UNRWA Funding Cut: Imperial Sadism at Work

Solidarity National Committee

Posted February 12, 2024

WITH FAMINE LOOMING on top of massacre and destruction in Gaza, the cutoff of U.S. funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) stands out as an act of imperial sadism.

Since 1949 UNRWA has been the principal body mandated to provide essential aid and services for communities of Palestinians across the Middle East — from Jordan and the West Bank to Lebanon and Syria, and of course Gaza — expelled or who fled from their homeland in the 1947-48 Nakba (catastrophe) that birthed the state of Israel.

Of UNRWA’s roughly $1.6 billion annual budget, barely adequate in “normal” times and of course entirely unable to handle anything like the present emergency, roughly 20-25% is covered by U.S. government funding. Following allegations that 12 UNRWA employees were implicated in the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel (that is, one-tenth of one percent of the agency’s Gaza work force), the administration of “Genocide Joe” Biden suspended that funding with immediate effect, rapidly followed by Canada, Germany and several other Western governments.

Without rapid restoration, UNRWA states that it will have no money left by the end of February. In addition to the unspeakable hunger and destruction of medical services, housing and all essentials of life in Gaza, hundreds of thousands of families served by UNRWA across the region will face destitution. The Israeli government demands that the agency be permanently dismantled.

Completing the destruction of Palestine and obliterating the national aspirations of its people is the immediate strategic goal of the current Israeli governing coalition headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, with the support of the openly fascist Jewish Power and Religious Zionism forces — the most brutally racist and (probably) most corrupt in the country’s history. That’s what’s behind the unprecedented physical destruction and targeting of medical, educational and essential…

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At 30, the Zapatistas’ Future is in Question

Dan La Botz

Posted February 21, 2024

Last month the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, leaders of an armed rebellion in Chiapas on January 1, 1994, celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the uprising (40 years since the Zapatista’s founding in 1983). Those of us who are old enough remember the tremendous sense of surprise, wonder, and hope that the EZLN’s Chiapas Rebellion inspired. The poorest and most oppressed people of Mexico, the indigenous, had risen up in the name of Mexican patriotism to challenge the Mexican government…

Freedom for Boris Kagarlitsky! Solidarity is Stronger than Repression!

Suzi Weissman

Posted February 20, 2024

BORIS KAGARLITSKY*, RUSSIAN Marxist writer-activist, had an unexpected “appeal” trial on February 13, 2024. Prosecutors were seeking to overturn the results of his two-day trial in December 2023, when Kagarlitsky was released with a fine after serving 4.5 months in pre-trial detention in the Komi Republic,…

Alexi Navalny Killed in Prison

Russian Socialist Movement

Posted February 16, 2024

ALEXI NAVALNY WAS killed in prison. Federal penitentiary service reported the death of the politician but it is evident that he did not die by himself, he was killed by Vladimir Putin. Navalny’s anti-corruption investigations and campaigns helped to politicize millions of Russians and to inspire thousands of activists — many of whom did not share his political views but believed in the possibility of change in Russia….

The New U.S. Labor Movement

Dan La Botz

Posted February 10, 2024

The article below is based on notes I prepared for my part in the Marxism List Forum held on February 3, 2024, on the subject of “The New U.S. Labor Movement: An Update on the Resurgence of Labor in the United States,” where I spoke with Bill Fletcher, Jr., and Eric Blanc.

The video of the panel can be found here .

The labor movement in the United States is passing through a transition from the stagnation of the period from 1980-2010 to a new period of dynamic change in industrial…

Israel’s Genocidal War After Four Months

Gilbert Achcar

Posted February 6, 2024

Four months have elapsed since the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation and the start of the Zionist genocidal war that ensued. The situation has now surpassed the 1948 Nakba in terms of intensity of disaster as well as in terms of horror. Consider the facts presented by the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing in a remarkable article published by the New York Times on the 29th of January:…

Gaza: A Ghastly Window into the Crisis of Global Capitalism

William I. Robinson & Hoai-An Nguyen

Posted February 1, 2024

AS THE WORLD watches in horror over the mounting death toll of Palestinian civilians and Israel faces charges before the International Court of Justice for the Crime of Genocide, the carnage in Gaza gives us a ghastly window into the rapidly escalating crisis of global capitalism. Connecting the dots from the merciless Israeli destruction of Gaza to this global….

Never again is right now!

Folko Mueller

Posted January 31, 2024

Germany is currently witnessing a massive wave of demonstrations against the far-right party AfD in cities large and small all over the republic. The mass protests have been going on for a little over a week, with aggregate numbers most likely being north of 1.5 million participants. At least two demonstrations, in Hamburg and Munich respectively, were so large that they had to be aborted, since the police claimed they could no longer guarantee the safety of the participants. The organizers’ estimate…

The First US-Israeli Joint War

Gilbert Achcar

Posted January 24, 2024

THE ISRAELI MILITARY forces’ war on Gaza, following Hamas’s 7 October attack, is the first Israeli war in which Washington is a co-belligerent. The US openly supports the war’s proclaimed goal and is blocking calls for a ceasefire at the United Nations — all while providing arms and ammunition to Israel and acting to dissuade other regional actors from intervening in the conflict to help Hamas….

Sergei Lavrov: “Israel Pursues Objectives Similar to Those of Russia”!

Yorgos Mitralias

Posted January 22, 2024

THOSE WHO STILL have doubts about the existence of “similarities” between the wars waged by Mr. Putin and Mr. Netanyahu against Ukraine and the Palestinians, respectively, can now be reassured that their doubts have been finally and irrevocably dispelled: Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister and Mr. Putin’s right-hand man, categorically asserts to the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti,…

Impact of Israeli Genocidal War in Gaza on the Middle East

Joseph Daher

Posted January 17, 2024

THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION army is continuing more than 100 days after its outbreak to wage a genocidal war against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. This immediately followed the October 7th Hamas attack, which led to the death of 1,139 persons, including 695 Israeli civilians, 373 members of the security forces and 71 foreigners.*

The 2.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are living under a constant Israeli bombardment of unprecedented violence. By mid-January 2024, according to the…

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Pamphlets from Solidarity

THE “SOCIALISM-FROM- BELOW” tradition views the working class as the central agent of overthrowing a system based on the market and the exploitation, alienation and unequal society it perpetuates.
Steve Downs’ writings, first in Hell on Wheels (2008) and in Socialist Strategies in Unions, a working paper (2022), outline how a variety of socialists active in the NYC transit system over two decades worked to build a rank-and-file caucus with a class struggle perspective.
Unable to resolve how to be accountable once members won office, their project ultimately failed. The pamphlet and working paper offer rich lessons for today’s socialists. You can read and download the working paper, Socialist Strategies in Unions, here.
Socialism, What It Is, Why We Need It outline capitalism‘s exploitation of both workers and the environment and sketches an alternative. You can order copies of Hell on Wheels, the working paper Socialist Strategies in Unions, and Socialism, What It is, Why We Need It here.

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