The United States is sending Israel military advisers who led massacres in Iraq. The intention is to pass on Western imperialism’s experience of urban warfare and how to destroy opponents.
One of the officers leading the assistance is Marine Corps Lt Gen James Glynn. He played a top role in the battles in the city of Fallujah.
In November 2004 the US dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the city killing Iraqi fighters and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.
The US government at first formally denied reports of its war crime. But a year later indisputable evidence emerged.
A former US soldier who fought at Fallujah said in a documentary, “I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah.
“Phosphorus burns bodies, it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone. “I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for.”
Dozens of photographs showed bodies of Fallujah residents, some still in their beds. Their clothes remained largely intact but whose skin had been dissolved or burned by white phosphorus shells.
A reporter with California’s North County Times, embedded with the marines during the offensive, also reported soldiers firing into buildings a mixture of white phosphorus and high explosives disgustingly known as “shake’n’bake”.
But for all its killing and cruelty, the US forces faced huge losses. Israel fears it may face a similar fate when it goes fully into Gaza.
The Second Battle of Fallujah was the heaviest urban combat that the US had been involved in since the Battle of Hue in 1968 during the Vietnam War. Without irony, the US said it was despatching Glynn “to advise Israel on how to mitigate civilian casualties in Gaza”.
Half an hour to leave your home or be killed—Nakba2. A typical, and far from unusual example, of how Israel carries out ethnic cleansing and murder came in its raids on the densely populated al-Zahra Towers in northern Gaza.
On Thursday last week, residents of the 25 apartment buildings received Israeli warning messages on their mobile phones. This was followed ten minutes later by a small drone strike. After another 20 minutes, F-16 warplanes brought the buildings down in huge explosions and clouds of dust.
“Everything I ever dreamt of and thought that I have achieved was gone. “In that apartment was my dream, my memories with my children, and my wife, was the smell of safety and love,” Ali, a resident of the district, told Reuters news agency.
Mustafa Darwish, who lived in the towers said, “The city of al-Zahra became debris. Where is the international community? What can I say, I cannot express myself.”
When Israel drove out the Palestinians in 1948—the Nakba—it covered-up most of its terror. Now with Nakba2 it is doing it in plain sight—and its Western allies refuse to condemn its war crimes.
The blockade will mean babies die The United Nations says the lives of at least 120 newborn babies in incubators in Gaza’s hospitals are at risk as fuel runs out because of the Israeli blockade.
“We have currently 120 neonates who are in incubators, out of which we have 70 neonates with mechanical ventilation, and we are extremely concerned,” Unicef spokesperson Jonathan Crick said last week.
The “aid convoys” that Israel allows into Gaza are a sham. Last Saturday and Sunday, a total of 34 trucks were able to enter Gaza with life-saving supplies. This is equivalent to 4 percent of the daily average volume of commodities entering Gaza prior to the latest blockade.
Aid deliveries entering Gaza have not included fuel. No fuel means no functioning water desalination. It also means no bakeries, and no functioning hospitals.
“The north didn’t receive anything” from incoming aid, Mahmoud Shalabi, an aid worker, told the Associated Press. “It’s like a death sentence for the people in the north of Gaza,” he said.
The right are incensed by our demonstrations
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman are calling for a crackdown on Palestine protests. Sunak said demonstrators are “a threat to our democratic values”.
Braverman challenged the Met Police commissioner Mark Rowley in a meeting on Monday. That came after the Tories and much of the media demanded action over chanting on last Saturday’s demonstration in London.
Mail on Sunday commentator Dan Hodges tweeted, “There should be no further demos allowed for the foreseeable future.” This pressure for arrests is a deflection from this Tory government as protests call out Sunak’s defence of Israeli war crimes.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said he was “surprised” at the Met’s decision not to make mass arrests and suggested they should have used the “full force of the law”.
The Met had pointed out that jihad has “a number of meanings”. But the government’s problem is that it knows any attempt to interfere with the demos would cause a massive backlash that the police could not contain.
Braverman’s earlier claims that chants such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” might be outlawed have been ignored. Protesters’ best way to protect their rights is to turn out in ever greater numbers.
Meanwhile Transport for London bosses have suspended a tube driver from work for joining in with pro‑Palestinian chants on a train. The driver said, “Free, free” over the speaker system as passengers on their way to last weekend’s demo responded “Palestine”. The unions must fully defend the driver—with action.
Campuses erupt for Palestine
Students are protesting for Palestine at campuses across Britain. Now the demonstrations need to be even bigger and more militant. Around 1,000 students in Glasgow marched and blocked roads last week. Olive, a member of the Socialist Worker Student Society in the city, said, “As we marched, people just kept joining. “I looked back and was surprised to see the demonstration went all the way around the corner.
“We didn’t contact the university for permission. We just took action.” Olive added, “Students from other societies approached us after the protest and asked to collaborate. “We plan to have another protest and occupy a university building if Israel launches a ground invasion of Gaza.”
There were also 500 on a protest in Leicester, 500 in Edinburgh, 200 in Bristol, 150 at Queen Mary in London, 100 in Manchester, 70 in Portsmouth and 50 in Newcastle.
The police arrested Benji, a student activist on a demonstration in Edinburgh on Friday. They held him for several hours. He told Socialist Worker that the protesters had blocked roads and “it felt at that moment that the streets were ours.” Some students smeared fake blood on a university building.
“The university is complicit with Israeli apartheid and we wanted to do something to shame university bosses,” said Benji.
“By the time I got out of the police station, there were 600 people there outside, standing up to the establishment and calling for freedom for Palestine.” More student protests were planned this week.