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Israel

What next? The Freedom Flotilla and the struggle to break the siege of Gaza

By Rafeef Ziadah

June 5, 2010 -- The Bullet -- While people around the world are still in shock at the killing by Israeli commandos of innocent human rights activists on board the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, those who have been following Israeli state actions for some time are not surprised. This is an ongoing pattern of Israeli state terrorism and collective punishment. While we mourn the dead on the boats, we must not forget that the flotilla itself is in response to an even greater brutality – the slow starvation of more than 1.5 million people trapped in an open air prison called the Gaza Strip.

Australian outrage at Israel's massacre of aid activists


Thousands protest against Israel's terror attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Sydney, June 5, 2010. Speakers: Ophelia Haralgi (Students for Palestine), Pip Hinman (Socialist Alliance), Sylvia Hale (Greens) and Phil Monsour (performer). Footage by Peter Boyle.
 

`Intensify pressure!' -- (updated June 8) Call by Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee gains support

By the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)

Occupied Palestine, June 1, 2010 -- Palestinian civil society calls for intensifying boycott and sanctions as Israel massacres humanitarian relief workers and international solidarity activists.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) strongly condemns last night’s fatal attack by the Israeli navy on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. The BNC conveys Palestinian civil society’s condolences to the families and friends of those killed by the Israeli assault and warmly salutes the principled solidarity and moral commitment of all those involved in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

In response, the BNC calls on international civil society to:

على حكومة "روود" أن تقطع كل علاقاتها مع القاتلة إسرائيل

2010

بيان من التحالف الإشتر اكى الأسترالى

يدين التحالف الإشتراكى إسرائيل لهجومها الغادر على القافلة الإنسانية المتجهة لغزة.

على حكومة "روود" أن تقطع كل علاقاتها مع القاتلة إسرائيل

تصريح إعلامى فورى من التحالف الإشتراكى الأسترالى

English translation below
الثلاتاء أول يونيو2010

تصريح إعلامى فورى من التحالف الإشتراكى الأسترالى

دعا مرشح التحالف الإشتراكى لدائرة "بيرث" ، اليكس بانبردج، والتى يمثلها الآن المدعو ستيفين سميث، دعا الحكومة الأسترالية الى إدانة فورية على الهجوم الإسرائيلى على قافلة السلام  لدعم المحاصرين بغزة.

Hugo Chávez and Cuba condemn Israel's brutal massacre of aid activists

Chavez is a hero in the Middle East.

Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs, Caracas

May 31, 2010 -- The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Commander Hugo Chávez, emphatically condemns the brutal massacre perpetrated by the State of Israel against the members of the Liberty Flotilla, as a result of the war action started by the Israeli Army against defenceless civilians, who tried to carry humanitarian aid supplies to the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip, who are victims of the criminal blockade imposed by the State of Israel.

President Hugo Chávez, on behalf of his government and the Venezuelan people, expresses his deepest regret and sends his deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the heroes who have been victims of this state crime, and commit to honour their memory and to give the necessary help so that the responsible of this murderers  are severely punished.

The revolutionary government of Venezuela will continue denouncing the terrorist and criminal nature of Israel, and it reaffirms, today more than ever, its unbreakable commitment with the fight of the Palestinian people for freedom, the sovereignty and the dignity.

(Updated June 4) Condemn Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, break ties with murderous Israel!


June 1, 2010 -- Emergency rally in Sydney to protest Israeli commando assault on Gaza aid flotilla, attended by 4000 people. Photos by Darrian Perry for Green Left Weekly.

Statements by International Solidarity Movement (Palestine), Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Fatah (Palestine), Socialist Alliance (Australia), Labour Party Pakistan, Socialist Party of Malaysia, People's Democratic Party (Indonesia), Partido Lakas ng Masa (Philippines), Working People's Association (PRP) (Indonesia), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, Coalition for a Free Palestine (South Africa), Congress of South African Trade Unions, South African Communist Party, Socialist Party USA, Fourth International, Sinn Fein (Ireland) (check back for more).

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What kind of Palestinian state in 2011?

Palestinian children hold giant keys to represent the homes their families lost.

By Rafeef Ziadah

April 12, 2010 -- The Bullet -- In December 2007, the Palestinian National Authority (PA), in close consultation with donor states and institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, proposed the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP), a program based on “rebuilding the Palestinian national institutions” and “developing the Palestinian public and private sectors.”[1]

Obama's double talk at nuclear summit: US preserves and extends its nuclear domination

By the International Socialist Organization, United States

April 14, 2010 -- Socialist Worker -- The US has repackaged its strategy -- but the terrible threat of nuclear war remains. The administration of US President Barack Obama is out to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal and pressure world leaders into imposing sanctions against countries -- like Iran -- that allegedly harbour ambitions to develop nukes of their own.

That's the agenda behind the April 12-13 Washington summit on nuclear security, which followed the announcement of a supposedly less belligerent US nuclear strategy and the signing in Prague of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia.

The START treaty was billed as a first step towards fulfilling Obama's call a year ago to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In fact, START would leave the US and Russia with the means to blow up the world many times over.

If Washington is willing to make a deal with Moscow to cut the number of nukes today, it's because politicians in both countries -- especially Russia -- want to minimise the prohibitive cost of building such weapons. So the total number of warheads will be limited under the treaty to 1550 apiece.

Remember Rachel Corrie

By Billy Wharton, co-chair Socialist Party USA

March 16, 2010 -- Today marks the anniversary of the tragic death of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist Rachel Corrie. On March 16, 2003, Corrie was killed by an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) bulldozer while non-violently resisting the destruction of a Palestinian home. Her death came to symbolise the daily violence faced by Palestinians in the occupied territories as well as the spirit of international solidarity that democratic socialists throughout the world draw political strength from.

Israel’s apartheid: Making Palestinians pay for Hitler’s crimes

\

By Suzanne Weiss

This speech was given by Suzanne Weiss on March 2, 2010, to a meeting of students at the University of Waterloo in Canada, held as part of the Israeli Apartheid Week. Suzanne Weiss, a holocaust survivor, is a member of Not in Our Name: Jewish Voices Against Zionism and of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in Toronto.

* * *

A year after a murderous Israel’s assault, the war on the people of Gaza continues. Gaza is still under siege – still surrounded by walls and checkpoints. Its people are denied the necessities of life and the right to rebuild and shape their future.

For me, as a survivor of the holocaust, the tragic situation in Gaza awakens memories of what I and my family experienced under Hitlerism – the ghetto walls, the killings, the systematic starvation and deprivation, the daily humiliations.

`Proud to stand with Palestine' -- The Flame and Green Left Weekly respond to anti-Arab attack by Murdoch press

Sydney protest against Israel's attack on Gaza, January 18, 2009. Photo by Peter Boyle.

By Soubhi Iskander, Stuart Munckton and Emma Murphy

July 4, 2009 -- Green Left Weekly -- On July 1, the Rupert Murdoch-owned national daily the Australian carried an extraordinary attack by Ilan Grapel on Green Left Weekly and its monthly Arabic-language insert the Flame titled “A willing ally to Hamas’s hatred”. The Flame and Green Left Weekly are guilty of a “radical anti-Israel stance”, Grapel said.

Grapel is a researcher with the Australian/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council.

Grapel alleges that the Flame, “unbeknown to its English readers”, also “supports terrorist groups and promotes violence”, and through the Flame, GLW is “openly promoting extremism”.

Pro-Israel lobby alarmed by growth of boycott, divestment movement

By Art Young

June 24, 2009 -- The movement to call Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people is growing, it is “invading the mainstream discourse, becoming part of the constant and unrelenting drumbeat against Israel”. It could eventually threaten the existence of the Jewish state by undermining the support it receives from its strongest backer, the US government.

That was the message of alarm delivered by the executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Howard Kohr, to the AIPAC Policy Conference on May 3.[1]

Ronnie Kasrils -- South Africa and Palestine: Long roads to freedom

Ronnie Kasrils spoke at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow on March 20, 2009, at a talk organised by Pulsemedia.org and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. During the years of apartheid rule in South Africa, Ronnie Kasrils was a leader in the banned South African Communist Party and African National Congress, and its military wing Umkonto we Sizwe. Hunted by the security police, he was described as ``armed and dangerous''. Kasrils served as a government minister in post-spartheid South Africa until 2008.

Today Kasrils is an activist in the Palestine Solidarity Committee in South Africa, which recently won support from Durban dock workers to adopt a policy of boycotting Israeli ships that dock in South African ports.

`Worse than South African apartheid'

Scottish Trade Union Congress votes to support boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel

By the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign

April 22, 2009 -- The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), representing every Scottish trade union, voted overwhelmingly to commit to boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. This is the third example of a national trade union federation [including Ireland and South Africa] committing to boycotts, divestment and sanctions and is a clear indication that, while Israel can kill Palestinians with impunity and Western support, it has lost the battle for world public opinion. It is now seen to be a state born out of ethnic cleansing and still expanding through the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Salim Vally: The campaign to isolate apartheid Israel -- lessons from South Africa

By Salim Vally

[Salim Vally, a leading member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee in South Africa and a veteran anti-apartheid activist, will be a featured guest at the World at a Crossroads conference, to be held in Sydney, Australia, on April 10-12, 2009, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective, Resistance and Green Left Weekly. Visit http://www.worldATACrossroads.org for full agenda and to book your tickets.] 

Israel: An interview with Hadash MP and communist Dov Khenin

Dov Khenin speaking at a demonstration against Israel's war on Gaza.

March 8, 2009 -- Dov Khenin is a member of Israel's parliament (the Knesset) representing Hadash, the alliance led by the Communist Party of Israel. In November 2008, Khenin stood as mayoral candidate for Israel's biggest city Tel Aviv, where he received almost 35% of the vote. Dov Khenin talks to the editors of the British socialist journal 21st Century Socialism about the Middle East conflict and prospects for a renewal of the left in Israel. He also discusses the issues to be overcome in a negotiated Middle East settlement, international solidarity with the Palestinian people and the need for socialism in the 21st century. This interview has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission, in the interests of informing our readers of all shades of left opinion in occupied Palestine.

Who said nearly 50 years ago that Israel was an apartheid state?

By Ronnie Kasrils

"...a colonial racist mentality which rationalised the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australasia, in Africa from Namibia to the Congo and elsewhere, most clearly has its parallels in Palestine."

March 17, 2009 -- Media Monitors Network -- At the onset of international “Israel Apartheid Week” in solidarity with the embattled Palestinian people, I want to start by quoting a South African who emphatically stated as far back as 1963 that “Israel is an apartheid state”. Those were not the words of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu or Joe Slovo, but were uttered by none other than the architect of apartheid itself, racist Prime Minister Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd.

He was irked by the criticism of apartheid policy and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s “Winds of Change” speech, in contrast to the West’s unconditional support for Zionist Israel.

Animation: `Closed Zone', by Yoni Goldman, the animator of `Waltz with Bashir'

Despite declarations that it has "disengaged" from the Gaza Strip, Israel maintains control of the Strip’s overland border crossings, territorial waters and air space. This includes substantial, albeit indirect, control of the Rafah Crossing.

During the past 18 months, Israel tightened its closure of Gaza, almost completely restricting the passage of goods and people both to and from the Strip.

These policies punish innocent civilians with the goal of exerting pressure on the [elected] Hamas government, violating the rights of 1.5 million people who seek only to live ordinary lives –- to be reunited with family, to pursue higher education, to receive quality medical treatment and to earn a living.

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