The US Establishment has a Palestinian Problem 

The appalling war crimes in Gaza committed by the Zionist state have stunned and enraged anyone with a conscience, since the average human can only withstand so many children being slaughtered — the current count is over 4,100 — while food, water, and fuel are withheld from an entire population that is having schools, hospitals, bakeries, churches and apartment buildings carpet-bombed.

In one month more civilians were killed in Gaza than in two years of war in Ukraine. The Israeli army has also murdered 88 UN aid workers in Gaza— the most in UN history. This is the result of Israel targeting dozens of known UN sanctuaries housing civilians.

Not since the barbarism of World War II have so many war crimes happened in such rapid and brutal succession, causing an increasing clamor for the perpetrators — politicians in Israel and the United States — to be prosecuted for major war crimes.

The outrage has led to inner turmoil in many countries, shredding an already fragile political equilibrium —  most notably across the Middle East and increasingly inside the United States. Like a snake that swallowed too large a kill, the perpetrators of this slaughter are already choking on the bones of their victims.

Biden’s Historic Miscalculation 

Occasionally in history, certain conflicts stir up long-simmering tensions, both among competing powers and the respective underbellies of their working class. The Israeli destruction of Gaza is likely to be viewed by historians as a turning point in world history, which fathered wars,  dictatorships and revolutions across the region and beyond, the result of a ruling class underestimating the effect its policies have on the masses.

For example, Biden’s miscalculation about his support of Israel is compounded by the growing social crisis in the United States. On November 5th In Washington D.C. over 100,000 demonstrated to demand a ceasefire. The size of the crowds stunned many, yet represent millions of more Americans who now see through the pro-Israel talking points of the media and US politicians, who strive to minimize or rationalize endless images of dead, disfigured babies being pulled from rubble.

The resulting tensions between reality and governmental policy are destroying the legitimacy of governments and long-valued institutions alike, including the United Nations, since Biden has used his veto power to stop several ceasefire resolutions at the UN — the exact kind of conflict the UN was created to prevent. The mass murder of UN staff wasn’t enough for Biden to agree to a UN ceasefire; a veto that will live in infamy.

The tensions destroying the UN are also erupting inside the US government, with governmental officials resigning in disgust, while representing the views of many more who remain silent.

The Gaza tensions are already affecting the next US election, with Trump now out-polling Biden in major polls, with younger people especially agitated against Biden’s foreign policy. Many people only voted for Biden because he wasn’t Trump, but now the “lesser evil”  argument seems impossible to make, since what is more evil than aiding and abetting a genocide?

It’s also hard for voters to stomach that Biden, who claims to hate Trump, is completely enamored with a much greater evil than Trump — Israel’s far-right genocidal leader. The frail support Biden commanded is thus plummeting.

Ceasefire Now and the Power of Demands 

When a powerful demand grips society it can tear down major opposition, including governmental power. Most revolutions are triggered by a few powerful demands, such as the past examples of “bread,” “peace,” “land,” “freedom,” etc. Few expected that “ceasefire now” would resonate so powerfully, but it’s already flexing serious muscle.

A powerful demand unites the masses and shreds the credibility of anyone or anything standing in its way. For example, when supporters of Bernie Sanders heard him say that a “ceasefire is impossible,” his legacy was swiftly tossed in the wastebasket, while being denounced by former supporters on all social media platforms including former campaign staff who created a petition to pressure him into calling for a ceasefire, which he ignored.

Robert Kennedy Jr. has been similarly maimed by the ceasefire demand, where key members of his campaign team were said to quit in protest over his defense of Israel’s bloodletting. All semblance of him being “anti-establishment” was crushed by his defending Israel and its war crimes.

Virtually every US media outlet is likewise soiling their credibility regurgitating similar pro-Israel perspectives.

The ceasefire demand is slicing through the US establishment — both Democrats and Republicans — like butter, shaking the edifice of political and economic power. If this conflict ends soon its memory won’t, since it’s seared into our collective brains.

Those who are lubricating the massacre — either actively or by inaction — will be condemned by history, including those attempting to straddle the fence by passively advocating for a “humanitarian pause” —  a shallow PR phrase invented in order to sidestep the growing demand for a ceasefire.

The Death Throes of Empire 

The above dynamic is turning already unpopular institutions into empty husks pretending to contain a seed of legitimacy.

This also applies to every US ally in the Middle East, especially the several dictatorships that are hated by their populations and terrified of the enormous protests against Israel that can easily re-focus on overdue domestic issues — since mass demonstrations have a tendency to express multiple issues at once: once a people feel their power they tend to start using it.

The US propped-up dictatorships in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, etc, are all in danger of experiencing another Arab Spring, thus forcing their leaders to make Biden a  persona non grata, since his presence could easily spark a wildfire.

Knowing that key allies are actively exiting its orbit, the Biden administration might do the one thing that could reattach his Gulf Arab dictatorships back to US imperialism: attacking Iran, an old rival of several Gulf monarchies.

Such a move would be absolute madness, and lead to a massive loss of life on all sides. There is no doubt that Biden’s military build-up in the Middle East— that includes two US aircraft carriers — has Iran in its sights, a government the US establishment has obsessed about destroying since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

The US media has talked incessantly about Iran since the day the conflict broke out, expressing the desire of the US oligarchy to spread the war. Already the US has carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria, while US troops have been attacked in Iraq in Syria. Biden is already tap dancing on the precipice of a major war.

The Death Throes of Democracy and the Rebirth of Working Class Solidarity 

All wars contain the seeds of revolution, which are often the only force capable of stopping the elite-driven wars. The First World War continued until revolutions broke out in Russia and Germany, where the working class of both nations took collective action to end it.

The giant demonstrations across the United States — and every major city in the world —  contain similar seeds. They are threats to those in power, and ignoring them is a growing risk, especially since the international working class is suffering under a cost-of-living crisis while they watch hundreds of billions being sent to Ukraine and Israel for war. Peace is never on the table.

Dictatorships are the result of a ruling class being too disconnected from the working class, to the extent that maintaining power cannot withstand even limited forms of democracy. According to polling a large majority of Americans want a ceasefire, yet not a single US Senator will express this viewpoint, since Senators take their orders from the US oligarchy, not voters.

There will be more and bigger demonstrations against the war in Palestine that explode the false reality being promoted by the media and politicians. The US labor movement has a special role in expanding this struggle, since unions remain the largest organizations of working-class people, who are oppressed by the same oligarchic corporations cheerleading the massacre in Palestine. Their struggle is our struggle. The labor movement in Palestine has called for international assistance from unions everywhere, who can pass resolutions to pressure the US government to stop supporting Israel’s genocide.

Shamus Cooke is a member of the Portland branch of Democratic Socialists of America. He can be reached at