Gaza Conflict May Spark Far Wider War


A hospital bombed, thousands killed, made homeless, deprived of food, water and power. The racist degradation of Zionist Israel has reached a new depth as the number lives it annihilates soars. The one thing certain is that the crimes of Hamas will pale by comparison. Israeli leaders, for over a century, have steadfastly cultivated anti-Arab racism in order to justify their land grabs and oppression of Palestinians – and they have succeeded. Barely an Israeli voice is lifted in opposition, although some Jews in the US and elsewhere are rising to oppose genocide in Gaza, including a huge demonstration at the White House on October 16.

Tools of Imperialism All Along

But this is not the whole story by any means –Zionist Jews managing to equal the brutality of their own historical oppressors. No, even these powerful killers are but the creation, the tools of the world’s mightier imperialists. It was the British, and then primarily the US, who promoted the formation of the Israeli state as oil became the preeminent world resource, most of it in the Middle East. As the British empire disintegrated after World War I, they gave the Zionists a disproportionate share of the land and water of Palestine and allowed the natives to be driven into exile. With the French, they had divvied up the other Arab lands into many countries – Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine – where competing nationalisms were fostered as independence was gained.

With the US as its primary post World War 2 sponsor, Israel became a nuclear power with a strong military and intelligence system. More anxious to share in American largesse than to defend Palestinians imprisoned and belittled in the West Bank and Gaza, neighboring Arab nations did not come to their aid when Palestinians rebelled in 1987 and 2000. Recently several have even signed pacts with Israel (that is, with the US) in order to gain an advantage for themselves- enhanced security for the UAE and Bahrain, sovereignty over Western Sahara for Morocco, cancellation of debts and an end to designation as a terrorist for Sudan. Even Saudi Arabia was about to sign its pact.

Since 2007 Gaza has been turned into a total prison for 2.2 million, where poverty, food insecurity, and lack of adequate health care, jobs, water, sanitation and power stalk the population. Since taking power in 2006, the fundamentalist Hamas, which Israel helped create in the 1980s to counter secular nationalism, has further brutalized the population, stealing aid, monopolizing resources, jailing or killing opponents and living in luxury as the standard of living of the majority sank lower and lower. Occasional futile shows of resistance by Hamas with a few rockets brought huge reprisals resulting in the death of at least 6800 through early 2023.

More Big Powers

But it is no longer just the US that is seeking to maintain and expand its power in the region. After the Iranian revolution against the US backed Shah in 1979, Iran began forging alliances to oppose Israel. In addition to Syria and Lebanon, where they sponsored Hezbollah, they began giving aid to Hamas. They offered military training and $30-50 million annually,1 now up to $70-100 million. They also sent artillery rockets and, since 2006, have focused on supplying the knowhow and equipment to produce rockets locally. All is smuggled in via tunnels or the sea.2

There has been conflict over whether Iran actually knew about the attack in Israel by Hamas last week. The Wall Street Journal ran an article that quotes senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah saying that Iranians were involved in training for this mission and gave the go ahead in a secret meeting in Beirut.3 The US has denied having any evidence of such collusion, likely wanting to hedge its own bets to avoid increasing conflict with Iran.

The other even bigger player whose role is to be considered is China, Iran’s main trading partner. Because of Western sanctions, selling oil to China is now one of Iran’s major sources of revenue. China supplies Iran with military equipment, technology and assistance with its nuclear program. China has also long supported the PLO in a bid to be an ally of the Muslim world.4

Since April, 2023, China has launched the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which aims to create an alternative to US control of the international order. Beijing hopes to establish itself as a source of global security, where it would emphasize internal state security and autonomy.  Its main achievement to date was brokering an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, long regional rivals. GSI is being promoted in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Pacific Islands, although it has yet to gain much traction.5 Today, China met with 130 Belt and Road Initiative leaders, including such partners the Taliban, Hungary’s Orban, and Putin.6 What knowledge China may have had of the plans of Hamas remains unclear.

Consequences Unknown

By realizing the breadth of global players involved, we can see beyond the searing tragedy befalling Gaza to possible far wider consequences. Could a disastrous course of Israeli aggression prompt US involvement, Iranian involvement? Already ten US warships are parked or en route to Israel’s coast. Could the supposed distraction of the US prompt Chinese invasion of Taiwan? There are many possible, unpredictable, and cataclysmic consequences to which this conflict could lead, not unlike the war in Ukraine or contests to come. In the larger picture, we must see that we are in some stage of the ultimate contest between the two imperialist giants of the world, the US and China, teetering over the contests between their seconds like Iran, India and Israel, trampling over the small players in Gaza or Syria or Ukraine who will be crushed.

For us there are two major tasks. We must throw off the nationalism and racism that allow us to be used as players in this deadly imperialist game. We must refuse to hate and fear one another and to fight in these wars. And we must build our own power, allying together and rejecting the structures of capitalism and imperialist rivalry. Today it is Jews and Arabs who must see and ally with each other; indeed all of us must reject nationalism and embrace class struggle. If we do not, the consequence may be our annihilation.

Ellen Isaacs is an anti-racist and anti-capitalist activist and co-editor of She can be reached at [email protected].





5.    security-order


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