U.S. Postures as Defender of Civilians, Calling for “Restraint”. . .

While It Fully Backs, Arms and Funds Israel’s Escalating Genocide of Palestinians

January 2, 2024

Permalink: https://revcom.us/en/while-it-fully-backs-arms-and-funds-israels-escalating-genocide-palestinians

Fire and smoke arise from Israeli occupation of Jenin, West Bank, December 13, 2023.    Photo: AP

The nearly three-month slaughter in Gaza was already unbearable, but in these last two weeks Israel has expanded and intensified its barbaric, murderous war, taking it to a whole new, even more openly genocidal level.

Cities, towns, apartment buildings, refugee camps, hospitals, farmlands, even beaches and shorelines have all been bombed or bulldozed, often destroyed. Israel routinely used its most devastating 2,000-pound bombs in areas it’s claimed were safe.1

As a result, at least 21,672 people have been killed, including 8,800 children. More than 7,000 are missing, probably buried under rubble. Whole families have been wiped out. Over 56,000 have been injured, at least 8,600 of them children.2

Palestinian rescues a child wounded by an Israeli strike on central Gaza Strip, December 28, 2023.    Photo: AP

Half of Gazans—over a million people—are at risk of starvation because of Israel’s ongoing, U.S.-backed blockade of water, food, medicine and fuel. Nine out of ten report regularly going without food. Israel’s blockade and bombings have destroyed Gaza’s water system and crippled its medical system, leading to mass dehydration, the spread of contagious disease, and children having to suffer amputations—without anesthesia.3

Nearly 90 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been forced from their homes—told to evacuate south only to be bombed, shelled, or shot at as Israel’s war expands across Gaza, leaving them nowhere else to go.4

“We are all terrified,” one woman says, not knowing when and where the next bomb will fall. “We have nothing to keep us warm and dry,” said another woman. “We are living in conditions that I could have never in my entire life imagined were possible.”5

Biden and the U.S.: 
Publicly Counseling “Restraint” and “Protecting Civilians”—While Backing, Arming, and Running Interference for Israel’s War Crimes and Genocide

Israel claims it’s only targeting the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas and its fighters. This is a lie. They are waging a war of genocide6 against the entire Palestinian population. Israeli officials are increasingly open about this fact. (See “The Increasingly Open Push to Drive the Palestinians out of Gaza Altogether”). Despite mass starvation in Gaza, the IDF officer overseeing aid shipments into Gaza coldly claimed: “In terms of food, the reserves in Gaza Strip are sufficient for the near-term.” As contagious diseases spread across Gaza, an adviser to Israel’s Defense Minister writes, “Severe epidemics in the south of the Gaza Strip will bring victory closer.”7

This genocidal war is a horrific and extremely murderous leap in Israel’s 75-years of atrocities, military occupation, ethnic cleansing and war crimes against the Palestinian people. And it’s been given full backing by Biden and all the major ruling class figures in the U.S.—with major financial, political and military support. 

The sheer genocidal terror—being seen by the eyes of the world—is exposing the true nature of the U.S. and Biden as vicious war criminals, ripping off the façade of the U.S. as some “defender of human rights” to people all over the world, and in the U.S. Millions have protested the U.S.-backed Israeli slaughter of Palestinians—including people within the U.S. government’s institutions.

From the perspective of the larger U.S. interests—as “legit gangsters” seeking to control the world up against equally vicious rivals—this is causing real problems. So they publicly counsel Israel that too many civilians have been killed and that they should scale back their campaign. And they do have real differences with the rulers of Israel over how best to crush and oppress Palestinians.

For instance, during his recent trip to Israel, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin publicly stated protecting Palestinian civilians in Gaza was “both a moral duty and a strategic imperative” for Israel. And this image of the U.S. as a force restraining Israel is promoted by imperialist media outlets such as the New York Times, which recently ran a piece headlined Defying U.S. Pressure, Israel Deepens Gaza Assault (December 30).

But—also from the perspective of the “larger interests” of U.S. empire, these differences and “concerns for the Palestinian people” are secondary and utter hypocrisy. The “bottom line” is that the U.S. is fully and aggressively supporting Israel’s genocidal war and is drenched in Palestinian blood. Despite what, again, are real differences, the U.S. is stuck with and sticking by Israel. The Middle East is a strategic region for dominating the world. And Israel has played an essential role as an “outpost of stability” for U.S. interests in that region. Of all the American “allies,” Israel is the only country in that region where a significant percentage of the population do not hate America.

Despite his lip service about Palestinians, Lloyd Austin gave full-throated backing to Israel and its war: “America’s commitment to Israel is unwavering, and no individual, group or state should test our resolve. … we’ll continue to provide Israel with the equipment that you need to defend your country, Mr. Prime Minister [Netanyahu], including critical munitions, tactical vehicles and air defense systems.”8

As millions face starvation and disease in Gaza, the U.S. has blocked UN Security Council resolutions calling for a cease-fire in the conflict. It has refused to demand Israel lift its criminal blockade of food, water, medicine and fuel. 

In recent negotiations over delivering humanitarian aid, it even threatened a veto if language calling for another temporary “pause” in the fighting was included. As a result, the resolution that did pass the Security Council on December 22 (which the U.S. abstained from voting on, allowing it to pass) was basically a propaganda ploy: Since there was no pause in the fighting, it would be impossible for relief groups to deliver much needed food, water, medicine, fuel and other aid. “Right now, we cannot deploy humanitarian aid. It’s impossible,” said the medical coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Jerusalem. “People need to be able to get food and water without the fear of being bombed or killed or shot at any moment.”9

As the U.S. was blocking and preventing humanitarian aid from getting to the people of Gaza, it invoked an emergency provision in order to speed through $147.5 million in artillery shells and related equipment so that Israel’s genocidal assault wouldn’t be “paused.”10 (And the Biden administration and most of the U.S. ruling class is still working to pass a bill with billions more in military aid for Israel and for Ukraine.)11

Why Is the U.S. Backing Israel to the Hilt?

The revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has analyzed the real reason the U.S. backs Israel so unwaveringly:

Why is Biden, and basically the entire government and ruling class of the U.S., supporting Israel in carrying out genocide against the Palestinian people, before the whole world? This is not because of “the power of the Jewish lobby”—or because of some ignorant, ridiculous and outrageous notion that “Jews are controlling everything.” It is because Israel plays a “special role” as a heavily armed bastion of support for U.S. imperialism in a strategically important part of the world (the “Middle East”). And Israel has been a key force in the commission of atrocities which have helped to maintain the oppressive rule of U.S. imperialism in many other parts of the world.

This—maintaining and enforcing the murderously oppressive domination of U.S. imperialism—is the same motivation for why Biden is pushing to further escalate the proxy war the U.S. is waging against Russia in Ukraine, as well as further preparation for war with China, even at the cost of risking the very existence of humanity.

All this is basic truth about essential reality. And it sharply highlights once more the profound importance of my statement that We, the people of the world, can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to continue to dominate the world and determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible. And it is a scientific fact that we do not have to live this way.12

See also:

The Grave Danger of Full-on Genocide and the Urgent Need for Stepped-up Resistance and Revolution 

The genocidal U.S.-Israeli war on Gaza is a telling exposure of the criminality, illegitimacy and bankruptcy of U.S. capitalism-imperialism and the state of Israel. Think about the horrors we’ve seen over these past three months. What will the “months more” Netanyahu is threatening look like? 

And take seriously Bob Avakian’s warning that these imperialists are, right now, “risking the very existence of humanity” to maintain their empire of exploitation and oppression.

As we’ve written: “Netanyahu (aka Netan-Nazi) and Israel’s rulers are seizing on Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel—which included the war crimes of taking hostages and the murder of civilians—to attempt a “final solution” to the “Palestinian problem.” This means, at a minimum, reducing the Palestinians to such a state that they can no longer pose any obstacle to Israel’s objectives. Beyond that, it could mean mass expulsion and/or slaughter on a massive scale, beyond even what Israel is now carrying out.” (Emphasis added)

In this new year, the need to step up mass resistance against this genocidal war as part of preparing for revolution stands out with great urgency. 

If You Are Not Protesting, THIS Is What You Are Supporting

“We are living in conditions that I could have never in my entire life imagined were possible.” —Palestinian woman in Gaza

If you are not actively protesting and speaking out against Israel’s war in Gaza and against your own U.S. government for arming, funding and supporting it, here is what you ARE supporting:

You Are Supporting the Indiscriminate Bombing and Shelling of Civilians:  Israel claims it’s only targeting the reactionary Islamic group Hamas and its fighters. That’s a lie. It’s targeted cities, towns, hospitals, refugee camps, apartment buildings, farmlands, even beaches with bombs from above and tanks and bulldozers from the ground, striking more than 22,000 targets. In the first six weeks of the war, Israel routinely used its most devastating 2,000-pound bombs, including in 208 areas it had designated as safe for civilians. These bombs are capable of killing anyone within 3,000 feet! Read more

Palestinians flee to the southern Gaza Strip, November 10, 2023.    Photo: AP

The Increasingly Open Push to Drive the Palestinians out of Gaza Altogether

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that on December 25, Prime Minister Netanyahu (Netan-NAZI) held a meeting of his Likud Party to discuss plans to force the removal of the people living in Gaza out of Palestine entirely(!) and into other countries. At that meeting, Netanyahu stated, “Our problem is not allowing the exit, but a lack of countries that are ready to take Palestinians in.” And, “we are working on it. This is the direction we are going in.”

The meeting, and Netan-NAZI’s statement, came as Israel’s mass murder and destruction of Gaza’s homes, water, food, power, healthcare, roads, and other essential infrastructure has made survival of the Palestinian people in Gaza untenable. Those responsible for Israel’s horrific crimes against the people of Gaza are now working to create global public opinion that driving the Palestinian people out of Gaza is a “humanitarian” move!

In an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal (November 13), two powerful Israeli political leaders, Danny Danon, who served as ambassador to the U.N., and Ram Ben-Barak, who was deputy director of the Mossad (Israel’s version of the CIA and FBI) wrote:

“It is imperative that the international community explore potential solutions to help civilians caught in the crisis…. Global organizations with experience settling refugees should facilitate the relocation of Gaza residents who wish to move to countries willing to accept them. We simply need a handful of the world’s nations to share the responsibility of hosting Gazan residents.” 

And these genocidal mass murderers had the cynical, obscene gall to claim this was because “The international community has a moral imperative—and an opportunity—to demonstrate compassion, help the people of Gaza move toward a more prosperous future and work together to achieve greater peace and stability in the Middle East.”

Hard-core, openly genocidal fascist Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich welcomed Danon and Ben Barak’s plan, writing that “this is the humanitarian solution for the residents of Gaza and the entire region after 75 years of refugees, poverty, and danger.”

The Christmas meeting, and Netan-NAZI’s statements that “we are working on” driving the Palestinian people out of Gaza, and that “this is the direction we are going in,” came in response to demands from leading forces in his own Party to accelerate a genocidal “final solution” in Gaza.



1. A report by +972 Magazine found that the protocols that Israel uses to decide military targets consciously justify destroying whole buildings and killing children in order to kill even just one Hamas commander. They have a conscious strategy to deliberately attack civilian targets, like homes and schools, in order to exert, mass “civil pressure” on Hamas. According to one former intelligence officer, Israel’s military has turned into a “mass assassination factory,” with a “total disregard for Palestinian civil life.” [back]

2. Israel-Hamas War in Maps and Charts—Live Tracker, Al Jazeera, December 30 [back]

3. Half of Gazans Are at Risk of Starving, U.N. Warns, New York Times, January 1, 2024; Starvation as a Weapon of War: Human Rights Watch Denounces Israel for Denying Gaza Access to Food, Democracy Now!, December 19, 2023; “Absolutely Unimaginable”: Children in Gaza Face Amputations Without Anesthesia, Death & Disease, Democracy Now!, December 28, 2023. [back]

4. Nearly Two Million Crowd Into Gaza’s South as Fighting IntensifiesNew York Times, December 26, 2023. [back]

5. Israel Says It Is Intensifying Its Campaign Against Hamas, New York Times, December 24, 2023. [back]

6. The Genocide Convention adopted by the United Nations is 1948 defines genocide as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, including killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to them; and/or deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” [back]

7. U.S. abstains from UN Security Council vote calling for more humanitarian aid in Gaza, PBS Newshour, December 22; Israeli Soldier Dies from Fungal Infection in Gaza as Public Health Crisis Grows, Democracy Now!, December 27, 2023. [back]

8. In Tel Aviv, Pentagon Chief Calls U.S.-Israel Ties “Unshakable,” Pledges More Arms for Israel, Democracy Now!, December 19, 2023. [back]

9. Without a Truce, U.N. Resolution May Do Little for Gaza, Aid Groups Say, New York Times, December 23, 2023. [back]

10. The U.S. invoked this provision earlier this month to facilitate a government sale of about 13,000 rounds of tank ammunition to Israel. “The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the statement about this latest delivery said, adding: “It is incumbent on all countries to employ munitions consistent with international humanitarian law.” Maybe they should stamp this disclaimer on all the 2,000 pound genocide specials they’re providing Israel! [back]

11. Defying U.S. Pressure, Israel Deepens Gaza Assault, New York Times, December 30, 2023. [back]