As war rages in Iraq and Syria, the threat of a return to open war in Israel-Palestine is also increasing.
Three teenage Israeli settlers disappeared in the West Bank on 12 June, and on 30 June were found murdered.
The Israeli government’s typical hyper-response has included raiding thousands of homes in the West Bank, arresting 570 Palestinians and killing several (5 by one report, 10 by another) in the process. 34 bombing raids on Gaza on 1 July injured 11 people. Israeli government ministers have threatened more of the same.
On 2 July a Palestinian teenager was murdered in East Jerusalem. Before the murder hundreds of Israeli chauvinists had marched chanting “Death to the Arabs”.
The only alternative, both to the grave risk of escalation now, and to the everyday “quiet” oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, is “two states” — i.e. to force the Israeli government to concede to the Palestinians the right to have their own independent state, alongside Israel.
In principle, military action by the Palestinians to try to drive the Israeli army out of the occupied territories is justified; but in practice now the military disproportion means that the Palestinians will lose from military escalation.
Also, those Palestinian factions who opt for military action now often target Israeli civilians, in an Islamist or ultra-nationalist logic of demanding that Israel be wiped out.
To offer a way out, labour movements around the world should redouble their efforts to support Palestinian rights and build links both with Palestinians and with Israeli internationalists.