GAZA: THE LITMUS TEST – AGAIN!

Once again the brutal onslaught of the hi-tech Goliath against the Palestinian David in Gaza demonstrates the studied inhumanity of the Zionist colonial entity of Israel. As in the case of ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2008/9, the most advanced weapons of destruction are being poured down mercilessly on innocent citizens in Gaza by the Zionist states armed bodies of men and women. The complete inequality of the two sides in this colonialist enterprise; one side an impoverished, oppressed, colonised people and the other side one of the most militarily well equipped and wealthy nation states in the world, once again is ignored by all international capitalist elites, most of the people of Israel and the international media. This new bombardment follows quickly after further colonial expansion in the west bank settlement building and the decade long calculated starvation of Gaza.

Once again the capitalist and pro-capitalist elites in powerful positions around the world not only stay largely indifferent to the sixty plus years of human suffering in Palestine since the Nakba, but also fail to condemn the recurring blitzkrieg mentality of the Israeli Zionists. The silence of the international ‘elite’ and their lack of action against the ongoing genocide and land-grabbing perpetrated against the Palestinians can only be understood from the perspective of this elites self-interests. The primary purpose of their capitalist system is the reproduction of capital on a global scale. This reproduction relies upon a reliable global system of raw material supplies and markets, which in turn relies upon a reliable governing elite in each nation state. All else, including any concerns for the poor, the exploited and the oppressed, are secondary or even further down the priority list.

Their silence and complicity with Zionism is not a mystery of intellectual confusion. It is simply not in the political and economic interests of global elites to condemn or take economic action against Israel. Their electoral support or economic activity would suffer from such critical positioning. Similarly it is not in the interests of the global elites to bankrupt the bond-holders and banksters in the present crisis, for this would impede their economic, social and political position or advancement. However, it is in their interests to continue to sell Israel weapons with which to destroy Palestinian homes. It is also in their present and future interests to bankrupt the lives of their own citizens, through austerity. For this reason, the global elites indifference to the plight of those in Gaza, is matched by the indifference of the same global elites to the increasingly impoverished plight of their own citizens in the current crisis.

The system’s structural economic crisis is being managed by this same global economic and political elite by measures which protect the future of capital and the lives of rich and impoverish the mass of ordinary citizens. The humanity of all economic and political elites, whether Christian, Judaic, Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist, is compromised by their connection to and complicity in the global economic system of capitalism. Hence their silence and inaction or at best mealy-mouthed statements of support and occasional rhetorical posturing for Palestine and their continued implementation of policies suggested and directed by the dominant institutions of global capital.

However, so enormous and so barbaric is the current and past treatment of those Palestinians trapped in Gaza, that it does represent a litmus test for the moral health of all people. Nothing any of the people in Gaza could possibly do would justify such treatment.  Their situation is the modern equivalent of the treatment meted out to the Native American Indians by the American colonists; the treatment meted out to the African native populations by all European colonists; and the Australian and Hobart native peoples by the British colonist elite. This was a treatment which was part of the global development of the capitalist mode of production in its scramble for raw material resources and market outlets for its production.

We can only read about those human tragedies of the past and retrospectively denounce them, but Palestine is different. It is a contemporary high-point manifestation of the brutality of the capitalist and colonialist oppression and expansion. In a world that has adopted a universal approach to human rights, Palestine reveals that for the global elite this adoption is no more than rhetoric. It demonstrates, along with the rest of the world’s problems, that the global capitalist elite and their system have no place in the future development of an egalitarian humanity. They and their system are ‘the’ barrier to be overcome. It also demonstrates the way that the domination of specific religious and cultural identities, can blind ordinary working class human beings to the plight and suffering of other human beings who do not belong to that specific cultural or religious ideology and identity.

Although the leadership of the Palestinian people only wish to establish a political state based upon the capitalist mode of production, this does not remove the necessity for anti-capitalists to support the struggle of the working and oppressed classes in Palestine. Nor does it remove our need to support the campaign for them to be freed of the Zionist onslaught against their very existence as human beings. The boycott and divestment campaign, as it was in the case of South Africa many years ago, is an important device for engaging people in this support along with other forms of solidarity activity such as the International Solidarity Movement and Palestine solidarity groups. Step up the campaign, speak out and act now when and where this is possible.

Roy Ratcliffe (November 2012.)

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