The horror unfolding in Gaza has shaken hundreds of millions worldwide, especially the youth. Massive numbers have been drawn onto the streets in protest at the genocidal murder being perpetrated against the oppressed people of Palestine.
A fortnight ago saw over a million people marching in London. And similar numbers are expected to demonstrate in the capital again tomorrow, demanding that the current temporary truce be extended into a permanent ceasefire.
Following week after week of bombing and protests, this is the question on everyone’s minds: how do we stop the war?
Bloodshed and barbarism
While there may be a brief pause in the fighting, the truth is that the Israeli ruling class is hellbent on turning the Gaza Strip into a graveyard, largely of children.
The response to this slaughter has been global, with mass demonstrations rocking cities and towns across the planet.
Above all, this has served to politicise a whole new generation, who are repelled by the bloodshed and barbarism, and by the hypocrisy of their own capitalist governments, which have fallen over themselves to back the Israeli war machine.
“We are really worried about the radicalisation of our youth,” said one Arab foreign minister. “They watch what is happening in Gaza on TV and they are increasingly angry.”
This worry extends not only to the ruling classes of the Arab regimes, who are quaking in their shoes, but to the billionaire class everywhere.
Overthrow the warmongers
Young people have also been at the forefront of the Palestine solidarity movement in Britain – not only on national demonstrations, but locally, with militant action.
Pickets have been organised against companies supplying arms to Israel. University students have attempted to shut down campuses. And school students have led spontaneous walkouts in support of Palestine.
For the vast majority, the demand for a ceasefire means ‘stop the bombing’; ‘stop the massacre’.
But such a demand has been rejected out of hand by Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden, PM Rishi Sunak, and so-called ‘Labour’ leader Sir Keir Starmer, who is in the pocket of the establishment. These warmongers all say that a ceasefire will only help Hamas.
Starmer’s opposition to a ceasefire – and endorsement of Israeli repression – has led to a crisis within the Labour Party.
There is now a growing hatred of Starmer amongst Britain’s Muslim and Asian population, particularly amongst younger layers. They see him for what he really is – no different from the bankrupt Tories.
Across the country, over 60 councillors have resigned from the party in the past month. And in the London Borough of Newham yesterday, Labour experienced a surprise defeat in a local ward by-election, losing to newly-independent candidate Sophia Naqvi.
The party leadership also faced a major rebellion in Parliament last week, with 56 Labour MPs (including 10 frontbenchers) voting against Starmer’s orders.
Some of those ‘principled’ Labour MPs, like Jess Phillips, defied the leadership only because they could feel the fire under their backside. They fear a backlash in their constituencies, and the loss of their seats at the next election.
Others, including Muslim Labour MPs in areas with large Muslim populations, such as Rushanara Ali in Bethnal Green and Bow, stayed loyal to Starmer, hoping to climb further up the careerist ladder.
As a result of this betrayal of the Palestinians, there is growing anger and bitterness towards those Labour MPs who back Israel’s imperialist aggression.
Protesters have converged on the offices of these backstabbers to vent their outrage. It is about time these cowardly ‘representatives’ feel the mood of those who voted them into office.
This has caused the Labour leaders to howl about ‘intimidation’. These pampered parliamentarians bleat about how ‘worried’ they are about their personal safety, as women and children in Gaza are being blown to pieces. Yet where is their outcry over the deaths of more than 14,000 Palestinians, which they justify as Israel pursuing its ‘right to defend itself’?
In reality, these MPs are hypocrites of the first order. They don’t represent us. They are apologists for imperialism; lackeys of the blood-stained British capitalist establishment and its class interests.
Capitalism: horror without end
David Lammy, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, talks of the need for “hard diplomacy” as a step towards ending the conflict. He is clearly unaware that more than 75 years of “diplomacy” has gone absolutely nowhere.
The Palestinians are worse off now than ever before, and are threatened with obliteration. The two-state solution is stone dead.
There is no way out of this nightmare on a capitalist basis. There is no solution to the oppression of the Palestinian people under capitalism. We must not delude ourselves.
The current four-day ‘pause’ is only a short hiatus from the bombing. In reality, for those in Gaza, it is little more than a fleeting return to the hellish ‘normality’ that they have experienced for decades.
As Lenin explained, capitalism means horror without end. That is a fair description of the situation in the Middle East.
For a new Arab Spring
The only solution is a revolutionary one.
Not only is the Israeli state determined to crush the Palestinians, but the reactionary Arab regimes in the region are complicit in this crime.
They talk about the poor Palestinians, but do nothing to help them, apart from occasionally providing a few crumbs and some tokenistic lip service. In turn, they oppress the masses in their own countries.
What is needed is a new ‘Arab Spring’, where the masses in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere take to the streets to overthrow their reactionary regimes.
In 2011, a revolutionary wave such as this brought capitalist dictatorships in the region to their knees. But these mass movements were eventually defeated due to the lack of a genuine revolutionary leadership and party.
As the aforementioned quote from one foreign minister shows, these rotten rulers are terrified of the prospect of another Arab Spring, which is being prepared.
The task must be to build a revolutionary leadership in these countries: one that will not bend, but that will go to the very end in carrying through the socialist revolution. Only such a victory – and the establishment of a socialist federation – will bring peace to the Middle East.
Such a struggle, given the global nature of capitalism and imperialism, is an international one.
Our task, therefore, is to bring down ‘our own’ ruling class at home. British capitalism is in crisis. The establishment is preparing a massive assault on the working class, whether under a Tory or Labour government. Revolutionary crises – in Britain and worldwide – are being prepared, along the lines of the First Intifada.
We must prepare ourselves for these events, and build a new leadership for the working class: a Revolutionary Communist Party, based on the ideas of Lenin, Trotsky, and the October Revolution.
Join us in this endeavour! Fight for your future. Free Palestine! Fight to overthrow capitalism!
Where next for the Palestine solidarity movement?
On Wednesday 15 November, following an incredible one-million-strong march in London the weekend before, and a month of growing demonstrations in support of Palestine, thousands of protestors rallied outside Parliament, as MPs in the House of Commons voted over the demand for a ceasefire in Gaza.
It is clear that the establishment has been bruised and battered by the mighty Palestine movement.
Tory splits have been widened, with reactionary headbanger Suella Braverman given the boot. Labour leader Keir Starmer has had his authority severely dented, with 56 MPs rebelling against his orders and supporting a ceasefire. And repression, intimidation, and smears from the state and the media have all proven impotent in the face of these mass protests.
This reveals a fact of history: nothing can stop the working class when it is organised and mobilised.
But in the end, this parliamentary motion was defeated by 125 votes to 294. This shows that repeated street demonstrations alone will not stop the war. The current four-day ‘pause’ provides little more than a temporary break from the bombing. Calls for a ceasefire are not enough.
The next step is to broaden the movement; to bolster it with class struggle methods, such as strikes, walkouts, and mass workers’ action; and to link it to a clear revolutionary programme – aimed at kicking out all the Tories, and ending war and imperialism by smashing capitalism.
A mass grassroots campaign should be taken into every community and workplace, into every school and university, with local committees of action established to coordinate the movement.
The aim should be to organise workers and youth in the fight to overthrow the warmongers and their system. They have nothing to offer but attacks on the working class and the oppressed – both at home and abroad.
Already, students have been walking out of school and universities. Groups such as ‘Workers for a Free Palestine’ have been organising blockades of hundreds of activists. And Stop the War campaigners have called for a ‘workplace day of action’ on 29 November in solidarity with Palestine.
These are all steps in the right direction, which workers and youth – and their mass organisations – should build upon.
The trade unions have an important role to play in this. Their members in industry could easily prevent the manufacture and shipment of arms to Israel, on the basis of a workers’ boycott. And they could call on their brothers and sisters across the world to follow suit, helping to grind the imperialists’ war machine to a halt.
Intifada until victory!
Such a campaign should be linked politically to the struggles that workers everywhere are engaged in, and to the rotten, barbaric, oppressive capitalist system that is responsible for all this “horror without end”, in the words of Lenin.
Bellicose politicians tell us that there is no money for wage rises, or for repairing crumbling hospitals and schools here in Britain. Meanwhile, they hand over billions in military aid to a brutal regime that is consciously reducing hospitals and schools in Gaza to rubble. Their hypocrisy stinks.
Only by sweeping all these criminals from power – and overturning the imperialist system they represent and defend – can we end the bloodshed and rampant destruction in the Middle East for good.
Organising and mobilising to bring down ‘our own’ ruling class: this is the best solidarity that we can provide to the people of Palestine.
That is why our slogan is: Intifada until victory! Revolution until victory! Join the communists and get organised!