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Editorial: A simple demand whose time has come: halt arms sales to murderous Israel

ISRAEL is steadily drawing its imperialist sponsors — primarily Britain and the US — into a widening war.

The carnage in Gaza is continuing unabated. Israeli forces have destroyed the largest hospital in Gaza, apparently intent on denying the Palestinian people medical care as well as food in their genocidal campaign.

Just to make the point doubly clear, the IDF murdered seven aid workers from around the world trying to deliver food to the starving.

And to prove that the Israeli armed forces are up to multi-tasking, they apparently killed several senior Iranian officers in an attack on diplomatic premises in the Syrian capital Damascus on the same day.

Nor has there been any let-up in its bombardment of Lebanon or ethnic cleansing on the West Bank.

It is in that environment that leading Tory MP Alicia Kearns has privately acknowledged that the government is in receipt of legal advice explaining that Israel is in breach of international law.

The logic of that is that Britain should immediately suspend all arms sales to the Netanyahu regime. Yet Rishi Sunak prefers to argue that “Israel has both the intention and the ability to comply with international humanitarian law.”

The truth is that there is no act of brutality, no manifestation of contempt for international law or human decency which will lead US and British imperialism to willingly cut off military support for their Middle Eastern surrogate.

Israel’s role as a regional policeman able to divide, dominate and terrorise the Arab peoples is too important to imperialism’s global strategic position for that.

That is why London joins Washington in offering unequivocal backing to Israel in every forum, and seeks to block every expression of Palestinian interests above all.

However, this can be changed by mass pressure. The present Gaza crisis has left Israel increasingly isolated.

It has complicated imperialism’s other plans in the region, above all to build a unified bloc of reactionary regimes to confront Iran.

And from Yemen to Syria, support for Israel means support for aggressions that could easily draw other powers into armed conflict.

Nor can the imperialists ignore the uproar on their own streets. Week after week, hundreds of thousands turn out in London to demand a Gaza ceasefire and an end to the bipartisan backing Israel enjoys from the political elite.

They are being reviled and rejected by their own voters for the sake of backing a rogue regime in the Middle East that increasingly appears out of control.

The answer to the conundrum for Biden and Sunak appears to be to try to force Benjamin Netanyahu out of office.

Few would shed any tears for the corrupt and belligerent Israeli Prime Minister were he to be sent packing. But his departure on its own would mean little.

Progress for the Palestinian people and peace in the wider Middle East demands breaking the power of imperialism across the region, which must include ending Israel’s capacity to act as the watchdog of Western interests.

People of all nationalities and faiths can only flourish together if they cease being pawns in great power games.

There is no enduring solution to the present crisis compatible with continuing military, political and diplomatic support for Israel from Anglo-US imperialism.

That is why the mass movement of solidarity with Gaza necessarily has an anti-imperialist character. It aims to break our leaders’ complicity in genocide and to end their policy of relentless aggression in the Middle East.

The priority demand, given still more force by the murder of the aid workers, is to halt all British arms sales to the regime authoring such atrocities.

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