PSL Editorial – Stop U.S. funding for Israel’s massacres

The massacre of nine Palestinians today in the city of Jenin is an unmistakable sign that the new Israeli government intends to intensify the wave of repression it has unleashed since taking office last month. The killings were carried out by Israeli soldiers as they conducted a large-scale raid attempting to capture Palestinians they accuse of being part of resistance organizations. The dead include a 60-year-old woman Magda Obaid, and 20 other Palestinians were shot but survived. 

Deadly Israeli raids into the West Bank are not new — they have long been a near-daily reality of life under occupation. But the brutality and frequency are clearly escalating. 2022 saw the highest number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in this manner since 2004, and so far killings this year are taking place at twice the rate of 2022! 

This terrible violence is paid for with U.S. tax dollars. The U.S. government sends $3.8 billion to Israel every year, and U.S. corporations provide the bullets, tanks, tear gas and all the other weapons this money buys. The United States is Israel’s main backer in world politics, and attempts to shield it from any type of accountability for its crimes. 

It is an outrage that the politicians in Washington choose to prioritize funding this horrific repression over addressing any of the countless dire social problems working people are facing across the country. All aid to Israel should be immediately cut off, and all ties with Israel should be severed in recognition of the decades of oppression it has inflicted and continues to inflict on Palestinians. 

The need to end U.S. financing of Israel has become even more urgent after a profoundly dangerous new coalition took power at the end of December, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The coalition includes ministers from formerly fringe groups that rocketed to power with the assistance of Netanyahu. Most prominent among these figures is Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the fascist Jewish Power party. Ben-Gvir holds the newly-created title of “Minister of National Security,” which gives him control over the country’s police, prisons and border guards. Another fascist, Bezalel Smotrich, is the minister in charge of armed forces activity in the West Bank. 

This far-right government’s assumption of power coincides with the rise of a new generation of Palestinian resistance. Young fighters have organized themselves into new formations to challenge the occupation, and Jenin is one of the places where this phenomenon is the strongest. Netanyahu and his allies think they can crush this trend with overwhelming violence.

But the spirit of resistance is on full display in the aftermath of the Jenin massacre. A general strike across the West Bank was immediately called in response, and Palestinian groups vowed to keep up the fight. 

Palestinians are waging a just struggle to reclaim the land that was stolen from them with the creation of the state of Israel and its constant expansion. They are subjected to constant violations of their most basic rights under a political system similar to apartheid South Africa or Jim Crow segregation in the United States. The U.S. government must stop writing the checks that make this oppression possible. 

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