Sunday, 18 March 2012

WHAT DID zIONIST ATTACK IN GAZA MEAN FOR THE REGIONAL ANTI-ZIONIST & ANTI-IMPERIALIST STRUGGLE?


March 2012: Resistance to the Zionist massacre in Gaza

And how this battle relates the regional liberation struggle

Sukant Chandan

March 19 2012
Sons of Malcolm

The week long Israeli onslaught against Gaza last week saw 26 Palestinians killed, with air strikes targeting some 40 sites in the Strip starting on March 9 with Israel killing a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees. Israel’s aim was a lot wider than just targeting this resistance leader. It was much more do with how Israel and its western backers are pursuing their strategy in trying to smash what remains of the regional resistance to total western and Zionist domination of the region, the main targets being the Palestinian resistance, Lebanese Hizbullah, Syria and Iran. It should be kept in mind that Israel could not have conducted this aggression without a green light from the usa and elements in Europe as well. This has been just as much a war in line with western led regime change in the region as it is an Israeli war.

In the coming war of aggression against Iran there are several considerations for Zionism and empire; they are worried about the response and capability of Syria, of Lebanese Hizbullah and the Palestinian resistance. The Syrian government has already stated that in the event of an open war against it, it will open hostilities against Israel. Will Syria attack Israel if Iran is under attack? This might happen, but perhaps the issue is academic, as it seems that in the lead up to an attack on Iran, Zionism and imperialism are clearly looking to first knock out Baathist Syria, then on to neutralising Lebanese Hizbullah, as Hizbullah are likely to attack Israel in the event of an open war against Iran.

The Palestinian resistance is of great concern also, the aggression last week was to ascertain what the current capability of the resistance in Gaza. However, the gun doesn’t lead the resistance, resistance politics leads the gun, so this latest bout of Zionist massacre and Palestinian resistance is also a test as to what the political position of the different factions of the Palestinian resistance is in relation to war against Iran. In general, Zionism and imperialism were rather satisfied by what they learnt.

There is another dynamic that Israel and the west would usually consider, and that is the reaction of western states other than the Zionist loyalists  - the usa and uk - as well as how western public opinion would react who are sympathetic to the Palestinians. On both these accounts, the west and Israel are not perturbed.

A little over a year ago if Israel had massacred 26 Palestinians in less than a week in the open air prison which is the Gaza Strip it would have made front pages of western broadsheets, and would have brought hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian protestors into the streets across the world. Thanks to the ‘Arab uprisings’ or ‘Arab Spring’, this is no longer the case. Palestine is no longer the issue. Western directed regime change through the Arab uprisings, is.

What was until a year ago the general progression and rising strength of the resistance axis in the region has now been turned into its near opposite: the ascendance through the Arab Spring of a western-backed anti-Shia, anti-Christian, anti-Iranian Sunni chauvinist wave, which has come to power in Libya, has made Tunisia a launching pad for regional counterrevolution (see the pro-nato ‘Friends of Syria’ conference in Tunis, or what the Syrian regime calls the ‘Friends of Imperialism’) and is threatening Syria and Lebanon.

Hamas’ armed wing did not engage in military resistance during the zonist onslaught last week, and furthermore there have been mixed signals from Hamas in terms of what their response would be in the case of war on Iran. This indicates that there are differences in the Hamas leadership on this score, but reading Hamas’ moves of late it seems that are increasingly distancing themselves from Syria, Hizbullah and Iran, and gravitating towards the Arab uprisings under the umbrella of the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and nato. The Israeli state must be content that Hamas refused to enter the fighting, and that elements from the Islamic movement indicated that they would not defend Iran.

Aside from Hamas, nearly every other militant faction in Gaza did engage in militant resistance activity last week. Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a particular concern for Israel and the west. PIJ’s establishment in 1979 was inspired by the anti-imperialist Islamic Revolution in Iran of the same year. The founders of PIJ were prominent and well-known members of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood/’Ikhwan’. PIJ saw the necessity of militant resistance to the occupation, whereas it took the Palestinian Ikhwan another eight years in establishing Hamas. PIJ have a very good reputation amongst the Palestinian people as being committed to the cause, and are the faction closest to Syria and especially Hizbullah and Iran.

The Jerusalem Post dedicated an article to boasting about how the Israeli army had downgraded the military capability of PIJ last week, but were still “impressed by Islamic Jihad's ability to launch more than 300 rockets during five main days of hostility”. The same article also stated that PIJ has not used its longer-range missiles that can reach Tel-Aviv, which must be of some concern to the Jewish state. In another report, one of PIJ’s militant leaders in Gaza stated "Our fundamental fight is in Palestine but if the Zionist enemy hits Iran and Gaza at the same time, we will respond with force", the crucial word here is “and”, one can imagine a situation whereby the war on Iran does not see a simultaneous attack on Gaza, does this mean PIJ will not give a militant response? This is not clear.

The bottom line for Zionism and the west is that they would prefer all things calm on the Palestinian front in conducting their aggression against Iran. However, the war with Iran could easily embroil Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. So in preparation in targeting Iran, they are planning to knock out the Syrian government, smash Lebanese Hizbullah through a civil war and/or a wave of sectarian strife coming from and emboldened by the sectarian armed gangs in Syria, alongside perhaps Israeli airstrikes against Lebanon. The west and Israel seem to be identifying that it is PIJ in Palestine that pose the biggest problem in its war plans.

Unity of all forces who believe in anti-imperialist independence and people-centered development is the surest formula to strengthening the struggle in the region. The Arab Spring on the other hand is dividing the regional resistance through the political games and intrigue of Turkey, the Gulf monarchies and the west.

PIJ prisoner Adnan Khadeer’s hunger strike was in part an attempt to re-focus attention on the Palestinian anti-zionist and anti-imperialist struggle. Unfortunately, Khadeer’s heroic attempt at highlighting the struggle failed, as it seems nearly no-one is interested as they once were in Palestinian liberation, and are preoccupied with overthrowing old enemies of Israel and the west like Gadafi and Assad.

The fate of the region’s struggle for independence lies in the hands of the Syrian and Iranian governments, and the guerrilla movements of Palestine and Lebanese Hizbullah, with Russia and China providing critical international back-up against wars of aggression. Some would say it’s a matter of great urgency that people who support Palestinian liberation reflect that liberation comes through fighting Israel and western interests, not facilitating regime change for the main enemies of the peoples of the region.

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