Solidarity Statements: Palestinian Lives matter

It seems almost inevitable that by the time this short piece is published more Palestinians will have been murdered in Gaza by the Israeli state, writes Veronica Fagan. And yesterday’s death toll of 58 may well rise as well from amongst the 2000+ people injured by the Israeli Defence force, the majority of them by live fire.

Médecins Sans Frontières issued a statement: “What happened today is unacceptable and inhuman. The death toll provided this evening by Gaza health authorities—55 dead and 2,271 wounded—including 1,359 wounded with live ammunition, is staggering. It is unbearable to witness such a massive number of unarmed people being shot in such a short time”. You can read more of what they say here.

The #Great Return March which has been taking place during the last seven weeks was planned to culminate today, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the catastrophe which the establishment of the state of Israel has meant for the Palestinian people.

The myth perpetrated by Netanyahu and his spokespeople, including the Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Mark Regev, is that this mobilisation is entirely orchestrated by Hamas. What is clear to anyone who wants to understand, even following the biased mainstream media, is that this is a blatant and conscious lie .This is a rising of a people – perhaps the embryo of a third intifada – involving Palestinians of different political persuasions and none.

Anniversaries are politically powerful. 70 years of illegal occupation, of theft of your land and villages is a trigger for millions. But so too is the immediate reality of how people are forced to live in Gaza today; the brutal siege imposed by the Israeli state, as testified by UN agencies and many NGOs. Chris Gunness, local head of UNRWA, said: “There is 80% aid dependency and 44% unemployment… deep poverty has gone up three times.”

The lie that Israel has ‘withdrawn’ from the strip – with the implication that Palestinians in Gaza control their own destiny – needs to be more vigorously counteracted by the solidarity movement and the left. This allows Netanyahu and his co-thinkers to reiterate the claim that all suffering by Palestinians in Gaza is down yet to Hamas…

And of course the insult that has been added to so much injury was the decision of Donald Trump to move the US Embassy to illegally occupied Jerusalem. The further gesture of humiliation was to open the new Embassy yesterday, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Israeli state, beaming pictures of a smiling, waving Ivana Trump around the world. And the sight of Christian Zionist preachers, peddlers of gross antisemitism, being feted as part of this grotesque ceremony, in the same time frame that an eight month old baby was dying in Gaza is unbearable.

It was important that Emily Thornberry, as shadow Foreign Secretary, issued a strong statement condemning the actions of the Israeli government. This follows a statement from Jeremy Corbyn condemning earlier deaths during the protests.

But I won’t have been the only person whose heart was in my mouth when I started to read Thornberry’s words. That’s because Emily is a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel who predictably blamed the victims of yesterday’s massacre, in a tweet they apparently withdrew later with no apology. Palestinians, the many Jews who support their struggle and all who believe in justice would feel the Labour Party was a much more welcoming place if Thornberry were to renounce that association.

The protesters – many of them refugees from areas inside the state of Israel – have the right to return to their homes and lands. There needs to be an immediate end to the slaughter and the occupation, an end to all discrimination, and for progress towards a just and peaceful future for Palestinians and Israelis.

To this end we call on our readers to participate in protests today, but beyond that, to step up their involvement in campaigns for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

Socialist Resistance (Britain)


Solidarity with the Palestinians against Israel’s crimes!

On Monday, while some were celebrating the transfer of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, Gaza’s Palestinians demonstrated in their tens of thousands near the “border” with Israel. The Israeli army once again opened fire on the protesters: at the time of writing, no less than 52 people have been killed.

This bloodbath confirms that the state of Israel does not tolerate any questioning of its colonial policy and that Palestinians who dare to fight for their rights can at any time be killed in cold blood by an army accustomed to carrying out war crimes.

Palestinians have rights and have every right to mobilize to defend them: the NPA reiterates its unconditional support for the national and democratic rights of Palestinians, their right to self-determination and the right of return for refugees.

The NPA is indignant at this new episode of bloody repression, which has increased to more than 100 the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza since the protests of March 30, as well as the complicit silence of the Macron-Philippe government. And we do not forget that while Palestinians are being abused every day by the state of Israel, Netanyahu has been received twice by Macron in less than a year.

The blockade of Gaza, the colonization of the West Bank and Jerusalem, discrimination against the Palestinians of Israel, arbitrary detentions, assassinations: Israel’s impunity for these outrages must stop! The NPA reiterates its commitment to the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) campaign and will continue to support it; as long as the State of Israel does not respect international law, it must be punished and made accountable for its crimes.

New Anticapitalist Parti (NPA), France, Monday, May 14, 2018

* Translation IVP :

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