Skip to content
View Featured Image

The People’s Ceasefire

Above photo: Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images.

The United States relented and abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution requiring Israel to abide by a two-week ceasefire.

Popular pressure forced this small step. Organized campaigns against Biden’s re-election created a political crisis which threatened to delegitimize Zionism and the U.S. state itself.

The Biden administration deserves no praise for abstaining from a United Nations Security Council resolution which demands that Israel observe a two week long ceasefire in Gaza. The U.S. vetoed numerous resolutions already, and was forced into doing the barest of minimums because of domestic and international political pressure.

In recent weeks, Joe Biden made an odd and obviously staged public statement on the floor of congress, claiming to have been angry with Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Leaked stories to the media made the same assertion, that Biden referred to Netanyahu as an “asshole” even as he continued to pour military aid into Israel. Political leaders like Senator Charles Schumer made a great show of criticizing Netanyahu in a stage managed good cop and bad cop routine.

The thanks for this brief respite from the killing spree goes to ordinary people who took to the streets in mass protests, demanding that the carnage come to an end. Here in the United States the #AbandonBiden campaign made clear that voters would express their displeasure by defeating Biden’s re-election effort.

And yet, the determination to continue supporting Israel is clear. No sooner had the resolution passed, than the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called the vote “non-binding” when there is no such thing as a non-binding UN resolution. Even after being forced into accepting a two-week cease fire, the Biden Administration makes clear that it will support Israel’s war crimes, regardless of UN votes, or the wishes of other nations.

There was already a ceasefire in December 2023. The hostages who Israel claims to care so much about began to be returned and the people of Gaza were safer for a short time. But Israel was determined to continue its campaign of ethnic cleansing. Even the International Court of Justice ruling calling South Africa’s charge of genocide “plausible” and which required Israel to stop killing Palestinians, didn’t stop the bloodshed.

As the ceasefire resolution passed, Israel was killing patients and medical professionals at the Al-Shifa hospital. Israeli settlers and officials have engaged in a sustained campaign to stop aid  trucks from entering Gaza. Universities have been destroyed. There are in fact no universities left in Gaza. A recently released video shows a drone strike killing four Gaza men. The atrocities never ended and they could not have been carried out absent United States political and Financial support.

This ceasefire, such as it is, would not have happened if the people had not remained in motion, opposing U.S. and Israeli genocide as much as they could. But caution is called for. Turn coats and false friends like Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, now use the words genocide and ceasefire when they had previously refused to do so. They are still false friends. Both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are committed Biden supporters but they know which way the political winds are blowing. They  can no longer manage what they consider to be an inconvenient public relations problem. The activism on behalf of the people of Gaza created a political crisis, which is as it should be. There is never positive change unless the powers that be can see that they and the system they protect face some degree of risk.

This ceasefire resolution came about only because the people demanded it. any credit given must go to unnamed people who have made their outrage clear and who have acted upon it. The pressure must be sustained. If it is not, Biden and his partners in crime in the Congress and in the corporate media will behave as though all is well. They want to believe they have a marketing problem that can be resolved with enough focus group wordsmithing instead of a political  movement that cannot be stopped.

Fortunately the protest continues. The New York presidential primary will be held on April 2 but New York does not  does not have provisions for uncommitted choices as other states do. Instead the demand must be made with a blank  ballot. The Leave It Blank campaign asks New Yorkers to return blank ballots which nonetheless will be counted.

The worst outcome would be if Biden and his cohorts concluded that they could return to the status quo and continue to support Israel without fear of opposition. Actually that has already happened, as the Biden administration bypassed congress to send $250 million in military aid to Israel.

It is painful to watch as money and brute force are used to cover up Israel’s and America’s crimes and silence those who point them out. Every success, no matter how small, must be acknowledged. That is why this ceasefire should be called the people’s ceasefire. The people of the Republic of South Africa charged Israel with genocide when no other country would. People across this country refused to vote for Joe Biden and openly called for his defeat. The solidarity from people in the streets, and from Black religious leaders who conveyed the outrage and the concern of their congregants, and even the few politicians willing to speak up, are all the successes in this story.

And yet the devils are busy. The 75 year history of U.S. support for Israel will not disappear. There can be no confusion that criticism of Netanyahu is at all meaningful while support for the Zionist project continues. The fight must go on. Only the people, acting in concert, and with determination, can bring these crimes to an end.

Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.