The Palestinian Resistance is Winning: the Movement Must Expose and Defeat Netanyahu’s “Final Solution” to the Palestinian Question

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing worldwide condemnation, desperately tells his isolated supporters that Israel needs “absolute victory.” On Christmas Day 2023, the Wall Street Journal gave the Prime Minister a worldwide platform to assert his manifesto—“Our Three Prerequisites for Peace: We Must Destroy Hamas, Demilitarize Gaza, and De-radicalize the Whole of Palestinian Society.” Netanyahu makes his objectives clear. He wants a “final solution” to the Palestinian problem—the mass annihilation of the Palestinian people. His goal is a Palestine without any Palestinians so Israel can completely occupy all of Palestine once and for all.

The Israel ruling class’ direct application of Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” warrants a brief historical reconstruction. By 1939, Adolph Hitler gave a speech calling for the “mass extermination of all the Jews in Europe.” The very term “extermination” is based on the dehumanization and vilification of the Jewish people. The “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” was the official code name for the murder of every Jew the Nazis could reach. This policy of deliberate and systematic mass murder in Germany and German-occupied Europe was formulated in procedural and geopolitical terms by Nazi leadership in January 1942 at the Wannsee Conference held near Berlin. It culminated in the Holocaust, which saw the murder of 90 percent of Polish Jews, and two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe. Raul Hilberg, author of The Destruction of the European Jews, wrote that in 1941 the first phase of the mass-murder of Jews, the mobile killing units began to pursue their victims across occupied eastern territories; in the second phase, stretching across all of German-occupied Europe, the Jewish victims were sent on death trains to centralized killing camps built for the purpose of systematic murder of Jews.

But why did the Nazis call it the “final solution?” Because every other form of oppression of the Jews did not solve the problem. Nazi Germany had so much hatred for the Jews that only their mass annihilation was the “solution” to their question—what can we do to eradicate the Jews as a people. The Nazis began with verbal abuse and physical beating. Then forcing Jews to wear a yellow star of David as they screamed epithets and threw rocks. Then the forced imprisonment in ghettos. Then widespread murder. Then a thought that perhaps the Jews could be dispersed. But to where?—as Germany wanted to control the world and the U.S., British and French sure didn’t want the Jews. Then, finally, the Final Solution.

From the conceptual and strategic formulation of Zionism in the 1880s to the Israeli mass slaughter and dispersal of more than 700,000 indigenous Palestinian people in 1947—that the Palestinians call The Nakba-the Catastrophe—Israel’s very existence was based on genocide. Genocide, the removal and mass murder of indigenous inhabitants is the central tactical imperative of white, European, settler imperialism. The UN Convention on Genocide of 1948 defines genocide as “any of five acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. These five acts include killing members of the group, causing them serious bodily or mental harm, imposing living conditions intended to destroy the group, preventing births, and forcibly transferring children out of the group.”

In the folklore of the white, Christian, European and now Jewish imperialist settlers, the land is always assumed to be vacant—or in their minds—pre-vacant. However, the proponents of Zionism in the 1880s well understood that the entire world was inhabited. As such, they required the support of the Imperialist Powers, in this case England, to displace the Palestinians over which the British had colonial control. That would be the land base of a new settler state run by Zionist Jews. In return, Israel promised to be a loyal agent of British, and later U.S. imperialism in the middle east—supporting anti-communism, counterrevolution, and the expansion of the colonial racist agenda. This was most grotesquely apparent in Israel’s deep strategic, ideological, and cultural alliance with the South African apartheid regime.

The Israeli tactical plan to carry out its genocide has proceeded methodically

It began with the systematic invasion of Jewish settlers into Palestine, as early as the 1880s, as conscious infiltrators and future conquerors.

Then there was the Nakba in 1947—a punitive Israeli military invasion of Palestine resulting in the forced removal of more than 700,000 Palestinians.

Then there was the Israeli occupation of Gaza in 1967—the arrests of 1 million Palestinians and the Israeli creation of a 2-million-person open-air concentration camp in Gaza— blocked from any humanitarian aid or the right to travel by land, water, and air.  Then, with the people of Gaza encircled, the Israelis inflicted a systematic reign of terror against them using the tactics of imprisonment, torture, kidnapping, and murder. The Israeli brutality and constant cultural abuse led to infant mortality, despair, depression, PTSD, and suicide among the indigenous Palestinians. This was a conscious plan by Israel to destroy the culture, integrity, and national identity of the Palestinian people.

Then, on October 7, 2023, Hamas launched a bold and effective tactical initiative for Palestinian national liberation. Imagine, that the Palestinian people and Hamas sought revenge, insurgency, and liberation against fascist occupation. The simple assertion of the humanity of the Palestinian people and their right, by any means necessary, to fight back has forced every nation in the world to pay great attention to the Palestinian cause and take a stand—which side are you on? While many of Israel’s traditional allies profess support, many are already formulating an exit strategy.

In response to the tactical initiatives of Hamas, Israel has formulated the most brutal of all responses—to destroy the Palestinian people as a people once and for all. What Netanyahu calls, “Total victory.” This was always the plan but it had to be implemented in steps. The concept of an armed Palestinian resistance movement is inconceivable and unacceptable to the Zionists—but inspiring, exhilarating, and liberating for the Palestinian people. The mass resistance of the oppressed, as Franz Fanon pointed out, is the great anti-depressant.

Netanyahu’s First Prerequisite:  Hamas must be destroyed. 

Netanyahu begins his manifesto:

First, Hamas, a key Iranian proxy, must be destroyed. The U.S., U.K., France, Germany and many other countries support Israel’s intention to demolish the terror group. To achieve that goal, its military capabilities must be dismantled and its political rule over Gaza must end. Hamas’s leaders have vowed to repeat the Oct. 7 massacre “again and again.” That is why their destruction is the only proportional response to prevent the repeat of such horrific atrocities. Anything less guarantees more war and more bloodshed. In destroying Hamas, Israel will continue to act in full compliance with international law.

Note that Netanyahu concedes “Hamas’ political rule over Gaza”—an acknowledgment of its overwhelming political support among the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Hamas is a popular political organization, with support throughout all of Palestine—with its strongest base in Gaza. Its goal is the national liberation of the Palestinian people. It is a guerrilla movement. In January 2006 when the Palestinian territories held what turned out to be their last parliamentary elections, Hamas, running as the Change and Reform Party, won the largest popular vote— 44 of the  total. This was compared to 41% for Fatah, the more moderate  Palestinian Authority. Under the parliamentary system Hamas won a strong majority of seats—74 for Hamas and 45 for Fatah.

This vote was an amazing upset since Israel detained 50 members of Hamas who were involved the elections as well as capturing and imprisoning 15 of its leaders. If that was not enough, the U.S. and Europe provided half of Fatah’s election budget with the U.S. contributing $2.3 million. Without Israeli, European, and U.S. intervention and aid, Hamas would have won in a landslide. But through this process, Hamas gained even greater political support and Fatah was discredited in the eyes of many in Gaza. So, Netanyahu and the vast majority of the Israeli political forces who agree with or concede to him,  have decided that  “the political rule” of Hamas must be destroyed. In practice, this means all Palestinians active in Hamas, friendly to Hamas, or even not opposed to Hamas must be destroyed.

Netanyahu’s use of the world “destroy” is an explicit call for the mass murder of Hamas and all Palestinians. The U.S., Europe, and Israel only use the term “destroy” in their war against Third World people. Note that during World War II, in U.S., English and Third World communists war against German, Italian, and Japanese fascists, the U.S. leaders never used the word “destroy.” While the U.S. realized that most German and Japanese people were enthusiastic Nazis and fascists, the U.S. had plans to re-integrate and “rehabilitate” them after World War II into its imperialist, anti-communist plan for world domination.  Thus, the U.S. wanted to create the myth that only a small number of Nazis leaders forced their people into unbearable crimes against humanity. Then, upon victory, the U.S. could  humanize the Nazis and fascists they intended to recruit to its cause. Even in the face of German genocide against the Jewish people, Roma people, and communists, “destroy” was never in the U.S. lexicon.

Proportional Response

Here is a documentation of the mass suffering caused by Israel’s “proportional response”:

In Gaza, according to Al Jazeera,

Killed: at least 27,947 people, including more than 12,150 children and 8,300 women

Injured: more than 67,459, including at least 8,663 children and 6,327 women

Missing: more than 7,000

More than half of Gaza’s homes – 360,000 residential units – have been destroyed or damaged. Including 390 educational facilities, 13 out of 35 hospitals are partially functioning. 122 ambulances, 267 places of worship destroyed by Israeli attacks.

Every hour in Gaza: 15 people are killed— six are children, 35 people are injured, 42 bombs are dropped, and 12 buildings are destroyed.

Netanyahu, with the full support of President Biden and the vast majority of the Democrats and Republicans made his plan for mass murder apparent. As he stated on October 7 reported in Al Jazeera,

We will take mighty vengeance for this black day,” the Israeli leader said in a televised address. “We will take revenge for all the young people who lost their lives. We will target all of Hamas’s positions. We will turn Gaza into a deserted island. To the citizens of Gaza, I say. You must leave now. We will target each and every corner of the strip.

Israel’s contempt for any international statutes and institutions that try to protect human rights  

Everyone in the world, or at least the Third World, knows that U.S, Europe, and Israel have contempt for international law.

On January 26, 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on South Africa’s charges that Israel is committing acts of Genocide against the Palestinian people. As could be expected, the U.S., Germany, and Israel rejected the entire charge as “baseless.”  Nonetheless, under international pressure, Israel had to accept the authority of the court to rule on the charges because it decided it had to put forth a vigorous defense. The ICJ ruled against Israel and demanded that Israel cease and desist from many of its genocidal practices. Its decision stated,

In the court’s view, “at least some of the acts and omissions alleged by South Africa to have been committed by Israel in Gaza appear to be capable of falling within the provisions of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Now, in a literal reading of this decision, it might appear that the Court ruling was not very strong. But the court’s language— “at least” “alleged” “”appear to be capable”— were carefully constructed to meet the legal standards of its interim decision and prevent Israel from claiming animus against it. But the main conclusion of the Court was that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people. This is a massive political defeat for Israel and a tremendous victory for the South African government and the people of Palestine.

Sadly, but not surprisingly one week after the decision The Conversation documented Israel’s contempt of court.

More than a week has passed since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) mandated provisional measures against Israel following South Africa’s accusation of genocide. The court’s demands were clear: Israel must take immediate steps to prevent genocidal actions in Gaza; prevent and punish incitement to genocide; allow access to humanitarian aid; and prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence of alleged crimes. It must also report back to the court within a month on the implementation of these measures. There’s little evidence Israel has changed course, despite these clear orders. In fact, reports from Gaza suggest escalated violence and increased civilian casualties each day.

Worse, as we read this, Israel, having driven the people of Gaza towards the Rafa border, is now planning an imminent ground mass murder against one million Gaza residents trapped by the IDF assault.

Netanyahu’s Second Prerequisite:  Hamas must be demilitarized.

Second, Gaza must be demilitarized.

Israel must ensure that the territory is never again used as a base to attack it. Among other things, this will require establishing a temporary security zone on the perimeter of Gaza and an inspection mechanism on the border between Gaza and Egypt that meets Israel’s security needs and prevents smuggling of weapons into the territory. The expectation that the Palestinian Authority will demilitarize Gaza is a pipe dream. It currently funds and glorifies terrorism in Judea and Samaria and educates Palestinian children to seek the destruction of Israel. Not surprisingly it has shown neither the capability nor the will to demilitarize Gaza. It failed to do so before Hamas booted it out of the territory in 2007, and it has failed to do so in the territories under its control today. For the foreseeable future Israel will have to retain overriding security responsibility over Gaza.

The Israeli objective to demilitarize Hamas is an explicit plan to create  an unarmed, defenseless Palestinian people subject to every form of Israeli barbarism without any hope, or capacity to retaliate.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Israel has 169,500 active military personnel, 465,000 reserve forces, and 8,000 paramilitary personnel.  The entire apparatus is mandated by Israel’s financial system, which counts on more than $3.8 Billion of military aid a year from the U.S. The State of Israel has between 80 and 400 nuclear warheads. It can deliver them by aircraft, as submarine-launched cruise missiles, and via the Jericho series of intermediate to intercontinental range ballistic missiles.

By contrast, Haman’s armed forces are very small. But they are strategic, disciplined, focused, and effective. Hamas has a well-developed military structure with 15,000–16,000 potential combatants. The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, has an estimated 30,000–40,000 fighters.  Thank God they have a people’s army. Despite Hamas’ small force of armed resistance, they are winning the war of ideas and the war of political support in the world. The Palestinian people will never lay down their arms and will always resist the Israeli Holocaust.

Netanyahu’s Third Prerequisite: Gaza Must Be De-radicalized

Third, Gaza will have to be deradicalized. Schools must teach children to cherish life rather than death, and imams must cease to preach for the murder of Jews. Palestinian civil society needs to be transformed so that its people support fighting terrorism rather than funding it. That will likely require courageous and moral leadership. Successful deradicalization took place in Germany and Japan after the Allied victory in World War II. Today, both nations are great allies of the U.S. and promote peace, stability and prosperity in Europe and Asia. Such a cultural transformation will be possible in Gaza only among Palestinians who don’t seek the destruction of Israel.

Deradicalization is code for the Jakarta Method, documented by Vincent Bevins in which the U.S. and its allies use mass murder as the only successful form of counter-insurgency.

The Indigenous People of the America’s well understand that “deradicalization” led the Spanish invaders, the Portuguese, and later the English-Americans to murder more than 90 million indigenous people in one century—and then systematically murder the leaders of those who remained. The Black Panthers well understood that J. Edgar Hoover’s “COINTELPRO” program was designed to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit and otherwise neutralize” —that is, arrest, torture, and assassinate the leaders of the Black Liberation and civil rights movement. The U.S. worked to deradicalize the National Liberation Front of Vietnam my murdering 4 million Vietnamese people.

To apply the ideas of the great Martinican revolutionary Aimé Césaire in his Discourse on Colonialism,  the U.S., Europe, and Israel are indefensible.

Netanyahu concludes his discourse on genocide

Once Hamas is destroyed, Gaza is demilitarized and Palestinian society begins a deradicalization process, Gaza can be rebuilt and the prospects of a broader peace in the Middle East will become a reality.

It has become clear that Netanyahu’s brutal vision is shared by Israel’s willing executioners.

Two Israeli rappers have called for the murder of singer Dua Lipa, model Bella Hadid, and ex-porn star Mia Khalifa in a chart-topping song that has become an unofficial soundtrack for the Israel-Hamas war.

The drill rap by Israeli duo, Ness and Stilla, has exploded since it was released three months ago — with the music video since racking up a whopping 18.5 million views on YouTube. The Hebrew track — titled “Harbu Darbu” — features the rappers firing off an apparent kill list of those they hold accountable for the October 7 bloodshed inflicted by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel.

“Every dog will get what’s coming to them,” the duo sings in the clip after listing off the three celebrity names. Dua Lipa, the British-Albanian singer and Bella Hadid, the world-famous fashion model who is of Palestinian descent, have both called for a cease-fire amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Khalifa, meanwhile, sparked outrage after referring to Hamas as “freedom fighters” on social media in the days after the war broke out.

Meanwhile, the rappers also take aim at Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas’ Al-Qassam brigades; Hamas’ political wing chair, Ismail Haniyeh; and Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah — chanting that the Israel Defense Forces will “rain a storm down on them.” Other lyrics featured in the rap translate to “we have brought the whole army against you and we swear there will be no forgiveness” and “get your a-s ready” for the IDF. It also featured heavily as background music on TikTok videos where young Israelis and soldiers filmed themselves lip-syncing and dancing to the song.

The Israeli crimes are not the ramblings of a mad man. They are deep in the heart and soul of the Israeli people. Young and old, reformed, conservative, and orthodox, agnostic, atheist, religious  or secular, square or hip—there is mass support among Israeli Jews for Netanyahu’s final solution. A recent public opinion poll at Tel Aviv University found that 40 percent of Jewish Israelis believed that the mass murders by the IDF were the right level of force, while 58 percent felt they were not brutal enough. One does not need to be a mathematician to see that among Israeli Jews—until there is a courageous and militant Jewish anti-Zionist resistance— there is a widespread and insatiable appetite for killing the Palestinian people.

In the U.S. we have seen, and worked to create, a meteoric rise of the Black, Jewish, and progressive support for the human rights of the Palestinian people. The immediate popular demands are to call for an immediate ceasefire, cutting of all aid to Israel, and a massive campaign for humanitarian aid. Others go further—to oppose Netanyahu’s genocidal plan, to save the lives of the Palestinian people as a prelude to the most extensive reparations and to bring U.S. officials including U.S. President Joe Biden up on charges of genocide in front of the International Criminal Court.

The 2024 U.S. presidential elections are a tremendous historical opportunity to bring international attention to the U.S. genocide against Palestine, and its continued genocide against the Indigenous and Black people trapped inside its territorial borders. The U.S. presidential elections, starting now, offer the movement the chance to convince many people of goodwill that the main “outcome of the election” is not which candidate will win but how can we help deliver a victory for the people of Palestine

The long history of the Black, civil rights, anti-war movements’ support for Palestine and the prominent role of anti-Zionist Jews in those movements offers hope for today.  In the summer of 1964, 60 years ago, 1,000 young white people came South at the request of the leadership of the Black Freedom Movement. They came “to be of use” as they were asked to “put their bodies on the line.” Of the 1000 white volunteers, 500 were Jews. That is statistically astounding but historically explainable. The young Jewish people, many of whom had family members who were Holocaust victims and survivors, were fiercely anti-Zionist in the secular liberal, humanist, socialist, and communist traditions of Jews all over the world. We saw the struggle of the Jewish people against German genocide reflected in the struggle of Black people against U.S. genocide. We saw the struggle of the Palestinians against Zionist occupation as the cutting edge of the ongoing anti-fascist united front.

 On June 21, 1964, the Ku Klux Klan, working with the Neshoba County Police, murdered CORE civil rights workers James Chaney, a native Mississippian, and Mickey Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, two Jews from New York in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The Black/Jewish connection was critical to the success of Freedom Summer and is an essential relationship in the struggle for Palestinian and Black rights today.

 I am a Jew from Brooklyn who has been in the Civil Rights and anti-imperialist movement for more than 50 years. In 1964, CORE, where I worked as a field secretary, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and all of us in the civil rights movement saw the Black, Palestinian, and Black South African anti-apartheid struggles as national liberation movements against the U.S., Israeli and Afrikaner white settler states. In 1967, SNCC, led by its courageous communications director Ethel Minor, wrote Third World Round Up: The Palestine Problem, based on the work of the Palestine Research Center. SNCC concluded:

Comrades. It is clearly a question of right and wrong. In the Middle East, America has worked with and used the powerful Zionist movement to take over another people’s home and replace the Palestinian people with a partner that has well served America’s purpose, a partner that can help the United States and other white Western countries to exploit and control the nations of Africa, the Middle East and Africa. We have no choice but to resist.

Eric Mann is the co-director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center. He is a veteran of the Congress of Racial Equality, Students for a Democratic Society, and the United Auto Workers New Directions Movement. He is the host of KPFK/Pacifica’s Voices from the Frontlines. His forthcoming book is I Saw a Revolution with my Own Eyes: History, Strategy, and Organizing for The Revolution We Need today. He welcomes comments at Eric@Voicesfromthefrontlines.com