CPGB-ML » Posts for tag 'Palestine'

VICTORY! Israeli tourism posters removed from London Underground!

Via Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Late last week, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign started to receive information from members about adverts that they had seen on the London Underground. The adverts by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and ThinkIsrael included a map that included the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, together with Jews for Justice for Palestinians, immediately worked to bring these adverts down. We complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ourselves, and notified our members and supporters, many of whom also made complaints to the ASA, Transport for London and CBS Outdoor, which was the company that put up the adverts.

Sarah Colborne, Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Director of Campaigns and Operations, said:

‘The Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomes the removal of these adverts, which had a map showing Israel as including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights – which are all illegally occupied by Israel. These adverts wiped Palestine off the map. It was particularly grotesque to use this map in an advert for tourism, given that under the Israeli blockade of Gaza, even humanitarian aid staff are denied entry.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign had found the posters astonishing, given that the ASA had already upheld a previous complaint against ThinkIsrael.com for using a similarly misleading map in an advertisement placed in the Radio Times in 2007’.

On that occasion, the ASA ruled that ThinkIsrael.com had breached the ‘truthfulness’ clause, and also the ‘non-response’ clause, when it failed to reply to ASA’s correspondence.

PSC welcomes the deluge of complaints from members and supporters on this issue.

Media coverage of the posters being withdrawn:

Guardian : http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/may/22/israel-underground-ads-occupied-territories-map

BBC : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8063435.stm

Resolution adopted at Stop the War Coalition Conference

The following resolution, submitted by the CPGB-ML, was overwhelmingly adopted by the national conference of the Stop the War Coalition, held on 25 April 2009.

No cooperation with war crimes

This conference condemns Britain’s continued involvement in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and calls for the immediate recall of all British troops from both these countries.

While the City of London’s financial elite sought to benefit by joining arms with the US to seize Iraq’s oil wealth and manipulate her domestic and foreign policy to their advantage, this conference affirms that the entire bloody debacle has always been contrary to the interests of the vast majority of British workers, who have consistently demonstrated their opposition to this modern-day Anglo-American colonial crusade.

Since 2004, more than 1.5 million wholly innocent Iraqi men, women and children have been slaughtered as a result of the illegal invasion and occupation of their country. This can only be termed genocide. In addition, more than 4 million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes as internal and external refugees, and the resultant dislocation of Iraq’s cultural, political and economic life is near total.

In Afghanistan, tens of thousands of people have been murdered, and the country’s infrastructure smashed to pieces as a result of the Anglo-American oil monopolies’ quest to control the routes of projected pipelines.

This conference notes with shame the fact that ‘our own’ British imperialist Labour government has been a key player in planning and perpetrating these heinous war crimes against the Iraqi and Afghan peoples.

Conference notes that many British workers were browbeaten, by a compliant political and media establishment, into accepting these wars on entirely false premises (Afghan responsibility for the 11 September attacks, Blair’s ‘45 minute’ claim about Iraqi WMD, etc) that sought to paint Afghanistan and Iraq, rather than Anglo-American imperialism, as the aggressors. Thus the necessary ground was laid to send British and US soldiers (workers in uniform) to do the bankers’, oil magnates’ and armament manufacturers’ dirty work.

This conference believes that war fought to enforce subjection and servitude upon another nation is morally abhorrent; to fight and die in such a cause is demoralising, corrupting and meaningless.

This conference realises that, although individually powerless, collectively, British workers do have the power to stop the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, since the government and corporations cannot fight them without us.

This conference therefore resolves that the coalition will do all in its power to promote a movement of industrial, political and military non-cooperation with all of imperialism’s aggressive war preparations and activities among British working people.

Union mobilisation remains key to the success of such a policy, and this conference instructs the incoming Stop the War steering committee to campaign vigorously among trade unions to encourage them to adopt a practical policy encouraging their members to do everything not to support illegal wars or occupations, directly or indirectly; and to render every support to members victimised for taking this principled stand.

This conference welcomes the magnificent examples set by such signal actions as:

  • 2002/3: FBU strike action immediately preceding the invasion of Iraq, which threatened the entire enterprise.
  • Jan 2003: Fifteen Aslef train drivers refused to move arms from Glasgow factories to Glen Douglas base on Scotland’s west coast (which remains Nato’s largest European arsenal, and from where they were bound for the Gulf).
  • 9 Aug 2006: Protesters occupied the Derry offices of Raytheon when Israel invaded Lebanon, to “prevent the commissioning of war crimes by the Israeli armed forces using weapons supplied by Raytheon”.
  • May Day 2008: tens of thousands of US west coast dockers defied court injunctions to strike in protest against US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite the decision of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) leadership to withhold official sponsorship for the strike.
  • Dec 2008: Smash EDO demonstrators occupied and disabled production at Brighton-based missile-delivery system manufacturer EDO (recently acquired by Armament Giant ITT) during Israel’s massacre of Gazans.
  • Feb 2009: Norwegian Train drivers staged a national stoppage to protest the Israeli massacre in Gaza.
  • Resolutions asking Bectu media workers to resist the transmission of imperialist war propaganda will be considered at the union’s forthcoming congress.

Israel accused of executing parents in front of children in Gaza

Via the Telegraph.

One nine-year-old boy said his father had been shot dead in front of him despite surrendering to Israeli soldiers with his hands in the air.

Another youngster described witnessing the deaths of his mother, three brothers and uncle after the house they were in was shelled.

He said his mother and one of his siblings had been killed instantly, while the others bled to death over a period of days.

A psychiatrist treating children in the village of Zeitoun on the outskirts of Gaza City, where the alleged incidents took place, described the deaths as a “massacre”.

Rawya Borno, a Jordanian doctor, said civilians, including children, were rounded up and killed by Israeli troops.

Israel has denied the claims, dismissing them as Hamas propaganda, but said that an investigation is being conducted into soldiers’ conduct in the area.

In interviews with ITV News, Palestinians claimed that Israeli forces knowingly killed civilians in Zeitoun on the morning of Jan 14.

Abdullah Samouni, nine, described the moment his father was allegedly “executed” by Israeli soldiers.

Holding his arms in the air, he said: “He was surrendering like this. My father came out and they shot him right away.”

A boy named Ahmed said he was trapped for days in the wreckage of the shelled Samouni family’s house.

He said: “My mother was dead beside me, she was clutching my brother Nasser and they were dead. My brother Itzaq was bleeding for two days and then he died. My brother Izmael bled to death in one day. My uncle Talal was bleeding for two hours and he died. God bless them.”

Dr Borno said: “It’s a massacre. They collected them from their houses. They knew that they were civilians. They were children.”

When asked if Hamas had been in Zeitoun, Dr Borno replied: “Suppose that there is one of the fighters around, what is it to do with all these? Is the price to kill the family as a whole? Is this baby carrying a machine gun?”

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev suggested the claims could be Hamas propaganda and said an investigation was under way. However, he said that Israeli troops had reported that Zeitoun was “full of Hamas” militants and that soldiers encountered booby traps in “every house” in the village.

He said: “When people live in an authoritarian regime, when it’s clear there is an official message and the message is to give out atrocity propaganda, [then] at least I think we should ask questions.

“Hamas has an interest in sending out this sort of atrocity propaganda.

“What happened in that village is under investigation. I know from speaking to IDF officers that there was very serious combat in that village, that every house was booby-trapped, there were guns. Very difficult military operation.

“If there is any Israeli solder that has done something inappropriate of course that will be discovered and there will be law, but I am very concerned about a situation where children are manipulated, where everyone is on the same message.

“We know that village was full of Hamas fighters. It’s against the rules of engagement of the Israeli army to shoot innocent civilians.”

DPRK’s support to Palestinians’ struggle reiterated

Via KCNA

Pyongyang, January 21 (KCNA) — The DPRK extends full support and solidarity to the Palestinian people in their struggle to drive the Israeli aggressors out of their land and take back the legitimate rights including the right to self-determination.

A DPRK delegate said this in a speech made at a special meeting of the UN General Assembly held on Jan. 15 in connection with Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip of Palestine.

He bitterly dismissed the said aggression as a wanton violation of the UN Charter and international law and an undisguised provocation to the Mid-east peace process.

Referring to the fact that the Israeli army mercilessly killed innocent Palestinians and ruthlessly deprived them of the cradle of their life as evidenced by the destruction of dwelling houses, public establishments and schools, etc., he went on:

What should not be overlooked is that the Israeli army’s dreadful atrocities are being committed under the strong patronage of the U.S.

The reality proves once again that the U.S. is the harasser of world peace and the worst human rights abuser.

It is not only the legitimate rights but also the just cause for the Palestinians to struggle to retake the occupied territories and build a sovereign and independent state.

Israel should stop all military actions in the Gaza Strip and immediately withdraw its aggressor armed forces from there.

Bolivia to take Israel to The Hague

Via Press TV.

Bolivia is seeking to take Tel Aviv to International Criminal Court over the brutal atrocities the Israeli forces have committed in Gaza.

The Andean state says it is intended to make regional allies take a unified stance against “the Israeli political and military leaders responsible for the offensive on the Gaza Strip” and make it to stand trial at the international body in the Hague, said Sacha Llorenti, whose portfolio covers civil society.

Moves to begin the legal process will begin “probably next week,” Bolivia’s deputy justice and human rights minister Wilfredo Chavez told journalists during the visit to Geneva, AFP reported on Friday.

Bolivia followed in the steps of its ally Venezuela and severed diplomatic ties with Israel over its massacre of the Gazans and snubbing the international calls for an ‘immediate’ and ‘durable’ truce, said the Latin American governments.

The Bolivian president Evo Morales told a group of diplomats in the administrative capital of La Paz that he will request the International Criminal Court (ICC) to file genocide charges against Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The ICC is competent to adjudicate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed after 2002.

Israel and its closest ally, the United States, are not among the 108 signatories of the Rome Statute creating the Hague-based court in 2000 to investigate and prosecute war crimes.

After 21 days of non-stop bombardment and aggression, the Israeli invasion of Gaza has left 1,133 Palestinians killed and more than 5,200 wounded.

Long Live Palestine, Long Live Gaza

Phenomenal poem and performance by Lowkey at the demonstration on Saturday.

CPGB-ML leaflet: Hands off Gaza! Victory to the resistance!

leaflet downloadDownload PDF

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) resolutely condemns Israel’s despicable and cowardly military onslaught against the people of Gaza, and it reaffirms its unreserved solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Israeli brutality and arrogance

Since the start of Israel’s bombing campaign, on 23 December 2008, several hundred Palestinians – including many children – have been killed, and thousands more have sustained critical injuries. Israel claims that its targets have been exclusively military, but this is manifestly false. For example, more than 50 people (including an entire family of seven young children) were killed when, on 7 January, Israel bombed a UN school being used as a refugee centre.

In the past few weeks, Israel has clamped down even further on supplies of medicines, food and electricity, further exacerbating the already vast humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. This is not ‘targeted action’; it is collective punishment. Israel has rejected international calls for a truce, and refuses even to let foreign journalists into Gaza. It wants to hide its brutal Nazi aggression from the rest of the world. Having for so long painted itself as a little jewish David in a sea of Arab Goliaths, Israel does not want the world to see the true nature of its “struggle for existence” – that is, murder and criminal occupation.

Israel to blame for breakdown of the ceasefire

Predictably, Israel has claimed that its actions are a legitimate response to Palestinian rocket attacks since the collapse of the ceasefire in late December. This sentiment has been implicitly (and in some cases explicitly) backed by the self-appointed ‘international community’, which has long relied on Israel as its policeman in the Middle East. As hi-tech bombs were raining down on Palestinian civilians, George Bush thought it appropriate to say: “I understand Israel’s desire to protect itself and that the situation now taking place in Gaza was caused by Hamas”. His successor, Barack Obama, stated on a recent visit to Sderot (an Israeli town near Gaza): “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

As we have said before, one cannot equate the violence of the oppressed with the violence of the oppressors. Israel is not under siege; it is not an occupied country; its citizens (at least its jewish citizens) are not denied their basic human rights; its water, electricity and medical supplies have not been cut off; it is not in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, Gaza has over the last two years been effectively turned into a giant concentration camp. Gazans cannot move in or out of their country; the supply of food, electricity, water and medicines has been cut off; frequent Israeli bombing raids take place; the unemployment rate exceeds 80 percent and the people are living a miserable existence well below the poverty line. Are the Palestinian people expected to simply give up their right to existence? The right to resist occupation is enshrined in international law, and the Palestinian military resistance to Israeli occupation is legitimate and laudable.

Still, one does not need to accept the legitimacy of the Palestinian rocket attacks in order to condemn the massacre that is taking place in Gaza. According to detailed information released by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a grand total of 15 Israelis have died as a result of Qassam rocket attacks since these were first fired over seven years ago (in October 2001). Meanwhile, over 500 Gazans have been killed by the Israeli military in the last two weeks alone. These lopsided figures alone are enough to give lie to Israel’s claim that it is simply protecting its citizens from rocket attacks.

If Israel genuinely wanted to stop the Qassam rocket attacks, it could have done so very easily by complying with the terms of the ceasefire, under which it was supposed to lift the blockade against Gaza in order to end the humanitarian crisis there. However, deliveries from aid agencies have been all but completely blocked for several months. Observers from the Red Cross have noted the spread malnutrition across Gaza. Israel completely failed to respect the ceasefire terms, and therefore should not be surprised that the ceasefire has collapsed. As has happened many times before, Israel has violated the terms of a ceasefire and used the Palestinian response to ‘justify’ the unjustifiable.

Regime change

Israel’s real agenda is clear enough: not happy with the democratic choice of the Palestinian people, it is seeking regime change in Gaza (having already effected regime change in the West Bank). Recently, Foreign Minister Livni stated: “The state of Israel, and a government under me, will make it a strategic objective to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza. The means for doing this should be military, economic and diplomatic.” It would be difficult to be clearer than that. Israel and its imperialist backers (including Britain) want to see a Palestinian administration that is willing to squash the struggle for an independent Palestine and that will accept a Palestinian ‘state’ composed of multiple disconnected Bantustans whose borders are controlled by Israel.

From the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free

With its military attacks and its continued settlement activity in the West Bank, Israel has made the two-state solution unachievable. In so doing, it has created the conditions for a one-state solution, and with it the end to the whole racist idea of an ethnically cleansed jewish state.

We reiterate the call of Khaled Meshaal, leader of Hamas, for a renewed intifada against Israel. Only through the intensification of the Palestinian resistance will Israel be forced to recognise the right of the Palestinians to freedom from colonial occupation. We have full confidence in the ability of the Palestinian resistance to deal a heavy blow to the Israeli military. As the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine put it in a recent statement: “We will get out from underneath the rubble and fight until the last breath.” As Marx once wrote, “the nation that oppresses another nation forges its own chains”. The British working class must do everything within its power to support the cause of Palestinian liberation.

New word arising from Gaza invasion: scholasticide

Via The Guardian.

A new word emerged from the carnage in Gaza this week: “scholasticide” – the systematic destruction by Israeli forces of centres of education dear to Palestinian society, as the ministry of education was bombed, the infrastructure of teaching destroyed, and schools across the Gaza strip targeted for attack by the air, sea and ground offensives.

“Learn, baby, learn” was a slogan of the black rights movement in America’s ghettoes a generation ago, but it also epitomises the idea of education as the central pillar of Palestinian identity – a traditional premium on schooling steeled by occupation, and something the Israelis “cannot abide… and seek to destroy”, according to Dr Karma Nabulsi, who teaches politics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. “We knew before, and see more clearly now than ever, that Israel is seeking to annihilate an educated Palestine,” she says.

The Palestinians are among the most thoroughly educated people in the world. For decades, Palestinian society – both at home in the West Bank and Gaza, and scattered in the diaspora – has put a singular emphasis on learning. After the expulsions of 1948 and after the 1967 occupation, waves of refugees created an influential Palestinian intelligentsia and a marked presence in the disciplines of medicine and engineering across the Arab world, Europe and the Americas.

“Education is the most important thing – it is part of the family life, part of your identity and part of the rebellion,” says Nabulsi. “Everyone knows this, and in a refugee camp like Gaza, every child knows that in those same schooldesks sat your parents and your grandparents, whose tradition they carry on.”

Schooling and university studies are the fabric of life despite, not because of, circumstances: every university in the occupied territories has been closed down at some point by Israeli forces, many of them regularly. However, the closures and arrests of students (more than 300 at Birzeit university in Ramallah, says Nabulsi) only strengthens the desire to become educated.

In the current offensive, Israel began attacking Gaza’s educational institutions immediately. On only the second and third day of air attacks last week, Israeli planes wreaked severe damage in direct strikes on Gaza’s Islamic University. The main buildings were devastated, destroying administrative records, and, of course, ending studies. The Ministry of Education has been hit twice by direct hits from the air.

The Saturday of the ground invasion was the day on which most students in Gaza sit their end-of-year examinations. In the majority of cases, these had to be abandoned, and it remains unclear whether they can or will be sat again. Other schools were also attacked – most notoriously the UN establishment in the Jabaliya refugee camp where at least 40 people were massacred on Tuesday.

On Sunday, another Israeli air strike destroyed the pinnacle of Palestinian schooling, the elite and private American International School, to which the children of business and other leaders went, among them Fulbright scholars unable to take up their places in the United States because of the Israeli blockade. Ironically, the same school was attacked last year by a group called the Holy Jihad Brigades, and has been repeatedly vandalised for its association with western-style education.

The school was founded in 2000 to offer a “progressive” (and fully co-educational) American-style curriculum, taught in English, from kindergarten to sixth form, and was said by the Israelis to have been the site, or near the site, from which a rocket was fired. A night watchman was killed in the destruction of the building.

The chairman of its board of trustees, Iyad Saraj, says: “This is the most distinguished and advanced school in Gaza, if not in Gaza and the West Bank. I cannot swear there was no rocket fired, but if there was, you don’t destroy a whole school.” He adds: “This is the destruction of civilisation.”

The school has no connection to the US government, Saraj says, and many of the 250 who graduate from it each year go on to US universities. “They are very good, highly educated open-minded students who can really be future leaders of Palestine.”

Young Palestinians playing in Daniel Barenboim’s celebrated East-West Divan Orchestra – which this week again brings Palestinian and Israeli musicians together to play a prestigious concert in Vienna – say that music schools in their communities and refugee camps are “not just educating young people, but helping them understand their identity”, as Nabeel Abboud Ashkar, a violinist based in Nazareth, puts it, adding: “And the Israelis are not necessarily happy with that.”

Ramzi Aburedwan, who runs the Al-Kamandjati classical music school in Ramallah, argues: “What the Israelis are doing is killing the lives of the people. Bring music, and you bring life. The children who played here were suddenly interested in their future”.

In a recent lecture, Nabulsi at St Edmund Hall recalled the tradition of learning in Palestinian history, and the recurrent character of the teacher as an icon in Palestinian literature. “The role and power of education in an occupied society is enormous. Education posits possibilities, opens horizons. Freedom of thought contrasts sharply with the apartheid wall, the shackling checkpoints, the choking prisons,” she said.

This week, following the bombing of schools in Gaza, she says: “The systematic destruction of Palestinian education by Israel has countered that tradition since the occupation of 1967,” citing “the calculated, wholesale looting of the Palestinian Research Centre in Beirut during the 1982 war and the destruction of all those manuscripts and archived history.”

“Now in Gaza,” she says, “we see the policy more clearly than ever – this ’scholasticide’. The Israelis know nothing about who we really are, while we study and study them. But deep down they know how important education is to the Palestinian tradition and the Palestinian revolution. They cannot abide it and have to destroy it.”

Public meeting: Hands off Gaza. Victory to the Intifada.

download leafletDate: Saturday 3 January, 6.00 pm
Time: 6.00 pm
Venue: The meeting room above the Lucas Arms, 245a Gray’s Inn Road, WC1X 8QY
(near Kings Cross)

Israel is trying to wipe out the Palestinian people. It claims to be acting in self-defence; it says it has a duty to defend its population from rocket attacks. Do you know how many people have died as a result of Qassam rocket attacks in the last seven years? 15! Meanwhile, hundreds of Gazans have been killed in the last few days alone.

Not happy with the democratic choice of the Palestinian people, Israel is seeking regime change in Gaza (having already effected regime change in the West Bank). Foreign Minister Livni has clearly stated that it is her “strategic objective to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza”.

If Israel genuinely wanted to stop the Qassam rocket attacks, it could have done so very easily by complying with the terms of the ceasefire, under which it was supposed to lift the blockade against Gaza in order to end the humanitarian crisis there. It totally failed to respect those terms, and therefore should not be surprised that the ceasefire has collapsed.

The right to resist occupation is enshrined in international law, and the Palestinian military resistance to Israeli occupation is legitimate and laudable. We reiterate the call of Khaled Meshaal, leader of Hamas, for a renewed intifada against Israel. Only through the intensification of the Palestinian resistance will Israel be forced to recognise the right of the Palestinians to freedom from colonial occupation.

Come to this urgent meeting, including a speaker arrested at picket of Israeli Embassy, join the discussion and form part of a growing movement in the imperialist countries against imperialist aggression.

Download leaflet (PDF)

Statement: End the massacre in Gaza

The CPGB-ML condemns the massacre that is currently being perpetrated against the people of Gaza by the Israeli state. We join with all progressive and freedom-loving people around the world in calling for the immediate cessation of Israel’s bomb attacks, and we state our unreserved support for all Palestinian groups involved in Gaza’s defence.

Over the last two days, nearly 300 Gazans have been killed in air raids, with up to 700 others wounded. Saturday (27 December) was the single deadliest day in Gaza since the 1967 war.

Predictably, Israel has claimed that its actions are a legitimate response to Palestinian rocket attacks since the collapse of the ceasefire last week - Israel says militants have fired 110 rockets into Israel over the last few days. This sentiment has been implicitly (and in some cases explicitly) backed by the self-appointed ‘international community’. As hi-tech bombs were raining down on Palestinian civilians, that seasoned stooge Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to the UN, had the audacity to claim that “the way forward from here is for rocket attacks against Israel to stop, for all violence to end”.

What a joke! Imagine the outcry in the imperialist press if 300 supporters of the ‘Movement for Democratic Change’ were killed by Zimbabwean state forces – the various bourgeois scribblers would be lining up to condemn Zimbabwe, and the plans for a commemoratory rock concert at Wembley Stadium would be well under way.

As we have said before, one cannot equate the violence of the oppressed with the violence of the oppressors. Israel is not under siege; it is not an occupied country; its citizens (at least its jewish citizens) are not denied their basic human rights; its water, electricity and medical supplies have not been cut off; it is not in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, Gaza has over the last two years been effectively turned into a giant concentration camp. Gazans cannot move in or out of their country; the supply of food, electricity, water and medicines has been cut off; frequent Israeli bombing raids take place; the unemployment rate exceeds 80 percent and the people are living a miserable existence well below the poverty line.

Are the Palestinian people expected to simply give up their right to existence? The right to resist occupation is enshrined in international law, and the Palestinian military resistance to Israeli occupation is legitimate and laudable.

Still, one does not need to accept the legitimacy of the Palestinian rocket attacks in order to condemn the massacre that is taking place in Gaza. According to detailed information released by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a grand total of 15 Israelis have died as a result of Qassam rocket attacks since these were first fired over seven years ago (in October 2001). Meanwhile, close to a thousand Gazans have been killed in Israeli military raids this year alone. These lopsided figures alone are enough to give lie to Israel’s claim that it is simply protecting its citizens from rocket attacks.

Israel’s agenda is clear enough: not happy with the democratic choice of the Palestinian people, it is seeking regime change in Gaza (having already effected regime change in the West Bank). Foreign Minister Livni said in an interview with the BBC: “We took Hamas by surprise, we targeted Hamas headquarters, so this is the beginning of a successful operation, I hope, but the idea is to change realities on the ground.”

Recently, Ms Livni told a meeting of the Kadima party that she would topple Hamas if she was elected prime minister in the coming general election, saying: “The state of Israel, and a government under me, will make it a strategic objective to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza. The means for doing this should be military, economic and diplomatic.” It would be difficult to be clearer than that.

If Israel genuinely wanted to stop the Qassam rocket attacks, it could have done so very easily by complying with the terms of the ceasefire, under which it was supposed to lift the blockade against Gaza in order to end the humanitarian crisis there. It totally failed to respect those terms, and therefore should not be surprised that the ceasefire has collapsed. As has happened many times before, Israel has violated the terms of a ceasefire and used the Palestinian response to ‘justify’ the unjustifiable.

We reiterate the call of Khaled Meshaal, leader of Hamas, for a renewed intifada against Israel. Only through the intensification of the Palestinian resistance will Israel be forced to recognise the right of the Palestinians to freedom from colonial occupation.

NB. While Israel’s crimes are being ignored, 10 people protesting outside the Israeli Embassy in London have been arrested by police under trumped-up charges (our party comrade, who is among those arrested, is being charged with “threatening words and behaviour”). We call for the immediate release of these ten people, whose only ‘crime’ is demonstrating their support for, and sympathy with, the people of Gaza.