Students Organize to Oppose U.S.-Israeli Aggression
April 20, 2004
On April 14, the Youth and Students for a Democratic Foreign Policy (YSDFP) held two public meetings to oppose U.S.-Israeli aggression.
For two weeks ahead of time, the YSDFP organized wide-ranging work to prepare for the meetings and politicize other students about the issue. Many students got involved in the work, talking to their peers, distributing literature, studying the history and current situation in Palestine, etc. Several teachers also supported the work. At the meetings themselves many members and friends of the YSDFP participated as well as other student activists, teachers and concerned people from the community. This broad campaign is part of the increasing initiative of the YSDFP to bring anti-war politics to the center of campus life.
At the meetings, Michael Thorburn, a member of the Workers Party, was invited to give the main talk. He made several extremely important and timely points.
Firstly, Michael Thorburn emphasized that right now the very survival of the Palestinian nation is at stake.
Shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. and Israeli governments announced that Palestine was another front in the so-called "war against terrorism" and in March of 2002, Israel invaded and occupied every Palestinian city and town. Since then thousands of Palestinians have been killed and tens of thousand injured. Israel has repeatedly blockaded towns, carried out mass detentions, destruction of houses, etc.
The Israeli aggression systematically seeks to destroy the very fabric of Palestinian society. It has targeted the political, economic and social infrastructures - assassinating political and religious leaders, destroying the buildings of the Palestine Authority, closing and bulldozing educational institutions, homes, agriculture lands and so forth.
Israel is building an apartheid wall across the West Bank which will confine the Palestinian people in isolated cantons, comprising only about 12% of their historic homeland, while the rest of the West Bank, including the illegal Israeli settlements will be de facto annexed to Israel. On April 14, George Bush gave the U.S. government's official support to this annexation.
The U.S.-Israel aggression aims not only at suppressing any resistance to occupation but at liquidating the Palestinian nation altogether - at killing and dispersing large sections of the people and leaving the rest encircled in prison-towns.
Michael Thorburn discussed, in some detail, the history of Palestine to show that the current state of Israel is an expansionist, settler-colonial regime sponsored by European imperialism, and today primarily U.S. imperialism. He showed how U.S. imperialism has built Israel as its fort in the Middle East, a dagger in the heart of the Arab world.
Michael Thorburn emphasized that the current struggle in Palestine must be seen in the context of U.S. imperialism's so-called "war on terrorism." While U.S. imperialism has occupied Iraq and is waging a savage war to subjugate the people there, it has declared that this is only the beginning of its plan to recolonize the Middle East and use its military might to create a unipolar world under its hegemony.
In this context, Bush has repeatedly declared that any opposition to U.S. domination will be crushed through military force. In Palestine, as elsewhere, the U.S.-Israeli aggressors rely on doublespeak logic to cover over their aggressive, genocidal wars as "self-defence" while branding any resistance to their domination as "terrorism." U.S. imperialism is seeking a "final solution" to the "Palestinian problem" -- seeking to stabilize its base area in the Middle East by liquidating the Palestinian resistance struggle.
But the Palestinian people will never give way. On the contrary. They are continuing to resist and fight for the salvation and liberation of their nation. This struggle has won the support of all progressive and democratic peoples and is a vital part of the struggle of the peoples against imperialism and the so-called "war on terrorism." Michael Thorburn emphasized that the American people must bring the issue of Palestine to the center of the ongoing struggles against the war in Iraq and build up a unified anti-imperialist movement which unites the many currents of opposition to war and imperialism into one, mighty, independent, proactive movement.
At both meetings, Michael Thorburn's speech was followed by lively and open discussions. Many people wanted to know more about the history and tactics of U.S. imperialism against the Palestinians and several participants contributed to this discussion. Others focussed on the historical and social causes of the conflict, emphasizing that contrary to imperialist propaganda, the problem had nothing to do with religion but was a product of European colonialism. Perhaps most importantly people talked about how to advance the struggle against U.S.-Israeli aggression and against the so-called "war on terrorism."