In four straight days of shelling of civilian areas in Gaza, Israeli planes have killed more than 33 Palestinians and injured more than 110, including several children. The deliberate bombardment of civilians began the night of May 9, as families slept in their beds. The attacks, allegedly aimed at a few leaders of the Palestinian resistance group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, killed entire families, destroying to date five buildings and damaged more than 300 apartments in what can only be called a massacre. The airstrikes continue.
Such is the nature of the Israeli state, which marks the 75th anniversary of its founding on May 14.
Born out of the massacre and displacement of 750,000 Palestinian people in 1948, Israel has always been an artificial colonial state, and all of Israel’s governments have been racist and anti-Palestinian. Attempts were made to hide this, however, along with the fact that Israel has always been an agent of imperialism, especially U.S. imperialism, and a dagger aimed at the Arab people.
Today, however, the poison is no longer sugar-coated. Israel is governed by open fascists and self-declared advocates of racist genocide, homophobia and misogyny.
On Dec. 30, 2022, a new government was formed in Israel headed by the murderous Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been prime minister several times before. Israel has a parliamentary system of government meaning that the party or coalition of parties that win a majority of seats in the Knesset — the parliament — gets to name the prime minister and other members of the cabinet who will govern the country until the next election. In this election, Netanyahu’s coalition won 64 of 120 seats.
Two of the parties in his coalition are religious fundamentalists — Shas and United Torah Jerusalem — who don’t allow women to serve in government. These two parties won 18 seats between them. And a bloc of two fascist parties — Jewish Power and Religious Zionism — won 14 seats. So, if any of these four parties withdraw support for the government, it would collapse and a new election would have to be held. This partly explains the strong influence that these ultra-reactionary parties have in the government.
This is not to say that the previous government — or any of the governments in Israel’s history — have been progressive. All have been racist and anti-Palestinian. As an example, under the last so-called “centrist” government led by Yair Lapid, multiple attacks on Palestinian homes, olive groves and people took place on more than a daily basis. Between just October 10-21, 2022, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, more than 100 such attacks took place, with the Israeli occupation forces joining in the assault with the fascist settler gangs.
The term “fascist” is not used here in a hyperbolic or exaggerated way. The favorite chant of these fascist gangs is “Death to the Arabs.”
None of this bothers the U.S. government, which continues to send nearly $4 billion in military aid every year to Israel. The real concern in Washington is about Israel’s readiness to play its assigned role for the U.S. empire – a loyal and aggressive ally that will menace any movement or government in the region that advocates for independence.
It’s more than a little ironic, that at the same time as extreme right-wingers, religious fundamentalists and outright fascists have taken control of the Israeli government, and when numerous organizations — Palestinian, U.S, Israeli and other International bodies — have issued reports documenting in great detail the apartheid nature of the Israeli state, supporters of the Zionist state in the U.S. and in other western countries have stepped up their campaign to make it a crime to criticize Israel in any way!
Unable to deny the grotesquely racist character of the Israeli state and government, defenders of Israel have fallen back on the long-discredited tactic of falsely claiming that anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism, and therefore any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.
In their towering arrogance, the rulers of Israel have exposed the profoundly racist character of their state and society. There can be no more credible denials. Now is the time for all people who believe in justice to join in solidarity with the heroic and long-suffering Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination and liberation, and to demand that the U.S stop all funding to Israel.