Israel’s Jabaliya refugee camp bombing: A new stage of imperialist barbarism

Andre Damon@Andre__Damon 02/11/2023 –
A man sits on the rubble as others wander among debris of buildings that were targeted by Israeli airstrikes in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Abed Khaled)

In the horrifying aftermath of the bombing of the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza Tuesday, the United States and its allies have not only justified Israel’s atrocity but have proclaimed that the civilian population of Gaza constitutes a legitimate military target.

On Tuesday, Israeli warplanes dropped multiple bombs on the populated Jabaliya neighborhood, which houses the largest refugee camp in Gaza, killing dozens of people. The next day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded to global the outpouring of anger over the massacre by striking the Jabaliya camp again. The death toll from the two bombings has now soared to 195, with 120 still missing.

Israeli authorities gloated about having deliberately attacked an area full of hundreds of women and children. “But you know that there are a lot of refugees, a lot of innocent civilians, men, women and children in that refugee camp as well, right?” CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer asked IDF spokesman, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht. 

Hecht made clear that the answer was yes. “This is the tragedy of war, Wolf,” he replied.

When asked to respond directly to Hecht’s statement, US Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder endorsed the attack by accusing Palestinians of serving as “human shields.” In response to the bombing, Senator Lindsay Graham publicly declared that there is “no limit” to the number of civilian deaths the United States is willing to tolerate in Gaza.

The US-Israeli plans are becoming clear. For 50 years, the imperialist powers have been talking about a “solution” to the “problem” of the Palestinians. Now, they have found one: the “final solution of the Palestinian question.”

Israel, with the support of the imperialist powers, is waging a war of mass annihilation and ethnic cleansing, aimed at killing as many Palestinians as possible and driving whoever is left alive out of Gaza—either scattered around the world as stateless refugees or driven into the Sinai Desert.

On Wednesday, a member of the Israeli parliament and former Information Minister of the Israeli government, Galit Distel-Atbaryan, called for “erasing all of Gaza from the face of the earth” and making it so “the Gazan monsters will fly to the southern fence and try to enter Egyptian territory—or they will die … Gaza should be erased.”

The statement of Craig Mokhiber, former director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, announcing his resignation Tuesday describes what is increasingly apparent to the entire world. “This is a textbook case of genocide,” Mokhiber noted. “The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine. What’s more, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and much of Europe, are wholly complicit in the horrific assault. Not only are these governments refusing to meet their treaty obligations ‘to ensure respect’ for the Geneva Conventions, but they are in fact actively arming the assault, providing economic and intelligence support, and giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel’s atrocities.”

This mass murder and ethnic cleansing of Gaza is being actively supplied and led by US forces. On Tuesday night, the New York Times reported that “American commandos were on the ground in Israel.” This followed remarks by Salman al-Harfi, Palestine’s former ambassador, who said that US troops “are involved in military operations on the ground in Gaza.” US officials are in discussions about having US troops play an even more direct role in the conflict, including the occupation of Gaza by US and NATO forces.

The brutal war against the civilian population of Gaza is the product of three decades of perpetual war by the United States following the dissolution of the USSR, from the Gulf War with its “highway of death,” to the systematic destruction of Yugoslavia’s civilian infrastructure, to the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan during the “war on terror.”

These global wars have metastasized into what the United States sees as an all-pervasive global conflict, targeting Iran, Russia and China. As Blinken put it in testimony on Capitol Hill, “For our adversaries, be they states or nonstates, this is all one fight.”

The massacre taking place in Gaza marks the embrace by the United States of genocide as a tool of foreign policy. America’s “new world order,” which Biden again referenced this month, is being built on mass murder.

The facilitation and justification of war crimes on the part of the United States and its allies have demonstrated the complete hypocrisy of American “human rights” imperialism. When Russia was accused of bombing a maternity ward in Mariupol in March 2021 which killed three people, US Vice President Kamala Harris declared it was “a war crime. Period.” Yet Israel kills thousands of civilians, deliberately, with the full backing of the Biden administration.

Millions of people all over the world have responded to the criminality of the US and Israel by taking part in mass demonstrations. The imperialist governments have the audacity to call these demonstrations against mass murder “antisemitism.” 

The genocide is being carried out by the Israeli state, functioning as a proxy for US imperialism, not of Jewish people, many of whom have participated in the demonstrations against the slaughter.

Workers must demand an immediate halt to the US-Israeli bombing of Gaza and the demobilization of all Israeli troops and their withdrawal from the border with Gaza. The siege on Gaza must be ended, and food, water, electricity, medical care and all other necessities must be made available immediately.

Last month, a group of Palestinian trade unions called on workers throughout the world to refuse to handle war materiel. On October 31, a coalition of Belgian airport ground crew unions called on their members to “stop handling weapons shipments to Israel.” The World Socialist Web Site urges workers globally to engage in strikes to cut off the supply of any resources that could support Israel’s genocide. Dockworkers, airport staff and transportation workers worldwide should decline to process any arms shipments intended for Israel.

The demonstrations that have erupted around the world in opposition to Israel’s genocide must be deepened and expanded by a turn to the working class on the basis of a socialist program. This mass movement must be directed against all the capitalist governments and political parties of the ruling class.