Israel’s horrifying assault is targeting the entire population of Gaza. Every day brings more sickening war crimes and atrocities.
Over 10,000 people have been killed in relentless bombing—70 per cent of them women and children. Schools, hospitals, UN shelters and mosques have all been targeted.
Israel’s siege of 2.3 million people, the lack of sanitation and safe drinking water, has created a catastrophe.
The trickle of aid that Israel has allowed to enter has done nothing to alleviate its butchery.
Around half of the hospitals in Gaza have completely stopped functioning. Many of those left are without electricity, anaesthetic or antiseptics for wounds.
Israel is committing genocide.
Galit Distel Atbaryan, an MP from the ruling Likud party and a recent minister, declared everyone living in Gaza “monsters” and called for, “Erasing all of Gaza from the face of the Earth.”
Current Israeli minister Amichai Eliyahu said that using nuclear weapons on Gaza was an option, replying to a question about whether an atomic bomb should be used by saying, “This is one of the possibilities.” He also opposed sending any medical or humanitarian aid adding, “There is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.”
The Israeli government has discussed expelling Palestinians from Gaza into the Sinai desert in Egypt and allowed settlers in the West Bank to step up the dispossession of Palestinian farmers.
Yet Anthony Albanese blatantly sides with Israel. In line with statements from the White House, Albanese justifies Israel’s massacres and puts the blame on Hamas, despite over 75 years of Israeli ethnic cleansing and occupation.
Albanese says that the deaths in Gaza are “causing enormous concern”, yet the government refused to vote for a ceasefire at the UN General Assembly.
The Australian government is supporting the US call for a “humanitarian pause” but won’t call for an end to the Israel’s slaughter.
Labor MPs Ed Husic and Anne Aly broke ranks declaring that Palestinians are being “collectively punished” although they still say they want Hamas “held to account”.
But some sections of the Labor Party are feeling the community anger. Labor councillors in Canterbury-Bankstown in Sydney voted unanimously to fly the Palestinian flag until there is a ceasefire.
The Greens walkout from the Senate did for a moment “bring the people’s protest into parliament” and expose the government’s disgraceful support for Israel.
Break all ties
Tens of thousands have joined huge protests across Australia, chanting that Albanese is “supporting genocide”.
The protests need to continue and deepen. We have to demand not just a ceasefire but that Israel stops the bombing, gets out of Gaza and ends the siege.
We need to fight to break all ties with Israel, including with Israeli weapons dealers and other companies. In Sydney and Melbourne protests are targeting Israeli shipping company Zim. Universities should cancel all research and exchange partnerships with Israeli institutions.
Action inside the unions to push for stronger support for Palestine can strengthen the movement and increase the pressure on the Labor government.
We should not retreat in the face of intimidation from the mainstream media, government or supporters of Israel.
Pro-Palestine activists have been constantly asked to “condemn Hamas”. This accepts the idea that what’s happening in Gaza is a conflict between two equal sides that are both to blame—or worse, that somehow Hamas is responsible for Israel’s violence.
Student activists have faced intimidation and harassment from university security when holding pro-Palestine events. At Sydney University a Solidarity students meeting on Palestine was banned by the Vice-Chancellor for using the title “Palestine: The Case for a Global Intifada”. The title meant it “may be linked to support for terrorist activities” and Hamas, he ridiculously claimed.
Sydney Uni staff for BDS opposed the ban and joined a subsequent campus Intifada protest speakout. But some left-wing student activists succumbed to the intimidation refusing to chant “Resistance is justified while Palestine is occupied” or anything that included “Intifada”.
But there can be no compromise on the Palestinian’s right to resist Israel’s illegal occupation. There is no comparison between the violence of the oppressor and that of the oppressed.
Israel is a nuclear-armed power backed with billions of dollars in high-tech weaponry from the US. It brutally oppresses and occupies Palestine, as it continues to ethnically cleanse and steal more land.
We should be unequivocal in our support for the Palestinian struggle—and build an unstoppable movement to demand freedom for Palestine.