When Israeli planes and artillery were bombarding the people of Gaza this summer, the ratio of death and destruction was so skewed against the Palestinians that many people sympathetic to their cause around the world must have wondered how the Gazans’ indomitable resistance could produce tangible results against such a formidable military power.
Well, it has. Their enormous sacrifices were not in vain. Not at all.
Israel is in trouble, as more and more facts show. The racist settler state is losing people and talent, even though the U.S. has pumped up not only its armed might but its economy for decades, viewing Israel as though it were an unsinkable aircraft carrier protecting the Middle East interests of imperialist oil companies and their banker allies.
Part of its problem comes from the isolation that Israelis now feel in the world, as people on every continent were outraged by the inhumanity of Israel’s relentless destruction of homes, schools, hospitals, water facilities and children by a military that boasted of its ability to “pinpoint” its targets.
But the Israeli ruling class is also feeling the economic consequences of trying to sustain a hated settler state. It is not viable because it must spend huge sums to impose its domination on the Palestinian people, whose ancestors have lived there since long before the idea of the Zionist project was even conceived.
The exodus of middle-class Jews from Israel in search of a better life recently drew the attention of the New York Times, which has always been rabidly pro-Israel. It noted that many thousands of Israelis with skills have moved to Germany seeking higher wages and lower prices. (Oct. 16) Some young people have also left to avoid compulsory military service.
Israel’s economic growth rate has plunged from a high in 2007 of more than 6 percent to just above 1 percent toward the end of the recent war. (The Economist, Aug. 30) Reflecting this dim prognosis, the Bank of Israel on Aug. 25 cut its main interest rate to 0.25 percent, a historic low.
Of course Israel is also feeling the squeeze of a global capitalist economy in the doldrums. That not only affects Israel directly, but also makes the big, rich imperialist countries that have bankrolled it reluctant to hand over limitless amounts of money, pressed as they are by economic turmoil at home and around the world.
Perhaps as a reflection of this, the British Parliament on Oct. 13 broke ranks with the other Western imperialist governments and voted to recognize a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
The struggle of all Palestinians for the right to live in their homeland and determine their own destiny is far from over. But Palestinians and their supporters around the world are optimistic that there is light at the end of the many tunnels dug in Gaza to break out of Tel Aviv’s imprisonment of the people and the land.