This article is part one of a two part series.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government, backed to the hilt by all the imperialist countries and their media echo chamber, portrays the 1,400 casualties resulting from Hamas’s Al Aqsa Flood incursion into Israel as a unique act of terror. According to the torrent of propaganda, this is a “ground zero” event for which there is no justification and which in turn legitimises whatever crimes Israel now commits against Gaza’s two-million-plus population as a supposed act of self-defence.
Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu (left) far-right Israeli lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich (right) and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid (centre) and leaders of all Israel's political parties pose for a group photo after the swearing-in ceremony for lawmakers at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, November 15, 2022.
In reality it is a casus belli to implement a long-planned campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Gaza Strip and possibly even the West Bank and a war on Iran and its allies in Lebanon and Syria. Netanyahu’s allies in the imperialist centres are one hundred percent behind him, demonising any opposition to Israel’s fascist policies as anti-Semitic acts that must be banned.
But can anyone be in any doubt that Israel is planning a second Nakba? Netanyahu has made this absolutely clear. He told the 1.1 million Palestinians in north Gaza to “Leave now,” while the army spokesperson said they would not be allowed to return “until we say so.” Where they were supposed to go, no one said. In any event, this did not stop Israel bombing them where they fled.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, launching Israel’s “complete siege on Gaza” blocking all of life’s essentials—electricity, food and even water—from entering the besieged enclave, spewed forth a fascist rant, “We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told the military, “Strike Hamas brutally and [do] not take the matter of prisoners as a significant consideration.”
The reality of “striking Hamas” is the mass murder of thousands of civilians, half of them children, in the carpet bombing of Gaza as a ground invasion is prepared. Such is the carnage resulting from air strikes that the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) declared, “There are not enough body bags for the dead in Gaza.” Entire neighbourhoods have been reduced to rubble.
Gaza is only the beginning. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers have set up new checkpoints to block all free movement, giving free rein to armed settlers to attack and kill Palestinians and expel them from their villages.
Within Israel, Palestinians fear they will be subject to ethnic cleansing in line with the “population transfers” long demanded by the ultra-nationalist and fascistic parties. Far-right vigilantes have moved into mixed population towns like Lod, which saw forced evictions in 1948, with the declared aim of “judaicising” them. Security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has announced the purchase of 10,000 rifles to arm these fascist squads. Kobi Shabtai, head of the police, declared there would be “zero tolerance” for protests in support of Gaza in Israel and threatened to send anti-war demonstrators to the besieged enclave.
The full implications of Israel’s 2018 Nation-State Law, enshrining Jewish supremacy as the legal foundation of the state, are now clear—not just apartheid rule with Arabs as second-class citizens, but their expulsion from an exclusively Jewish state.
Herut party head Menachem Begin addressing a mass demonstration against negotiations with Germany in Tel Aviv, 1952