By Taylor Jensen
The ceasefire between the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian militants of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, in place since May 21, has not stopped ongoing protests and resistance against Zionist colonialism, whether in Palestine, the US, or around the world. Thousands of people have rallied and marched this past week in solidarity with the Palestinian people as the imperialists seek to sweep the recent conflict under the rug and continue their routine support for Israeli occupation.
In Houston last Sunday, nearly 15,000 people came out to protest, and hundreds assembled at the Texas Capitol in Austin to continue protesting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. Protests also occurred in Charlotte, Oxnard, New York City, Washington DC, and Detroit. On Thursday activists in Chicago protested at the headquarters of the weapons manufacturer Boeing for its role in producing and supplying Israel with the weapons to wage war on the Palestinians.
Last Saturday in Austin, protesters moved into the streets in defiance of the Department of Public Safety officers who sought to prevent the crowd from marching.
A speaker from the Palestine Solidarity Committee based at the University of Texas at Austin stated, “The shift of attention to Gaza’s ceasefire is being used to force a sense of complacency and to make us forget, but we will not forget the people of Gaza, Sheikh Jerrah, the defenders of Al Aqsa, and the martyrs.” Another speaker, from Popular Women’s Movement, said, “The Zionist occupation is a cog in the United States’s imperialist machine.”
In Oxnard, protesters marched to city hall and the office of State Assemblywoman Jaqui Irwins, linking the state government’s repression of the people of their area to the imperialist system. “Palestinian liberation goes hand in hand with the downfall of US imperialism and imperialism around the world,” said an activist with Oxnard Revolutionary Study Group.
Protesters in Jakarta, Indonesia denounced US military support for Israel outside the US embassy. In France, thousands marched across several cities, and some still rallied in Paris despite the heavy repression faced by a banned march the week prior. Other countries with notable protests included Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Somalia, and Libya.
Last Saturday, London saw one of the largest pro-Palestinian protests in history, with an estimated 200,000 people. Some demonstrators burned the Israeli flag, painted walls with pro-Palestinian graffiti, and threw projectiles at police.
The Israeli occupation of Palestine is linked with the development of imperialism in the modern era. During World War I, the British carved out Palestine from its recently conquered holdings in the Middle East and promised it to a growing group of Zionist Jewish settlers, paving the way for the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land today. The most recent conflict was sparked by the forced removal of Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jerrah and the storming of IDF troops of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem just before the Muslim holiday of Eid.
US imperialism fiercely upholds Israel’s occupation of Palestine. During this recent conflict, even as Biden praised Israel’s so-called ‘diplomacy,’ Congress approved a $735 million arms deal with Israel. As this was occurring, the US envoy to the United Nations Security Council used its veto power to stop a resolution drafted calling for a ceasefire in Palestine. While the UN’s purpose is inherently to serve imperialism, it is notable that the US has used its veto power 43 times to stop discussions on Israel, invoking the power more times than any other member of the council. The UN, a supposedly ‘multilateral’ organization, principally serves the will of the imperialists that control it, particularly the US, the world’s sole hegemonic superpower.
The people of the world will continue to demonstrate their opposition to US imperialism and its support for Israeli colonialism. Palestinians’ freedom will not be granted by any imperialist or colonial state which enforces their oppression and exploitation, but will only come through the armed struggle of Palestinians themselves.
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