Stop the US-backed Israeli attack on Rafah!

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the developing Israeli assault on Rafah, which began this week, and calls for the mobilization of opposition throughout the world to the latest stage in the genocide in Gaza.

For several days, Israel has been carrying out non-stop bombings of the city that have killed dozens of people, accompanied by ground attacks in eastern Rafah and the Rafah crossing into Egypt.

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on buildings near the separating wall between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 7, 2024. [AP Photo/Ramez Habboub]

On Monday, Israel ordered over 100,000 starving and desperate people to evacuate eastern Rafah, without offering them safe passage or anywhere to go. All of this is preparatory to a massive and bloody onslaught.

Over one million people are crowded into an area with four times the population density of Chicago, in a series of sprawling tent cities with no sources of running water or electricity. The city contains over 600,000 children, most of whom have already been displaced multiple times and all of whom have been deprived of clean water and starved of food for half a year.

For six days, no food, water or medicine has been allowed into Gaza, most of whose population is currently suffering from “full-blown famine.” Gaza is home to 80 percent of the hungriest people in the world, according to relief agencies.

Israel’s assault on Rafah completely exposes the Biden administration’s efforts to publicly distance itself from the Gaza genocide. Last week, the White House temporarily put on hold a shipment of bombs headed for Israel, while US President Joe Biden declared, “They’re not going to get our support if, in fact, they go on these population centers.”

The purpose of these remarks was to provide the White House’s professional apologists in the media and the US political establishment with the opportunity to do the dirty work of presenting the sponsors of the Gaza genocide in Washington as paragons of morality seeking to “restrain” the Netanyahu government.

“U.S. Military’s Plea to Israel: Do More to Protect Gazans in War Zone,” read a headline in the New York Times. The Times asserted that the US military, which has killed over one million people in its wars in the Middle East over the past quarter-century, is a model for protecting human lives in war.

The assault on Rafah is being funded, armed and politically directed by US imperialism. Over the past six months, the White House has sent over 100 arms shipments to Israel. On top of the three billion dollars the US sends every year, Biden last month signed a $14.3 billion supplemental spending package to fund and arm the genocide.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which serves as an apologist for US imperialism and the Democratic Party, called Biden’s “enforcing conditions on US military aid” a “historic shift” and a “just” and “responsible” action that makes “our values clear.”

What a contemptible fraud! The bombs that have been temporarily held up amount to just a tiny fraction of the ordnance already dropped on Gaza, which is the equivalent of more than three Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs.

As White House spokesman John Kirby made clear on Friday:

Weapons shipments are still going to Israel. They’re still getting the vast, vast majority of everything that they need to defend themselves.

Kirby added:

We will continue to commit to spending every dime of the supplemental request that we got from Congress to get them the capabilities they need… there is no weapons shipment cutoff here.

Ocasio-Cortez is right about one thing. Biden’s sponsorship of the Gaza genocide does make the “values” of American imperialism clear. These are the “values” of mass murder of women and children, covered over with absurd lies and moralizing platitudes.

These “values” are upheld by the entire US political establishment, from the fascist-led Republican party to the pseudo-left apologists for genocide in the DSA.

Every statement by the Biden administration about the genocide has the character of a self-indictment. In December, Biden declared that the Netanyahu government was carrying out “indiscriminate bombing” and seeking “retribution… against all Palestinians.”

The White House then proceeded to send billions of dollars in bombs to the government carrying out this “indiscriminate bombing” targeting “all Palestinians.” In addition to multiple arms shipments, Biden signed a bill that provided $14.3 billion in weapons, of which US officials have pledged to spend “every dollar.”

Then, this week, Biden admitted that “civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs” that the United States sent to Israel.

Finally, on Friday, a report by the State Department found it was “reasonable to assess” that US weapons were being used in ways that are “inconsistent” with international law, but that the arms shipments would continue regardless.

All of these statements have the same content: Even as the representatives of US imperialism admit to funding and arming what are, at the very least, massive violations of international law, they proclaim themselves to be the global arbiters of peace and justice and make clear that they will continue to do exactly what they have been doing.

The Gaza genocide has had a massive impact on the social consciousness of workers and young people all over the world. It has exposed the ruling class of the world’s “democracies,” the US and its NATO allies, as a gang of mass murderers and imperialist thugs, who see the deaths of tens of thousands of Gazans as a small price to pay for realizing their ambitions of global domination and the restoration of colonial rule.

The escalation of the genocide in Gaza must be met with protests, demonstrations and strike action by workers and young people throughout the world. It is particularly critical for workers to understand that the genocide is part of an expanding global war, which is at the same time a war of the ruling elite on the working class at home.

Opposition to the Gaza genocide must be connected to the fight of the working class against capitalist exploitation and transformed into a political movement against imperialist war and the entire capitalist system.