The movement in the U.S. that has taken on the challenge of stopping the U.S.-backed Israeli genocide against Palestine has raised three big “NOs”:

No invasion of Rafah!

No U.S. arms to Israel!

No war on Iran!

Besides killing or wounding more than 100,000 Gaza inhabitants, half of them children, and pushing a million human beings to the edge of starvation, Israeli bombardments and assaults on the north and center of the Gaza Strip have already driven 1.5 million people to the region around Rafah in the south. 

Desperate to defeat the Palestinian Resistance and failing to do so, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet keeps announcing plans to invade Rafah. Such an invasion threatens expulsion if not extermination of Gaza’s population. It is textbook genocide.

Hundreds march to demand that Israel stop its military operations in Rafah. Pittsburgh, March 2, 2024.

Regarding the U.S. role, “Genocide Joe” Biden, with the enthusiastic cooperation of the Republican Party, has, as of April 20, pushed a $95 billion war bill through the House of Representatives. The bill, which the Senate passed on April 23, finances a drive toward World War III on three fronts: the U.S.-Israeli genocidal war aimed at Palestine, the U.S.-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, and preparation for a U.S.-led war in the Pacific against Peoples China and the Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea. 

This war bill includes $26 billion more for Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza and its active settlement policy in the West Bank aimed at removing Palestinian people from their land. It is direct evidence that, despite Biden’s feigned separation from the Netanyahu-led war regime in Israel, both the Republican and Democratic Party intend to continue supplying weapons for genocide.

There is no doubt the movement here will demand the U.S. stop the transfer of weapons to Israel. 

Push for wider regional war

On April 1, Israel killed 16 Iranians in a strike on Iran’s Damascus Consulate.  With this aggression, the Israeli war cabinet tried to expand the genocidal war on Gaza to a regional war. 

Rushing to support Israel, U.S. imperialism and other NATO and regional allies joined their weapons systems with Israel’s to shield Israeli targets from Iran’s justified April 13 response. Note: Iran targeted no civilian areas in Israel, no one was reported killed.

It is a credit to the movement in the U.S. in solidarity with Palestine that Israel’s attempt to expand the war only expanded the protests. Yes, the U.S. used a G7 meeting to impose more sanctions on Iran. But in the streets of the U.S., starting with the April 15 worldwide day of solidarity with Palestine, the movement showed increased determination to stop business as usual. 

Another slogan appeared at many of the demonstrations: No war on Iran! Good that it did, as the threat of a regional war remains — a war that could include sending U.S. troops to kill and be killed.

A ‘bipartisan’ war drive

The war bill is a symptom of what must be a deep crisis of the capitalist system — as happened in 2008. Only a looming crisis could explain the accelerated war drive seen in the U.S. and in imperialist allies in NATO and on the Pacific rim. Nearly all Democratic and Republican establishment politicians have joined the war-mongering. 

The Republican establishment politicians are congratulating themselves for voting for the war — as well as for squeezing even more reactionary concessions from Biden regarding border policing and placing Ukraine’s puppet regime into debt to the U.S. 

The Democratic establishment politicians are congratulating themselves and their Republican cronies for pushing through another war budget. They consider it a small price to sell out whatever rights migrants to the U.S. still possess. To the credit of the anti-genocide movement’s pressure, 37 Democrats voted against the funds for Israel. But all the Democrats voted to fund the war on Russia in Ukraine.

May the bipartisan warmongers soon find out this self-congratulation is misplaced. They have shown the world’s people, including people in the U.S., that the same group of war criminals in Washington back genocide in Gaza, a NATO-provoked proxy war in Ukraine and maneuvers in the Pacific that threaten war against China. 

None of these war moves helps workers and oppressed people in the United States, let alone in the rest of the world.

The bipartisan representatives have laid it out: The U.S. leads a rogue band of states whose ruling classes exploit and plunder most of the world, whose systems are in crisis and drive them toward war. These same ruling classes are all complicit in genocide, which both major U.S. capitalist parties have just voted to fund. 

A movement that aims to stop Israeli genocide must consider this whole imperialist system its enemy.

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