London protest against war on Gaza. Photo: Nick Clare
London protest against war on Gaza. Photo: Nick Clare

Oscar Parry, South West London Socialist Party

The killing of seven aid workers including three British citizens, by the Israeli armed forces, has caused global outrage. Western capitalist governments are under massive working-class pressure to temper their support for Israel’s relentless siege of Gaza – which has left over 33,000 Palestinians dead, and thousands more missing in the rubble of the strip.

A man-made famine is being unleashed as Israel blocks aid into Gaza. Israel has been forced to reopen a key land crossing into Gaza, after a warning that future US support would depend on taking concrete action to protect civilians. There has been no threat from the US to stop exporting deadly arms to Israel.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu says he has set a date for a military offensive on Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering.

Already the Israeli state’s brutality has provoked mass protests, and further instability in the region. Such an escalation would further fuel both.

The British government continues to approve arms exports destined for use by the Israeli state on the Palestinians too. The demand ‘stop arming Israel’ is being raised by protesters. But there can be no trust in the Tories or Keir Starmer’s Labour to act to defend Palestinians.

Instead, the workers’ movement should take the lead. Civil servants threatening legal action, with support of their unions PCS and FDA, if they are asked to approve exports to be used ‘illegally’ in Gaza, is a positive development. But workers’ action, organised democratically by trade unions should be central.

The Socialist Party has been calling for the trade union movement to take the lead in the anti-war movement, mobilising its over 7 million members to attend the mass demonstrations, and encouraging discussions between trade union representatives in industries supplying the Israeli war effort about what action can be taken.

The working-class and poor masses, when organised, is the power that can stop the Israeli war machine. For the Palestinians, the way forward is through democratically organising a mass struggle – a socialist intifada – based on the interests of workers and the poor, independent of the rich elites. In Israel, last weekend saw the biggest protests since the war began – over 100,000 protesters demanding “elections now” and calling for Netanyahu’s resignation.

In Britain, we fight for a political channel for the huge anti-war sentiment, the building of a new mass workers’ party, based on the trade unions, that can give a political voice to the working class, the most powerful force in society.

Internationally, the Socialist Party and the Committee for a Workers’ International fight to build the working-class organisations capable of overthrowing this rotten capitalist system, to end the horror of war and national oppression for good.