Statement: The people of Palestine will surely be victorious!
27 December is the first anniversary of the launch by Israel of the 22-day massacre of over 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza. More than half of them were civilians and 430 were children. The massacre was an intensification of the killing of Palestinians during the long siege and blockade of Gaza which had preceded it and is still going on to this day.
Israel has been committing war crimes in Palestine for 60 years. Ethnic cleansing, massacres, evictions, illegal occupation and colonisation of land, denial of human rights and basic facilities to occupied people, illegal seizure and destruction of houses, crops and property, collective punishment of the entire population … the list goes on and on, and has been well documented ever since 1948.
Israel has clamped down still further on supplies of medicine, food, water and fuel into the Gaza Strip, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis there, turning Gaza into a huge prison, a massive concentration camp.
Notwithstanding the horrific loss of life and the extraordinary level of damage to public and private property caused by the Israeli attack, it must be said that Israel well and truly failed in its war aims, while the population of Gaza demonstrated an unbreakable resolve. This resolve has continued during a further year of unspeakable hardship due to the blockade.
Israel hoped to wipe out Hamas and to detach it from its support base. In this it has completely failed. Neither the 22-days of open warfare nor the unrelenting grind of the blockade has achieved this objective. Hamas’s popularity is greater than ever, and it enjoys a far greater legitimacy in the eyes of the masses of the world than it ever did before.
However, what claims to be the ‘international community’ (i.e. the handful of monopoly capitalists in the heartlands of imperialism) continue to support Israel. Indeed, Israel is the representative, the gendarme, of imperialism in the Middle East.
The pro-western Arab regimes kow-tow to imperialism and are unwilling to do anything to support their Palestinian brothers and happy to go along with every Israeli atrocity. This has served to further open the eyes of the Arab masses as to the truly reactionary nature of these regimes.
Indeed, while no Arab army hitherto has successfully withstood Israeli military assaults for more than a couple of weeks, Hizbollah and Hamas have faced the Israeli army for 34 and 22 days respectively – and emerged stronger from the contest. By contrast, the Egyptian government in particular suffered a huge fall-out as a result of its active support for Israel’s reckless campaign (note coincidentally, Egypt is the number two recipient of US aid, after Israel).
In this context it is perhaps not surprising that Egypt is behaving abominably by, to date, blocking the third Viva Palestina Convoy from even entering Egypt from Jordan. We demand that this convoy of ambulances and other vehicles with medical aid and resources for children is not prevented from completing its journey across Europe, through Syria and Jordan, on through Egypt and into Gaza.
One of our party comrades, Joti, is on this convoy - one of four “Aunties” driving a converted mini-bus with medical supplies. Her reports can be read at http://joti2gaza.org/ (as well as on the ‘joti 2 gaza’ facebook group and twitter). Joti’s site says “so now, on Christmas day, nearly 500 volunteers are waiting in Aqaba [on the border of Jordan and Egypt] while negotiations with Egypt continue. At this time of year, it is especially poignant to know that 150–odd vehicles, carrying medicines, paper and pencils, toys, maternity and baby supplies should be sitting less than a day’s journey away from their destinations, while Gaza’s children continue to suffer under the criminal blockade.”
Joti also says “by now the convoy has become a major news story (in some cases the lead story) across the Middle East”. It would, however, be a very diligent search that can find even a passing reference in the British bourgeois media, which has effectively put a blockade on any news of this convoy. If two British cyclists were travelling across Europe for charity there would be all kinds of programmes about them, particularly if they faced difficulties!
We urge everyone to contact the media to protest at this lack of coverage (national media and newspaper details can be found at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign website http://www.palestinecampaign.org/ - by linking to Reading PSC).
George Galloway, who is travelling with the convoy, said “We feel very sad that Egypt has turned us away on Christmas Day, but we hope they will reconsider. This is a very determined convoy and we’re not going anywhere except to Gaza”, we urge everyone to support this determination, the above PSC link also gives information about how to contact the Egyptian Embassy and protest at its action in blocking the convoy.
What is being perpetrated on the people of Palestine is not in the interests of ordinary working people. We demand the end to the siege of Gaza, an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, to the continuing encroachment by illegal Israeli settlements, to the apartheid wall and to the fragmenting of the West Bank into ‘bantustans’.
We call for the victory of the Palestinians. The intransigence and brutality of the Zionist regime is itself making sure that that victory will in the end result in a secular state of Palestine. Even the CIA, in a recent study, has predicted “an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming spectre of colonial apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region”. The study casts doubt over Israel’s survival beyond the next 20 years!
That is a calculated view from within the heart of the imperialist beast. Working and oppressed people of the world have no difficulty in calling for the hastening of that day and for the victory of the Palestinians.
Let the Viva Palestina Convoy through!
End the Siege of Gaza!
No cooperation with Israeli war crimes!
Victory to the Palestinians!