The Levant’s wounds reopened
The latest paroxysms of violence in Gaza re-rupture the oldest of wounds as rival claims to the land stir anew. Decades of displacement and occupation since 1948 haunt the collective memory. While proximate causes shift, the roots remain tangled in a history steeped in colonialism and an imbalance of power.
At its heart, this story binds two people—their ancient ties to the land now scarred by modern traumas. The Zionist dream of a Jewish homeland came at the expense of indigenous Arabs. War and terrorism bred further conflict. From the ashes of the Ottoman Empire and British Mandate emerged a Jewish state, an uneasy Palestinian Authority, and generations of stateless refugees. Rights and security for some meant oppression for others. The dream became overlapping nightmares.
And so present bloodshed links to past injustices, unreconciled. Within this fractured past, the seeds of current extremism took root. To break the cycle requires recognising wounds on all sides and a just peace where dignity prevails over dominance. The path is long, but it must begin in solidarity.
The Profiteers of Conflict
The horrific violence between Israel and Hamas propels the Middle East swiftly towards disaster. As Gaza verges once more on catastrophe, the cheerleaders for escalation continue their percussive drive towards chaos, uncaring of the civilians caught under their martial rhythms. For the privileged elite, safe in guarded compounds and bomb shelters, this carnage is merely a game of strategy and advantage. The laws of basic humanity have no weight in their political and military calculations. Their eyes see only control and power, not the lives their decisions shatter.
Imperial Powers Feed the Flames
The major powers back these forces out of naked imperial ambition, not ethical purpose. The US and UK initially gave a green light to Israeli war crimes through their rhetoric, but then had to peddle back such dangerous enabling of atrocities. Despite hollow rhetoric, morality does not direct their actions. The US encourages an Israeli invasion of Gaza, heedless of its devastation. Such tacit approval serves their own desire for regional control, not higher principles. This brazen imperialism exposes any pretence of moral concern. For the great powers, only dominance matters.
The same callous logic drives Israel’s “complete siege” on Gaza. By dehumanising Palestinians as “animals,” Israel’s leaders expose their imperialist mindset. Depriving civilians of basic needs is a war crime, yet capitalist power ignores humanitarian law when convenient. The siege serves no defence, only to punish the vulnerable. The working class suffers from the violence of elites jousting for control. As always, imperial ambition rides roughshod over lives and dignity.
Beyond Gaza, tensions ripple outward.
This cycle of violence threatens to destabilise the broader Middle East, as provocations risk igniting regional tensions. The belligerents ignore surrounding nations like Jordan and Egypt, as well as the Global South. Beyond the Levant, reverberations could unleash a wider conflagration, from Syria to Lebanon. This swelling of displaced Palestinians in refugee camps disregards how recklessness tears the region’s social fabric.
The global south, from Latin America to Africa, must also start leveraging its growing influence, both through the UN and bilateral ties, to denounce the drumbeats of war. It is apparent that the global south recognises the damage a regional conflagration would bring, even as Western powers line up behind Israel’s sabre-rattling. Grassroots solidarity must therefore transcend borders, uniting working people across the Middle East and the world against the forces of conflict. Ordinary voices can quiet the drums of war, bringing justice not only to Gaza but also across the region. This spirit of our shared humanity must stretch beyond Palestine to encompass the Middle East. Only then can a vision of regional peace defeat the forces of division. People united can create a new future.
The Barren Ground of Violence
All sides have sacrificed diplomacy to the cruel altar of martial force. But lasting peace will never bloom on such bloodstained ground. The cycle of violence can blossom into extremism, nourishing those invested in endless struggle. To break this tragic trajectory requires looking beyond battles and towards a vision upholding both people’s rights and dignity.
If the warmongers continue to see military might as the solution, the Middle East will plunge further into the abyss. Their drums will only drown out the voices of reason and conscience. For the region to emerge from darkness, we must reject the pervasive drive towards chaos.
Militarism’s Gendered Impacts
This conflict also disproportionately harms women and children, both Israeli and Palestinian. The political leadership glorifies violent masculinity rather than feminised visions of cooperation. Military strikes and life under occupation exacerbate domestic violence, denial of resources, and a lack of agency for women. Yet the male-dominated military and political leadership is indifferent to these gendered consequences. Women’s groups have long called for an end to systemic violence, recognising its patriarchal roots. But their voices go unheeded amidst the drumbeats of war. True peace requires centering feminist perspectives and uplifting the rarely heard voices of women.
Beyond Two States: A Shared Future
True peace requires a rupture with the current unjust order—one state for all peoples. Self-determination for all must replace the current apartheid system of oppression and illegal occupation. The settlements built on stolen land must be demolished and their spoils returned. Only by tearing down imperialism’s walls of oppression can conditions emerge for Arabs and Jews to coexist in equality.
The two-state solution is dead, a relic of the past. Hope now lies in a future of Arabs and Jews living side-by-side. Terror flourishes in conditions of oppression where people lack agency over their lives. Israel’s apartheid regime breeds the very terror it claims to fight. Only a democratic state representing all can break this vicious cycle. With equal rights and self-determination, the seeds of coexistence can take root. But first, the walls of subjugation must fall. Until the occupation ends and settlements cease, conflict will persist. Justice demands all people sharing the land have an equal voice in its governance. Only this path offers the possibility of lasting peace.
Solidarity and Division in the UK
The large turnout at Saturday’s march in London demonstrated how strong support for Palestine remains in the UK. Yet the racist right again hurls accusations of antisemitism at leftists, just as they did against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. Blind to their own Islamophobia, they act as apologists to silence criticism of Israel with cynical cries of antisemitism. Their selective concern for Jewish people is a mere cover for hatred of Islam. When activists show solidarity with queer Palestinians, they face spurious accusations of hypocrisy for not marching in Muslim countries. Through pinkwashing propaganda, Israel postures itself as progressive while oppressing Palestinians. It exploits vulnerable queer Palestinians, blackmailing them as informants while denying protections against harassment and discrimination. This whitewashes Israel’s racism and occupation, which perpetuates gendered and sexualized violence. Portraying Israel as a gay utopia justifies its criminal policies targeting Palestinian women and LGBTQ individuals. But the people see through these divide-and-rule tactics. Progressives promote unity against imperialism and the marginalisation of all groups.
The atrocity by Hamas was just that—an atrocity. It was not a licence to demonise migrants as the “enemy within.” Yet the far-right tried infiltrating the London march, attacking stewards, before anti-fascists repelled their racist violence. Meanwhile, politicians and commentators like GB News’ Darren Grimes stoke anti-migrant hatred. They show 1950s London without Palestinian flags or a First World War Tommy with the line, “Do you think he would conclude it was all worth it?” This echoes 1930s Nazi rhetoric, substituting anti-Jewish hate for anti-Muslim. It’s more subtle on social media, but still, the language that gave us the morbid age. We must call out and reject these racist tactics aimed at dividing working people.
People United can end the madness.
The hope for peace also lies in solidarity between ordinary people on all sides. Nationalism and fear serve only to divide; overcoming them is essential to a just resolution. By uniting as people, not pawns of the powerful, we can expose the deceitful drumbeats of war and demand the justice long denied to the region.
The choice is stark: accept the profiteering cacophony of militarism or come together to build a better future. People united can end the pervasive drive toward chaos.
This truth rings out in the masses marching for Palestine, from London to New York. In Rabat, Geneva, and Dublin, crowds swell against the injustice. This groundswell of global solidarity exposes elite warmongering. When human conscience stirs enmasse, real change becomes possible.
The drums of war thunder, but we can still silence them if we act as one. Through grassroots unity, we can overcome those who see only power and profit in this conflict. In this spirit, people can triumph where politicians and generals have failed. When ordinary voices unite, they can end the Middle East’s plunge into darkness.
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