Over 300 Palestinians had been killed in the first three days of this latest Israeli slaughter. And as ever with war, along with the bombs and the deaths have come the lies. The Israeli government is keen to claim that it is ’only responding’ to missile strikes launched from within the Gaza strip. Yet this defence of ’only responding’, so eagerly repeated by our own media, is a travesty of the truth – for it turns the laws of cause and effect upon their head. It ignores the history of 60 years of oppression and occupation, of a continuing attempt to wipe the Palestinian nation out of history.
It is that history of oppression – from the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948 and the occupations of Gaza and the West Bank in 1967, through to the refusal to recognise the results of democratic Palestinian elections and the continued blockage of Gaza - that has fed the continuing resistance of the Palestinian people.
That resistance is both completely understandable and entirely legitimate. Respect fully and unconditionally supports the cause of Palestinian freedom. We will do everything we can to raise solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza, suffering today under bombardment. And we will continue to work alongside all those who understand that the only way to create a peaceful and secure Middle East is to turn the slogan ’Free Palestine’ into a living reality.
December 29th, 2008.