Home > IV Online magazine > 2009 > IV408 - January 2009 > Break Links With Apartheid Israel

Israel Slaughters Over 760 Palestinians

Break Links With Apartheid Israel

Unions must build direct solidarity

Thursday 8 January 2009, by Socialist Resistance

Since Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza, the Zionist rulers have maintained it as an open air prison and most of the time as a shooting gallery. Now they have made it an extermination camp. The premeditated slaughter of more than 760 Palestinians, one-third children, with more than 3,500 wounded has horrified the world and especially the Arab masses, who sympathize with the Palestinians.

Palestinian rights protest for Gaza in front of Israeli consulate in Toronto {JPEG}The Palestinian people have been relegated to the status of vermin in their own land by the Zionist colonizers and their U.S. imperialist backers.
In the Zionist treatment of the Palestinians the Arab masses recognize the contempt that the imperialists have for them, and the sight of it rubs salt in their wounds. They have suffered this bitterness and have harboured a justifiable hatred for their oppressors for decades without finding an effective outlet. Today their outrage can only become deeper; in time it will eventually overwhelm the neo-colonialist rulers of their own countries, who connive with the Zionists and the imperialists.

The Zionist colonization aims to condemn the Palestinians to hopelessness, which mirrors the hopelessness of all the Arab and Muslim peoples and all Third World peoples suffering under the economic dominance and exploitation of the imperialists. Egypt, by far the largest Arab state, in particular seethes with such frustration, both because of the collaboration of its brutal dictatorial rulers with imperialism and the failure of the promises that the road out of poverty would be opened by cooperation with world capitalism’s economic overlords in the so-called Infitah (open door policy), which paralleled the peace with Israel. The Camp David Accords with Israel were a political capitulation, the Infitah, which opened up Egypt to imperialist economic exploitation, was a corresponding economic capitulation.

Egypt, the only Arab state to border on Gaza, is openly collaborating with the ongoing Zionist massacre. The international press reported that Egyptian border guards are firing on Palestinians trying to flee from Gaza. That is a violation of a fundamental human right, the right of flight, the right of refugees to international protection. Paradoxically, the Zionists’ real objective is to drive out the Palestinians, but they want to crush them first. Palestinians will fight to stay in their country, to hold onto to their land, to resist the Zionist colonizers. But some may want to flee to save their lives or the lives of their children. If they want to, they have that right, and it is protected by international law and humane tradition. It is an outrage that Israel and Egypt are denying them this basic human right.

Egypt could also end the Zionist economic siege of Gaza. It need only open the border. Palestinian forces were able to force their way through at one point and keep the border open for a few days. But Egypt closed it again and reinforced it. That is another outrage. It goes beyond capitulation to Zionism; it is active collaboration with it. Even the capitalist press has pointed out that the Israeli present campaign is the greatest slaughter of Palestinians since the 1982 massacre in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Lebanese fascists with the open complicity of the Israeli army. That is the measure of the challenge today.

Can world public opinion allow such a massacre to go on in the full view of the world’s peoples? If it does, that will be a grave setback for the advance of civilization in general. The provocations of Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups are no excuse for indifference. Acts of resistance can be expected from any human beings subjected to intolerable conditions. Similar acts can be seen every day, everywhere around the world, but the imprisonment of the Palestinians is far worse. Their acts of resistance should arouse sympathy and not censure.

Humanity is one. If one section of humanity is subjected to torture, all of humanity suffers, all humanity is endangered. It is time for all people of good will and reasonable sense to rise to the defence of the suffering people of Gaza. They can force their governments to pressure Israel to end its siege of Gaza.

Israeli is and has always been a racist Zionist colonial settler state. It was established in 1948 with imperialist agreement by the physical removal of the Palestinian people from their historic Palestine. Shortly after the original “partition” which divided Palestine in roughly two parts, the imperialist-armed Zionist army organized a war to destroy hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages in order to occupy additional portions of Palestinian. What remains of Palestine today is less than 20 percent of the original homeland to millions, the majority of whom today live in exile and constitute the largest refugee population in the world.

Socialist Resistance, like the vast majority of British socialists, has never recognized the legitimacy of the Zionist State of Israel, just as we reject extending any legitimacy to the conquest and occupation of any nation by imperialist colonizers anywhere in the world, past and present. We support Palestinian self-determination. A democratic secular state should re-constituted on the original Palestine lands, with equal rights for all, and with the right of all Palestinians to return.

We call for the dismantlement of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel, which is a form of institutionalised discrimination analogous to Apartheid in South Africa.

We simultaneously support struggles for a socialist federation of the Middle East and for a socialist Palestine, where all inhabitants, irrespective of religious or ethnic origin, can live at peace in an egalitarian society free from capitalist profit and exploitation.

We demand that the Labour government:

* Immediately ends all economic, political, intelligence, and logistical aid to Israel.

* Immediately embargos arms sales to, and from, Israel, including components via a third party.

* Severs all relations with Israel, including the withdrawal of ambassadors.

* Withdraws forthwith the charitable status of Zionist fund-raising bodies in Britain.

* Confiscates Israeli government funds invested in the UK, and enable their use for the reconstruction of Palestine.

* Uses its seat on the UN Security Council to initiate a UN Security Council-sanctioned resolution against Israel.

* Supports the efforts to arrest Israeli political and military leaders and to bring them to trial for war crimes.

We call on the labour movement to show its solidarity with the people of Palestine by:

* Supporting the call from Palestinian trade unions and other bodies for a comprehensive campaign of Boycotts, Disinvestment and Sanctions against Israel.

* Establishing direct links of solidarity with Palestinian communities, including through the growing twinning movement.

* Arming the people of Gaza.

* Supporting the Israeli opposition to this oppression, including the scores of young Israelis imprisoned for refusing to take part in the army of occupation.