04.04.2024 Author: Viktor Mikhin

Israel and the U.S. vs. the Palestinians of Gaza

Israel and the U.S. vs. the Palestinians of Gaza

Tasnim News Agency (Iran) reported that some 5,000 US troops have been involved in the ground operation since Israel invaded Gaza, causing death and destruction at every turn. The news agency also reported that the US military command has virtually taken control of the situation in the Israeli army, as the military has suffered a crushing defeat in Operation Al-Aqsa Storm and Israeli leaders have lost confidence in the leadership abilities and loyalty of a number of soldiers.

Israeli and US criminal actions in the Gaza Strip

Israel put the same plan into practice in 2014, which ended in failure. Each time the Israeli military has launched a ground invasion of Gaza in the past, its officials have claimed that the main operation has not yet begun, describing the latest attack as limited in scope or a continuation of a previous operation. Netanyahu, who has lost his sense of reality and humanity, is now pursuing a policy of genocide against the Palestinians and their complete expulsion from the Gaza Strip. At the same time, Tel Aviv has skilfully and professionally planned a false propaganda campaign to whitewash the crimes committed by the military in Gaza against the civilian population. In this way, the Israelis are trying to cover up the failure of the ground invasion of Gaza and to convince the world community that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) has only been fighting Hamas for more than five months. And if civilians are dying, that is just a “side issue” according to Israeli propagandists. Now is the time for the Israeli military to destroy the town of Rafah on the border with Egypt, where more than a million people have been displaced.

American-Israeli citizens and American military personnel are also involved in these crimes. It must be said that reports of the large number of American citizens who have died while fighting for the Israeli regime in its bloodbath against the Palestinians of Gaza have sparked fierce controversy in American society. The IDF officially claims that more than 23,000 American citizens are currently serving in its ranks. The Washington Post also reports that thousands of American and American-Israeli soldiers are fighting in Tel Aviv’s bitter war in Gaza, where numerous crimes are being committed against Palestinian civilians.

The Washington Post highlights that while US citizens make up less than 2 per cent of the total Israeli settler population, Americans account for about 10 per cent of all Israeli military deaths since the beginning of the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. The casualty figures are believed to be based on data from the US embassy in occupied Jerusalem and information released by the Israeli military. Tel Aviv is often accused of downplaying its losses in the Gaza Strip to avoid any loss of “morale,” meaning that the actual number of US military deaths in the Strip could have been much higher. The number of U.S. military personnel injured in the Gaza Strip has not been reported and remains unknown. At the same time, according to reports published by the Israeli media, tens of thousands of soldiers have been injured since the ground invasion by the Netanyahu regime’s armed forces.

America’s political support for the Israeli regime and its involvement in the war against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have long been on the radar of both American and world public opinion. Washington’s military support for the Israeli regime, in the form of arms shipments, the deployment of aircraft carriers in the region (to protect the Tel Aviv regime from the opening of other fronts) or American drone flights over Gaza (presumably for surveillance purposes), is also well documented and constantly discussed in the world media. As a result, the US is accused of direct complicity in Israeli war crimes against Palestinian civilians.

However, the issue of US soldiers fighting in Gaza is officially shrouded in a very high level of secrecy on the part of the White House, which regularly talks about the six “American hostages” held in Gaza. But somehow there is never any mention of “American soldiers” fighting and committing crimes against Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Washington Post correspondents have spoken to the families of American soldiers who have died fighting on the side of the Israeli regime. Other news outlets have also confirmed reports of American soldiers killed in Gaza.

Many bloggers and ordinary readers on social media are demanding that Americans (civilian or military) involved in the Gaza war be brought to justice.

James Zogby, a Lebanese-born American scholar, raises the question of whether there are any restrictions on the participation of American citizens in the Israeli army’s war crimes in Gaza. In a social media post, James Zogby states that many Israeli residents with American citizenship commit crimes against Palestinians. One US citizen interviewed by The Washington Post noted that it is becoming more apparent by the day why former US Air Force pilot Aaron Bushnell committed an act of self-immolation chanting “Free Palestine” outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. US media reports citing a friend of Bushnell’s indicated that he had confidential information about the presence of US troops in Gaza who were involved in the massacre of Palestinians. Another Bushnell friend said: “He died to shed light on the horrors of the Gaza genocide and the complicity we (Americans) share as soldiers.”

It is well known that the US plays a very influential role in Israel’s bloodbath in Gaza, which has so far killed and injured at least 100,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children. There is also debate in the US press that active American support for the Israeli regime, including US military involvement in Gaza, has allowed the Netanyahu regime to kill, maim and starve Palestinians with impunity.

Protests against Netanyahu’s policies in the US and Israel

After more than five months of ruthless Israeli air and ground attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, which have also led to mass starvation and massacres of record numbers of civilians killed and displaced in the devastated enclave, the military has failed to achieve any of the Netanyahu government’s stated goals. Such carnage, unprecedented in human history, is sparking protests both in the US and in Israel itself.

US Senate leader Chuck Schumer, for example, believes that “Netanyahu’s coalition no longer meets Israel’s needs after October 7”. In an indirect reference to Netanyahu’s strict censorship of the Israeli media’s coverage of the genocidal war in Gaza, where the regime’s forces have suffered significant casualties, Schumer said: “The Israeli people are being strangled right now by a governing concept that is stuck in the past.” That’s why protests against Netanyahu are growing in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.

Despite his criticism of the current Israeli leadership, Schumer insists on sending more American weapons to Tel Aviv. He has no moral qualms about Israel’s brutal occupation or the unprecedented death toll of Palestinian children in Gaza, but his grievances against the Netanyahu regime are more personal. The leader of the US Senate has shown strong support for the Israeli regime since 7 October, but clearly believes that the Israeli prime minister and his cabinet are a distraction to Washington’s interests.

This is evident in Schumer’s remarks when he points out that “Netanyahu has lost his way by putting his political survival ahead of Israel’s interests. He has formed a coalition with far-right extremists … that is driving support for Israel worldwide to an all-time low. Israel will not survive if it becomes a pariah.

Schumer went on to call for new elections in Israel. Israel’s next general election is expected to take place in 2026, but few believe it will take that long, and experts say voters will soon be heading to the ballot box for the hundredth time.

A spokesman for Netanyahu’s office declined to comment, but his Likud party said the regime was not “a banana republic” This despite massive political instability in Israeli society amid widespread public, political and military dissent, and Tel Aviv’s heavy reliance on Washington for its survival. Schumer alluded to this in his speech when he suggested that the U.S. might make some aspects of American support for the Israeli occupation contingent on the Netanyahu government changing its policies. “If Prime Minister Netanyahu’s current coalition remains in power after the war begins to wind down, and continues to pursue dangerous and inflammatory policies that test existing U.S. aid standards, then the United States will have no choice but to play a more active role in shaping Israeli policy by using our leverage to change the current course.”

The reality is that Israel’s dependence on U.S. support for arms and diplomatic cover is so great that Washington has very easy leverage to force the Israeli military to end the genocidal war in Gaza if the U.S. wanted to do so. But the White House has not done so by facilitating genocide in Gaza.

Amid growing levels of polarisation in Israeli society, former Israeli military deputy chief of staff Yair Golan, who also served in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) until 2022, called on what he called “democratic forces in Israel to take to the streets and overthrow the worst government in our history.”

Golan, who announced last month that he would run in Israeli Labor Party primary elections in May to potentially challenge Netanyahu, wrote in a social media post, “The Israeli government and its leaders are leading us to political isolation, an unprecedented breakdown in relations with our strategic ally and a complete failure in war.”

There is a growing protest movement in the country, which was temporarily suspended after 7 October but has now resumed and is spreading across Israeli cities, demanding Netanyahu’s resignation. It is enough to read the Israeli press and watch TV to realise that every day support for Netanyahu and his course among the population is melting like March snow. Big changes are coming not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in Israel itself.


Victor MIKHIN, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, especially for online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

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