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Middle East

Report reveals International Trade Union Confederation's pro-Israel bias

Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip queue at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya as they attempt to reach their jobs in Israel. Photo by Khaleel Reash/MaanImages.

By Sarah Irving

July 23, 2010 -- The Electronic Intifada -- Every June, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) releases its Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights. According to a press release that accompanied the 2010 publication (which reports on events in 2009), "the Middle East remains among the regions of the world where union rights are least protected". The report describes repression meted out to Palestinian workers and trade unionists by both the Israeli authorities and the Palestinian factions. But the ITUC's omissions and brevity both disguise the complexity of life for Palestinian workers, and reveal some of the international union confederation's own biases.

The Flame, June-July 2010 -- Green Left Weekly's Arabic-language supplement

July 6, 2010 -- With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly -- Australia's leading socialist newspaper -- publishes a regular Arabic language supplement. The Flame covers news from the Arabic-speaking world as well as news and issues from within Australia. Editor-in-chief is Soubhi Iskander is a comrade who has endured years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of the repressive government in Sudan.

“There are Arabic newspapers in Australia, but still all reflect the views of their editors and there is a great need to establish a progressive Arabic-language press which can frankly discuss the squalid condition of the Arab world due to submission and subservience to neo-colonialism”, Iskander explains. “At the same time, the Arabic-speaking communities in Australia need to read articles relating to the Australian government policy internally — articles which will unmask the pitfalls of these policies, and will expose the violation and the lies of the capitalist parties. The Flame, we hope, will be a powerful addition to Green Left Weekly.”

Asian left: `Lift the siege on Gaza! Support boycott, divestment and sanctions on apartheid Israel'

Statement by Asian left organisations

[To add your organisation’s endorsement, please email: international@socialist-alliance.org.]

June 25, 2010 -- As Israel stands increasingly isolated following its manufactured confrontation on May 31, 2010, with the peace flotilla in which nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara were murdered, now is the time to increase the pressure on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza.

Israel’s criminal blockade of Gaza is aimed to collectively punish 1.5 million Gazans for their choice of government.

The attack on the flotilla was aimed at demoralising Palestinians and their supporters. But, as we've seen from the global protests – particularly in Turkey and the Arab world – it has backfired on the Netanyahu government. Turkey, once a close political and military ally, has now distanced itself from Israel and supports attempts to break the Gaza blockade.

Indonesian solidarity with the people of Palestine


Protest in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the people of Palestine, outside the US embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, on June 7, 2010. Organised by the Working People's Association (Perhimpunan Rakyat Pekerja). Made with Slideshow Embed Tool.

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).

* * *

The Flame, May 2010 -- Green Left Weekly's Arabic-language supplement

May 2010 -- With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly -- Australia's leading socialist newspaper -- publishes a regular Arabic language supplement. The Flame covers news from the Arabic-speaking world as well as news and issues from within Australia. Editor-in-chief is Soubhi Iskander is a comrade who has endured years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of the repressive government in Sudan.

“There are Arabic newspapers in Australia, but still all reflect the views of their editors and there is a great need to establish a progressive Arabic-language press which can frankly discuss the squalid condition of the Arab world due to submission and subservience to neo-colonialism”, Iskander explains. “At the same time, the Arabic-speaking communities in Australia need to read articles relating to the Australian government policy internally — articles which will unmask the pitfalls of these policies, and will expose the violation and the lies of the capitalist parties. The Flame, we hope, will be a powerful addition to Green Left Weekly.”

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]

Sudan: US backs election farce

An election rally in Juba, South Sudan. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army has withdrawn from the election in the north, but is standing in the south.

By Kerryn Williams

April 15, 2010 -- Hailed as the first “competitive”, “open”, “multi-party” elections in Sudan in 24 years, there was little free, fair or open about the national poll that began on April 11, boycotted by the major opposition parties.

The holding of democratic elections was a key component of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended a two-decade civil war between the Sudanese government in Khartoum — ruled by the National Congress Party (NCP, formerly the National Islamic Front) since it took power in a 1989 military coup — and the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

The Flame, March 2010 -- Green Left Weekly's Arabic-language supplement

With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly -- Australia's leading socialist newspaper -- is publishing a regular Arabic language supplement. The Flame will cover news from the Arabic-speaking world as well as news and issues from within Australia. The editor-in-chief is Soubhi Iskander, a comrade who has endured years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of the repressive government in Sudan.

“There are Arabic newspapers in Australia, but still all reflect the views of their editors and there is a great need to establish a progressive Arabic-language press which can frankly discuss the squalid condition of the Arab world due to submission and subservience to neo-colonialism”, Iskander explains. “At the same time, the Arabic-speaking communities in Australia need to read articles relating to the Australian government policy internally — articles which will unmask the pitfalls of these policies, and will expose the violation and the lies of the capitalist parties. The Flame, we hope, will be a powerful addition to Green Left Weekly.”

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.

Iran: Interview -- Trade union activists face repression as regime imposes austerity

Homayoun Poorzad interviewed by Bill Balderston

The Flame, November-December 2009 -- Green Left Weekly's Arabic-language supplement

With the help of Socialist Alliance members in the growing Sudanese community in Australia, Green Left Weekly -- Australia's leading socialist newspaper -- is publishing a regular Arabic language supplement. The Flame will cover news from the Arabic-speaking world as well as news and issues from within Australia. The editor-in-chief is Soubhi Iskander, a comrade who has endured years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of the repressive government in Sudan.

“There are Arabic newspapers in Australia, but still all reflect the views of their editors and there is a great need to establish a progressive Arabic-language press which can frankly discuss the squalid condition of the Arab world due to submission and subservience to neo-colonialism”, Iskander explains. “At the same time, the Arabic-speaking communities in Australia need to read articles relating to the Australian government policy internally — articles which will unmask the pitfalls of these policies, and will expose the violation and the lies of the capitalist parties. The Flame, we hope, will be a powerful addition to Green Left Weekly.”

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