Palestine and the COVID Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is confronting governments around the world with an emergency health situation, requiring self-isolation, population lockdowns of many economic activities and households, mass virus testing, screening and hospitalizations, and much more. In areas of the world that are in the midst of armed conflict or military occupation, or are hosting refugee camps or large pools of migrant workers, harsh living conditions are becoming spaces of extraordinary vulnerability to the pandemic and what Friedrich Engels once called “social murder.”

In this context, Socialist Project reaffirms our commitment to the longstanding international demand that Israel end its illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the brutal siege on Gaza. It is imperative that Israel restore access to water and electrical power, and immediately lift all restrictions on medicines and equipment necessary to deal with the pandemic. The global health crisis makes these needs particularly acute. We insist that primary responsibility for the suffering Palestinians face is the neo-colonial occupation, in the form of an apartheid regime, that Israel has constructed with the compliance, and indeed support, of the most powerful states in the international community. We call on governments to stop colluding with Israel in their silence, military contracts, and investments, and stress the need to deepen the campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). It is this political system, not merely an act of nature, against which we must mobilize an international response of immediate medical relief and of struggle and solidarity.

Socialist Interventions Pamphlet No. 18.