By INTERNATIONAL WORKERS LEAGUE — European sections
The propaganda campaign of the EU, its governments, and all European mainstream media is simply brutal. Whoever defends the Palestinian people and does not unconditionally support Israel’s genocidal massacre has been criminalized, and branded as an accomplice of terrorists and anti-Semitic. Behind the banner of the “right of defense” there is an ethnic cleansing plan.
This whole campaign wants to hide the fact that we are not facing a legitimate “right of defense” for Israel. It is not a war between two armies, but a genocide. The Palestinians have no planes, no tanks, no artillery, no navy. Behind the false flag of the “right to defend” there is a plan to destroy Gaza, exterminate entire sectors of its population, and expel the rest to the Sinai desert in Egypt.
The bombing of the Al Ahly hospital, which killed 500 people, is the living proof of the Zionist policy of annihilation. The scandalous attribution of responsibility to the Islamic Jihad guerrillas is a disgrace. It is no coincidence that Biden, who accepts the Israeli version as a matter of course, has rejected an international investigation into the atrocity.
The state of Israel, with the support of U.S. and European governments, is carrying out a plan of ethnic cleansing. We are witnessing the blatant implementation of the second Nakba , which is not limited to the Gaza Strip, but also includes East Jerusalem and the West Bank, where gangs of armed settlers, protected and supported by the Israeli army, are seizing Palestinian land and terrorizing and massacring the local population in order to expel them to Jordan.
Between 2000 until this Oct. 7, the day of the Hamas incursion, 2,287 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank. Between October 7-23, more than 5,000 people were killed in Gaza, including more than 2,000 children. Meanwhile, Israel is massing troops on the Gaza border and continuing to bombard neighborhoods as it prepares for a ground invasion. So far, more than one-third of the buildings in Gaza have been demolished by bombs.
The methods used by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza can be compared to those used by the Nazis to crush the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943. Similarly, the actions of the settlers in the West Bank can be likened to anti-Semitic pogroms against Jews. As the Nazis did to the Jews, the state of Israel has not hesitated in denying the humanity of the Palestinians, and reducing them to the status of “animals,” in the words of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
The EU and European governments are cesspools of hypocrisy
The EU and European governments have not stopped condemning the Hamas “terrorism,” whose greatest crime has been to make a fool of the sixth largest army in the world. They have lit up the headquarters of the European Commission, the Eiffel Tower and the Brandenburg Gate with the Zionist flag. They have persecuted demonstrations in defense of the Palestinians and against Israeli war crimes in France, Germany, and Great Britain on the pretext that they were “likely to cause disturbances to public order. In France and Germany, they have threatened to ban pro-Palestinian organizations, and Macron is taking this as an opportunity to militarize the country. Nevertheless, they have not been able to prevent large mobilizations of thousands in European streets.
European leaders have come, anxious to embrace Netanhayu and give him their unconditional support. Germany’s Scholz was the first head of government to visit him, declaring that “Israel’s security is a matter of state” for Germany and that Israel alone must decide how long the genocidal operation against Gaza will last.
The president of the European Commission, von der Leyen, and the president of the European Parliament, Metsola, were quick to give their unconditional support to Netanyahu. Von der Leyen did not even mention the ritual words about “respect for humanitarian law.” Meanwhile, her neighborhood commissioner, Várhelyi, declared that the Commission would unilaterally suspend all humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.
Von der Leyen’s behavior was so scandalous that several European governments, led by Commissioner Borrell, criticized her for not making a single reference to “respect for humanitarian law.” With this “criticism” they sought to protect themselves from public opinion, while expressing their fear of the expansion of the conflict in the region. In the same way, they opposed the Commission’s suspension of humanitarian aid (which Israel does not allow anyway).
But the appeal to “respect for humanitarian law” is nothing more than an empty formality, for they all know perfectly well that Israel has not respected it before, does not respect it now, and will not respect it tomorrow. On the contrary, under the label of “Israel’s right to defend itself,” they are openly supporting genocide without a single denunciation of the Israeli massacres; without demanding that the International Criminal Court prosecute those responsible; without taking any punitive measures against them; and all the while maintaining full diplomatic and trade relations and continuing to supply arms to Israel.
The EU and its governments have demanded the release of the hostages held by the Palestinian militias, but have not said a single word about the 6000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, or the more than 1000 people in administrative detention. All EU governments, from those who appear more blatantly on Netanyahu’s side to those who want to appear more “equidistant” like the Spanish one, share this same policy.
“European sovereignty” is nothing more than submission to the U.S.
In their summits, they speak of “European sovereignty” and then subordinate themselves totally to the US, whose support for Israel, in Biden’s words, is “rock solid and unwavering.” If Biden’s visit to Israel has shown a decadent US, the EU’s policy is showing its subservience and revealing its growing irrelevance in the world. Many of Biden’s weapons for arming Israel and bombing Gaza come from the Italian base of Sigonella, in Sicily.
Not only has the US given $4.4 billion in military aid to Israel this year, but they are now preparing to give Israel $14 billion more. In addition, they are urgently delivering advanced weapons that Israel is using for the Gaza massacre, while refusing to provide them to Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression. They have sent two aircraft carriers to the area, with their respective battle groups and have put 2,000 troops on alert to intervene in the area if necessary. The US ambassador to the UN has declared that this is not the time to worry about “collateral damage,” even if it means demolishing Gaza City. The US has vetoed a proposal for a humanitarian cease-fire in the UN Security Council.
The only dissenting voices in relation to the European governments have been those of some Podemos-Sumar ministers in the government of Pedro Sánchez, in particular the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, and the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, who have demanded the cessation of the attacks on the population of Gaza. They have also called the Israeli response a planned genocide and have proposed – unsuccessfully of course – that the incumbent Sánchez government, of which they are members, suspend diplomatic relations with Israel, impose economic sanctions, and take Netanyahu to the International Criminal Court. But beyond their words, which are separate from the criminal unanimity of the EU and its governments, their position is hypocritical because they know that if Pedro Sanchez finally manages to form a government (with them in it), its policy towards Israel will continue to be, as it has been until now, perfectly in line with the EU and the US.
The “two-state” solution
There is one aspect on which both Sanchez and Podemos-Sumar agree, and which has been mentioned by EU Commissioner Borrell himself: the call for two states as “the only viable solution to achieve a situation of peace and stability in the region. Borrell has also said that the EU’s Palestinian interlocutor is Mahmud Abbas, president of the PNA (Palestinian National Authority). Sumar-Podemos, in its negotiations with the PSOE to form a government, is asking Sanchez that the next government unilaterally recognize Palestine, because if it expects the EU to do so, it will never do so.
The truth is that right now there are several EU states that already recognize the Palestinian “state.” Does Sumar-Podemos think that adding the name of the Spanish state to this useless list will make any difference?
The defense of two states as a “solution” to the conflict is common among the European left. It is also advocated by China and Russia, as well as by the reactionary Arab regimes. But this option has never been a solution to anything, and it is even less so now. The two-state “solution” presupposes the legalization of the Israeli colonial occupation, the renunciation of the return of the 5.9 million Palestinian refugees, and the acceptance of the formation of a pseudo-state without territorial continuity and without the basic competencies that define a state, which would remain in the hands of the State of Israel.
But in addition, after 75 years of colonization, the occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem since 1967, and the increasingly frenzied policy of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, this “solution” has become a macabre joke and an impossible chimera. Israel now controls 60% of the West Bank through a system of apartheid, has established 279 illegal settlements, and has implemented a policy of terror in conjunction with the settlers. One of the Israeli ministers in charge of the administration of the West Bank, Itamar Ben Gvir, Minister of National Security, is an individual who has himself been prosecuted as a terrorist by the Israeli courts and who has publicly stated that “all Arabs must be killed.”
On the other hand, the PNA led by Mahmoud Abbas is a corrupt structure that has bene reduced to a part of the West Bank, and whose basic mission is to act as an internal police force at the service of the Israeli occupier. The PNA is hated by the majority of Palestinians and especially by youth. That is why it has not held a presidential election since 2005, nor a Palestinian legislative election since 2006 when Hamas won. Is it this sinister PNA that is to be recognized as the Palestinian “state”?
The solution to the Palestinian problem is not “two states.” The solution is the one advocated by Palestinians and anti-Zionist Jews: the establishment of a secular, democratic, and non-racist Palestine in the historical territory of Palestine (“from the river to the sea”). A Palestine without walls, without checkpoints, without armed settlements, and where the millions of Palestinian refugees, who come from the families who were expelled from their homes in 1948 and after, can return. This is a Palestine where Arabs and Jews can live freely together in peace and equality. Only the defeat and the dismantling of the racist and oppressive Zionist can open the way to a solution.
Why do the EU and European governments support Israel?
Many Europeans wonder why European governments support Israel’s genocidal and ethnic cleansing plans. French anti-Zionist Jew Pierre Stambul, spokesman for the UJFP (Union of French Jews for Peace), answered this precise question in an interview given on October 14:
“Some people think that this orientation comes from a sense of guilt about the Jews. This is wrong. While it is undeniable that Europe is guilty of centuries of Christian anti-Judaism and racial anti-Semitism that led to the Nazi genocide, this has nothing to do with support for Israel. On the other hand, the ideology of today’s Israeli leaders is closer to those who perpetrated the genocide  than to those who suffered it (including my own family). No, the West supports Israel because it is their state. It is an example of colonial reconquest, a piece of the West installed in the Middle East. It has become a laboratory of the most advanced technologies of surveillance and imprisonment of populations considered dangerous. It is the place where armies and police forces from all over the world come to “train.” Israel is indispensable to the domination and subjugation of the region. In short, it is a military enclave of the U.S. and the West in the Middle East, which is why the EU and European governments, following the U.S., are calling to close ranks with Israel in defense of “common values,” “civilization, democracy and the free world.”
European governments also have the shamelessness to present Israel as “the only democracy in the Middle East,” which is another abject lie. Israel has been a racist colonial state from the beginning. From the beginning, it has been a state in which the Arab population living in Israeli territory has citizenship but is denied nationality. They are second-class citizens, legally discriminated against and deprived of basic rights, such as the right to own the land that was expropriated from them. As for the occupied territories, the Palestinian population lives under a brutal apartheid regime denounced by numerous international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or the Israeli NGO B’Tselem.
What does anti-Zionism have to do with anti-Semitism?
Governments say that opposing genocide and defending the Palestinian people is anti-Semitism. But what they hide from us is that Zionism’s main international support base is far-right American evangelical Christians, one of Trump’s main bases, who are openly anti-Semitic. In contrast, many Jews around the world, and especially in the U.S., are increasingly raising their voices against Israeli ethnic cleansing. Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) has 440,000 members and supporters. They have mobilized massively against the Zionist massacre in many American cities, and have protested at the Capitol itself.
Here is an excerpt from JVP’s October 7 statement: “The Israeli government may have just declared war, but its war against the Palestinians began more than 75 years ago. Israeli apartheid and occupation – and U.S. complicity in that oppression – are at the root of all this violence. Reality is staged according to when you start the clock (…) For 16 years, the Israeli government suffocated Palestinians in Gaza under a draconian military air, sea, and land blockade, imprisoning and starving two million people and denying them medical care. The Israeli government routinely massacres Palestinians in Gaza; ten-year-old children living in Gaza are already traumatized by seven major bombing campaigns in their short lives.”
If there is a source of anti-Semitism in the world today, it is none other than the infamous campaign to identify the genocidal state of Israel with the Jewish people. Pierre Stambul said in the above interview: “Zionism is a crime against Palestinians. For the Jews, it is an insult to their memory, their history, their identity.”
Immediately end the siege of Gaza! No to massacre, occupation, and apartheid!
Immediately break diplomatic relations with Israel! Close its embassies and consulates!
End all academic, cultural, and scientific cooperation with Israel!
Boycott arms supplies!
End all economic cooperation! Support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign!
Unconditional support for the Palestinian resistance! We call for a redoubling of the mobilizations and urge all political, trade union, and student working class organizations to support them!
Just as we defend the Ukrainian people in their struggle to regain their territory in the face of Putin’s aggression, let us support the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people for their land. For a single, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine, from the river to the sea!
 The state of Israel was born in 1948 with the Nakba [catastrophe], using terrorist methods of ethnic cleansing that expelled 800,000 Palestinians from their land and turned them into refugees. Israel was born as a racist and colonial state. Now, after 75 years of oppression, occupation, and untold suffering, because the Palestinian people do not give up, Israel wants to finish the job it started in 1948.
 Zionism did not really confront Nazism, but used it to force Jews to leave Palestine. There are macabre episodes that have bene hidden from public view, such as the memorandum of support that the Zionist Federation of Germany sent to the Nazi Party on June 21, 1933, or the rejection by the World Zionist Organization in the same year, by 240 votes to 43, of a resolution calling for a fight against Nazism (see Ralph Schoenman, “The Hidden History of Zionism”).
Photo: Netanyahu with EU President Ursula von der Leyen