Hayamuddin and Aghe Bagasatriya – Early on Saturday, October 7, a surprise attack was launched by resistance groups based in the Gaza Strip. For 16 years Gaza has been closed off by an Israeli air, sea and land blockade, and by all these means the resistance groups penetrated Israel: By air using paragliders, by sea in boats and also by land by breaking through the border wall.
Through this attack named operation "Al-Aqsa Flood", for the first time in the history of the Palestine-Israeli conflict, they managed to occupy nearby Israeli settlements.
The escalation of the Palestinian people's resistance on October 7 was in response to unrelenting attacks by Israeli: the attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its congregation, the murder of at least 200 Palestinian people in the West Bank, Israeli attacks on Gaza that killed 33 Palestinians in May and the attack on the Jenin Refugee Camp in early July killing 12 people and causing thousands of others to lose their homes due to the destruction of the refugee camp infrastructure.
The success of the Palestinian people's resistance fighters in their attack on Israeli posts was absolutely stunning. Not just beyond the imagination of the Israeli people, but also the Palestinian and Arab peoples who flocked into the streets to support them. No less extraordinary were the pictures and videos of the Gaza fighters destroying the Israeli border fence and flying through it using paragliders – witnessed by millions of Palestinians and igniting their spirit of resistance seeing that the walls which had imprisoned them for decades could be penetrated.
Palestinian flags were imbedded into tanks abandoned by Israeli soldiers. The Israeli border was able to be penetrated and even one of the Israeli settlements occupied, the ofakim settlement, 22 kilometres from the border. No less surprising was the capture of Israeli soldiers in underwear while they were sleeping. For the Palestinian people, this was a payback for the humiliation of Egyptian prisoners of war being paraded in their underwear during the 1967 war, and the Palestinian fighters detained by Israel and exhibited wearing only their underwear.
Israel immediately declared an open war. Only a day later, on the night of Sunday October 8, Israel killed more than 400 people including 78 children. Unrelenting Israeli bombing destroyed Palestinian settlements including the Palestinian Tower, a high-rise building containing dozens of apartments in Gaza.
The Palestinian resistance groups retaliated with a direct missile on the capital Tel Aviv. Between October 7-21, the number of fatalities had reached horrific numbers on both sides. At least 4,137 Palestinians were killed and more than 13,162 others injured in the Gaza Strip, and at least 69 were killed and 1,300 injured in the West Bank. On the Israel's side, at least 1,403 people have died and more than 3,800 injured. This number has even exceeded the number of causalities due to the Israeli massacres in 2008 and 2014.
From Washington in the US to Canberra in Australia, the Western bourgeoisie launched an immediate propaganda campaign depicting the Palestinian resistance led by the Al-Qassam Brigade – the armed wing of the Hamas political party – as a brutal and inhumane terrorist act, and condemned the resistance by the Palestinian people.
The pro-Israeli western media endeavored to create a narrative that this is an Israeli-Hamas conflict, to convey the impression that the Hamas attack was simply a terrorist attack, separate from resistance by the Palestinian people against more than seventy years of Israeli occupation.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is allied with the West against Russia, joined his Western sponsors in condemning the Palestinian resistance as "terrorist" and saying that "Israel's right to defend itself does not need to be questioned".
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also called for the Palestinian resistance groups to return "kidnapped" Israeli civilians from the Gaza Strip. "Civilians must be respected and protected by international humanitarian law at all times", he said. But there was not a single word from Guterres about the more than 10,000 Palestinians who have been arrested and kidnapped by Israel and held in underground prisons, half of which were captured over the last two weeks.
And it has not just been propaganda, the imperialist US immediately sent funds, ammunition and military equipment to Israel. In order to provide diplomatic protection for the US and Israel, the imperialist states aggressively lobbied countries in the Middle East to sign "normalisation" agreements with Israel.
Since Israel was founded on the basis of deadly ethnic cleaning, most neighboring countries have refused to officially recognise its existence. But in recent years this has begun to change. In return for massive bribes from the US, the reactionary governments of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have established formal relations with Israel. In addition to this, in the last few days prior to the October 7 War breaking out, the US had achived its largest normalisation agreement with Saudi Arabia.
The Indonesian government has failed to take a firm stand against Israel and the US. The call to stop the war and seek a resolution through the UN, as has been promoted by Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, including the "two-state solution", shows its inability to confront the imperialist countries. Israel has been at war with the Palestinian people since at least 1948 and UN resolutions on Israel have been repeatedly violated or rejected by the imperialist countries. Israel also continues to expand its settlements and seize the Palestinian people's land.
On the contrary, Indonesia secretly cooperates with Israel in many areas, especially in the fields of trade, tourism, education, weapons and military training. Indonesian Ministry of Trade data shows that Indonesia's exports to Israel in 2022 reached US$185.6 million. This figure was a 14 percent increase on the previous year. Meanwhile the value of imports from Israel grew by 80 percent to US$47.8 million from the previous year. The Indonesian government also has an interest in maintaining strong relations with US imperialism because of its dependence on capital and the dominance of the capitalist-imperialist system.
The Indonesian bourgeois has no interest in supporting the Palestinian people's liberation struggle. It is only the solidarity of the working class along with all other oppressed peoples of the world that is able to assist the liberation of Palestine and the liberation of other the oppressed peoples of the world. The working class throughout the world must give its full support to Palestine. They must not only condemn the Israeli military's despicable acts, but also condemn US imperialism.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have held solidarity actions to support the Palestinian people who are victims of war crimes committed by Israel and supported by the West. On Saturday October 21, in London, 200,000 people took to the streets to condemn the Israeli attacks. Hundreds of thousands of others in Yemen, Tunisia, Greece, Egypt, Spain, France, Canada, Jordan, Qatar, India, Syria, Iraq, South Africa the Philippines and in the US itself have fill the streets flying the Palestinian flag.
As Marx and Engels said, "Along with the end of the oppression by one person of another person, so will end the oppression of one nation against another nation". That is why the struggle for the liberation of Palestine cannot be carried out by the Palestinian people alone. All oppression must be ended by the full power of the working class and oppressed people throughout the world.
- Hayamuddin is a member of Resistance and along with Aghe Bagasatriya is a leading member of the Socialist Union (Perserikatan Sosialis).
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Operasi “Banjir Al-Aqsa” dan Solidaritas Untuk Palestina".]