Unions must call general strikes to support Gaza and end imperialist war drive

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ON MONDAY, Israeli warplanes bombed the Iranian consulate, which is situated next to the embassy building in the Syrian capital Damascus, killing seven Iranian military advisors including three senior members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Israel has mounted numerous attacks and air strikes on Syrian and Iranian military leaders in Lebanon and Syria way before the start of its genocidal war in Gaza, but what sets this latest strike apart is that the embassy and consulate under international law are regarded as Iranian territory.

This is the first time that Israel has launched an attack on Iranian territory, and marks a massive escalation in a war that the Zionist regime and its US backers are clearly preparing for throughout the Middle East.

Iran’s ambassador to Syria told reporters: ‘For the first time the Zionist regime dared to target an official building of the Islamic Republic’s embassy carrying Iran’s flag,’ adding that Iran’s response would be delivered ‘at the appropriate time and place’.

Emile Hokayem, senior fellow at the Institute for Strategic Studies, told the Financial Times yesterday: ‘Israel believes that Iran is effectively deterred, and is willing to risk a war in order to degrade significantly Iran and Hezbollah.’

He added: ‘This calculation will work until it will not, and then it will be catastrophic.’ Catastrophe is precisely what is being prepared for the region by US imperialism as it struggles to keep its domination over the region.

Faced with the fact that Israel’s claim to be all-powerful, with the military capacity to police the entire Middle East on behalf of its US masters, has been shattered by the Palestinian resistance. American imperialism is preparing the ground for an all-out war to rebuild its dominance over the oil-rich region.

It is no accident that the US ‘humanitarian’ gesture of building a floating port off Gaza’s coast, ostensibly to provide aid deliveries to the Strip, has been met with complete scepticism.

Taking months to build, and with very limited capacity for aid deliveries, this floating port is widely seen as the staging post for US military to enter the Gaza Strip despite all President Biden’s claims that there will be no US ‘boots on the ground’.

The airborne attack on Iranian territory was unquestionably sanctioned by the US government following a meeting in Washington between Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant and US defence secretary Lloyd Austin last week.

The drive towards an all-out war in the Middle East is a sign of the desperation gripping the imperialist powers over the failure of Israel to crush the Palestinians and their supporters throughout the region. They are also desperate over the massive support for Palestine amongst the working class and trade unions.

In February, seven US national trade unions and over 200 local labour unions announced the formation of a coalition demanding a ceasefire and an end to the genocidal war in Gaza. Called the ‘National Labour Network for a Ceasefire’ this coalition represents over nine million unionised workers – more than half the labour movement in the United States.

In December, the United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain, along with leaders of the US Postal Workers Union and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, called for the labour movement to take action to force a ceasefire in Gaza.

The organisation of US trade unions stands in marked contrast with the silence of the TUC in Britain.

Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of unions have, in the past, passed motions supporting the right of Palestinians to their own independent state, the TUC has done nothing to organise or even speak out against genocide in Gaza.

The time has come for the working class to come forward demanding the TUC ends its shameful silence and takes action by calling a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government.

Across the world the working class is the force with the power to end Zionist genocide and imperialist war by bringing down governments who support and arm Israel, and bringing in workers’ governments and socialism – workers’ governments that will provide all the aid and military support required by Palestinians to smash the occupation and go forward to the independent State of Palestine.