Palestinians, solidarity activists condemn Israel's mass slaughter in Gaza, call for protests and sanctions (updated Jan. 3)

December 27 demonstration in Bethlehem against the massacre in Gaza (Photo: Ghassan Bannoura-IMEMC)

By the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee

Occupied Ramallah, Palestine -- December 27, 2008 -- Today, the Israeli occupation army committed a new massacre in Gaza, causing the death and injury of hundreds of Palestinian civilians [latest reports place the death toll at more than 200], including a yet unknown number of schoolchildren who were headed home from school when the first Israeli military strikes started. This latest bloodbath, although far more ruthless than all its predecessors, is not Israel's first. It culminates months of an Israeli siege of Gaza that should be widely condemned and prosecuted as an act of genocide against the 1.5 million Palestinians in the occupied coastal strip.

Israel seems intent to mark the end of its 60th year of existence the same way it has established itself -- perpetrating massacres against the Palestinian people. In 1948, the majority of the indigenous Palestinian people were ethnically cleansed from their homes and land, partly through massacres like Deir Yassin; today, the Palestinians in Gaza, most of whom are refugees, do not even have the choice to seek refuge elsewhere. Incarcerated behind ghetto walls and brought to the brink of starvation by the siege, they are easy targets for Israel's indiscriminate bombing.

Prof. Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and international law expert at Princeton University, described Israel's siege of Gaza last year, when it was still not comparable in its severity to the current situation, as follows:

Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalised Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. The recent developments in Gaza are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost cruelty. The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating in a collective tragedy.

The most brutal episode of this "collective tragedy" is what we have seen today.

Israel's war crimes and other grave violations of international law in Gaza as well as in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, could not have been perpetrated without the direct or indirect complicity of world governments, particularly the United States, the European Union, Egypt and other Arab regimes.

While the US government has consistently sponsored, bankrolled and protected from international censure Israel's apartheid and colonial policies against the indigenous people of Palestine, the EU was able in the past to advocate a semblance of respect for international law and universal human rights. That distinction effectively ended on December 9, when the EU Council decided unanimously to reward Israel's criminal disregard of international law by upgrading the EU-Israel Association Agreement. Israel clearly understood from this decision that the EU condones its actions against the Palestinians under its occupation. Palestinian civil society also got the message: the EU governments have become no less complicit in Israel's war crimes than their US counterpart.

The large majority of world governments, particularly in the global South, share part of the blame, as well. By continuing business as usual with Israel, in trade agreements, arms deals, academic and cultural ties, diplomatic openings, they have provided the necessary background for the complicity of world powers and, consequentially, for Israel's impunity. Furthermore, their inaction within the United Nations is inexcusable.

Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly, prescribed in a recent address before the General Assembly the only moral way forward for the world's nations in dealing with Israel:

More than twenty years ago we in the United Nations took the lead from civil society when we agreed that sanctions were required to provide a non-violent means of pressuring South Africa to end its violations. Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its violations.

Now, more than ever, the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), calls upon international civil society not just to protest and condemn in diverse forms Israel's massacre in Gaza, but also to join and intensify the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel to end its impunity and to hold it accountable for its persistent violation of international law and Palestinian rights. Without sustained, effective pressure by people of conscience the world over, Israel will continue with its gradual, rolling acts of genocide against the Palestinians, burying any prospects for a just peace under the blood and rubble of Gaza, Nablus and Jerusalem.

[The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) includes: Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine; General Union of Palestinian Workers; Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions; Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisations' Network (PNGO); Federation of Independent Trade Unions; Union of Palestinian Charitable Organisations; Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition; Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI); General Union of Palestinian Women; Palestinian Farmers Union (PFU); Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (STW); Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI); National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba; Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCDPRJ); Coalition for Jerusalem; and Palestinian Economic Monitor.]

Palestinians emerged from the rubble following an Israeli missile strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip,December 27, 2008.

Gaza massacres must spur us to action

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada

Palestinians carry the body of a victim of an Israeli air strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, December 27, 2008. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

December 27, 2008 --"I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing." Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defence official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel's latest massacres were broadcast around the world.

A short time earlier, US-supplied Israeli F-16 warplanes and Apache helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of locations in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip killing at least 195 persons and injuring hundreds more. Many of these locations were police stations located, like police stations the world over, in the middle of civilian areas. The US government was one of the first to offer its support for Israel's attacks, and others will follow.

Reports said that many of the dead were Palestinian police officers. Among those Israel labels "terrorists" were more than a dozen traffic police officers undergoing training. An as yet unknown number of civilians were killed and injured; Al Jazeera showed images of several dead children, and the Israeli attacks came at the time thousands of Palestinian children were in the streets on their way home from school.

Shmerling's joy has been echoed by Israelis and their supporters around the world; their violence is righteous violence. It is "self-defence" against "terrorists" and therefore justified. Israeli bombing -- like US and NATO bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan -- is bombing for freedom, peace and democracy.

The rationalisation for Israel's massacres, already being faithfully transmitted by the English-language media, is that Israel is acting in "retaliation" for Palestinian rockets fired with increasing intensity ever since the six-month truce expired on December 19 (until today, no Israeli had been killed or injured by these recent rocket attacks).

But today's horrific attacks mark only a change in Israel's method of killing Palestinians recently. In recent months they died mostly silent deaths, the elderly and sick especially, deprived of food and necessary medicine by the two-year-old Israeli blockade calculated and intended to cause suffering and deprivation to 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority refugees and children, caged into the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, Palestinians died silently, for want of basic medications: insulin, cancer treatment, products for dialysis prohibited from reaching them by Israel.

What the media never question is Israel's idea of a truce. It is very simple. Under an Israeli-style truce, Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonise their land. Israel has not only banned food and medicine to sustain Palestinian bodies in Gaza but it is also intent on starving minds: due to the blockade, there is not even ink, paper and glue to print textbooks for schoolchildren.

As John Ging, the head of operations of the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), told The Electronic Intifada in November: "There was five months of a ceasefire in the last couple of months, where the people of Gaza did not benefit; they did not have any restoration of a dignified existence. We in fact at the UN, our supplies were also restricted during the period of the ceasefire, to the point where we were left in a very vulnerable and precarious position and with a few days of closure we ran out of food."

That is an Israeli truce. Any response to Israeli attacks -- [including] peaceful protests against the apartheid wall in Bilin and Nilin in the West Bank -- is met with bullets and bombs. There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel's attacks, killings, land theft, settler pogroms and kidnappings never ceased for one single day during the truce. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has acceded to all of Israel's demands, even assembling "security forces" to fight the resistance on Israel's behalf. None of that has spared a single Palestinian or her property or livelihood from Israel's relentless violent colonisation. It did not save, for instance, the al-Kurd family from seeing their home of 50 years in occupied East Jerusalem demolished on November 9, so the land it sits on could be taken by settlers.

Once again we are watching massacres in Gaza, as we did last March when 110 Palestinians, including dozens of children, were killed by Israel in just a few days. Once again people everywhere feel rage, anger and despair that this outlaw state carries out such crimes with impunity.

But all over the Arab media and internet today the rage being expressed is not directed solely at Israel. Notably, it is directed more sharply than ever at Arab states. The images that stick are of Israel's foreign minister Tzipi Livni in Cairo on Christmas Day. There she sat smiling with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Then there are the pictures of Livni and Egypt's foreign minister smiling and slapping their palms together.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported today that last Wednesday the Israeli "cabinet authorized the prime minister, the defense minister, and the foreign minister to determine the timing and the method" of Israel's attacks on Gaza. Everywhere people ask, what did Livni tell the Egyptians and more importantly what did they tell her? Did Israel get a green light to turn Gaza's streets red once again? Few are ready to give Egypt the benefit of the doubt after it has helped Israel besiege Gaza by keeping the Rafah border crossing closed for more than a year.

On top of the intense anger and sadness so many people feel at Israel's renewed mass killings in Gaza is a sense of frustration that there seem to be so few ways to channel it into a political response that can change the course of events, end the suffering, and bring justice.

But there are ways, and this is a moment to focus on them. Already I have received notices of demonstrations and solidarity actions being planned in cities all over the world. That is important. But what will happen after the demonstrations disperse and the anger dies down? Will we continue to let Palestinians in Gaza die in silence?

Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action. The Gaza-based One Democratic State Group reaffirmed this today as it "called upon all civil society organizations and freedom loving people to act immediately in any possible way to put pressure on their governments to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it."

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine ( provides the framework for this. Now is the time to channel our raw emotions into a long-term commitment to make sure we do not wake up to "another Gaza" ever again.

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006).

Palestinian government: `We cannot surrender'

December 27, 2008 -- Taher al-Noono, Palestinian government (and Hamas member) spokesperson, speaks to reporters in Gaza following Israeli attacks.

Palestinian human rights organisations: `Israel's willful killings a war crime'

December 27, 2008 -- Palestinian human rights organisations strongly condemn the recent military attacks carried out by the Israeli occupying forces in the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008. The attacks began at approximately 11:30am and lasted for approximately three hours. These attacks have destroyed most of the Gaza security offices including police stations, resulting in the deaths of more than 200 Palestinians. More than 350 have been injured with at least 120 critically.

The number of deaths resulting from these attacks indicates a willful targeting of the civilian police forces in these locations and a clear violation of the prohibition against willful killings. Willful killings are a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention under Article 147 and therefore, a war crime. Both the time and location of these attacks also indicate a malicious intent to inflict as many casualties as possible with many of the police stations located in civilian population centers and the time of the attacks coinciding with the end of the school day resulting in the deaths of numerous children.

The ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip has left medical facilities in the Strip incapable of meeting the needs of the hundreds more who have been injured which will likely lead to an increase in the number of deaths. According to Israeli officials, these attacks are only the beginning of an open military campaign in Gaza. It is therefore imperative that the international community not stand in silence while Israel moves forward with impunity.

Despite repeated calls from the Palestinian human rights community with regard to Gaza, the international community has failed to act. We are now on the brink of an explosion of violence as result of this failure and are pushed once again to call for action.

In light of the above, Palestinian human rights organizations urge:

  • The UN Security Council to call an emergency session and adopt concrete measures, including the imposition of sanctions, in order to ensure Israel's fulfillment of its obligations under international humanitarian law.
  • The High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligation under common Article 1 to ensure respect for the provisions of the Conventions, taking appropriate measures to compel Israel to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular placing pivotal importance on the respect and protection of civilians from the effects of the hostilities.
  • The High Contracting Parties to fulfill their legal obligation under Article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention to prosecute those responsible for grave breaches of the Convention.
  • EU institutions and member states to make effective use of the European Union Guidelines on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law (2005/C 327/04) to ensure Israel complies with international humanitarian law under paragraph 16 (b), (c) and (d) of these guidelines, including the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions, as well as cessation of all upgrade dialogue with Israel.

Undersigned organisations:
Addameer Prisoners' Support & Human Rights Association
Ad-Dameer Association for Human Rights
Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights
Defence for Children International
Ensan Center for Democracy & Human Rights
Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)
Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center (JLAC)
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession - Musawa
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies (RCHRS)
Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)
Women's Studies Center
The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations' Network - PNGO

Palestinian leaders in Israel declare strike, call for boycott

Appeal from the Higher Follow Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel

December 28, 2008 -- In the presence of all national alliances, an urgent meeting for the Follow up Committee was held today declaring Sunday 28 December 2008 a general strike in protest of the Israeli massacres committed against Palestinians in Gaza. The meeting called for the organization of demonstrations and marches in every Arab town in al-Naqab [Negev], the Triangle, the Galilee areas and coastal towns as a symbol of the rage and severe grief of the Palestinian nation upon the loss of hundreds of its citizens in Gaza.

It was decided that the High Follow Up Committee remains on alert to hold further meetings to take steps in resistance and to stop the consistent aggression and break the siege on Gaza including the opening of all border crossings especially that of Rafah.

The following political message stemmed from the meeting:

  • Considering the Israeli aggression against Palestinians in Gaza an assault against Palestinian People everywhere and our duty is to resist it and break the siege.
  • Recognising Israel and its political and security forces as a criminal state committing acts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity against our people in the Gaza Strip. This with the assurance that the current Israeli parliamentary election campaign is fueled by the Palestinian bloodshed.
  • Saluting the determination and will of Palestinian people in the face of the aggressive Israeli scheme to break their steadfastness and human dignity.
  • Condemning the international complicity with the official Israeli aggression, and considering its silence and complicity as partnership in the crime. the meeting also stressed the absolute rejection of holding the Palestinian people or the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) responsible for the situation and while exempting Israel from its total responsibility.
  • Calling upon the international community to take its legal and moral responsibility, to sanction Israel and boycott it as a state that pursues terrorism, war crimes and crimes against humanity with premeditation.
  • Condemning Arab Official complicity used by Israel to cover for its predefined aggression and condemning the general Arab weakness and calling them to shut down their embassies in Israel and boycott it. We call upon Egypt to open all crossings with Gaza and break its siege.
  • Condemning the complying Arab and Official political voices which held the Palestinian leadership in Gaza responsible for the Israeli aggression and calling the head of the Palestinian National Authority to immediately stop the negotiations with Israel used to further fuel the Palestinian split in the West Bank and in Gaza.
  • Assuring the call for national Palestinian unity and its total support of the Palestinian struggle and resistance in the face of Israeli aggression.
  • Paying tribute to the heroic steadfastness of our people and supporters in the Arab world and elsewhere and the masses in the homeland that stood in the face of the bloody aggression and supported the steadfastness in Gaza.
  • Calling on the masses of our people to exercise the highest degree of readiness to contribute, on individual and collective levels, in the national relief campaign, which includes the donation of medical supplies, food and blood donation in support of Gaza and in contribution to the breaking of the siege.
  • Calling on the masses of our people and supporters in the world to share the worry and to have more readiness to escalate the struggle in order to defeat the Israeli aggression and provide protection for our heroic Palestinian nation.

[The Higher Follow Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel is the highest representative body of the 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel. It includes all Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) as well as elected mayors and local officials.]

PFLP: Now is the time for unity and resistance

By the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

December 28, 2008 -- Over 270 killed in Gaza and hundreds have been wounded in a series of massacres and crimes committed by the Zionist occupier against the Palestinian people in Gaza on December 27, 2008. The occupier shot dozens of missiles from Apache helicopters and F-16 planes at dozens of Gaza government buildings, directly in the middle of heavily populated residential neighborhoods and simultaneously with teachers and students returning to school.

Demonstrations have broken out throughout the West Bank and the Arab world in protest and outrage at the brutality and the nature of these massive crimes.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) issued a statement calling for the broadest resistance to meet and confront this aggression against the Palestinian people and to respond to these massacres, and for the unity of the resistance, and the unity of the Palestinian people, to greet the occupier with resistance, strength and steadfastness despite his brutal crimes. The statement stressed the urgent need for national unity immediately to confront the crimes against our people and to greet the occupier and its brutality with tremendous and unified resistance that is capable of shaking its foundations.

The PFLP statement further called upon all resistance forces to come together now and establish unified resistance front to coordinate and take up the challenge of these attacks against our people. It pointed to the responsibility of the United States for these attacks, as a strategic partner of the occupier, working hand in hand with its massacres and crimes against the Palestinian people, and as the source of the arms used by the occupier against our people. It also pointed to the complicity of the Arab regimes in these crimes, particularly the Egyptian regime, for its ongoing and active participation in the blockade and siege of the Palestinian people in Gaza and its meetings and discussions with the occupier about its plans for Gaza.

These massacres are taking place because of Arab and international silence and active complicity.

The PFLP further called for the immediate end to any and all negotiations with this brutal occupier who plans massacres against our people and stated that if he will not end the negotiations immediately, Abu Mazen must resign now. The nature of the Zionist enemy and its dedication to the eradication of the Palestinian people is laid bare and clear by this series of attacks, calculated to cause maximum damage and human cost. For the past sixty years, there is an unbroken history of massacres and crimes against our people and this massacre today is yet one more expression of the nature of the illegitimate colonial state that has implanted itself on Palestinian land and continues to live on US support through massacres and crimes against the Palestinian people.

The statement concluded by calling upon all of its fighters and military branches to take the strongest actions and to resist the occupation and its massacres by all methods and forms of action and resistance, and by calling for the broadest solidarity on Arab and international levels, for people to come into the streets, demonstrate, march, and take action to declare that these massacres and crimes are unacceptable, that the Arab people and the world are with Palestine and the Palestinian people, and that they will not allow these crimes to continue nor for the Arab regimes and international regimes to be silently complicity or actively involved in the occupation's crimes.

The Palestinian people will greet these massacres with steadfastness, strength, unity and resistance and all of the crimes, massacres, targeting of civilians, residential neighborhoods, and schoolchildren and teachers will do nothing to crush the resistance of our people, the statement said, it will only ensure Palestinian unity in the face of this brutality which makes clear the true face of the occupier to the world.

Communist Party of Israel condemns deadly attacks on Gaza and calls for international mobilisation

December 27, 2008 -- The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) condemns today's deadly attack by the Israeli Air Force on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of over 150 Palestinians. The CPI calls on Communist and workers' parties and social movements throughout the world to mobilise against these Israeli war crimes, and demands that the international community implement sanctions against Israel and indict Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and other Israeli political and military leadership for these blatant war crimes, committed as part of Israel's election process.

Today's Israel's military attack is part of the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip. Israel is exploiting the last moments of the Bush administration to implement the deadly but ineffective imperialist policy of utilising military force to effect political change. Demonstrations against the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip are planned in the major Israeli cities, and demonstrations will be held tonight in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Nazareth.  Yesterday (Friday, December 26), hundreds demonstrators attended a rally in central Tel Aviv to protest the expected Israeli military operation against Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza. The rally was organised by the Coalition against the Gaza Siege and Hadash.

Israelis demonstrate against massacre in the Gaza Strip, Tel Aviv, Israel, December 26, 2008 (No Comment TV, December 27, 2008

"I suggest that we go the other direction", said Hadash Knesset Member Dov Khenin, a leading member of the Communist Party of Israel. "Our power is our tragedy. One powerful blow will not bring the end. They will respond with rockets and eventually we'll embark on an all-out war. Going in the other direction means reinforcing the lull, securing a ceasefire, and lifting the siege that only serves to unite the population around Hamas."

"A genuine peace process will be engaged in vis-à-vis the Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas," he said.  "What's tragic here is that it's possible. We just need the desire."

Khenin added that it is "essential to secure a prisoner swap that would include Gilad Shalit."  When asked why fewer Israelis object the war in Gaza, he said: "People lost their hope. They realise that what's happening is bad, yet they think there's no other option. Yet we are not destined to be the victim of history."  Another rally participant, the former Knesset member Tamar Gozansky, said: "Two years ago we protested at the same site, before the Second Lebanon War. We were ostracised and referred to as traitors. Yet several months later, all the people who made fun of us carried their own signs to Rabin Square and protested against Olmert's policy. I really hope that we won't have yet another reason to say: 'We told you so.'"  In an earlier statement, Knesset member Khenin said: "A comprehensive war in Gaza is dangerous and unnecessary and will put the lives of thousands of Gazans and western Negev residents at risk."  "War is not the solution to the Kassam rocket problem", he continued. "There is another way: a real truce agreement. Not just a cease-fire, but also ending the Gaza blockade and easing the extreme suffering of a million-and-a-half people."

Leading members of the Communist Party of Israel met in Ramallah with representatives of left-wing Palestinian factions

Leading members of the Communist Party of Israel met in Ramallah with representatives of left-wing Palestinian factions, including the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Palestinian People's Party. Militants from the four parties met Thursday (December 25, 2008) in Ramallah to coordinate future steps and to consider ways to strengthen the cooperation between them. The Communist Party of Israel was represented in the meeting by the secretary-general, Mohammed Nafa'h; and the chair of Hadash (The Democratic Peace and Equality Front), M.K. Mohammed Barakeh. This is the first time a meeting has been held in which representatives from all four parties were in attendance. "The Palestinian arena is today in desperate need of a progressive, leftist dialogue of unity", Barakeh said.

Last week, Barakeh travelled to the Jordanian capital of Amman where he met with the secretary-general of the DFLP, Nayef Hawatmeh. Leading members of the Communist Party of Israel recently stated that the talks held with Palestinian left-wing factions are a routine matter. The party has maintained contacts with these groups since the 1970s. "The Communist Party of Israel and Hadash platforms and its fundamental stances are clear and they are expressed everywhere and at every opportunity", a party spokesperson said.  "Ties with PLO groups have been held uninterruptedly since the 1970s, and all of the factions know the positions taken by the Communist Party of Israel as a political Jewish-Arab organisation that espouses a two-state solution with the struggle against capitalism and imperialism."

[Thanks to MRZine for the text of this statement.]

End the attacks on Gaza immediately!

By the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

Sunday, December 28, 2008 -- Let’s be crystal clear. Israel’s massive attacks on Gaza have one overarching goal: conflict management. How to end rocket attacks on Israel from a besieged and starving Gaza without ending the impetus for those attacks, 41 years of increasingly oppressive Israeli Occupation without a hint that a sovereign and viable Palestinian state will ever emerge.

Indeed, the Occupation, in which Israel controls Gaza under a violent siege which violates fundamental human rights and international law, is not even mentioned in Israel’s PR campaign. Speaking to the international community, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni insists that no country would tolerate its citizens being attacked, a seemingly reasonable statement were it not for Israeli sanctions on Gaza supported by the US and Europe – sanctions that preceded the rocket fire on Israel – or the fact of Israeli Occupation in general. Solely focusing on the rocket attacks conceals the political policy that led to them: “The Hamas government in Gaza must be toppled,” Livni has said repeatedly. “The means to do this must be military, economic and diplomatic.”

The responsibility for the suffering both in Israel and Gaza rests squarely with successive Israeli governments, Labor, Likud and Kadima alike. Had there been a genuine political process (remember, the closure of Gaza began in 1989), Israelis and Palestinians could have been living together in peace and prosperity already for 20 years. After all, already in 1988 the PLO accepted the two-state solution in which a Palestinian state would arise on only 22% of historic Palestine, alongside the state of Israel on the other 78%. A truly generous offer.

In Israel, however, the effort is to hide its preference for control over peace. Framing its attacks as a response to rockets from Gaza, exploiting an immediate trigger to effectively conceal deeper political intentions and policies, does that. It also conceals Israeli violations of the cease-fire. The fact that the rocket attacks could have been avoided altogether through a genuine political process means that the people of southern Israel are being held hostage by their government as well. Their suffering, and the suffering of the people of Gaza and the rest of the Occupied Territories, must be placed squarely at the feet of the Israeli government.

Israel cannot expect security for its people and political normalcy as long as it occupies Palestinian lands and continues its attempt to impose its permanent rule over the Palestinians by military force. We call on the Israeli government to end its aggression immediately and enter into genuine political negotiations with a united Palestinian leadership. We call on the international community to end its sanctions on Gaza immediately in accordance with international law, initiate an effective political process to end the Israeli Occupation and bring about a just peace – which reflects the will of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

End the carnage in Gaza -- Boycott the Israeli academy now!

From the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE)

December 29, 2008 -- The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees condemns in the strongest possible terms the bombing today of the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza. This wanton destruction of an academic institution is only the latest in the ongoing lethal campaign launched by the Israeli government and army against Palestinian society in the Gaza Strip. This murderous rampage has caused over 300 deaths and the injury of close to 1500 Palestinians. And the carnage continues with impunity.

We add our voice to the urgent appeal issued two days ago by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC)* [see first statement on this page] urging international civil society not just to protest and condemn Israel's massacre in Gaza, but also to join and intensify the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel to end its impunity and to hold it accountable for its persistent violations of international law and Palestinian rights. We agree that, without sustained, effective pressure by people of conscience the world over, Israel will continue with its gradual, rolling acts of genocide against the Palestinians, burying any prospects for a just peace under the blood and rubble of Gaza, Nablus and Jerusalem.

Today, at the height of the lethal Israeli assault against the Palestinian people in Gaza, we are met with deafening silence emanating from the Israeli academy. Does it condone the murderous bombing campaign that its government is carrying out in the name of all Israelis? Are the members of the academy dutifully preparing for the reserve call-up just approved by their government, ready to serve in the death squads committing war crimes around the clock? Are Israeli universities willing to call for an end to the occupation? Are they going to cut their organic and deep-rooted ties with the military-security establishment? There is no doubt that the aggression against the Gaza Strip has reached horrendous proportions, described by many international public figures as constituting war crimes and a continuation of the ethnic cleansing unleashed sixty years ago.

We urge academics around the world to intensify their boycott of Israeli academic institutions, and to isolate the Israeli academy in international forums, associations of academics, and other international venues. Israeli academic institutions are complicit in the entrenched system of oppression practiced by the Israeli state, and their silence at this critical moment is only the most vociferous indicator of this complicity.

Dr. Amjad Barham, president PFUUPE


Prominent South Africans condemn the Gaza massacre

By the Palestine Solidarity Committee (South Africa)

December 27, 2008 -- A number of prominent South Africans have condemned the brutal attacks currently being perpetrated by the Israeli army in Gaza. Among those who have voiced their condemnation are Eddie Makue, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches; former government minister Ronnie Kasrils; Congress of South African Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven; and University of Johannesburg academic Professor Steven Friedman.

This morning witnessed a massive escalation of the brutal Israeli campaign of bombardment and starvation against the population of Occupied Gaza, resulting in a massacre in the most densely populated area in the world. Thus far, more than 200 Palestinians -- many of them civilians -- have been murdered as a result of missiles fired by Israeli F16 fighter jets, and hundreds more have been injured. Television footage has shown scores of dead and injured schoolchildren.

The attacks constitute violations of international law, with Israel imposing collective punishment on a civilian population and violating numerous rights of a people living under occupation.

This campaign comes at the end of 18 months of a severe siege of Gaza imposed by Israel, in terms of which even medication and food was not allowed to enter Gaza. People were not allowed to leave the territory -- even if they sought medical treatment.

Professor Steven Friedman said the actions of the Israeli army cannot be called ``war crimes''. ``There is no war'', he said, ``but a brutal massacre. These are crimes against humanity being perpetrated by the fourth largest army in the world.''

Ronnie Kasrils said he stood by his statement that Israeli security forces were ``babykillers''. Today's attacks and the siege against Gaza, he said, were proof of Israel's ``genocidal intentions''. He further condemned the ``complicity and silence of the West'' throughout the period of the ``slow murder of the people of Gaza''.

COSATU spokesperson, Patrick Craven, said Israel's campaign was ``criminal''. Civilians, he said, were ``bearing the brunt of the shootings and bombings''.

The past six months has seen a truce between Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza. In that period, Israel repeatedly violated the truce. Now that the truce has ended, Israel has seen its way clear to turn Gaza, which has been an open-air prison, into a wasteland.

The South African Council of Churches general secretary, Eddie Makue, called on the South African government to take a strong stand against Israel. The same sentiment was expressed by Craven who called on the government to sever all diplomatic ties with Israel and institute sanctions against it.

We call on all our people to oppose the perpetration of these war crimes by Israel. Furthermore, we call on the South African government immediately to withdraw our ambassador from Israel, to end all diplomatic relations with Israel, and to impose sanctions on Israel. Our government cannot pretend that this is a war between equal sides. There is no balance in this situation. There can be no moral equivalence between the fourth most powerful army in the world (whose armaments include nuclear weapons) and an occupied people fighting for their survival to prevent a complete genocide against them.

Israel seems intent to mark the end of its 60th year of existence the same way it has established itself -- perpetrating massacres against the Palestinian people.The barbarism of these attacks, and the impunity with which Israel continues to violate international law should also be placed on the agenda. Just as Apartheid South Africa was kicked out of the United Nations for its gross violations of human rights and for its perpetration of a system which was a crime against humanity, so too should Israel be excluded from the UN for its repeated refusal to adhere to international law and UN resolutions and for its perpetration of a system of apartheid.

For more information, call:

Gaza: Professor Haidar Eid - +972 59 944 1766; Dr Eyad Sarraj - +972 599400424; Ewa Jasiewicz - +972 59 8700497

South Africa: Eddie Makue, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches - +82 853 8781; Ronnie Kasrils - +82 784 9236; Professor Steven Friedman - +72 480 6483; Salim Vally - +082 802 5936; Na'eem Jeenah - +84 574 2674;Natasha - +82 660 0723; Melissa Hoole - +73 906 0017

COSATU condemns Israeli assault on Gaza

The Congress of South African Trade Unions vehemently condemns today's murderous Israeli attack on the people of Palestine, when Israeli warplanes and combat helicopters killed at least 155 people and wounded around 200 more in Gaza. It is reported that in Gaza City the dead and wounded lay scattered on the ground after more than 30 airstrikes destroyed several security compounds, including two where Hamas was hosting graduation ceremonies for new recruits.

Today's death toll is even worse than on the five-day Israeli offensive in March, which killed more than 120 people. It is the highest loss of life in a single day in more than 20 years. And yet the Israeli government says that today's attack is "just the beginning" of their offensive against the people of Gaza!

Among the dead, according to medical workers' reports, are police chief, Tawfiq Jabber, the head of Hamas's security and protection unit, and the governor of central Gaza. Contrary to the Israeli claim that it had only targeted "terrorist infrastructure", TV footage clearly shows wounded children being carried to hospital. Yet again civilians are bearing the brunt of the bombings and shootings.

COSATU endorses the view of Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, that this Israeli air campaign was "criminal" and backs his call for the international community to intervene.

The federation reaffirms more strongly than ever its demand that Israel must immediately withdraw all occupation forces from Gaza and end the occupation of all Palestinian land. It must abide by international human rights law, and refrain from imposing collective punishment on Palestinian civilians (as per the UN Human Rights Council declaration issued on July 6, 2006), which it has blatantly contravened today.

All workers and freedom-loving people of South Africa and the world should intensify the boycott of Israeli goods. COSATU reiterates its call for the government of South Africa to break diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it until it ends its 40 years of military occupation of Palestine and recognise the people's right to sovereignty and self-determination.

Patrick Craven (national spokesperson), Congress of South African Trade Unions

Israeli attacks on Gaza's population must stop!

By Left Party (Sweden)

December 28, 2008 -- It is with great dismay and sadness, that we are seeing how Israel abuses the already hard-hit population of Gaza continues. The casualities are rising as the Israeli bombardments continue. Hospitals are filled with wounded and dying people, hospitals who lack access to medicines and equipment due to Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

``We are running out of words in order to accurately describe the hell that the Gaza residents endure'', says Lars Ohly, chair of the Left Party. Israeli attacks on densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip are unjustified and in clear and serious violation of the very foundations of international law and the law of wars. It is the duty of the entire world, including Sweden, to act forcefully.

The Left Party demands that Israel immediately ceases its attacks on Gaza and the border crossings are opened, so that the population of Gaza can have access to medicines and food. Sweden must clearly put pressure on Israel to respect international law and human rights.

``The time for verbal condemnation is over, Israel's clear violations of human rights and international law must now bear consequences. Sweden must act immediately within the EU to break the existing free trade agreement between the European Union and Israel, and freeze the negotiations on deepening cooperation between the EU and Israel. Now it is high time to stop rewarding the Israeli occupation and aggression'', said Hans Linde, foreign policy spokesperson for the Left Party.


LALIT strongly condemns Israel aggression against Palestinians


Hon. Navin Ramgoolam

Prime Minister

Republic of Mauritius

December 29, 2008

Dear Sir,

We write to you as Prime Minister in view of the brutal air strikes by the Israeli army against Gaza, which according to the Red Cross have caused 300 deaths, most of them civilians, and 950 wounded amongst the Palestinians since last Saturday.

LALIT strongly condemns this military aggression by the Israeli army against the Palestinians living inside the Gaza Strip. It is both disproportionate and indiscriminate. We are particularly concerned about the fate of the 1.5 million ``imprisoned'' Palestinians of Gaza living under the murderous siege imposed by the Israeli government since June 2007 and suffering the effects of economic sanctions that are backed by the US and its European allies.

This siege and the economic sanctions are together responsible for denying Palestinians access to medical treatment and causing shortages of food, fuel and electricity to Palestinians. Together they constitute a grave act of collective punishment. The current international economic blocade against Palestine has resulted in a spiralling humanitarian disaster, with the spread of disease, malnutrition and chaos in both the West Bank and Gaza. This new military attack by Israel is further aggravating the situation of the Palestinian people.

The illegal occupation and colonisation of Palestine is, in fact, benefiting the Israeli economy. Israel is making enormous financial gains from its control of all essential services for the Occupied Territories, including water, electricity and telephone services. Some 10 % of Israel’s income (or 46.651 new Israel shekels) is generated each year by the occupation of Palestine. It is the Israeli military industrial complex that has been the primary beneficiary. It is using the occupied territories for ‘field trials’ for new weapons systems.

In 2004 the export of this weaponry was worth US$4.5 billion, or around 10% of the total military expenditure in the world according to Shiv Hever and the Israeli-Palestine Alternative Information Centre (AIC). Companies like Caterpillar, Volvo, Daewoo are also making huge profits from the occupation, all three are supplying equipment to Israel, specially to the military. The D9 armoured bulldozers, supplied by Caterpillar are often used for the demolition of Palestinians’ houses. Since 2000, according to the UN, more than 4500 Palestinian homes have been demolished. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolition estimates that Israel has demolished more than 12,000 Palestinian homes since 1967.

The ``security barrier'' or Apartheid Wall that Israel is building is also making profits for Israeli and foreign companies. The wall is in fact designed to steal Palestine’s natural resources (such as water and land). The ``seamline'' zone between the 1967 Green Line and the Apartheid Wall is now being used by Israeli capitalists to super-exploit Palestinian workers who are forced to work as cheap labour in this “free” zone, a zone where companies do not have to abide by Israeli labour or environmental laws.

The continued military attacks and war waged by Israel on Palestine are motivated by the economic interests and political agenda of the capitalist business class of Israel, US and Europe and their respective States.

Through this letter we would like to re-iterate the call that LALIT and former President Cassam Uteem made to your government in a letter in November 2006. We therefore call again on your government

(i) to freeze its diplomatic relations with Israel,

(ii) to call for an arms embargo on Israel, and

(iii) to initiate a boycott of Israeli products.

Your government should simultaneously use its influence in regional and international forums to take the initiative to prepare a collective statement demanding an immediate stop of Israel military action in Gaza and to follow suit in the three actions above. All must be done to force the present Israeli regime to act according to international law and to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people. The 40 years of illegal occupation and 60 years of colonisation of Palestine are reminiscent of the violence of colonisation in past centuries, now universally condemned as having been totally unacceptable plunder often bordering on genocide. It must stop.

LALIT also expressed its total solidarity with the people of Palestine, in particular with the inhabitants of Gaza, who are facing another harsh and disastrous end of the year. We are actively supporting groups in Palestine and in Israel engaged in resistance actions against military occupation and colonisation.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Ah-Vee

For Lalit

Copy to: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Cassam Uteem, Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Press.

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 10:15



Stop the Massacre of Palestinians!

Tuesday, December 30: National Day of Action
Emergency Demonstrations on Tuesday, December 30 and other days (listed below)

The ANSWER Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom, Free Palestine Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans, and Al-Awda, International Palestine Right to Return Coalition are calling for Tuesday, December 30 to be a National Day of Action to
show solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza and to demand an
immediate end to the murderous attacks carried out by the Israeli
military against the people of Gaza.

In Washington,
D.C., there will be a demonstration at the State Department at 4:30 pm.
Demonstrations will also be held in cities around the country. See
below for an initial list. If there is a demonstration in your city, email the details to so it can be posted on the ANSWER Coalition website and listed in any future emails.

of Palestinians in Gaza have been massacred and wounded today as Israel
has launched a massive bombing campaign against the people of Gaza. The
bombing rampage took place as thousands of Palestinian children were in
the streets on their way home from school. Palestinian parents were
running frantically in the streets looking for their children as
U.S.-provided F-16s and Apache helicopters rained down more than 100
bombs and missiles on Gaza.

The U.S.-backed Israeli Occupation
Force destroyed every security station in Gaza. AFP reported: "There
was no space left in the morgue and bodies were piled up in the
emergency room and in the corridors, as many of the wounded screamed in

Because of the U.S.-backed Israeli blockade and
strangulation of the people of Gaza for the past 18 months there is
little or no medicine to treat the wounded, electricity for hospitals,
or food or clean water for much of the population.

An Israeli
military spokesperson said, "The operation is ‘only just beginning’."
The Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement: "The action will
continue and will widen as much as is demanded according to the
evaluation of the situation by the high command of the army."

Take Action:
- Demonstrations Across the Country
- Send a letter to the State Department and Congress

Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, December 30
4:30 pm
State Department: 22nd St & C St NW
Contact: 202-544-3389 x14,

San Francisco
Tuesday, December 30
5:00 pm
Israeli Consulate:456 Montgomery St.
Contact: 415-821-6545,

Los Angeles
Tuesday, December 30
4:30 pm
Israeli Consulate: 6380 Wilshire Blvd.
Contact: 213-251-1025,
* * * * *
In Anaheim, CA (Orange County):
Sunday, December 28
2:00 pm
512 S. Brookhurst St. (between Orange Ave. & Broadway)
Initiated by a coalition with a large number of groups

New York City
Tuesday, December 30
5:00 pm
Israeli Consulate: 800 2nd Ave (b/w 42nd and 43rd Sts)
Contact: 212-694-8720,
* * * * *
Sunday, December 28
2:00-4:00 pm
Gather at Rockefeller Center
March to the Israeli Consulate: 800 2nd Ave (b/w 42nd and 43rd Sts)
Initiated by Al-Awda New York

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Tuesday, December 30
5:00 pm
Federal Building: 299 E. Broward Blvd.
Contact: 954-707-0155,

Details to be announced
Contact: 773-463-0311,

Details to be announced
Contact: 857-334-5084,

Saturday, January 3
12:00 noon - 2:00 pm
Westlake Park: 4th and Pine
Initiated by Voices of Palestine

Sunday, December 28
2:00 pm
Israeli Embassy Consulate: 180 Bloor St. West
Initiated by a number of local organizations

* * *

Information Below on Actions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anaheim
Join the Southern California Facebook

1) Sunday Dec. 28: Emergency Demo in SF. Meet at Market and Powell at 12PM.

2) Monday Dec. 29: Silent Vigil at Feinstein's Office (Montgomery and Market)
5PM. Bring candles, posters, banners; wear black. Rain or Shine.

3) Tuesday Dec. 30: Rally in front of Israeli Consulate (456 Montgomery St.)


1) Sunday Dec. 28: Emergency Demo for Gaza in Anaheim 512 S. Brookhurst St.
between Orange Ave. & Broadway, 2 PM.

2) Tuesday Dec. 30: Rally in front of Israeli Consulate (6380 Wilshire Blvd.)

Submitted by Workers Intern… (not verified) on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 10:18


The Workers International Vanguard League condemns in the strongest possible terms the massacre by the fascistic Israeli regime of over 300 Palestinians in the Gaza strip today. From sources in Gaza, the death toll is set to rise by the morning and over 800 people have also been injured in simultaneous terror attacks on largely unarmed civilians. Gaza is the biggest open-air prison in the world, a concentration camp. The condemned at Auchwitz had the mercy of being gassed in a darkened chamber. The Palestinians have no such luxury; the children are bombed as they are leaving school; the families paying their respects at funerals are bombed to smithereens. The US, UK and EU regimes make no call for the ending of the bombing. Not a finger is lifted to actually restrain or reign in the Israeli fascists. Such is the horror of modern capitalism. War is good for business. The biggest industry in the world is the arms industry and that means, for ongoing profits, war is needed, artificially created if needs be; The 5 biggest arms manufacturers in the world (Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics) all have cross ownership by the major banks, including those who have suffered losses over the past period, such as Lehman Bros, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Barclays. The US government supplies over $2 bn of weapons annually to prop up Israel. Attacks by the Israeli regime are thus indirectly linked to the bottom line of the major imperialist banks.

The question may well be asked if the latest offensive of the Israeli regime is also to strengthen the hand of the imperialist puppet Abbas to stage a coup against the Hamas leadership? This question is subsidiary as imperialism needs permanent war in the Middle East; this was one of the main reasons why the state of Israel was created in the first place- to divide the working class in the Middle East so the imperialist rule would continue unchallenged. We call on the working class in the Middle East, both Jew and Arab to unite against the fascist Israeli regime. We call on the workers of the world to unite against their own capitalist regimes and imperialism in general, as part of the struggle to end the fascistic terror of modern capitalism. The nationalisation of the banks shows that the capitalist class is historically obsolete. Now more than ever we need to build revolutionary working class parties around the globe to ensure a successful struggle against world capitalism-imperialism.

In South Africa we reject the hypocritical statement of the government which supposedly condemns the attacks by the Israeli regime. Even though they are trying to hide some of the support given by the SA government to Israel, it is clear that the SA regime supports the actions of the Israeli state to the hilt: SA still exports annually over R230 million of helicopter and jet parts to Israel. Israel is the top trading partner of SA in the Middle East (so far as exports are concerned). The Israeli state has regularly cut power supplies to the Gaza but South Africa (through Anglo American) supplies most of the coal that Israel uses for their power stations (R1,3Bn); R2,5 Bn of diamonds are sent to Israel and much of this is imported again after cutting and polishing (again courtesy of Anglo American). In fact, despite the increased attacks on Palestinians this year, exports to Israel have increased by 25% over this period. Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency operates an office at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg. The SA government is still exporting detonators to Israel. Unsurprising is that the major shareholder in Anglo American is none other than JP Morgan Chase (of ill-repute being co-responsible for ordering the coup against the Allende government in Chile in 1973). We call on the working class in South Africa to launch protest actions against the SA government for the complicity in the ongoing massacres of Palestinians.

for further comment

Shaheed Mahomed
ph 0822020617

for comment on the ground in Gaza, please contact the One Democratic State Association
Haidar Eid ph 00972599441766

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 10:34


Israel’s Cynicism Supported by the West’s Complicity

Press release: 27.12.08

Today the Israeli army launched its long awaited strikes against the Gazan people, an unarmed, captive civilian population. The West, including the British government, has supported the last two years’ of blockade of the Palestinians in Gaza for the crime of exercising their democratic rights in a manner not to Israel’s liking. They have stood by while the people have been reduced to beggars dependent upon food aid, aid which has been consistently denied to them by Israel’s siege, resulting in malnutrition, trauma and deaths from medical neglect. This siege has been accompanied by regular military attacks on Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank as Israel is allowed to act with impunity. The passage of 100 trucks of aid yesterday, in the BBC’s words ‘to prevent Israel being accused of a causing humanitarian crisis’ is a cynical diversion which does not fool anyone despite the hopes of our cowardly leaders. The British government must condemn outright the current assault on Gaza, and immediately demand that the UN takes steps to end the siege with the restoration of full freedom of the borders of Gaza.

Emergency Protests

Sunday 28 December 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm and Monday 29 December 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Both protests opposite Israeli Embassy - Kensington High Street

Nearest tube: High Street Kensington

Protests organised by PSC, Palestine Return Centre (PRC), Palestinian Forum of Britain (PFB), British Muslim Initiative (BMI), Stop the War, Friends of al Aqsa, Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Respect, Islamic Human Rights Commission.

For more information contact:

Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC)


Tel: 0207 700 6192

Dear supporter

BRICUP is publishing the following Statement of Determination to Boycott Israel.Please take up this statement and promote it wherever you can — in newspapers, professional and trade union journals, on internet sites.

Boycott is the key sanction we as citizens can apply to Israel. Palestinian organisations are appealing to us to do it. See and

We have created a page on the BRICUP website to post key documentation on the Israeli attack We are not trying to replicate the the archives being created elsewhere but will post items of special significance to BRICUP’s contribution to the worldwide campaign.

Let us do it!

A Statement of Determination to Boycott Israel Sponsored by The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)

Gaza’s Guernica
Enough is enough

The Israeli government is sending waves of F16 fighter jets to bomb the Palestinian population of Gaza, many of whom are already weak and sick from two years of siege and encirclement by Israel. Children, says an Israeli spokeswoman, are legitimate targets because if they inhabit a house allegedly being used to manufacture home-made rockets to fire into Israel, they are ‘terrorists’ themselves. On Saturday December 27, Israel says it dropped 100 tonnes of bombs on Gaza.

We say enough is enough. As long as the state of Israel continues to defy humanity and international law, we, the citizens of the world, commit ourselves to boycotting Israel.

When Nazi planes firebombed the Basque town of Guernica in 1937, to advance General Franco’s revolt against the democratically elected Republican government, Britain, France and other European powers continued to refuse military and political support to the Republic, and Franco and his Nazi allies prevailed.

Since our governments decline to take action against Israel, we, as citizens, must act.

We declare that, in solidarity with the bombed, maimed, tortured and ethnically cleansed people of Palestine, we will, individually and collectively:

refuse to buy any fruit, vegetable, flowers, cosmetics, underwear, swimwear or piece of technology manufactured or produced in Israel or the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and we will inform shops that we object to them stocking Israeli products;

we will not go on holiday to Israel;

we will research which brands of computer contain Israeli-designed and manuctured components, make the information public, and and press all computer manufacturers to end research partnerships with Israel;

we will boycott Israeli films, theatre companies, dance groups and orchestras, and make known our objections to the management of theatres and cinemas;

we will campaign actively for our governments not to allow citizens of our countries to serve in the Israeli army, navy, airforce and security services;

we will lobby in our professional organisations and trade unions for Israeli institutions to be boycotted unless they state publicly that they oppose their government’s actions, will not co-operate with the state (for instance by teaching courses for the security services, which all Israeli universities do), and support the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.


Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, London
Professor Haim Bresheeth, London
Abe Hayeem, London
Mike Cushman, London
Professor Keith Hammond, Glasgow
Professor Ghada Karmi, Exeter
Jenny Morgan, London

Dr. Sue Blackwell, Birmingham

28 December 2008

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 10:55


The Israeli military have started a new massacre in Gaza. Initial
reports talk about at least 200 Palestinians murdered. This is
only an initial number. This massacre comes after years of
tightening seige, which makes life in Gaza a living hell.

Join us in protesting against the massacre, and in solidarity
with the people of Gaza.

Monday, December 29
Town Hall
Sydney CBD

For details phone Isaac Shuisha on 0448 605 203 or Tim Dobson
0430 209 865

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 12:28


Emergency rally for Gaza

Stop the Massacre! End the Siege Now!

5pm, Tuesday, 30th December

Victorian State Library

Cnr La Trobe and Swanston St

Melbourne City

Over 230 people have been killed and more than 700 wounded (half of them
critically) on Saturday, December 27 when Israeli launched a series of violent
air strikes against the Palestinian civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli airstrikes, which saw 100 tonnes of bombs dropped across the region
took place at 11.30 am (Palestinian time) just as thousands of Palestinian
school children were breaking from school to go home, resulting in many of them
being killed or seriously injured.

Journalists and human rights activists on the scene at Gaza Hospital are
reporting gruesome scenes; shocked families pick through body parts to identify
loved ones - amputated bodies are strewn throughout hallways because morgues in
the city can no longer accommodate the dead.

The Israeli air strikes against Gaza's 1.5 million civilian population comes on
top of the Israeli imposed siege designed to strangle the life of the
Palestinians living there, by denying them adequate fuel, food, medical supplies
and power.

The people of Gaza are standing steadfast in the face of these atrocities but we
in the international community also need to raise our voices and be heard to
demand an immediate end to Israel's massacre of hundreds of innocent people and
for an end to the illegal siege and collective punishment of the Palestinian

Join us and others around the world and raise your voices in opposition to
Israel's war crimes and illegal collective punishment of the people of Gaza

Stop the Massacre! End the Siege Now!

Please bring placards and banners

Organised by Justice for Palestine and Palestinian Community Association

For more information: 0439 454 375

** Please join us on the corner of Adderley and Darling streets Cape Town at 12 noon tomorrow (Monday 29th December). We are trying to put together a protest in a hurry to express our outrage at yesterday's Israeli army massacre of over 280 Palestinians in the Gaza strip. Many of them were children who were hit by bombs dropped from planes at 11:30am as they left school. We need to do something to show our solidarity with the Palestinians, more of whom are sure to be killed over the following days since this morning, Israel massed tanks along the border to prepare for a land invasion. There will also be protests in Joburg this week. **
tel 082 2020617 for info...

Corner Adderley and Darling Streets, Cape Town, 12 noon, Monday 29th December

When: Friday 2nd January, 2pm

*Where: Outside US Consulate Johannesburg, Corner River and Riviera roads, Killarney (opposite Killarney Mall)

*Bring: Banners, flags and shoes (to throw in protest)

South Africans are being called out to respond with outrage at the latest massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli apartheid regime. Close to 300 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more maimed in the latest Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip and the threat of further killings still hangs heavily over the skies of Palestine.

For further information contact:

Salim Vally - 082 802 5936

Na'eem Jeenah - 084 574 2674

Natasha Vally - 082 660 0723

Melissa Hoole - 073 906 0017

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 16:04


 Gaza Today: 'This is Only the Beginning'
'We don't have anyone but God. We feel alone.' (Aljazeera)

By Ewa Jasiewicz – Gaza City

As I write this, Israeli jets are bombing the areas of Zeitoun and Rimal in central Gaza City. The family I am staying with has moved into the internal corridor of their home to shelter from the bombing. The windows nearly blew out just five minutes ago as a massive explosion rocked the house. Apache’s are hovering above us, whilst F16s sear overhead.

UN radio reports say one blast was a target close to the main gate of Al Shifa hospital – Gaza and Palestine’s largest medical facility. Another was a plastics factory. More bombs continue to pound the Strip.

Sirens are wailing on the streets outside. Regular power cuts that plunge the city into blackness every night and tonight is no exception. Only perhaps tonight it is the darkest night people have seen here in their lifetimes.

Over 220 people have been killed and over 400 injured through attacks that shocked the strip in the space 15 minutes. Hospitals are overloaded and unable to cope. These attacks come on top of existing conditions of humanitarian crisis: a lack of medicines, bread, flour, gas, electricity, fuel and freedom of movement.

Doctors at Shifaa had to scramble together 10 make shift operating theatres to deal with the wounded. The hospital’s maternity ward had to transform their operating room into an emergency theatre. Shifaa only had 12 beds in their intensive care unit, they had to make space for 27 today.

There is a shortage of medicine – over 105 key items are not in stock, and blood and spare generator parts are desperately needed.

Shifaa’s main generator is the life support machine of the entire hospital. It’s the apparatus keeping the ventilators and monitors and lights turned on that keep people inside alive. And it doesn’t have the spare parts it needs, despite the International Committee for the Red Cross urging Israel to allow it to transport them through Erez checkpoint.

Shifaa’s Head of Casualty, Dr Maowiye Abu Hassanyeh explained, ‘We had over 300 injured in over 30 minutes. There were people on the floor of the operating theatre, in the reception area, in the corridors; we were sending patients to other hospitals. Not even the most advanced hospital in the world could cope with this number of casualties in such a short space of time’.

And as IOF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenaz said this morning, ‘This is only the beginning’. 

But this isn’t the beginning, this is an ongoing policy of collective punishment and killing with impunity practised by Israel for decades. It has seen its most intensified level today. But the weight of dread, revenge and isolation hangs thick over Gaza today. People are all asking, ‘If this is only the beginning, what will the end look like?


Myself and Alberto Acre, a Spanish journalist, had been on the border village of Sirej near Khan Younis in the south of the strip. We had driven there at 8am with the mobile clinic of the Union of Palestinian Relief Committees. The clinic regularly visits exposed, frequently raided villages far from medical facilities.  We had been interviewing residents about conditions on the border. Stories of olive groves and orange groves, family farmland, bulldozed to make way for a clear line of sight for Israeli occupation force watch towers and border guards. Israeli attacks were frequent. Indiscriminate fire and shelling spraying homes and land on the front line of the south eastern border. One elderly farmer showed us the grave-size ditch he had dug to climb into when Israeli soldiers would shoot into his fields.

Alberto was interviewing a family that had survived an Israeli missile attack on their home last month. It had been a response to rocket fire from resistance fighters nearby. Four fighters were killed in a field by the border. Israel had rained rockets and M16 fire back. The family, caught in the crossfire, have never returned to their home.

I was waiting for Alberto to return when ground shaking thuds tilted us off our feet. This was the sound of surface to air fired missiles and F16 bombs slamming into the police stations, and army bases of the Hamas authority here. In Gaza City, in Diere Balah, Rafah, Khan Younis, Beit Hanoon. 

We zoomed out of the village in our ambulance, and onto the main road to Gaza City, before jumping out to film the smouldering remains of a police station in Diere Balah, near Khan Younis. Its’ name - meaning 'place of dates' - sounds like the easy semi-slang way of saying ‘take care’, Diere Bala, Diere Balak – take care.

Eyewitnesses said two Israeli missiles had destroyed the station. One had soared through a children’s playground and a busy fruit and vegetable market before impacting on its target.

Civilians Dead

There was blood on a broken plastic yellow slide, and a crippled, dead donkey with an upturned vegetable cart beside it. Aubergines and splattered blood covered the ground. A man began to explain in broken English what had happened. ‘It was full here, full, three people dead, many many injured’. An elderly man with a white kuffiyeh around his head threw his hands down to his blood drenched trousers. ‘Look! Look at this! Shame on all governments, shame on Israel, look how they kills us, they are killing us and what does the world do? Where is the world, where are they, we are being killed here, hell upon them!’ He was a market trader, present during the attack.

He began to pick up splattered tomatoes he had lost from his cart, picking them up jerkily, and putting them into plastic bags, quickly. Behind a small tile and brick building, a man was sitting against the wall, his legs were bloodied. He couldn’t get up and was sitting, visibly in pain and shock, trying to adjust himself, to orientate himself.

The police station itself was a wreck, a mess of criss-crossed piles of concrete – broken floors upon floors. Smashed cars and a split palm tree split the road.

We walked on, hurriedly, with everyone else, eyes skyward at four apache helicopters – their trigger mechanisms supplied by the UK’s Brighton-Based EDM Technologies. They were dropping smoky bright flares – a defence against any attempt at Palestinian missile retaliation.

Turning down the road leading to the Diere Balah Civil Defence Force headquarters we suddenly saw a rush of people streaming across the road. ‘They’ve been bombing twice, they’ve been bombing twice’ shouted people.

We ran too, but towards the crowds and away from what could possibly be target number two, ‘a ministry building’ our friend shouted to us. The apaches rumbled above.

Arriving at the police station we saw the remains of a life at work smashed short. A prayer matt clotted with dust, a policeman’s hat, the ubiquitous bright flower patterned mattresses, burst open. A crater around 20 feet in diameter was filled with pulverised walls and floors and a motorbike, tossed on its’ side, toy-like in its’ depths. 

Policemen were frantically trying to get a fellow worker out from under the rubble. Everyone was trying to call him on his Jawwal. ‘Stop it everyone, just one, one of you ring’ shouted a man who looked like a captain. A fire licked the underside of an ex-room now crushed to just 3 feet high. Hands alongside hands rapidly grasped and threw back rocks, blocks and debris to reach the man.

We made our way to the Al Aqsa Hospital. Trucks and cars loaded with the men of entire families – uncles, nephews, brothers – piled high and speeding to the hospital to check on loved ones, horns blaring without interruption.

Hospitals on the Brink

Entering Al Aqsa was overwhelming, pure pandemonium, charged with grief, horror, distress, and shock. Limp blood covered and burnt bodies streamed by us on rickety stretchers. Before the morgue was a scrum, tens of shouting relatives crammed up to its open double doors. ‘They could not even identify who was who, whether it is their brother or cousin or who, because they are so burned’ explained our friend. Many were transferred, in ambulances and the back of trucks and cars to Al Shifa Hospital.

The injured couldn’t speak. Causality after casualty sat propped against the outside walls outside, being comforted by relatives, wounds temporarily dressed. Inside was perpetual motion and the more drastically injured. Relatives jostled with doctors to bring in their injured in scuffed blankets. Drips, blood streaming faces, scorched hair and shrapnel cuts to hands, chests, legs, arms and heads dominated the reception area, wards and operating theatres.

We saw a bearded man, on a stretcher on the floor of an intensive care unit, shaking and shaking, involuntarily, legs rigid and thrusting downwards. A spasm coherent with a spinal chord injury. Would he ever walk again or talk again? In another unit, a baby girl, no older than six months, had shrapnel wounds to her face. A relative lifted a blanket to show us her fragile bandaged leg. Her eyes were saucer-wide and she was making stilted, repetitive, squeeking sounds.

A first estimate at Al Aqsa hospital was 40 dead and 120 injured. The hospital was dealing with casualties from the bombed market, playground, Civil Defence Force station, civil police station and also the traffic police station. All levelled. A working day blasted flat with terrifying force.

At least two shaheed (martyrs) were carried out on stretchers out of the hospital. Lifted up by crowds of grief-stricken men to the graveyard to cries of ‘La Illaha Illa Allah’, there is no god but Allah.

Who Cares?

And according to many people here, there is nothing and nobody looking out for them apart from God. Back in Shifa Hospital tonight, we meet the brother of a security guard who had had the doorway he had been sitting in and the building – Abu Mazen’s old HQ - fall down upon his head. He said to us, ‘We don’t have anyone but God. We feel alone. Where is the world? Where is the action to stop these attacks?’

Majid Salim, stood beside his comatosed mother, Fatima. Earlier today she had been sitting at her desk at work – at the Hadije Arafat Charity, near Meshtal, the Headquarters of the Security forces in Gaza City. Israel’s attack had left her with multiple internal and head injuries, tube down her throat and a ventilator keeping her alive. Majid gestured to her, ‘We didn’t attack Israel, my mother didn’t fire rockets at Israel. This is the biggest terrorism, to have our mother bombarded at work’.

The groups of men lining the corridors of the over-stretched Shifaa hospital are by turns stunned, agitated, patient and lost. We speak to one group. Their brother had both arms broken and has serious facial and head injuries. ‘We couldn’t recognise his face, it was so black from the weapons used’ one explains. Another man turns to me and says. ‘I am a teacher. I teach human rights – this is a course we have, ‘human rights’. He pauses. ‘How can I teach, my son, my children, about the meaning of human rights under these conditions, under this siege?’

Its true, UNRWA and local government schools have developed a Human Rights syllabus, teaching children about international law, the Geneva Conventions, the International Declaration on Human Rights, The Hague Regulations. To try to develop a culture of human rights here, to help generate more self confidence and security and more of a sense of dignity for the children. But the contradiction between what should be adhered to as a common code of conducted signed up to by most states, and the realities on the ground is stark. International law is not being applied or enforced with respect to Israeli policies towards the Gaza Strip, or on ’48 Palestine, the West Bank, or the millions of refugees living in camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

How can a new consciousness and practice of human rights ever graduate from rhetoric to reality when everything points to the contrary – both here and in Israel? The United Nations have been spurned and shut out by Israel, with Richard Falk the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights held prisoner at Ben Gurion Airport before being unceremoniously deported this month – deliberately blinded to the abuses being carried out against Gaza by Israel. An international community which speaks empty phrases on Israeli attacks ‘we urge restraint…minimise civilian casualties’.

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated regions on the planet. In Jabbaliya camp alone, Gaza’s largest, 125,000 people are crowded into a space 2km square. Bombardment by F16s and Apaches at 11.30 in the morning, as children leave their schools for home reveals a contempt for civilian safety as does the 18 months of a siege that bans all imports and exports, and has resulted in the deaths of over 270 people as a result of a lack of access to essential medicines.

A Light

There is a saying here in Gaza – we spoke about it, jokily last night. ‘At the end of the tunnel…there is another tunnel’. Not so funny when you consider that Gaza is being kept alive through the smuggling of food, fuel and medicine through an exploitative industry of over 1000 tunnels running from Egypt to Rafah in the South. On average 1-2 people die every week in the tunnels. Some embark on a humiliating crawl to get their education, see their families, to find work, on their hands and knees. Others are reportedly big enough to drive through.

Last night I added a new ending to the saying. ‘At the end of the tunnel, there is another tunnel and then a power cut’. Today, there’s nothing to make a joke about. As bombs continue to blast buildings around us, jarring the children in this house from their fitful sleep, the saying could take on another twist. After today’s killing of over 200, is it that at the end of the tunnel, there is another tunnel, and then a grave?’, or a wall of international governmental complicity and silence? 

There is a light through, beyond the sparks of resistance and solidarity in the West Bank, ’48 and the broader Middle East. This is a light of conscience turned into activism by people all over the world. We can turn a spotlight onto Israel’s crimes against humanity and the enduring injustice here in Palestine, through coming out onto the streets and pressurizing our governments; demanding an end to Israeli apartheid and occupation, broadening our call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and for a genuine Just Peace.

Through institutional, governmental and popular means, this can be a light at the end of the Gazan tunnel.

-Ewa Jasiewicz is an experienced journalist, community and union organizer, and solidarity worker. She is currently Gaza Project Co-coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement - This article was contributed to

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 18:41


Dear Friends,
This is an important statement by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA)
in response to Israel's collective punitive attack on the people of Gaza.
Important to protest is Canada's support for this latest Israeli slaughter which
takes place with the complicity of the Canadian government.
WHEN: 2pm on Sunday December 28, 2008
WHERE: Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor St. W
The Coalition Against Isreali Apartheid (CAIA) joins with Palestine House,
the Canadian Arab Federation, Women in Solidarity with Palestine, Not in
our Name (NION): Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism, and many other respected
organizations in Demonstrating against the assault on the people of Gaza.
CAIA is calling on all allies to respond with outrage to the latest
massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli apartheid regime. At least 200
Palestinians have been killed in the latest Israeli assault on the Gaza
Strip over the last 12 hours and the threat of further killings still
hangs heavily over the skies of Palestine.
This is the single largest massacre in Gaza since Israel illegally
occupied the area in 1967. The numbers of dead are mounting, especially as the
already limited medical supplies are running out due to the brutal
siege of Gaza since 2005.
While the Western media reports that the raids targeted Hamas
'operatives,' the dead include women, children and men in all areas of
life in Gaza. "Operation Cast Lead" has echoes of previous Israeli raids
into Gaza that have been characterized by indiscriminate attacks on
civilian population centers, mass detentions, violent house demolitions
and other forms of collective punishment. Such actions need to be strongly
and unconditionally condemned.
This attack comes just days after the so-called 'ceasefire' between Hamas
and Israel expired. During this alleged ceasefire, Israel continued to
impose its brutal siege on Gaza, restricting the flow of aid, medical
supplies, fuel and other necessities of life into the territory. For the
past two years Gaza has been undergoing the daily violence of a
wide-ranging humanitarian catastrophe triggered by severely reduced access
to energy, food, and medicines. In effect, Gaza is the world's largest
open air prison. The UN and others in the international community
condemned the humanitarian disaster created by Israel's siege during the
time of this 'ceasefire'. Israel now claims that this operation is in
response to Hamas refusing to renew this sham of a ceasefire. Once again,
Israel is imposing collective punishment on the people of Gaza for
electing a Hamas government.
As people of conscience, CAIA members are particularly angered by the
Canadian government's on-going support for the Israeli apartheid regime -
including the intensification of bilateral military, political and
economic links between Canada and Israel. This latest massacre occurs in
the context of official Canadian complicity with and support for Israel's
illegal siege and starvation of the civilian population in Gaza.
At this moment, we can only reaffirm our commitment in the strongest
possible terms to continue mobilizing to respond to the call by over 170
Palestinian civil society organizations for a comprehensive campaign of
boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).
As H.E. Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockman, President of the United Nations General
Assembly state in a recent speech: "More than twenty years ago we in the United
Nations took the lead from civil society when we agreed that sanctions were
required to provide a nonviolent means of pressuring South Africa to end its
violations. Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following
the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar
non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to
end its violations."
Statement by: Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
Demonstration Organized By:
Canadian Arab Federation
Palestine House
Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP)
Not In Our Name (NION): Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism
Muslim Association of Hamilton
International Jewish anti-Zionist Network – Toronto
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 08:37


From MRZine

By Hussein Assi

Once again, Arab regimes and Arab people seem to be living on the opposite riverbanks.

For the second consecutive day, the Zionist entity continued its bloody offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza strip, committing the worst-ever massacres.

For the second consecutive day, many Arab regimes maintained their deadly official "calm," or even worse, their "verbal denunciation" to the attacks.  Yet, none of the Arab leaders took any "practical measure," except for calling for an "urgent" Arab summit on Friday, a week after the Israeli offensive that claimed the lives of more than 270 Palestinians in less than 24 hours!

In contrast to the expected Arab official reaction to Zionist aggressions, Arab peoples have staged angry demonstrations across the Arab world to condemn Israeli barbarism and to express support for Palestinian resistance.  Demonstrations also called on the international community to assume its responsibilities towards the Palestinians and the crimes against humanity committed by Israel.

One of the biggest demonstrations took place in the Yemeni capital Sanaa Sunday where the General People's Congress (GPC), National Democratic Coalition, and civil society organizations organized a solidarity rally in the Capital Secretariat against the brutal Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people in Gaza.  Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Capital Secretariat and called for an Arab and Islamic unified stand against Israel's illegal actions.

Damascus, Syria, 27.12.08

Syria, in turn, witnessed a huge rally where tens of thousands of Syrians gathered at the center of Damascus, protesting the Israeli aggressions and the Arab regimes' calm.  They declared solidarity with Gaza and called to stop the aggressions as soon as possible.  They also set fire to Israeli and US flags.

Beirut also witnessed for the second consecutive day multiple solidarity movements against the Israeli attacks.  Palestinian and Lebanese protesters gathered outside the UN-ESCWA, calling for a responsible international reaction to the massacres.  Protesters held candles and Palestinian flags, chanting anti-Israel slogans.

Ain el-Hilweh, Lebanon, 27.12.08

Cairo, Egypt, 27.12.08

Amman, Jordan, 28.12.08

Demonstrations also have been held at the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, mainly the Ain el-Helwe camp in Sidon in south Lebanon.  Dozens of youths took to the streets to express solidarity with the Palestinians and set fire to tires.  A huge rally is also set to take place in the southern city on Monday.

Around 20,000 people took to the streets of Egyptian cities on Sunday to protest against the attacks.  The largest protest saw around 8,000 people demonstrate on the streets of Assiut, a city in southern Egypt of 400,000, a security official said, with another 3,000 gathering in Minya, south of Cairo.  4,000 people took part in another anti-Israel and pro-Gaza demonstration in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, the security official said.  Another 4,000 people rallied outside the Doctors' Syndicate in the capital against the Israeli onslaught that has also wounded more than 600 Palestinians in the isolated enclave on Egypt's northeastern border.

Jordanians are also set to protest against the Israeli attacks on Sunday afternoon.  On Saturday, hundreds of protesters in the Jordanian capital Amman demonstrated in front of the nearby UN headquarters, waving Hamas banners and condemning Israel's strikes.

Thousands of people marched in the Moroccan capital to protest Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip and called for revenge for the more than 270 Palestinians martyred.  A crowd estimated at 3,000 carried signs denouncing the "Israeli aggressors" and chanted that "with our soul, with our blood, we will sacrifice for you, Gaza!"

Meanwhile, a general strike was observed all across Palestinian territories Sunday in protest at the Israeli massacre in Gaza.  The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) had called for a general strike and rallies and declared state of mourning.  Commercial stores closed and Palestinian flags were brought to half-mast.

West Bank, 27.12.08

Some of the rallies developed into clashes between the Israeli occupation forces and the protestors in Ramallah, where dozens were injured with Israeli bullets.

Angry demonstrations also broke out in Oum el-Fahem, Nazareth, Sahnin and Tamra in northern occupied Palestine in response to a call from leaders of the Arab community.  Protesters chanted slogans condemning Israeli aggressions and waved Palestinian flags.

In Bethlehem, municipal officials switched off Christmas lights in protest at the violence.

Beirut, Lebanon, 27.12.08

Submitted by Jewish Voices … (not verified) on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 15:26


December 28, 2008

Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world, including the 1,000 Israelis who protested in the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in condemning ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli.

Israel's slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade has caused widespread suffering to the 1.5 million people of Gaza due to lack of food, electricity, water treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the world.

In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, directly targeting civilians, which is also a war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis since 2004.

Every country, Israel included, has the right and obligation to protect its citizens. The recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza shows that diplomatic agreements are the best protection for civilian life.

Moreover, massive Israeli air strikes have proven an indiscriminate and brutal weapon. In just two days, the known death toll is close to 300, and the attacks are continuing. By targeting the infrastructure of a poor and densely populated area, Israel has ensured widespread civilian casualties among this already suffering and vulnerable population.

This massive destruction of Palestinian life will not protect the citizens of Israel. It is illegal and immoral and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. And it threatens to ignite the West Bank and add flames to the other fires burning in the Middle East and beyond for years to come.

The timing of this attack, during the waning days of a US administration that has undertaken a catastrophic policy toward the Middle East and during the run-up to an Israeli election, suggests an opportunistic agenda for short-term political gain at an immense cost in Palestinian lives. In the long run this policy will benefit no-one except those who always profit from war and exploitation. Only a just and lasting peace, achieved through a negotiated agreement, can provide both Palestinians and Israelis the security they want and deserve.

December 29, 2008

Socialist Alliance (Australia) statement

Israel’s killing must stop! Stand up for the people of Gaza! End ties with the racist Israeli state!

The Socialist Alliance condemns the Israeli massacre in the Gaza strip, which has left at least 280 people dead and 800 more injured. We call on the Rudd government to also condemn this slaughter and to break Australian economic, diplomatic, military and cultural ties with the Israeli apartheid state.

While Israel claimed that it targeted “terrorists”, the 100 bombs were mostly aimed at police stations in the middle of densely populated civilian areas. The attack, which was carefully planned at least several days in advance, also took place at the same time as children were going home from school, leaving many dead or injured.

The massacre comes on the back of two years of blockade imposed by Israel in an attempt to topple the democratically elected Hamas government. Many Gazans have already died due to lack of basic medical treatment, food, clean water and electricity.

The killing looks set to continue with large numbers of Israeli armored vehicles massing on the border of Gaza. Israel has called up 6500 reservists and has announced that it will call up more over the next few days.

If the massacres are to stop international public opinion needs to let Israel know that its actions are unacceptable. In particular, Israel’s traditional supporters , who have clearly sanctioned this bloody operation, must be forced to withdraw their support.

The Australian people need to stand up for the people of Gaza by making the Rudd government end its support for Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Socialist Alliance urges its members and supporters to join all emergency protests that are being organised around the country against this latest crime of the Israeli state.

For further comment: Tim Dobson 0413 928 894

People before profits, planet before profits

End the Massacre in Gaza – No Solution Through Violence

A Statement of the National Action Committee of the Socialist Party USA

The Socialist Party USA unequivocally condemns the ongoing Israeli military offensive against the people of Gaza. We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities on all sides and an immediate end to the blockade of the Gaza strip. We encourage US citizens to assist the process of peace in the region by demanding that the US government end all military aid to Israel and other Middle Eastern governments.

The Israeli military is involved in a massacre of the people of Gaza. More than one million people are trapped in the region, penned in by the Israeli Defense Forces on one side and the Egyptian military on the other. Over the past few days, more than 400 people have been killed and thousands more injured as a result of Israeli military aggression. This has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis which has put the entire population of Gaza at risk. Today, Gaza City is a squalid ghetto under attack by overwhelming military force intent on the inflicting collective punishment on the Palestinian people “to the bitter end.”

The present humanitarian tragedy in the Gaza Strip is only a one moment in a history of Israeli state terrorism directed at the Palestinian population. Features of this conflict include arbitrary seizures of Palestinian land, destruction of homes, and the criminalization and physical expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. This process must be ended immediately. The Socialist Party USA believes that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be reached through violence. The politics of terror and militarization tend to reduce the social space available for popular movements to develop. The Socialist Party USA therefore supports Israelis and Palestinians who are working toward a peaceful, equitable solution and we encourage collaborative organizing across national and ethnic borders.

The Socialist Party USA also believes that the US government is directly responsible for funding the militarization of the region and giving political cover to the overwhelming use of force by the state of Israel. Many of the tanks, planes, and helicopters, being used against the Palestinian people have been paid for with US taxpayer’s money. Indeed, tens of billions of dollars has been delivered to the state of Israel and Egypt in the form of military aid. The US government has provided political support in various international organizations, including the United Nations, for the Israeli state regardless of the illegality or illegitimacy of its actions. Added to this, is the continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by the US military which has resulted in a massive death toll and has served to justify the use of military force.

The Socialist Party USA believes that residents of the United States have an important role to play in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We have a responsibility to build popular movements which aim to end the US government’s “special relationship” with Israel and which call for an end to the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. All forms of non-violent protest should be employed in this effort including divestment campaigning which features boycotts of corporations that openly support Israel. Internationally, the Socialist Party USA seeks to support popular forces throughout the Middle East who are working towards building democratic secular societies. Democratic Socialism, with its emphasis on international solidarity and human rights, offers the possibility of moving beyond the occupier’s logic of violence, criminalization and oppression.

No to Israeli Military Aggression!
End the Siege of Gaza!
For the Free Association of all People’s of the Middle East!
End the Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan!