Venezuelanalysis stands with the people of Palestine
On October 14, socialist communards from El Panal Commune hoisted the Palestinian flags over several tower blocks in the 23 de Enero barrio of western Caracas. While Palestine may seem like a foreign issue in a distant land, the grassroots socialist movements see it very differently. Internationalism, solidarity and anti-imperialism have been core tenets of the Bolivarian Process since the very beginning.
Just two days earlier, hundreds of activists gathered in Caracas’ Plaza Bolívar to support Palestinians’ right to resist and condemn the latest genocidal attack on Gaza by US-backed Israeli occupation forces.
Whether in-person or online, there has been no shortage of solidarity initiatives from Venezuela. Chávez’s words from 2010 still echo very strongly as a shining example of principled internationalism at a time when all too many in power, especially among the Western left, fail to stand with Palestine. Rather than seek refuge in the platitudes of international law and UN resolutions, the Venezuelan revolutionary leader called out Israel as a terrorist state.
Venezuelans have not been alone. In all corners of the globe there have been demonstrations, small or massive. Even the major cities of the imperialist core saw large-scale marches, despite all sorts of efforts to ban or silence pro-Palestinian voices. This is not the time to be silent.
The present situation in Gaza is almost indescribable. More than three thousand killed, with hundreds of bodies still unrecovered. Israeli occupation forces have killed an average of 100 children a day for more than a week. Two million people locked in a cage and carpet bombed, on the verge of dying of dehydration, with no food allowed in and hospitals running out of fuel. We need not even look up definitions of genocide.
Our human reflex wants us to look away from such horrors, the bloodied bodies underneath the rubble, the wailing mother who lost her children in one of countless bombings. Yet we look and we feel, and we will bear witness so that these heinous acts can one day be brought to justice.
And when that proverbial day in court does take place, the record will show how Western officials and Western media outlets have played a key role in these atrocities.
From the moment the Palestinian resistance launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7, US and European leaders sprung into action to create a frenzied bloodlust in support of Israel. It was as if nothing had happened in the prior 75 years of settler colonialism, and the right to resist occupation by any means available was totally ignored.
Western officials gave the colonizers carte blanche to commit war crimes under the endlessly malleable “right to self-defense.” The same logic would have meant supporting Nazi Germany’s “right to defend itself” during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
The corporate media establishment has also played a key role in echoing and amplifying racist propaganda from the get-go, pulling all the stops to rationalize Israel’s daily massacres of hundreds of Palestinian men, women, and children.
Some of the techniques for manufacturing consent for mass murder have become very familiar to those who tackle the dishonest media coverage in countries targeted by US-led imperialism such as Venezuela. Examples include the over-representation of Israeli/Western points of view and attempts to downplay casualties by saying they come from “Hamas-run” health authorities. The implication is that “terrorists” might not be trustworthy when it comes to death counts.
Double standards also abound: Israelis get “killed” whereas Palestinians only “die;” Israelis are “solidarious with each other” while Palestinians “scramble in a race for individual survival;” or the aforementioned self-defense which somehow only applies to the settler-colonialists. There has also been a far-from-innocent lack of standards that has allowed stories such as the debunked “beheaded babies” to spread out in front pages before being retracted in footnotes.
The goal is clear: to endorse the white supremacist Israeli narrative that Palestinians are sub-human, or “human animals” as Israel’s Defence Minister Yaov Gallant perversely called them, and thus their tremendous suffering should be no cause for concern.
The Western media’s war propaganda capabilities were on full display following the horrific Israeli bombing of the al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital in Gaza City on October 17, the biggest war crime in a long list of war crimes by the occupation forces.
As details of the carnage emerged and condemnation swiftly ensued, the Israeli leadership scrambled to spin the narrative and pin the blame on someone else, Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Israeli spin doctors scrambled to dig up videos recorded an hour before the attack or even one year ago, with plenty of edited and deleted tweets along the way.
Several journalists immediately refuted this unconvincing narrative, and even some Western analysts pointed out that Palestinian weaponry could not have wreaked such destruction. But the effort to muddy the waters was more than enough for media outlets, who only repeat Israel’s claim that someone else was responsible with no effort whatsoever to scrutinize the claim. By the end of the day, the “strike” had become an “explosion” or a “blast,” as if it had been a gas leak. While official enemies are “guilty until proven innocent,” allies like Israel are just unconditionally innocent.
The latest onslaught against the modern-day concentration camp that is Gaza has laid bare a whole many things. It has exposed the genocidal brutality of the Israeli settler colony long adored by Western liberals as a civilized villa in the jungle. It has unmasked the active complicity of Western states, universities, and corporate media conglomerates. But it has also reminded those who struggle around the world that Palestine is a cause for us all. It is the cause for us all.