by Jose Emilio Jacinto III From the river to the sea
The genocidal war of annihilation unleashed on the Palestinian people by US imperialism and its Zionist lackeys in the Middle East has its roots in the colonial and imperialist aggression on Palestinian land that started in 1917.
The genocide in Palestine has already claimed more than 18,000 Palestinian lives, mostly women, children and the elderly who have been brutally subjected to indiscriminate Israeli bombings of civilian buildings and establishments, residences, schools, hospitals, and refugee camps – acts prohibited by international laws and are considered war crimes.
Zionist Israel, which has long occupied, and used brutal forms of aggression against the Palestinian people has used the unprecedented October 7 attack launched by the Palestinian Hamas resistance fighters on Israeli territory to unleash this genocidal war. It imposed a “total blockade” of the Gaza Strip – the only remaining land left to the Palestinians after the Zionist occupation – preventing the supply of food, medicine, fuel, and other essential commodities to the already besieged enclave in another act of terror also considered a war crime under international humanitarian law.
Colonization and occupation
In November 1917, the British imperialists who controlled Palestine at that time, promised the creation of a national home for the Jewish people. This was expressed in the so-called Balfour Declaration, which became the mandate for the Zionists to establish their country in Palestine.
Since then and up until 1948, the British imperialists systematically facilitated Jewish immigration to Palestine, where Palestinian Arab natives made up more than 90 percent of the population. Also, and especially after the Second World War, many European Jews joined this mass migration as they were fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe.
Conflict started as the Jews arrived and started occupying Palestinian lands. The tensions led to the Arab Revolt which lasted from 1936 to 1939 but was brutally suppressed by the British imperialists. British occupying troops bombed villages, curfews were imposed, entire neighborhoods were demolished, and administrative detentions and summary killings were widespread. The British occupiers also helped the Zionists form armed groups through a British-led “counterinsurgency force” of Jewish fighters to suppress the growing Palestinian resistance. Thousands of Palestinians were slaughtered, wounded, and imprisoned in the process.
Zionist paramilitaries continued to embark on military operations to destroy and seize Palestinian towns and villages to expand the territory of the future Zionist state.
More than 500 Palestinian villages, towns and cities were destroyed in what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or “catastrophe” in Arabic in 1948. More than 15,000 Palestinians were massacred during this period. The Zionists seized 78 percent of historic Palestine and the remaining 22 percent was divided into what are now the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. About a million Palestinians were forced out of their homes.
As the Zionist occupation heightened, the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 in 1947, which called for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. The Palestinians flatly rejected the plan because it allotted about 55 percent of Palestine to the Jewish state, including most of the fertile coastal region. At the time, the Palestinians owned 94 percent of historic Palestine and comprised 67 percent of its population.
The establishment of the Zionist Israeli state on May 15, 1948 has been marked since then by Palestinians around the world as the “Nakba” or the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
On June 5, 1967, Israel engaged several Arab countries namely, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt in the so-called Six-Day War which was the result of Israel coming into conflict with control of territories and water resources in the region, and also because of Palestinian guerrilla activities launched from these countries. Being the victor in this war, Israel occupied the rest of Palestine, including the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, resulting in more Palestinian refugees. Palestinians refer to this event as “Naksa” or setback.
Uprising and armed resistance
Significantly on December 1967, the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was founded. It launched several daring attacks on Israel which called attention to the plight of Palestinians and their resistance movement.
Meanwhile, illegal settlements on Palestinian land, which are outlawed under international law, continued to grow. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip fell under Israeli military occupation.
Having suffered enough from Zionist Israel’s brutal repression, ethnic cleansing and occupation, the Palestinians launched two “intifadas” – or popular uprisings in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Intifada was primarily carried out by young people and was aimed at ending the Israeli occupation of these territories and creating an independent Palestinian state. The uprisings were a sustained series of protests, civil disobedience, and other forms of resistance, including armed struggle.
The first Intifada erupted in the Gaza Strip in December 1987 and spread rapidly to the West Bank. It led to the establishment of the Hamas movement which engaged in armed resistance against the Israeli occupation.
The second Intifada began in September 2000 and Palestinian armed resistance became even more widespread. A year after Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) died in 2004, Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip were dismantled, and Israeli soldiers and settlers left the enclave. After this, Palestinians voted in the first general election and Hamas won overwhelmingly in Gaza. A civil war broke out between Hamas and Fatah Party – the main party of the Palestinian authority.
Hamas expelled Fatah from the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority governed parts of the West Bank. Hamas enjoys support from the people, particularly those in the Gaza Strip, because they undertake grassroots activism, provide social welfare programs to victims of the Israeli occupation, and most important, like other resistance groups in Palestine, promised liberation and a homeland to the Palestinian people, particularly the youth.
As more martyrs are sacrificed in the genocidal war of Zionist Israel with the strongest backing of US imperialism, the worldwide solidarity for the liberation of Palestine has grown to unprecedented heights, and the pathetic isolation of Israel and its US and European backers has grown more pronounced. The war has also drawn five of the major resistance groups in Palestine together, including the Hamas, to unite and cooperate.
US imperialist support
US imperialist support for Zionism and Israel and its imperialist presence in the Middle East were also subjected to the strongest global condemnation. US imperialism has considered Israel as its attack dog in the Middle east. Israel holds strategic value as far as US imperialism is concerned, as it is a stabilizing force in the Middle East, “keeping at bay unrest that would threaten access to the regional oil supply on which America remains dependent”, asserts a political analyst.
Israel receives annually 3.8B USD in US military aid, apart from weapons, ammunitions, and nuclear technology. American munitions were supplied and used in attacking Palestinians. It is also among the US’ top trading partners. It therefore comes as no surprise that the US is directly complicit in the war crimes committed by Israel in Palestine, even before the current war started.
As the UN has introduced resolutions in favor of a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for Palestine, more and more countries and nations reject the positions of Israel, the US and pro-Israeli European leaders. The diplomatic outcry, as a result of the continuing genocidal war of Israel against Palestine, has seen several countries cutting diplomatic ties with Israel, and with one country calling Israel a terrorist state.
Even the US puppet Marcos regime was forced to join the calls for a ceasefire recently to avoid not only diplomatic censure but also the Filipino people’s outrage for condoning the genocide and war crimes of the US and Israel in Palestine.
Solidarity for the liberation of Palestine
As the Palestinians in Palestine and those scattered around the world stand firm in their determination to resist Israeli occupation and fight for the liberation of their nation, the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” reverberates even more loudly in almost all corners of the world, and the global people’s solidarity for the liberation of Palestine has grown even more massive.