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Earth Day in Palestine

Tuesday 2 April 2024, by Roseline Vacchetta

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On 30 March 1976, striking Palestinians from the Galilee and the Negev demonstrated against the theft of their land. The Israeli army fired, killing six demonstrators and wounding hundreds more. Since then, every 30 March, Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, Israel, the refugee camps and the diaspora have mobilized against this colonial state that steals their land, destroys their infrastructure, their communities, their culture and their history.

Everywhere, a movement of solidarity and people mobilized with them. This year, of course, we had even more reason to show our support. Settlement has exploded: 144 settler outposts have been created on Palestinian land, 146 new or enlarged settlements have been built, wrested by the army from their rightful owners, making a total of 710,000 settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem. [1] In Gaza, Netanyahu is pursuing a genocidal policy denounced by the highest international authorities.

“Finish the job”, says Netanyahu

Back in 2002, Effi Eitam, leader of the National Religious Party and head of the Yad Vashem memorial, declared when he joined Ariel Sharon’s government: “We must make it very clear to the Palestinians that no sovereignty other than Israeli sovereignty will ever exist between the sea and the Jordan.” [2] For a land supposedly without a people, that makes a lot of Israeli attacks and Palestinian resistance on this small territory since 1947!

The current genocidal enterprise is attempting to complete the ethnic cleansing begun with the Nakba in 1948, when 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land. In fact, it has never ceased until now, when Gaza must be “liberated” from its inhabitants, i.e. killed or expelled! Since October 2023, one million Gazans have been displaced, 32,000 killed, 78,000 wounded and 10,000 missing. Gaza is a vast cemetery and a huge wasteland.

Wrest a definitive ceasefire!

Faced with the scandal of the suffering imposed on the Palestinians, who are deprived of everything that is essential even for survival - water, healthcare, food and housing - we need to strengthen our solidarity, because Netanyahu and his army will only stop their massacres under pressure from the peoples of Palestine, Israel and the peripheral regions, as well as the imperialist states. While demanding the application of the right of return and the release of all prisoners, it is urgent to win an immediate and total ceasefire, as the risk of the Palestinian people disappearing on their own land is real. Settlements have often led to the brutal destruction of indigenous peoples, or more slowly, in reserves and camps, during past genocides, notably in the United States, Australia and Canada.

In France, we must intensify our boycott of Israeli products (dates, avocados, oranges, etc.) and of companies that set up and grow rich in Israel. Obtaining total military, security, industrial, cultural and sporting (the Olympic Games) divestment from our own imperialism won’t be easy, but many actions are already underway in various cities. Finally, we need to obtain political and financial sanctions against the State of Israel, in particular by withdrawing the right of association with the EU.

1 April 2024

Translated by International Viewpoint from l’Anticapitaliste.


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[1B’Tselem, https://www.btselem.org/.

[2Effi Eitam, « J’entre au gouvernement pour qu’Ariel Sharon ne s’arrête pas au milieu du gué », Le Monde, 7 avril 2002.