Join the students: No cooperation with genocide in Gaza! Free Palestine!

Britain’s students are leading the way. The rest of the working class is duty bound to follow their lead.

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Students at Oxford and Cambridge universities have established protest sites on campus. These two most elite of academic establishments in Britain join the growing list of institutions affected by a flood of student protest, which is calling for an end to British complicity in the genocide in Gaza.

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As workers and students around the world watch with horror the ongoing genocide being perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the zionist state of Israel, we in Britain cannot help but be aware of the central role being played by the British state.

Britain’s culpability

Not only does our government give diplomatic and propaganda cover to Israel, but it is also arming and supporting the Israeli armed forces in a multitude of ways, including providing them with direct intelligence and logistics support. It does so because the profits of Britain’s oil, arms and banking monopolies are intimately bound up with continued imperialist domination of the middle east and its energy resources.

Those who study history will be aware of Britain’s particular responsibility in orchestrating the 100+ years of suffering and injustice endured by the people of Palestine and the wider middle east. More than a century ago, British imperialism wanted to create an armed outpost to maintain control over the region’s resources, in particular its oil. For this reason, it sponsored, created and guided the development of zionism – a racist, supremacist ideology – as a tool for creating an armed settler-colonial outpost in Palestine.

The persecution and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians began in earnest with the founding of the zionist state. Palestinians were massacred or forced from their homes during the deadly assault known as the Nakba, and have suffered continual attacks and land theft ever since.

Refugees who had already spent seven and a half decades penned into a shrinking territory around the city of Gaza have been under a brutal siege since 2007, which effectively turned the Gaza Strip into the world’s largest concentration camp. Peaceful protest has routinely been met with brutal violence by occupying forces.

The right to resist

What no western mainstream politician or journalist will ever admit is that all the rights of the case are on the Palestinian side.

Palestinian refugees have the right to return to their homes. Their right to resist the illegal occupation is enshrined in international law, as is their right to resist the accompanying crimes of apartheid and genocide. The United Nations has many times passed resolutions emphasising these points of law. It has also endorsed the right of Palestinians to fight to end their occupation by any means, including by armed force.

And yet we find that the British government and media have given their unconditional blessing and support for seven long months as the Israeli zionist regime has massacred over 35,000 civilians, 75 percent of whom were women and children, and almost all of whom were civilian non-combatants. Over 80,000 more Palestinians have been injured. It is not known how many more dead lie beneath the rubble of the hundreds of thousands of homes that have been demolished.

Every shred of infrastructure, of Palestinian culture and heritage in the Gaza Strip has been targeted for obliteration. Despite a ruling by the International Court of Justice that there is good reason to believe Israel is committing genocide and orders that this should stop, Israel remains defiant, clearly believing that with the USA (and Britain) at its back, it will continue to be able to commit its horrific crimes with impunity.

Our duty to act

So in the face of these monstrous and inhuman actions, and particularly when faced with fact of the military, logistical, media, political and diplomatic support being given by the US and British governments, without which this obscene slaughter could not continue for even one more hour, what should ordinary people in Britain be doing?

We believe that British workers and students have a duty to act both as fellow human beings responsible under international law for the prevention of genocide, and as workers in countries whose governments’ active participation is making us complicit.

The truth is that just as Israel could not continue its crimes for one day without the cooperation and support of the western imperialist nations, so the rulers of western nations could not continue their complicity for one day without the active participation of their own working people in every aspect of the war machine.

Breaking academic links

Students and academics have a particular role in the development of the technologies of oppression and mass murder. That is why increasing numbers are now demanding:

  • An end to research cooperation and financial links with US, British and Israeli arms companies that participate in the Gaza genocide and aid the Israeli state.
  • An end to all investment by British universities in Israeli companies, especially the arms and tech companies that are central to the genocide.
  • An end to academic links with Israeli institutions and zionist intellectuals – no normalisation of the genocide regime.

Stopping the war machine

The savagery and brutality of Israel in Gaza has revealed the true face of the imperialist system to the world. This is not the imperialists’ first genocide, but it is the first one that the world’s people have watched being perpetrated in real time via social media.

The brutal crackdown by the US government on peaceful student protest shows that the imperialists are feeling themselves to be under pressure, Even the threat to ban TikTok in the USA is a response to this pressure, as our rulers feel the narrative slipping ever further from their grasp.

Every small concession made so far by Israel’s backers and their regional proxies in the direction of withholding arms and supplies is a sign that popular pressure is having an effect, but we must do more.

Brave students have picked up the banner of class struggle and international solidarity, but they do not have the strength to complete this mission alone. Workers must give them every possible support and solidarity so that the government does not feel able to crush their protests with brute force, and our media does not feel able to isolate them through silence.

More than that, workers must organise a nationwide movement not only in academia but in every sector of the economy. Britain’s students are giving a lead to the rest of society in showing how the war machine can be stopped in its tracks. Now the rest of the working class is duty bound to follow their lead!

By organising ourselves in our workplaces to block every aspect of the war machine, we can and must force our own ruling class to stop arming, assisting and funding this genocide.

Mass campaign needed to stop the war machine now

  • We need a mass campaign of resistance to every activity that supports the genocide in Gaza in any way, directly or indirectly.
  • Our unions and antiwar organisations must launch such a campaign and give every possible support to every individual or group that is victimised for taking a principled stand against genocide.
  • We must refuse to make or move any supplies that are bound for Israel.
  • We must actively block all such shipments that are known to be on British roads and rails or in British ports.
  • We must refuse to put Israeli products or zionist-promoting newspapers and magazines on the shelves of British shops.
  • We must demand that all our academic and research institutions break their economic and other ties with zionist Israel, and its war machine in particular.
  • We must refuse to write, print or assist in the broadcast of information that justifies or whitewashes zionist crimes or reinforces fake zionist narratives, remembering that journalism which justifies aggressive war crimes was classified at the Nuremburg tribunals as a war crime in itself.
  • We must force the British government to break diplomatic ties with Israel – there must be no normalisation of genocide.
  • The power is in our hands to end these terrible crimes. We must organise and use it!