Executive Bureau, Fourth International
The root cause of the violence is the occupation of Palestine by the Israeli state. Palestinians have borne the brunt of the death and destruction of the last 75 years. The situation in the Gaza strip is particularly inhuman. Here, the population has been subjected to ongoing humiliation, collective punishments and violence from the Israeli state. Appeals for “de-escalation” are pointless, one-sided condemnations of violence by Hamas are hypocritical, as long as this root cause is not addressed.
The Israeli state, governed by varying coalitions, has adapted a strategy of turning the Gaza Strip into an open-air prison, subjecting its population to regular violent offensives. The offensive by Hamas has shown the unsustainable nature of this inhuman strategy. But rather than looking for ways to end the violence and the suffering, the colonial Israeli state, supported by governments across the West, is only doubling down on this strategy, thereby making more bloodshed and suffering inevitable.
Already, we are hearing voices demanding an intensification of the oppression of the Palestinian people, with members of the Israeli government adopting genocidal rhetoric about fighting “inhuman beasts” and utterly cynical calls on Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip if they want to save themselves from Israeli operations. This means worsening even further a situation that is creating many Palestinian as well as Israeli civilian casualties, casualties that we deplore.
We condemn the hypocrisy of those who act as if the violence came out of nowhere and ignore 75 years of colonial oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state. Nothing can justify attacks targeting civilians and this standard should be upheld universally in the condemnation of all such war crimes. We refuse to join the chorus of those who condemn violence when committed by Palestinians but ignore, or, like Western governments, actively support it in the form of the continuing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli state. The so-called international community is deeply complicit in making violence inevitable, and offers no solutions to address its cause: the continued occupation of the Palestinian people. This oppression, carried out by a state that is militarily vastly superior and supported by the most powerful countries in the world, will make future violent explosions inevitable. All those who have for decades supported this occupation are responsible.
We do not share Hamas’s strategy and tactics because this path cannot put an end to the occupation, which is the only way to end the violence. The end of the occupation is only possible through the collective resistance of the Palestinian masses, along with the anti-war activists in the Israeli state, and supported by their international allies. As the Fourth International, we take pride in being among these allies.
We are with the Palestinian people in their continued resistance against Israeli colonialism and their struggle for self-determination. That is why we call for intensification of support for the campaign of BDS, for statements and demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Our goal is an end to Israeli colonialism and a state with equal rights for all its people. On the immediate level, we demand the cessation of the Israeli state’s actions against the Palestinian population in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem and end to relations of any kind with the colonial Israeli apartheid-regime.
Fourth International, 10 October 2023