the Holocaust. It is reviewed on our website, I recommend the book and the review.

So, what is behind Zionism’s apparent strength?

The secret of its power is that part of the Israeli ruling class lives outside its borders, in the US, in West Europe, and is organised as an imperialist faction primarily loyal to Israel.

Israel effectively has an extra-territorial citizenship law which makes that possible.

It’s an imperialist formation, and its presence makes Israel an imperialist power of medium strength.

If this external faction did not exist it would be a minor imperialist power like Denmark. But it’s more powerful than that.

The power of this formation came from the top-heavy social structure of the mainly Askenazi Jewish population in Europe, as a medieval trading class.

See Abram Leon, The Jewish Question – a Marxist Interpretation.

This trading class became obsolete under late feudalism. The Jewish population was marked by it, an obsolete class whose remnants were subjected to religious persecution.

But they were emancipated by the bourgeois revolutions.

Under capitalism this population was naturally more intellectual and bourgeois than the mainstream populations that did not have that class legacy.

So, Jews were disproportionately intellectuals, who having experience of persecution, played an important progressive role in democratic, socialist and working-class movements.

But another layer of Jews was disproportionately successful in business.

And disproportionate capitalist property gives disproportionate social power in a capitalist society where the chief social power is the bourgeoisie.

In my view the Jewish Question is a legacy of a European pre-capitalist phenomenon involving this trading/middleman class, that spilled over into the epoch of progressive capitalism.

When capitalism ceased to be progressive and became imperialist, its interaction with imperialism gave rise to two complementary imperialist movements.

Racial anti-Semitism and Zionism, both of which proved ultimately genocidal. 

Both logically sought to dispose of whole populations that were unwanted in their respective imperialist projects.

We saw the genocidal proclivities of racial anti-semitism against the Jews themselves, played out in the Second World War. as Gemany lost its own bid for world imperialist hegemony.

Now, as US imperialism, Zionism’s ‘host’ so-to-speak, is in the process of losing its world hegemony, we are seeing Zionism’s genocidal proclivities played out.

The Palestinian Arab population of what claims to be ‘Israel’ is equally unwanted. They are still the majority in historic Palestine.

If the right to return of those driven out since 1948 were won, they would be the substantial majority. The Israeli rulers wants this demographic threat eliminated.

Fortunately, they are losing. But it is not clear just how destructive they are prepared to be as they face defeat.

Will they commit suicide, as per Masada? Or will they try to destroy humanity as they fall – Samson option. It’s an open question.