Gaza – For workers’ unity against oppression

A collection of articles from across the Middle East and Europe condemning the attack on the aid flotilla en route to Gaza with humanitarian aid. Below is Joe Higgins challenging the US embassador to the EU on the attack.

 


Socialist Party MEP condemns slaughter of peace activists by Israeli Defence Force

An IDF officer is reported in this morning’s Jerusalem Post describing how IDF paratroopers landing by helicopter on the ships in international waters were ‘ambushed’ by aid workers ‘armed’ with whatever was at hand! I am already aware that language has lost all meaning to the Israeli authorities having received some e-mails myself from the Israeli Embassy in Dublin late last week defending their position when I making representations to them in anticipation of the attacks on the aid flotilla.

The Israeli government and the IDF commanders order these atrocities safe in the knowledge that their allies in the west will leave them unchallenged. Indeed by welcoming Israel into the OECD last week the Israeli political establishment can now label itself as part of the ‘advanced’ west.

I condemn this attack and demand that that MV Rachael Corrie which left Dundalk harbour this weekend carrying aid for Gaza be allowed to make its journey without harassment. I call on people to attend the demonstration today at 6pm in O’Connell Street in solidarity with these activists and the people of Gaza.

While the Israeli government claims to be acting in the interests of the Israeli population it uses methods, like the permanent blockade of Gaza, that are reminiscent of the collective punishment imposed in the past on Jews in the old ghettos of Europe. This Israeli government does not defend the real, long-term interests of Israeli citizens and oppresses the Palestinians. Only a joint movement of ordinary Palestinians and Israeli Jews against the Israeli capitalist state can prevent further atrocities and secure democratic rights for all.

The Egyptian government must immediately open its border with Gaza and allow free movement across it.


’Stop the killing of demonstrators’

Written by Statement by of Tnua’t Maavak Sozialisti / Harakat Nidal Eshtaraki (Socialist Struggle Movement, CWI Israel) Thursday, 03 June 2010 10:57

Lift the siege immediately!

Below is a translated and a slightly edited statement posted earlier today (31/05/2010) on the website of Tnua’t Maavak Sozialisti / Harakat Nidal Eshtaraki (Socialist Struggle Movement –the Committee for a Workers’ International in Israel) on the killing of peace protesters by IDF paratroopers early this morning.

Below we provide an initial response from Socialist Struggle Movement in Israel (CWI) following the killing of protesters during the IDF takeover of the international aid convoy, last night. We call on everyone to participate in demonstrations and protests.
Stop the killing of demonstrators, lift the siege immediately

It seems that about 10 demonstrators were killed and others wounded last night during the far-right government´s raid on the flotilla, which sailed in protest against the siege of Gaza. Similar to previous protest flotillas, the demonstrators did not endanger, in any way whatsoever, the security of the residents of Israel. This time, helicopters, missile boats and commando forces were sent to confront them, and 200 immigration authority officials were waiting for them at Ashdod port, waiting to deport them from the country.

The government cynically shakes off responsibility. But there’s no need for a “state commission of inquiry” to understand that the responsibility for the killing lies on the shoulders of the government ministers and top officers of the army. While there is a media blackout on many details, we are being given a simplistic picture of events in the press, according to which the IDF soldiers were attacked on one of the boats with various objects. The IDF soldiers should not have been there to begin with, and, in reality, they were used for the political goal of thuggishly liquidating protest, even outside the official territory of Israel. There should be an emphatic rejection of the use – which is common in Israel – of the military and other “arms of security” for the trampling of the right of protest.

The ministers, generals, and their pet journalists attempt to divert attention from the aggressive, destructive and oppressive policy that the Netanyahu-Barak-Liberman government executes, including the siege and occupation themselves, as well as the wild and racist incitement against the Arab-Palestinian population in Israel. The Israeli government, which is made up of warmongers and oppresses the Palestinians, harms with its actions also the long term interests of the residents of Israel.

The only alternative to such disasters and the rest of the atrocities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the building of a wide and united social movement of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, against “divide and rule” policies, against the siege and the occupation, against all kinds of oppression and discrimination, for equal national democratic rights for all, and for the toppling of the corrupt capitalist elites in Israel and the region.

The Socialist Struggle Movement supports the escalation of the protests and will participate in the demonstrations this evening at 19:00 in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, and more demonstrations that are expected in the weekend. We call upon all of you to come and protest along with us, Jews and Arabs, and struggle for the following demands:

 

  • No to the pyromaniac government which ignites the region
  • Protest is not terrorism – lift the siege
  • Security is not built on demonstrators’ dead bodies
  • The racist government – security risk
  • This is not security, this is disaster – enough with the lies of the government
  • Generals and ministers – enough with the killing of protestors
  • Even with missile boats – you will not silence protestors
  • Enough with the use of soldiers against civilians
  • No whitewashing will help – the siege is terrorism
  • Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies
  • Jews and Arabs fight against thugs and racists
  • Invest in education – not in siege and occupation
  • Yes to reconstruction and to medicines – No to more wars

LIFT THE SIEGE / DISMENTLE SETTLEMENTS / BRING DOWN THE WALL / LIQUIDATE SEPARATION / SMASH RACISM / END THE OCCUPATION!


Build a mass movement to break the sanctions on Gaza!

Written by Aysha Zaki, CWI Lebanon

The following is the translated text of a leaflet (in Arabic) that is being distributed in Beirut today by supporters of the CWI in Lebanon during a mass protest against the massacre of peace activists by the IDF last weekend.

The Committee for a Workers International (CWI) in Lebanon, and internationally, offers sincerest condolences to family and friends of the activists murdered by the reactionary Israeli army while on a humanitarian aid mission. We salute the courage of all those activists, who organized this aid intervention, and we demand a safe passage through to Gaza for the 750 people from 40 different countries intent on breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

The boats that the Israeli soldiers attacked were carrying food, medicines, and materials to build prefabricated homes for the people of Gaza. One and a half million Palestinians remain prisoners of the largest open-air jail on earth, since Israel’s siege on Gaza began in December 2008. The blockade of Gaza has meant unemployment rates of over 50 percent. The World Bank has stated that 90 per cent of water in Gaza is not suitable for human consumption, 80 per cent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day and 70 per cent depend on charity for food supplies. Chronic malnutrition affects 15 per cent of Gaza’s children and its serious consequences for their cognition and growth will be felt for years to come. Israel’s army has demolished 15,000 homes, destroyed schools, factories and services, and even demolished minarets from mosques. The illegal weapons used against the people of Gaza have killed hundreds and wounded thousands of civilians, including children.

The attack on the freedom boat is just the latest act of the Israeli regime’s violence and more evidence of the mad aggression of the Israeli government. Now there are angry protests in the streets of Gaza, Palestine and all over the world by many thousands of people demanding an end to the Israeli regime’s brutal oppression of Palestinians. The CWI is participating in these protests internationally and is part of building a mass movement against the racist, repressive and vicious Israeli regime. This capitalist government is supported by many regimes, both Arab and Western, in its repression and exploitation of the Palestinian masses and in its continuous military occupations and economic sanctions.

Arab regimes fail Palestinians, again
For Palestinian workers and the poor, this is the time to be united, in an independent mass movement of workers and the poor, inside and outside of Gaza. Such a movement is the only force able to break the siege and to open the borders. It would appeal to workers and the oppressed in the region to join the struggle for liberation and for an end to capitalism and barbarism. The Palestinian political factions have show, once again, that they are incapable of leading the Palestinian masses to liberation and workers and the poor, those paying the price for the policies of the ruling elites; need to rise up against the system of colonial wars and mass poverty. All Arab regimes, and all mainstream parties, are unwilling to call for the masses to break the siege on Gaza, as they fear that this will lead to an independent mass movement that will swipe them away from power. They are unstable and unpopular regimes, which are tied to the political and economic pressure of the big corporations.

The slaughter carried out by the Israeli armed forces on the freedom boats has drawn condemnation around the globe. But statements made by embarrassed UN diplomats and politicians all fall short of forcing an end to the siege, as they all, including the outspoken representatives of Turkey and Lebanon –two countries in conflict with Israel – are ruled by big capital and await a green light from US imperialism.

Protests erupted on the morning of this brutal slaughter, with hundreds of people in Lebanon, and tens of thousands across the region, taking to the streets, horrified by the senselessness of the Israeli regime. And while many feel that a war is unlikely at this moment in the region, during ‘negotiations’, most people would still not rule out the risk of another Israeli military attack on any resisting force in the region. What is clear is that the weakened Israeli government is trying to re-establish itself as a military might in the region, and for domestic reason, sending a message out that no one can break the sanctions which are aimed at Hamas and which are punishing civilians for supporting Hamas.

While Hamas’s popularity has been decreasing recently because of their domestic policies (mainly economic but also social), these sanctions and this new slaughter will, if no mass movement is built and no socialist alternative is on offer, lead a number of desperate youth to look to the policies and methods of Hamas. This shows, once again, the urgent need for a socialist alternative to help build a mass workers’ movement to break the siege and for the overthrowing of the brutal capitalist system in the region and internationally.

We say:

  • Release the detainees now!
  • End the sanctions on Gaza – Open the borders!
  • For a mass movement of workers and the poor in the region against capitalism
  • For an end to war and poverty – for world socialism

 

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