Faced with the explosion of barbarity in Gaza, both sides and their supporters around the world are blaming each other for the crimes.
For some, Israel is waging a "dirty war" (as if there were such a thing as a clean one...) that even the UN and its very cautious Secretary General have had to denounce, going so far as to speak of "a serious risk of genocide". Some on the left of capital do not even hesitate to support the despicable atrocities of Hamas, painted as an "act of resistance" against "Israeli colonialism", which is claimed to be solely responsible for the conflict.
For its part, the Israeli government justifies the carnage by claiming to be avenging the victims of 7 October and preventing Hamas terrorists from again attacking the "security of the Jewish state". So much for the thousands of innocent victims! Never mind the "human shields" of 6 years! Never mind the ruined hospitals, schools and homes! Israel's security is worth a massacre!
Everywhere, we hear the sirens of nationalism defending a state that is supposedly the victim of the other. But what kind of deluded mind imagines that the Gazan bourgeoisie, thirsting for money and blood, is better than Netanyahu's clique of the corrupt and the fanatical?
"We're not defending Hamas, we're defending the right of the ‘Palestinian people’ to self-determination", all the leftist coterie at the head of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations sing, no doubt hoping, with this kind of ideological pirouette, to make us forget that "the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" is only a formula designed to conceal the defence of what must be called the State of Gaza! The interests of proletarians in Palestine, Israel or any other country in the world should in no way be confused with those of their bourgeoisie and their state. To be convinced of this, we need only recall how Hamas bloodily repressed the 2019 demonstrations against poverty. The Palestinian homeland will never be anything but a bourgeois state at the service of the exploiting class! A "liberated" Gaza Strip would mean nothing more than consolidating the odious regime of Hamas or any other faction of the Gazan bourgeoisie.
"But the struggle of a colonised country for its liberation undermines the imperialism of the colonising states", counter-attacked some Trotskyists and what remained of the Stalinists, without laughing. What a crude lie! Hamas's attack is part of an imperialist logic that goes far beyond its own interests. Iran helped to ignite the fuse by arming Hamas. It is trying to spread chaos among its rivals, especially Israel, by multiplying provocations and incidents in the region: Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Shia militias in Syria and Iraq... "all the parties in the region have their hands on the trigger", as the Iranian Foreign Minister said at the end of October. However weak it may be in the face of the power of the Israeli military, Hamas, like every national bourgeoisie since capitalism entered its period of decadence, can in no way magically escape the imperialist ties which govern all international relations. Supporting the Palestinian state means siding with the imperialist interests of Khamenei, Nasrallah and even Putin, who is rubbing his hands over the conflict.
But then the inimitable pacifists appear on the scene to complete the nationalist straitjacket in which the bourgeoisie is trying to trap the working class: "We don't support either side! We demand an immediate ceasefire!” The most naïve no doubt imagine that the accelerated plunge of capitalism into barbarism is due to the lack of "good will" on the part of the murderers at the head of the states, or even to a "failure of democracy". The clever ones know perfectly well what sordid interests they are defending. This is the case, for example, with President Biden, supplier of cluster munitions to Ukraine, horrified by the "indiscriminate bombing" in Gaza. It has to be said that Israel took Uncle Sam by surprise, opening up a new and potentially explosive front that the United States could have done without. If Biden has raised his voice to Netanyahu, it is not to "preserve world peace", but to better focus his efforts and military forces on his rival China in the Pacific, and on the latter’s burdensome Russian ally in Ukraine.
There is therefore nothing to hope for from "peace" under the rule of capitalism, any more than after the victory of one side or another. The bourgeoisie has no solution to war!
EG, 16 December 2023