Gaza: Gillard government must press Israel to cease fire

Stop the War Coalition adds its voice to those demanding that Israel immediately stop its massacre on the people of Gaza.

The Gillard government must press Israel to immediately cease fire and remove the illegal blockade of Gaza.

It must condemn Netanyahu government spokespeople, such as Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who is on record as saying “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages”.

Anything less is complicity in the atrocities being carried against a population which is effectively in a giant prison camp – unable to defend itself.

The latest Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip is another crude attempt by the most militarised state in the Middle East – Israel – to obliterate any challenge to its apartheid-like policies.

These measures would reflect majority opinion and signal that Australia does not support Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing.

The 1.7 million-strong population of Gaza are already suffering under the illegal Israeli blockade which denies them basic goods and services.

But they have survived the blockade which Israel imposed in 2006 following the democratic election of the Hamas government.

The people of Gaza have survived the horrendous carnage and devastation unleashed by Israel in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. They will also survive the next phase of Israel’s bloody efforts to obliterate or disperse them.

There is no reason to expect that the Palestinians will retreat from their just cause now. Indeed, given that almost half of the population of Gaza is under the age of 14, Israel’s attacks will help produce a new next generation of Palestinian freedom fighters.

Israel is the aggressor state, and most Australians see it that way. A Jerusalem Post poll in July said 65% of Australians viewed Israel critically.

Yet, the Australian government continues its uncritical support for whatever Israel does.

Stop the War Coalition demands that the Australian government immediately move to:

  • Break diplomatic ties with Israel (as Egypt and Venezuela have done); and
  • Break all military ties with Israel (such as the October 12, 2012 deal for Israeli arms company Elbit Systems to fit out Australian Defence Force ships with “Battle Management Systems”).

All Palestinians have a right to live anywhere in their homeland in peace and with full civil and political rights. They also have a right to resist violence and dispossession. Stop the War Coalition urges people to attend the solidarity rallies for Gaza that are taking place.

In Sydney, the Palestine Action Group has initiated a rally in Sydney on November 24 at 12 noon at Town Hall. It has been endorsed by many organisations, including peace and church groups and unions.

By – Stop the War Coalition Sydney

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