We have received this interesting comment from a Marxist in Israel, who looks at the logic behind the Israeli attack on Gaza, how it is being used for domestic political interests in Israel, the chauvinism whipped up by the mainstream media, but also the voices of protest from within Israel, which although relatively small at this stage can grow later. He also looks at the role of Hamas and its inability to solve any of the problems facing the Palestinian masses.

Two years after the Israeli ‘Defence’ Forces indiscriminately slaughtered over a thousand Lebanese civilians in the quaintly-titled Operation Just Reward, Israel has turned its attention to Gaza, in the form of Operation Cast Lead. Stripped of its innocuous-sounding name, this operation becomes a lot less palatable: according to Palestinian medical sources, nearly 300 Palestinians have been killed, including numerous women and children. Israel’s targets have included police stations (which are unsurprisingly situated in densely-populated areas), the headquarters of a Hamas-owned satellite television channel, and the Islamic University, Gaza’s only higher education institution.

The recent municipal elections in Tel Aviv, although won by the right wing, produced a massive swing to the Israeli Communist Party (ICP), which gained 35% of the vote. Jewish and Arab workers, Jewish and Arab youth, voted massively for the ICP. In the commercial, industrial and financial centre of Israel, in the biggest city in the country a radical left mood is brewing among the workers and youth.

Three years have passed since Israel's disengagement from Gaza. This article draws a critical  balance sheet of these events and  explains why the Israeli left and many others internationally were so wrong in regarding Sharon's decision as a step towards peace in the region. The choice to pull-out from Gaza, on the contrary, served the strategic interests of the Israeli ruling class.

Hamas has reached an agreement whereby they will cease rocket attacks across the border from Gaza and Israel will lift the economic blockade. Hamas however, must now police Gaza for the Israeli state, making sure no one carries out attacks. The Hamas leaders are going down the same road as the PLO leaders before them.

Israel has recently renewed "peace" talks with Syria. The problem is that on the crucial question of the return of the Golan Heights to Syria, Israel cannot afford to grant this demand and Asad cannot sign an agreement without such a concession. That explains the lack of enthusiasm of the Israeli masses.

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