World In View: Gaza March of Return challenges Israel

May 9, 2018

From the May-June 2018 issue of News & Letters

As the state of Israel celebrates its 70th year of existence, it has been forced to confront what it has become by the Palestinian March of Return. The response of Israeli army snipers firing at unarmed Gaza civilians, including women, children, and clearly marked journalists, is fascism.

So far dozens have been killed and thousands wounded by Israeli fire.

Organized by Palestinian civilians, with women playing an important role, the March of Return, begun March 30, is a planned six weeks of peaceful demonstrations at the border wall culminating May 15. That day marks both the founding of Israel and the commemoration of Nakba Day, the start of Palestinian exile.

While all Palestinian factions endorsed the March, it is a Palestinian national event—reaching toward a new politics that would transcend the failures both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

In that the March of Return partakes of the spirit of Arab Spring. It is no accident that colorful costumes and the international solidarity of Free Syria flags appeared as the March began.

The fascist Israeli response is underwritten by U.S. President Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This was designed to place himself at the head of world reaction with Israel as a pretext and vassal. Friendly relations between Europe’s fascists and Israel’s illegal settlers helped to convince him such an insane plan was feasible.

So this is where Israel finds itself after 70 years.

—Gerry Emmett



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