Worldwide Movement in Support of Gaza Surges

What Next for the Movement?

[by Andy Pollack]

The moment news broke on December 27th of the Israeli attack on Gaza, activists around the world began planning emergency demonstrations, and protests have occurred every day since then.

In New York, for instance, as activists woke up Saturday morning to news of the aggression, furious phoning and emailing began to plan a rally for the very next day. That rally set a pattern for the next week’s events in the city and elsewhere. About 3,000 angry but inspired and determined people turned out, mostly young Palestinians, with large numbers also of Palestinian families, including toddlers and babies, as well as long-time Arab community activists. Only a small minority were non-Arab activists from antiwar or other movements.

Another protest of two to three hundred was held the following day, Monday, followed by one of five to seven hundred on Tuesday. The week’s protests culminated in a march of 10 to 15 thousand on Saturday, January 3rd. At that march countless clumps of young Palestinians kept coming up with their own chants, organizing themselves to stay together and spirited. Soon after the rally began, news spread through the crowd that the ground invasion had begun, leading to discussions of how to continue organizing more protests in the days ahead.

A sense of the breadth of protests in the US can be gotten from the website of the US Campaign to End the Occupation, which has been posting announcements of any protest sent to it, regardless of sponsor. Figures drawn from that site show that in the US, just for the period Sunday, 12/28, to Saturday, 1/3, there were 125 protests in 82 cities in 38 states and DC. These include 10 on December 28th – the day after the attack began – 15 on 12/29, 46 on 12/30, 11 on 12/31, 6 on Thursday, 22 on Friday, and 15 on Saturday. The states of Texas, New York, California and Ohio each had 10 or more protests. The cities of Houston, St. Louis, New York City, and Washington, DC, each had at least 5. By January 5th, the Campaign was reporting there had been 200 protests in 40 states in 100 cities.

The rapidity and frequency of the protests give a feel for the movement’s potential, and raise the question of national coordination, both for mobilization as long as the massacres continue, and for building an ongoing movement against the genocidal siege (and ultimately self-determination) when it stops (which will only be temporary, in any case).

The massive, immediate response has also benefited from a unity among most forces organizing the protests which parallels a newfound unity in the antiwar movement – but, as is the case in the latter, this unity is hampered by the refusal so far of the liberal wing of the movement to join in a serious way.

Antiwar activists are linking the US war on Iraq and Afghanistan with Israel’s war on the Palestinians. ANSWER ands TONC, working with Al-Awda chapters and Palestinian and Muslim community and civil rights groups, initiated many of the protests. The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations issued a strong statement against the Israeli aggression, and its affiliates have joined or helped form local coalitions organizing protests.

Below we present some highlights of the demonstrations in the US and around the world, followed by an analysis of where the movement stands and what we need to do next.

U.S. Protests

December 28th: Beside the New York protest, there was one of 2,000 in Dearborn, Michigan, which has one of the country’s biggest Arab-American populations, and 1,000 in Anaheim. Protests were held in Washington, DC at the Obama transition office, as well as outside his home in Hawaii.

(Obama stayed silent for over a week, finally issuing a statement which only shed crocodile tears for civilian casualties on both sides. One of his senior advisors, David Axelrod, told CBS’s Face the Nation the day after the attacks: “The president-elect was in Sderot last July, and he said that when bombs are raining down on your citizens, there is an urge to respond and act and try and put an end to that.”)

December 29th: Hundreds took over a downtown intersection for two hours in San Francisco. 500 people protested in freezing temperature in Chicago.

December 30th: Almost 50 cities took part in a national day of action called by ANSWER, the Muslim American Society, the National Council of Arab Americans, the Free Palestine Alliance, Al-Awda and others. Some of the biggest were rallies of 2,000 in San Francisco, 3,000 in DC, 500 each in Portland and San Diego, 300 in Toledo, 200 in Boston, and 1,000 in one location in Los Angeles and 300 in another. Dozens or hundreds rallied in Albany, Seattle, Atlanta, Ithaca, Burlington, Baltimore , Sacramento, Houston, and elsewhere.

January 2nd: After days of protests in the hundreds, 5,000 from all over the Chicago area met downtown. In Rochester, over 200 rallied in a blizzard. In Boston, 800 marched. Hundreds marched in San Diego, continuing a pattern of almost daily protests beginning December 28th. A contingent at this march from Union del Barrio held a banner reading “La Raza con Gaza.”

January 3rd: The protest mentioned above was the biggest pro-Palestinian protest in New York in anyone’s memory. The large turnout led organizers to conclude that the post-9/11 fear of demonstrating among Arabs being victimized by US government repression had significantly abated.

January 7th: Hundreds gathered at New York’s City Hall to throw shoes at a blown up photo of Mayor Bloomberg in protest of his trip to Israel to support the massacres, and to draw the link between the suffering of working people under his budget cuts and US funding for Israel’s war machine.

Some 300 people protested in Puerto Rico at a demonstration called by the Movement of Socialist Workers.

January 10th: As part of a call for national actions on Gaza, thousands marched in Washington, DC and San Francisco, many coming in buses organized by Arab and Muslim organizations in small, faraway towns.

January 11th: Organizers of the previous big New York City marches hold another one of several thousand. Two days later, at least four events on Gaza are to take place: two Town Hall meetings, a relief fundraiser, and a peace vigil organized by UFPJ, Code Pink and Peace Action.

Outside the U.S.

Meanwhile similarly frequent and large protests were occurring daily outside the US. To give a feel for the mobilization in Europe we’ll cite only the turnout on Saturday, January 3rd, when marches in the thousands each occurred in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and elsewhere on the continent. The Paris march was estimated by police at 20,000, and organizers of the London protest said 60,000 had turned out. In both England and France there were dozens of protests in smaller cities as well.

In many cities people waved or threw shoes. The US pattern of majority-Palestinia n demos with a small minority of nonArab activists was replicated in some of the European demonstrations.

In Scotland hundreds of people have been on the streets every day, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and elsewhere, building for a national demonstration scheduled for January 10th in Edinburgh.

Greek youth, already in the middle of a revolt against exploitation and repression by their own ruling class, marched in the thousands for Gaza.

Australia has also had multiple rallies of hundreds or thousands.

In Canada, protests have been held in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. In a rally of 10,000 in Toronto on January 3rd, several speakers, including the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees-Ontario, Sid Ryan, urged the crowd to support the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid initiated by NGOs, unions and community groups in Palestine. Other rally sponsors from the labor movement beside CUPE were the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Steel Workers–Toronto Area Council, and Educators for Peace and Justice.
On January 10th, the same day as the call for national actions in the US, tens of thousands march in several European cities.

The Arab World

Massive, frequent protests have occurred in Arab nations and in predominantly Muslim countries. A universal target of ire at these rallies has been the Egyptian regime for its collaboration with the Israeli blockade and attacks. The regime has repeatedly fired on Gazans trying to escape the massacres.

A rally of 50,000 in Alexandria, Egypt was only the biggest of many large rallies which were held in the country despite constant (and often successful) efforts by the regime to prevent protests, and repeated arrests of protest organizers.

Over 1,000 marched January 3rd in Kuwait, which followed big protests in many Arab countries the day before after Friday prayers.

The same day several thousand demonstrated in Ankara, which followed rallies the day before there and in Istanbul.

In Beirut, hundreds of thousands protested in pouring rain on December 29th at a demonstration called by Hezbollah. Its leader, Hasan Nasrallah, called for an urgent Arab summit, for massive protests in Egypt, and for a third Intifada. He also praised Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez for expelling Israel’s ambassador to Caracas and called on all countries to follow his lead.

In Aden, Yemen, demonstrators from a crowd of thousands broke into the Egyptian consulate and hoisted the Palestinian flag over it. Yemeni security forces could not stop them, despite using teargas.

In Tehran, a crowd of protesters stretched for a half-mile.

In Algeria, 30,000 marched in defiance of a standing government ban on protests after Friday prayers.

Police in Amman fired tear gas to disperse more than 2,000 people who demanded that the Israeli Embassy be closed. Many held pictures of Hugo Chavez.
15,000 rallied in the Qatari capital of Doha.

The Islamic Mission Party (Da’wa) of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called on all Muslim countries to cut off relations with Israel in response to the air strikes on Gaza. (On the other hand, a suicide bomber attacked a pro-Gaza rally by the Iraqi Islamic Party, also part of Maliki’s government, the ostensible reason being the hypocrisy of Maliki for denouncing Israel yet working with its US sponsor.)

Iraqi cleric Muqtada Sadr called January 7th for “revenge operations” against US forces to protest Israel’s Gaza offensive. He also urged that Palestinian flags be raised on every building in Iraq and that all countries shut down Israeli embassies.
Protests also occurred in Sidon, Lebanon; Damascus, Syria; and Khartoum, Sudan.
Thousands have also marched in countries with large Muslim populations, such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Malaysia and Mauritania.

Labor solidarity with Gaza

Numerous labor unions and federations around the world have issued statements or taken action – with the predictable and criminal exception of those in the US.
A first planeload of humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza touched down in Egypt January 8th as part of a trade union relief operation by the International Transport Workers’ Federation. The plane contained ambulances, medical supplies, rice and wheat, and bottled water and milk for babies. The supplies will be distributed in Gaza by the Red Crescent. Loading was handled by members of Jordanian affiliates of the Federation.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft said “We hope this will be the first of several mercy flights carrying humanitarian supplies. Vital though these medical supplies are, they do not lessen in any way the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.”

Calls for more such relief aid missions have been issued by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC, which represents 168 million workers in 311 affiliated national organizations from 155 countries), and the various industrial or service sector federations which are a part of it, in coordination with the Palestinian and Jordanian trade union congresses (Palestinian General Fedreation of Trade Unions-PGFTU and General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions-GFJTU).

One group participating in the ITF effort, the Trades Union Congress of England, also wrote its government to demand an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian assistance for Gaza. The TUC denounced the imminent upgrading of EU-Israel relations, and called for immediate lifting of the blockade.

UNISON, England’s biggest public sector, asked “all members and branches to take part in protests and vigils against the violence. There will be demonstrations this Saturday in London, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and other cities. A number of other vigils and protests will be held throughout this week in all regions.”

The CP-led union federation in Greece, PAME, organized a strike and demonstrations in Greece on January 7th. PAME also donated medicine and medical supplies. Its Federation of Construction Workers had a 24-hour strike, and federations of workers in the health, accountancy, food and beverage, textile and retirees’ sectors struck for five hours, culminating in a march on the US and Israeli embassies.

Pro-Gaza strikes also occurred in Norway. Building on demonstrations held in at least 28 cities, on January 7th all trains throughout the country, including streetcars and subways in Oslo, stood still for two minutes in a political strike organized by the Norwegian Locomotive Union and the Oslo Tram Workers Union. A coalition including the six biggest national unions has endorsed a new campaign for the withdrawal of all State investments in Israel.

The Union of Trade and Office Workers, Norway’s biggest retail sector union, called on members to ask their employers to remove Israeli products from stores. And the confederation of Norwegian Trade Unions (LO), which represents about a fifth of the country’s entire population, condemned the attacks and called for demonstrations.

The politics of the statements of most international labor bodies have reflected their social-democratic orientation, calling for a two-state solution through international diplomatic efforts, and condemning Hamas for rockets without even mentioning Gazans’ right to resist occupation under international law, much less their right to fight the 60-year old expulsion and dispossession of the majority of Palestinians and the discrimination against those remaining.

On the other hand, the ITUC, Public Services International and others have directly challenged the Israeli regime’s claim that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, demanding an immediate cease fire and exposing the horrific conditions which the blockade and attacks have caused.

US Labor Against War (USLAW) issued a statement condemning the attacks and calling for a ceasefire. Although its language mirrored the tone of the social democratic international labor bodies cited above, its condemnation of Israel’s attack represents an extremely significant step for this body, whose affiliates operate in unions with leaderships as stridently pro-Zionist (and vengeful against opposition) as AIPAC.

USLAW may find that the barbarity of Israel’s attack provide it more unexpected openings. Despite a universal howl of politicians for more Palestinian blood, and coverage uniformly slanted toward Israeli propaganda, a December 31 Rasmussen poll showed that Americans were split almost evenly on the question of whether Israel should attack Gaza – 44% in favor and 41% against.

Several humanitarian aid projects have been launched by Australian and New Zealand unions, including some targeting the healthcare sector.

The Workers Advice Center, an independent union in Israel, issued a statement calling upon trade unions and the international labor movement to pressure their governments to stop Israel’s war on Gaza.” It said that a Palestinian construction worker killed by a Hamas rocket on December 29th “fell victim to Israel’s war on Gaza. Israel claims it is defending its citizens in the South. But these people are working-class, and the government has shown by its policies that the lives and security of workers mean nothing to it: its priorities are with the rich.” It noted the superexploitation and discrimination suffered by such workers, and the rising unemployment and destruction of the country’s social security net. “After the war ends, we know, hundreds of thousands on both sides of the border will remain poor and unemployed. Palestinian workers are shut jobless behind the separation wall, while their families languish in poverty and hunger. Israeli workers, for their part, are starting to feel the pinch of the global financial crisis, with higher levels of unemployment and further attacks on earlier social gains.”

Hassan Juma’a Awad, President of the Federation of Oil Unions in Southern Iraq, issued a statement condemning the attacks. Juma’a also condemned “the world’s silence, including the silence of Arab governments.” Juma’a asked the world’s governments to “take a united stand against this ethnic cleansing and collective punishment of Palestinians,” and asked unions everywhere to demand a stop “to the military incursion against civilians and take necessary steps to pressure Israel to compensate the effected families.”

The Federation of Oil Unions represents more than 25,000 employees of the Iraqi state-owned Southern Oil Co., headquartered in Basra, Iraq, and has worked closely with USLAW.

Numerous other national and crossnational Arab union and labor federations have issued statements. But unfortunately they have done very little to mobilize their members.

During this crisis, several Palestinian union bodies have reraised the call for BDS. The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, after the bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza, urged an intensification of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. It detailed the various ways in which these bodies (like those in every imperialist country) are complicit with military research, recruiting, and propaganda.

The Ontario arm of the Canadian Union of Public Employees went further, calling for a ban on individual Israeli academicians “doing speaking, teaching or research work at Ontario universities” if they do not explicitly condemn Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Leaders of the union, which represents 570,000 workers in the service sector, said the proposal was in response to Israel’s attack on the Islamic University in Gaza.

“Attacking an institution of learning is just beyond the pale,” said the union’s Ontario president, Sid Ryan. “They deliberately targeted an institution of learning. That’s what the Nazis did.”

The union’s Ontario arm had passed a resolution in 2006 supporting boycotts of Israeli goods, sparking a firestorm of debate. CUPE nationally had voted down a similar resolution at its convention. Nonetheless, after the attack CUPE’s national officers sent a letter to Canada’s Prime Minister “to demand that the government condemn the military assault on the people of Gaza.” They quoted Professor Richard Falk, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, who characterized the Israeli offensive as containing “severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regards to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.”

On January 7th, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers demanded that the Canadian government condemn the Israeli attacks and that it “also call for a cessation of the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza, which has resulted in the collective punishment of the entire Gaza population.

“Canada must also address the root cause of the violence: Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Israel’s current actions are totally out of proportion with any notion of self-defense. Israel’s actions are resulting in the massacre of people in Gaza.”

Noting the long record of Israel’s violation of international law, the statement continued: “Therefore, as a longer term strategy, the CUPW is asking your government to adopt a program of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law, including the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

Another BDS call by a labor body, one which should be particularly useful for US activists, is the one issued by the PGFTU, which called for supporters to organize to stop US aid to Israel, and to do so as part of “building coalitions with unions, faith groups, antiwar movements and all social justice organizations.” The task of ending US aid “becomes not only necessary but also a duty of international solidarity among labor unions around the world. It is the US government aid that provides Israel with the weapons of oppression and US government support that enables them to use those weapons against our people.”

The union reminded its readers: “WE ARE ALL GAZA – this war is against all poor workers and families of the world. These are not just crimes against the people of Palestine. They are crimes against humanity.”

Protests in pre-1967 Israel and the West Bank

Ten thousand peace activists, both Jews and Palestinians, rallied in Tel Aviv in an action called by groups such as Gush Shalom, Hadash: Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Communist Party of Israel), the Coalition of Women for Peace, Anarchists Against the Wall, the Alternative Information Center and New Profile. The demonstration called not only for an immediate cease-fire but also an end to the blockade of Gaza.

Organizers successfully resisted police demands to ban Palestinian flags from the rally. A thousand Palestinians came to the Tel Aviv rally on buses straight from a huge protest in Sakhnin.

Gush Shalom leader Uri Avnery noted that the turnout was “much quicker and much bigger” than during the 2006 attack on Lebanon. Referring to upcoming Israeli elections, Avnery added: “It is a cynical war, for political reasons and people are very much aware of that.”

Hundreds of right-wingers staged a counterprotest, and at the end of the rally chased and physically attacked antiwar activists, even besieging some in a building until police (at their typical leisurely pace) showed up.

During the week after the attack began, 471 Palestinians and Jews, including 149 minors, were arrested in Israel for protesting.

One of the most politically significant protests came from residents of Sderot and nearby towns, which the Zionists cynically claim the war is designed to defend against Hamas rockets. A group called “The Other Voice” has published a petition calling for the government to prevent escalation and restore calm to the area. The petition, written in November and gaining more publicity now, states “We prefer a cold war in which not a single rocket is fired to a hot war with tens of innocent victims and casualties from both sides.” So far more than 2,300 Israelis have signed it, including more than 500 from Sderot. What makes this even more striking is the fact that Sderot is made up overwhelmingly of Mizrahim Jews (i.e. immigrants from Arab countries), long abused and exploited by the Ashkenazi ruling class, and used opportunistically by its politicians in a role akin to the US South’s “poor whites” under Jim Crow.

Inside pre-1967 Israel, 100 to 150 thousand Palestinians marched on January 3rd in Sakhnin. The event was attended by several Arab Knesset members including members of Hadash.

Repeated protests have been held in majority-Palestinia n towns in pre-1967 Israel, as well as throughout the West Bank, many featuring stone throwing at Israeli soldiers or Palestinian Authority security forces.

A march of several hundred students from Birzeit University outside Ramallah toward a nearby Israeli checkpoint was broken up by the PA. In Ramallah itself, hundreds marched to the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority in the largest demonstration held there in several years.

Palestinian youth have clashed with soldiers at checkpoints across the West Bank, including in Ni’lin, the site of months-long protests against the expansion of the separation wall through the village’s farm land (protests which, though peaceful, were nonetheless routinely and brutally attacked by the IDF).

The demonstrations in Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus and other West Bank towns have called for unified resistance to Israel.

The Authority has broken up marches of thousands in Hebron and Ramallah and elsewhere with clubs and tear gas, arrested Hamas supporters, confiscated Hamas flags and ripping up placards with pro-Hamas slogans.

One protester told the New York Times: “The Palestinian Authority shares the view of Israel and the United States that Hamas should be crushed. 80 percent of the people are in total solidarity with Gaza and against the repression of the Palestinian Authority.”

The headline of a story in Ha’aretz by independent journalist Jesse Rosenfeld, describing pro-Gaza sentiment and actions in the West Bank, posed a question increasingly asked in recent days: “An Intifada in its infancy?”

Rosenfeld described a three-day general strike and a demonstration of schoolgirls in East Jerusalem, and reported that “The PA has been doing everything in its power to stand in the way of Palestinian community action. But there is a general will to resist and there is popular sentiment that Abbas is a collaborator with Israel who has achieved little for them.” The flip side of this sentiment is Washington’s awareness that the neoliberal economic project Abbas has headed for it in the West Bank is also at risk of collapse.

A colleague of Rosenfeld from Ni’lin told him “We have no problem confronting the fourth largest army in the world – you think we’re really that concerned about the PA?”

What Next for the Movement in Solidarity with Gaza?

The typical composition of most protests in the imperialist countries, while demonstrating an inspiring unity and determination among Palestinians, shows the abdication so far of the antiwar and other social justice movements to take up their responsibility to oppose their own ruling class. As mentioned above, this has been particularly noticeable on the part of the liberal wing of the movement. Emergency conference calls on Gaza organized by United For Peace and Justice, and its affiliate, the US Campaign to End the Occupation, have each involved over a 100 listeners, way more than the typical attendance on such calls. Yet on neither was a call for action issued, either on their own or in coalition with other groups. To their credit, both groups have informed members of protests in which they could take place. But that can hardly be said to fulfill the leadership responsibility of groups claiming to be the most important bodies in their field of action.

It should be noted however that the US Campaign has issued extremely useful fact sheets detailing the amount and form of US military aid, information which will be valuable ammunition for the kind of unified mobilizations advocated by the PGFTU against US aid.

One area of work which can be a fruitful adjunct to continued mass protests is support for the Free Gaza Movement, which has sent several boats to Gaza with humanitarian aid in defiance of the blockade. The latest trip, occurring after the bombing had commenced, included former Congressperson Cynthia McKinney, whose boat was rammed repeatedly by an Israeli naval gunboat. Another politically- significant relief effort is that of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, which is trying to provide supplies for hospitals already devastated by the blockade and now forced to care for tens of thousands of wounded without such basics as antibiotics, gauze, surgical gloves, etc.

As we go to press the Israeli invasion shows no sign of abating, and in fact may be headed toward even more murderous attacks. The unity achieved so far in the movement for Gaza must be intensified and extended, including in decisions on calls for more nationally-coordinated actions.

A similar unity and heightened activity is needed inside Israel. One of the most important tasks there is to support the movement of IDF soldiers refusing enlistment or, once enlisted, participation in the war. Author Shraga Elam noted that such resistance can even be effective on a mass scale given the high-tech nature of Israel’s war machine: “Even very few ‘select’ people like computer experts can prevent war crimes on a large scale. Due to reliance on computer systems, there has never been so much power concentrated in so few hands. Such experts can now prevent and stop war crimes. They can access computers, communication systems, electricity or supplies and thus prevent a war crime.” Elam provided the text of a call being distributed to Israeli soldiers encouraging such refusal.

In the Arab world, the sentiment of the masses for action in support of their sisters and brothers in Gaza has been impressively manifested. Mainstream media and politicians recognize this, and are terrified of the possible impact of such protests on “moderate,” pro-US Arab regimes. These fears are usually expressed as worry about the ability of such regimes to continue their subservience in the realm of diplomacy. An occasional, more in-depth analysis, mentions a deeper-going fear: that the insertion of pro-US regimes, from Abbas in the West Bank, to Mubarak in Egypt, Maliki in Iraq, etc., in Washington’s new “free trade regime,” could be jeopardized by the masses’ furor over their complicity in Israel’s US-financed genocide.

For these fears to be realized, however, action by the Arab working class is essential. Many supporters of Gaza in the region, indeed throughout the world, look longingly toward Hezbollah and other radical populist forces in the hopes that additional military fronts against the IDF will be opened. One can’t help but sympathize with such desires. But even more powerful would be strikes by Arab workers. Egyptian textile workers have in the last two years launched several strikes of tens of thousands of workers, but this militancy has yet to result in a political force challenging their own regime even on domestic policy, much less on its subservience to Tel Aviv and Washington. In fact during the Gaza crisis Egyptian workers were engaged in strikes and sit-ins at textile factories, including over privatization threats dictated by the free trade restructuring referred to above.

Imagine the power of a one-day general strike throughout the region, uniting Egyptian textile workers, Iraqi oil workers, Jordanian garment workers, etc. A successful strike would in turn inspire mass discussions of even bolder steps (including in the military sphere).

In both a moral and political sense, of course, the working classes of the US and Israel bear the greatest responsibility to stop this genocidal war. Any action by them on a mass scale is nowhere in the offing, especially as both working classes have so far even failed to respond in any substantial way to the impact on themselves of the global economic crisis.

Yet revolutionaries can use that very crisis to make clear the intimate connections between the global imperialist economic system and the barbarous colonial policies of regimes like Israel – and to explain why only a working class movement linking these issues can stop the murders, and in turn let us take our first steps toward liberation from a system which lets such atrocities occur.

For more information and to help, see:

http://www.electronicintifada.net
http://www.freegaza.org
http://www.pgftu.org
http://www.phr.org.il/phr