The reality behind the bourgeois slogans

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"Destroy Hamas?"

The Israeli government has announced that the aim of its devastating bombing campaign and land invasion of Gaza is the destruction of Hamas, and that it is not targeting civilians but the infrastructure and command centres of Hamas. But “collaterally” killing thousands of civilian men, women and children is certainly the best way to recruit more converts to the so-called “Palestinian Resistance”, even if it may regroup and rename itself, fired by a growing desire for revenge, whether in Gaza, the West Bank, or Israel itself.

A spokesman for the Israeli government, Avi Dichter, agricultural minister and former Shin Beth (intelligence service) member, possibly in an unguarded moment, provided a better insight into the real aims of the Israeli onslaught: “We are now rolling out the Gaza Nakba. From an operational point of view, there is no way to wage a war – as the IDF seeks to do in Gaza – with masses between the tanks and the soldiers.[1]

In the Nakba or catastrophe of 1948, over 700,000 Palestinian refugees fled the territory designated as Israel, “stimulated” to leave by terrorist atrocities by Zionist militia (most famously the slaughter at Deir Yassin by the Stern gang) and further encouraged by triumphalist proclamation from the invading Arab states, who promised that the refugees would return following their imminent military victory. The Arab armies were defeated and the refugees were never allowed back; hundreds of thousands have remained in miserable conditions in refugee camps ever since. In short, the Nakba was the ethnic cleansing of Israel, so the Gaza Nakba would be the expulsion of the vast majority of its inhabitants, fleeing death, destruction and a permanent blockade. Such a “solution” reflects the total lack of any long-term perspective held by the present Israeli government, since it could only be a prelude to further instability and wars. But the cruel policies of the Netanyahu government merely reflect a deeper reality: that the ruling class in all countries, the guardians of a dying capitalist world order, has no perspective to offer humanity, and is being more and more drawn in to an irrational and suicidal spiral of destruction. NATO’s attempt to bleed Russia dry in the war in Ukraine, and Russia’s desperate efforts to annex the eastern reaches of that country, are proof that this spiral does not spare the biggest powers on the planet.

"Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea?"

 Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in demonstrations across the world denouncing the devastation of Gaza and calling for a ceasefire. No doubt that many, perhaps the majority, are motivated by genuine indignation against this merciless bombardment, which has claimed around 16,000 victims, and left many more wounded or homeless. But despite this, the truth is that they are taking part in pro-war demonstrations, where the guiding slogan, “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea” could only be achieved through the military destruction of Israel and the massive slaughter and expulsion of Israeli Jews – a Nakba in reverse. And on its ruins, an Islamic Palestine on the model of Iran[2]? The indiscriminate massacre carried out by Hamas on 7 October, almost never condemned and even openly celebrated on these demonstrations, has clarified the real methods and aims of the “Resistance”

The impossibility of a “free Palestine” also reflects a deeper reality, again expressing the advancing decay of this system: the impossibility of all so-called “national liberation” struggles and nationalist movements being anything more than an adjunct to the bloody rivalry of imperialist powers large and small for control of the planet.

Humanity will only be free when the capitalist prison of the nation state has been dismantled and it lives in a world community without exploitation and without national borders.   

"Israel and Palestine, two nations living in peace?"

There are those who do indeed condemn both the decimation of Gaza and the Hamas atrocities. Some are engaged in dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians despite the growing wall of hatred created by this war. They put their hopes in a “political solution” in which local and global powers will sit down and come to a workable agreement, in particular the idea of peaceful coexistence between Israel and a newly formed Palestinian state.

But appealing to the good will of imperialist states has never stopped wars and neither could a more “liberal” Israel or a future Palestinian state escape the drive towards war and imperialism, from which as Rosa Luxemburg explained in 1915, “no nation can hold aloof”. As we say in our international leaflet:

“History has shown that the only force that can put an end to capitalist war is the exploited class, the proletariat, the direct enemy of the bourgeois class. This was the case when the workers of Russia overthrew the bourgeois state in October 1917 and the workers and soldiers of Germany revolted in November 1918: these great movements of struggle by the proletariat forced the governments to sign the armistice. This is what put an end to the First World War: the strength of the revolutionary proletariat! The working class will have to win real and definitive peace everywhere by overthrowing capitalism on a world scale”[3].

Whatever their good intentions, those who fall for the slogans of pacifism are spreading illusions in the inherently violent nature of the present system of exploitation. The road to a world human community lies through the class struggle in all countries, and this struggle is necessarily obliged to develop the means to defend itself from the assaults of a ruling class which will fight to the death to defend its privileges. Pacifist illusions disarm the working class ideologically and materially.

Faced with the cacophony of delusions and false slogans generated by all capitalist wars, the principle of proletarian internationalism, the solidarity of the exploited across the world, remains our only defence, the only basis for understanding how to respond.

Amos, December 2023


[1] While probably meant as a criticism of the official policy, this statement has the merit of “letting the cat out of the bag” regarding the war aims of the Israeli government.

[2] Another slogan often raised on these demonstrations: “2-4-6-8, Israel is a terrorist state”. And this is indeed true. But find us a state in the world of capitalism that does not use terror, either to crush dissent at home or wage its wars. The main backer of Hamas, Iran, is a case in point: having savagely crushed the “Woman, Life Freedom” demonstrations on the streets of its cities, it has executed 127 people since the latest Israel/Palestine war began, many of whom had taken part in the protests.


Neither Israel nor Palestine