(Updated Nov. 22) Solidarity from the Asian left: 'Stop Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza and the killing of children and civilians!'

A protest in Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney, on November 15, 2012, called for an end to Israel's attacks on Gaza.
 [To be included in this round-up, please send solidarity statements to linkssocialism@gmail.com.]

The Noynoy government must condemn Israel’s actions and support build-up of international pressure to stop Israeli aggression!

Statement byPartido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines)

November 16, 2012 -- The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) condemns Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza which is resulting in the killing of civilians, including children. We consider Israel to be an occupation force and an occupying power and we consider the Palestinian resistance a legitimate struggle for self-determination against the Israeli occupation. Therefore, we also condemn the political assassination by the Israeli occupation forces of a leader of the Palestinian liberation struggle, Ahmed al-Jabari, commander of Hamas -- the legitimately elected government in Gaza.

Furthermore, we also think the argument that Israel is only retaliating to attacks by Hamas, false and misleading. Israel has one of the best armed and sophisticated military machines in the world and its military might is no match for the Palestinian people: it’s a David and Goliath situation, with Israeli airstrikes resulting in the mass murder of civilians.

Israel’s actions are pushing the region closer to a major regional war with serious international ramifications. We know that Israel has been campaigning for and pressuring its allies, especially the United States, towards a war with Iran. It’s also no co-incidence that the airstrikes on Gaza have been initiated by the Israeli government prior to the national elections in January. These events, among others, demonstrate that it is in the interest of the Israeli regime to be on a permanent war footing. We think that utmost international pressure must be exerted on Israel to stop the bombing of Gaza and desist from this course.

The Philippines has recognised the State of Palestine and has had an official diplomatic office for the Palestinian state based here. This is despite pressure from Christian fundamentalist lobby groups against Palestine.

We call on President Noynoy and his government to be consistent with this position of recognizing Palestinian statehood and to condemn Israel’s murderous airstrikes on the Palestinian people living in the Gaza Strip.

Socialist Alliance: Australia should side with the Palestinians

Rally for Gaza, Nov 15, Sydney.

Statement by Socialist Alliance (Australia)

November 21, 2012 -- The violence currently happening in the Gaza Strip is not a war.

On the one hand there is a highly militarised state, with one of the best equipped armed forces in the world, generously subsidised by billions of dollars in Western military and non-military aid. On the other hand there are 1.5 million people, subjects of this state, which has herded them into a walled ghetto on which it imposes a starvation siege.

Some Israeli government ministers been open about the reasons for the current massacres being perpetrated against civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces. “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages”, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said. Transport Minister Israel Katz called “for Gaza to be bombed so hard the population has to flee into Egypt”.

The current assault on the civilians of Gaza is — like the starvation siege imposed since 2006, like the land grabs and apartheid in the West Bank, like the policy of imprisoning thousands of Palestinians without trial, like the routine killings of Palestinians by Israeli armed forces and settlers that don't even get reported in the Western media, like the discrimination suffered even by the minority of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship — part of a policy of ethnic cleansing that has been occurring since the formation of Israel in 1948.

The State of Israel is, and always has been, explicit about wishing to exclude non-Jews from what it calls Eretz Israel (the land of Israel), which Palestinians call Palestine.

Yet despite more than 60 years of ethnic cleansing and colonisation by Jewish settlers from around the world, almost half the population under Israeli rule — some 5 million people in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and inside the 1948 borders of Israel — remain Palestinian. The latest upsurge in violence is simply part of an ongoing project aimed at forcing them to join the 6 million Palestinians permanently exiled from their homeland.

Australian PM Julia Gillard has said: “The government condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and calls on Hamas to cease these immediately. Australia supports Israel's right to defend itself against these indiscriminate attacks. Such attacks on Israel's civilian population are utterly unacceptable.”

Socialist Alliance unreservedly condemns this entirely dishonest rationale for siding with the perpetrators of violence against their victims. Leaving aside the question of who fired the first shot in this latest fighting (Israel) and who is killing most civilians (again Israel, by a ratio of more than 30 to 1), this statement obscures that this is a conflict between a state and a subject people.

The Australian establishment’s uncritical support of Israel in part reflects historical parallels between the two nations: both are nations created through colonisation by settlers and the marginalisation, exclusion and ethnic cleansing of indigenous populations.

It also reflects the role that Israeli aggression plays in the strategically important and oil-rich Middle East, helping maintain the dominance of the US-led Western alliance, which Australia is part of.

Uncritical support of Israel is caused by the same factors that have led to Australian participation in US-led wars of aggression from Korea, through Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia and Iraq (again) to Afghanistan.

Israel’s role as a front-line state of Western imperialism has made high-tech military systems its major industry. This is why the deal announced on October 12 for Israeli arms company Elbit Systems to fit out Australian Defence Force ships with “Battle Management Systems” is typical of Australia’s economic ties with Israel.

The belittling of Palestinian suffering and vilification of Palestinian
people by Australian politicians and media fuels racism against Australia’s Arab and Muslim communities.

However, this stance of the Australian establishment does not reflect the Australian people, 65% of whom view Israel negatively according to a poll published in the Jerusalem Post in July.

Therefore, the Socialist Alliance:

• Condemns Israel’s current attack on Gaza and its ongoing starvation siege of Gaza;
• Condemns all violence, oppression and discrimination suffered by Palestinians living under Israeli rule, whether in Gaza, the West Bank or inside the 1948 borders of Israel
• Recognises the right of all Palestinians to live anywhere in their homeland with peace, security and full civil and political rights;
• Recognises that all people, including Palestinians, have a right to resist violence and dispossession;
• Demands that the Australian government sides with the victims of violence instead of the perpetrators, and severs all diplomatic, economic and military ties with Israel;
• Demands that Australian federal and state government repeals all laws that criminalise support for the legitimate right of Palestinians to resist; and
• Demands that Australian media, in particular the publicly-funded ABC, cease functioning as a propaganda arm of the Israeli military and start objectively reporting events.

Australia: Socialist Alliance councillor condemns Israel's violence in Gaza

Statement by the Australian Socialist Alliance's newly elected Moreland City City councillor Sue Bolton

November 16, 2012 -- “Civilians were the overwhelming majority of the more than 1400 people Israel killed in it’s 2009 assault on Gaza. Today, Israel is beginning another assault. A quarter of the Palestinians killed so far are children, including babies”, said Sue Bolton, newly elected Socialist Alliance member of the Moreland City Council in Melbourne.

“But Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is already following the lead of the US and EU in condemning Palestinian armed resistance and retaliation while excusing the Israeli aggression. Contrary to media reports, no Palestinians fired rockets from Gaza this week until after Israel killed a civilian who strayed too close to the besieged territory’s border and a teenager playing football outside his home.”

Councillor Bolton was one of 16 activists acquitted by the Melbourne Magistrates Court in July after being charged for protesting outside a Max Brenner chocolate shop, calling for a boycott of the Max Brenner brand because of its links to the Israeli army. She called on people in Melbourne to attend the solidarity protest at the GPO in Bourke Street at 12.30 on November 17.

“After the 2009 assault Givati Brigade soldiers made a souvenir T-shirt with an image of a pregnant Palestinian woman and the slogan ‘One shot, two kills’, leaving nothing they were doing in Gaza to the imagination. The Givati Brigade is one of the units Max Brenner’s Israeli parent company sponsors, which is why we call for the boycott.

“We need to protest now to stop this latest assault escalating to stop the horrors of 2009 being repeated. We need to show the world that Australians do not support it. Australian politicians and media are silent on Israel’s ongoing starvation siege of Gaza, the deaths and misery it causes, and the regular ‘surgical strikes’ that kill civilians. They are also silent about the apartheid and discrimination faced by Palestinians, not just in Gaza but everywhere Israel rules. They are silent about the thousands held in detention without trial and oppose the right of Palestinian refugees to return.

“Despite this, an opinion poll published in the Jerusalem Post this year showed that 65% of Australians view Israel negatively while only 18% view it positively. So we need to make our voices heard.”

Malaysian socialists condemn Israel's Gaza massacre

Released by Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia)

November 21, 2012 -- Parti Sosialis Malaysia -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns Israel for its latest brutal assault on the Palestinian people.

Israel has once again intensified its aggression against the Palestinian people of Gaza, by launching airstrikes since November 14, 2012. Israel has amassed troops on the border and threatened a ground invasion on the Gaza Strip. More than 100 Palestinians including at least 23 children have been killed since the new massacre called “Operation Pillar of Defense” began.

Israel escalated the assault on Gaza on the eve of its upcoming legislative election as its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to gain votes with Palestinian bodies.

The Zionist regime of Israel has attempted numerous times to destroy Hamas, the organisation that leads the struggle of the Palestinian people against oppression by Israel, since Hamas won the Palestinian election in January 2006. Such savage attempts include blockade of the Gaza Strip from 2007 until 2011, which turned Gaza into the largest concentration camp in the world imprisoning 1.5 million Palestinians living in dire conditions. The massacre by Israeli armed force in December 2008 to January 2009 killed more than 1400 people and wounded over 5300 people in a period of three weeks.

Israel claims that the assault on Gaza is to halt the rocket attacks originating from the Gaza Strip but it is only an excuse for a pre-planned genocidal act to secure votes in the coming election.

Besides the Zionist Israeli state –- a racist state founded on the mass expulsion of the Palestinians, -- its imperialist ally the US and other Western imperialist powers are equally responsible for the ongoing slaughter of the Palestinian people.

The US government has supplied Israel with the world's most modern weaponry. The re-elected US president Barack Obama has stated that the US will continue to support Israel's "right to defend itself", at the cost of lives of Palestinians in Gaza who are mainly refugees being denied their right to return to their homes of origin and are continuously brutalised by the Zionist army. The US government has provided US$3 billion annually to "aid" Israel in equipping itself with murderous weapons to commit its genocidal crime.

The PSM extends its solidarity to the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israel's apartheid regime and imperialism.

The PSM demands the following:

1. Israeli must stop its aggression on Gaza immediately and pull out all its troops from the occupied territories.

2. The US and it allies must stop all its financial and military aid to Israel, and impose an arms embargo on Israel.

3. Governments all over the world must uphold their obligation to protect the Palestinian people's right to life and right to self-determination.

A lasting peace in the Middle East will only prevail if justice is upheld for the Palestinian people and imperialism is defeated.

Hands off Gaza!

Stop the massacre!

CPI (ML) Liberation: Protest Israel’s US-Backed War on Gaza

Statement by the Communist Party of India (ML) Liberation

November 20, 2012 -- ML Update -- Yet again, Israel has unleashed war on Gaza, without provocation, and in defiance of all international norms. Israel’s claim that theirs is a defensive war, to thwart rocket fire on part of Hamas, is patently false. Nearly 100 Palestinian civilians have been killed and 400 injured, and Israel has been bombarding densely-packed civilian settlements as well as target media centres. Among the Palestinian dead are two babies, less than a year old.

Belying Israel’s claims, the unequal and one-sided nature of the war can be gauged from the fact that just four Israeli civilians have been killed and 30 injured in Hamas attacks. The sophisticated weapons deployed by Israel are in stark contrast to the primitive rockets used by the Hamas. The assassination of Ahmed Jaabari, the head of the military wing of Hamas, seems to have been aimed at scuttling ongoing truce talks.

Repeating a pattern from four years ago, this attack on Gaza comes after a US Presidential election and before an election in Israel. The motive of reaping an electoral harvest from a war on Palestine is rather obvious. Israeli citizens have reportedly put out ads in papers declaring ‘No to the election war.’

The newly re-elected US President Obama has supported Israel’s war in the name of its ‘right to self-defence,’ as has the EU. Yet again, the US and EU have supported Israeli war crimes, reinforcing Israel’s sense of impunity.

Israel’s latest war on Gaza may also be part of its preparation to launch a war on Iran. By attacking Gaza, it seeks to test the Arab waters, to see the impact of the Arab Spring on countries like Egypt. So far, Egypt’s new leadership has behaved much in line with its predecessor, the Mubarak regime. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has recalled Egypt’s ambassador to Israel (which Mukarak had also done four years ago), but has avoided breaking off relations with Israel. Reportedly, Morsi called Obama, only to be told by Obama to control Hamas.

A former CIA analyst has revealed how Washington think-tanks, echoing Israeli ideologues, refer lightly to periodic attacks on Palestinians, as ‘mowing the lawn.’ This kind of racial discourse reveals that Israel’s occupation and wars on Palestine ultimately have the genocidal motive of ethnic-cleansing.

The Indian Government, shamefully betraying India’s long-term solidarity with Palestine, has chosen to remain neutral and call for peace, without outright condemning Israeli aggression. The Indian people, however, have responded all over the country with solidarity actions for Gaza, demanding an end to Israel’s war and a principled stand by the Indian Government.

Israel’s war on Gaza is a war on humanity, and Palestine’s struggle is a courageous struggle for liberation from colonial occupation. Anti-imperialist forces the world over must protest Israel’s war on Gaza, and support the Palestinians’ aspirations for freedom.