Statement by Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO)
October 9, 2023
October 7, 2023 marks a turning point in the over 75 years of the genocidal and racist Zionist Israeli occupation of Palestine. In an unprecedented move, Palestinian resistance fighters from Gaza launched defensive military operations in Israel including air, sea, and ground attacks, surprising Israel and catching one of the most technologically advanced militaries in the world unawares.
The Israeli Zionist propaganda machine and mainstream imperialist media are frantically trying to paint Israel as a victim of terrorism and has launched a vicious dehumanization campaign against Palestinians, openly calling Palestinian people monsters and human animals. However, it is evident that this is a war and the actions of Palestinian resistance fighters are an act of defense in this war. This war has been one of oppressor against oppressed and did not start on October 7 but has been waged since 1948 when Israel was founded as a state on the land of Palestine by imperialist countries, with the false recognition and legitimization of the United Nations. Resisting oppression and occupation is not terrorism, fighting for dignity is not terrorism. The Palestinian people have been fighting for their right to self-determination and the right to return to their homes, which were brutally taken away by the Zionist Israeli regime.
Decades over decades, the Palestinian people have faced forced expulsion from their cities and villages to overcrowded refugee camps, which in Gaza constitutes the 3rd most densely populated place on earth. Palestinians have faced ethnic cleansing and massacres, with over 10,748 Palestinians killed since September 29, 2000, including over 2,434 Palestinian children killed. Palestinians especially in the West Bank have faced an ongoing Israeli Zionist policy of home demolitions, with over 56,502 Palestinian homes demolished by Israel since 1967, not including homes destroyed through bombing campaigns against Gaza. Palestinians also are subject to arbitrary detentions and torture. Out of 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners, over 1,200 are held without charge or trial under indefinitely renewable administrative detention orders, many of whom are children as young as 12 years old. Daily life for Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank is defined by occupation, with checkpoints and blockades limiting freedom of movement even to jobs and school, lack of access to food, water, medicines and basic necessities, and the constant threat of military attack from the Israeli Zionist regime’s military or racist Zionist settlers.
In the last year, the life under Israeli occupation has gotten measurably worse. The UN declared 2023 as the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started counting deaths in 2006, even before the current indiscriminate Israeli assault on Gaza. From January 2023 until the beginning of October, Israeli forces and racist Zionist settlers killed more than 250 people in the West Bank, including over 50 children. There have been repeated Israeli military assaults into areas of West Bank, including three major Israeli military incursions into the Jenin refugee camp. In Jenin, during these attacks Palestinians were terrorized and killed by deadly airstrikes, hundreds of Israeli ground troops, helicopter gunships, rockets and armoured vehicles, and faced destroyed homes and massively damaged sewage and water networks. In a further insult to Palestinians, worshipers at Al Aqsa Mosque in al-Quds (also known as Jerusalem) have faced repeated raids and attacks by Zionist Israeli police and military, as well as by racist Israeli settlers.
This has all been part of a genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Israeli regime, led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu who since 2019 has repeatedly proposed and planned to annex the West Bank and Gaza. This is nothing new, but a longstanding policy of ethnic cleansing since 1948. In September 1992, former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told a delegation from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy "I would like Gaza to sink into the sea”.
For over 75 years, Palestinians have tried every avenue to assert their right to self-determination, including legal and diplomatic measures. 78 resolutions in the United Nations demanding that Israel respect various aspects of Palestinian human rights have been repeatedly violated. All so-called solutions imposed by imperialists and Israel on Palestinians since 1948, especially the Oslo Accord in 1993, have not brought peace. Instead, as planned they have prolonged and expanded the racist Zionist Israeli occupation and war against Palestine. From October 7, 2023, the defensive military operation of Palestinian resistance fighters from Gaza into Israel has effectively ended all deceitful plans in the past, present and future. Today the tide is turning as Palestinians won’t accept any false promises or distractions and are fighting for their self-determination and right to exist as a nation and to form a nation-state.
Today the world is watching as the Zionist Israeli military is launching a massive attack on Gaza, indiscriminately collapsing whole apartment complexes, and targeting homes and hospitals. The Israeli Zionist Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised to turn Gaza into a “deserted island” and told Palestinian civilians to leave the territory. This warning to Palestinians to leave Gaza is entirely outrageous – Gaza is an open-air prison, with a population of over 2.3 million Palestinians that are essentially prisoners with absolutely no freedom of movement. Since 2005 Palestinians in Gaza have been blockaded by Israel by air, sea and land, surrounded a 65km long, 20 feet high concrete, iron and steel wall with radar systems, sniper towers and underground sensors. For 18 years Israel has controlled and restricted access to anything moving in or out of Gaza, including water, food, medicine, fuel, and electricity, and even Palestinians, journalists, aid organizations and visitors ability to leave or enter Gaza.
As of October 9, 2023 the death toll of Palestinians has reached 704 since October 7, mainly in Gaza but also in West Bank, and including over 150 children and thousands injured. There are reports that Israel is using internationally banned white phosphorus shells over residential areas in Gaza. The Israeli Zionist regime has declared a total blockade of Gaza, essentially cutting off water, food, medicine, fuel and electricity. The world is watching as the Zionist Israeli regime is massacring Palestinian people in Gaza.
Imperialist governments, led by the United States, are declaring their support for Israel. The US has moved aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean sea and several air force squadrons to the region, as well as has promised additional munitions to Israel. This imperialist support for Israel isn’t because their governments really care about the Israeli people – since the Balfour Declaration by the British government in 1917, to the formation of Israel on Palestinian land, Israel has always been an imperialist project, first for Britain and today for the United States. Israel is the US forward base into West Asia, a foothold in the region from which to launch surveillance, military attacks, wars, and occupations, and to expand their plunder of resources and markets. The US imperialist new era of war and occupation has accelerated their drive for hegemony in the region, which we have seen since the war and occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, and continued with the war on Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. This is why Israel as a Zionist racist and apartheid regime has never been a truly functional legitimate state. Without the economic, financial and military support of the US and their imperialist allies, including Canada, Israel cannot survive more than a few weeks. The US supplies more than $4 billion a year in military aid to Israel, and in 2022 the US provided Israel with at least $13.1 million per day in military aid. Canada also provides military aid and exports to Israel, and Canadian bank Scotiabank is the largest foreign investor in Elbit Systems, a major Israeli weapons manufacturer, who sells “battle tested” drones – battle tested against Palestinian people.
We have been lied to for years that the Israel-Palestine conflict is “complicated,” and peace is distant. Before the Zionist project with the support of Britain and other imperialists imposed the state of Israel on Palestinian land, Palestinians of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith lived in harmony side by side for centuries. Despite the claims that Israel needed to be created as a “safe” homeland for Jewish people, there can be no safety when that state is imposed by a genocidal occupation, as has been done on Palestinian land. This was just a convenient solution for racism in Europe and North America, where historically and today Jewish people face antisemitism, where Jewish people should have the right to live without discrimination. In fact, the safest place historically and today for Jewish people has been in West Asian countries, side by side with their Muslim neighbours! The solution that we are told is complicated is in fact simple. Palestinian’s legitimate demand for the right to self-determination must be met, preferably a single democratic state with the fundamental right of one person, one vote, where Palestinian and Jewish people can live in together in peace and harmony. It is only the Zionist regime and their imperialist backers that are blocking this only viable solution from becoming a reality. If it this could happen in South Africa, it can happen in the entire land of Palestine today from the river to the sea.
Today solidarity with Palestine is more important that ever. While the imperialist and Zionist narrative tries to get support for the massacre of Palestinians that the Israeli military is unleashing on Gaza, it is up to the solidarity movement worldwide to demand an end to 75 years of Israeli Zionist occupation. Since October 7th, hundreds of thousands of people in dozens of countries around the globe are protesting against the Zionist Israeli regime and in defense of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli Zionist occupation, in over 100 cities around the world including 60 cities in Canada and the US. Today in Palestine and around the world, we are fighting for a new path forward against imperialism, against Zionism, and for the Palestinian right to self-determination.