The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia held a meeting in Sydney and online last Wednesday, to discuss the way forward in the fight against Israel’s genocide in Gaza.
Speakers explained that the massive war crimes, and the support for them from all the imperialist governments, including in Australia, cannot be understood outside of the breakdown of global capitalism and an eruption of US-led militarism.
In opposition to various fake-left tendencies, seeking to channel opposition behind impotent appeals to pro-genocide governments, the SEP speakers emphasised the burning need to build a socialist and internationalist movement of the working class directed against the source of conflict, the capitalist system itself.
A report on the meeting, including a full video of the event, is available here. Below are interviews with some of the attendees.
Natalie, a single mother who attended online from Melbourne, said: “I really liked the meeting and I enjoy history. I have read a number of articles on the World Socialist Web Site and I think I’m getting the gist of the Socialist Equality Party and its roots. I’m also getting the picture of the end game of the US—it’s moving on China. The US needs Israel as a base, it needs an outpost in the Middle East. The US controls the money and the military weaponry.
“The United Nations is so irritating. It is evident that the United Nations is a complete waste of time. Europe is turning to the right and there is a standalone bully, the US government, that has the power to say yes or no to almost anything.”
Natalie added: “It is very important to build an anti-war movement. Protests are not working, the cost of living is increasing and the US is not going to stop. There is no other way other than socialism. It was said that public pressure was causing Australia to vote for a ceasefire. But the pauses being spoken about by Australia’s representative are nothing. They stop the war for a week and then Israel starts bombing again.”
Lynn, a retiree, said that he had appreciated the SEP’s public meeting: “I think all the speakers did a good job of explaining that the times we are in are dangerous and the consequences are going to spread to everybody. That’s why it is necessary to resist this system that produces war.
“The WSWS confirms and develops what I already knew about Zionism. Information on AUKUS is also important. I’ve done a bit of research about the AUKUS deal, against China, and the more I found out, the more frightening it was. The level of planning that is going on for war against China, and the inflammatory language, is alarming. The similarity to the Weimar years in Germany that has been raised is correct.”
Igor, an actor, said: “Overall it was a great meeting, it summarised the situation that is occurring in Gaza but placed this in the context of bigger implications of the capitalist crisis and the American war drive globally.
“I asked a question, about the geopolitical interests of Israel in the region, and what was raised is that yes, Israel has definite interests in the Gaza region, including valuable offshore gas reserves, but it’s more than that. There is a broader context—this is American imperialism’s interest in the Middle East itself, to secure resources, to have military bases there, to accelerate the drive for war against Iran. All of this in line with the drive for war with China, which seems like the ultimate goal of American imperialism, to hold onto its global hegemony through militarist violence. I really appreciated that discussion, and that answer.”
Igor added: “The meeting also linked back to the need for a party, just like there was with the Bolsheviks and the Russian Revolution, to go beyond just protest and to advance a revolutionary perspective.
“What’s happening now, we’ve seen some of the largest anti-war protests globally that have occurred, and we have seen some of the worst atrocities that have occurred, at least in this century. We are witnessing these now in high definition. People, workers everywhere, globally, are outraged.
“But at the Free Palestine demonstrations, we’re told to put pressure on government officials, to chant louder, to have more numbers, to send letters to governments. We’ve seen from history that this will not halt war—even with the protests against the Iraq war, even though they were some of the biggest anti-war protests ever, governments still didn’t stop. This didn’t stop the invasion, or the violent disintegration of Iraqi society and the killing of a million civilians.”
He concluded: “So for me, the best part of the meeting was its stress on the need for a revolutionary perspective for the working class, that’s advanced by the Fourth International and advanced by the Socialist Equality Party here in Australia, understanding that the only way forward is for the workers to raise their consciousness, educate themselves, and join the movement.”