By Zely Ariane – In July 2008, Barrack Obama, now the United State's new president elect said: "If someone launches a rocket at my home while my two sons are sleeping, then I would make every effort to put an end to them, and I hope that the Israeli people would also do the same" (www.Solidarity-US.org).
On December 27, Obama's hopes were realised through an Israeli air attack that totally obliterated Gaza and killed at least 280 people. Without pause, the every effort referred to by Obama was demonstrated by Israeli troops with the fruits of their success being at least 429 dead and 2,000 others wounded. United Nations representatives added that more than half of those killed were civilians, while there were at least four who died on the Israeli side (Detik.com). Obama, up until this was written, has failed to utter a single word.
It is most unfortunate that Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) general chairperson Tiffatul Sembiring has put his hopes in Obama (while deriding George Bush) during a PKS solidarity action for Palestine not long ago in Jakarta. Such hopes are truly misplaced.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni meanwhile, has of late been appearing on television, looking happy and sharing jokes with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Moreover, according to the New York Times, Egypt's Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, considers the attacks as a way of forcing Hamas to renew its cease-fire with Israel (www.Solidarity-US.org). Not very different from Bush's views when he stated that Hamas is culprit behind all of the problems that are befalling Palestine at the moment, and resulted in Israel firing its missiles (www.news.bbc.co.uk).
It was not surprising therefore when Egypt then intentionally closed its borders to the waves of Palestinian refugees and international aid. It was befitting also that the Mubarak government then became the target of solidarity actions by Egyptian people supporting Palestine, as were the US and Israel who have been the targets of ordinary people's anger in their own countries and throughout the world, people who do not accept these brutal attacks by Israel.
Why the renewed attacks?
A journalist form the Jakarta daily Kompas in an interview with Metro TV recently said that the Israeli attacks are necessary for the ruling party, Kadima, under the leadership of Tzipi Livni, to increase their the popularity of the party at home that is under threat of being defeated by the Likud Party in the general elections next February. I also believe that these attacks, sooner or later, had to be carried out by Israel, because they were have also been unable to subdue Hamas. (Are the attacks also a solution to the economic crisis currently hitting the world? Further analysis is of course needed on this conclusion.)
The Israeli attacks also cannot be separated from the tough and difficult Palestine (Hamas)-Israel peace process that has been going on for the last two-an-a-half years or so (following Israel's last attack during Hot Season of Rain operation on June 28, 2006). Moreover the Fatah group – a moderate group that lost the Palestinian elections in 2006 and has compromised extensively with Israel and the US – has continued to "disrupt" Hamas' forces domestically.
For as long as the Palestinian people remain divided, are unable to unite in a struggle to liberate themselves from Israeli occupation and US imperialism, so will Israeli intervention be even easier, including the annexation of more and more Palestinian territory.
Unite, launch a third Intifada
The lack of any moves by the UN Security Council (UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon was only able to complain in his own name) and the Arab League when confronted by a rejection of peace by the US capitalist monster and its ally, Israel, is evidence that both of these institutions of democracy can no longer be relied upon. It is impossible for the UN Security Council to oppose the strongest holder of the veto vote, namely the US.
It is because of this therefore, that the only road for the Palestinian people is to unite their forces and launch a third Intifada. Such an Intifada would not be a movement against Jews, because millions of Jewish working people in Israel have also fallen victim to the brutality of the Israeli government. The Israeli working class has also been forced to pay with its lives for a war that they have never wanted.
According to the WAC-MAAN website – an Israeli independent trade union – Israel's claim that the attack on Gaza is to protect its population in the southern regions is a lie. This is because the majority of the populations in the region are poor working class people who have to travel up to 200 kilometers to find bosses who are willing to employ them. As a consequence of the discriminative policies of the Israeli government, some 1.2 million Arab-Israeli people live below the poverty line and without work. It is these social groups that are currently opposing Israel's attacks on Palestine that there are potential allies for an third Intifada.
A third Intifada would still be aimed at the Palestinian liberation from Israeli occupation and for it to become an independent state (the extent of the struggle should be decided upon through a democratic mechanism that involves all Palestinian people). This struggle would, at the same time, require opposition to US imperialism, because a free Palestinian state cannot exist without opposition to US imperialism in the Middle East, including its Arab allies.
In order for this to happen, Hamas, and the Palestinian people must broaden their allies in the struggle. Not just allies among those who embrace the Islamic religion, but all of those people who have been the victims of and are currently opposing US imperialism across the world.
The Israeli working people, who oppose their government's policy of war, are the allies of the Palestinian people. The people of Iran and Lebanon, who also oppose US domination, are allies in the struggle, along with those in the southern parts of the globe, the Venezuelan and Cuban people – two Socialist countries that have openly declared their support for Palestinian independence and are currently providing an alternative outside of the model of US imperialism.
[Zely Ariane is the head of the Education and Propaganda Department and a member of the Union for the Politics of the Poor (PPRM) National Executive Committee. Translated by James Balowski.]