Red Flag Statement
ISRAEL HAS celebrated the opening of Donald Trump’s Embassy in Jerusalem with a bloodbath, by massacring at least 60 Palestinian demonstrators, including eight children, and wounding more than 2,270.
This brings the total number killed by the IDF since the protests began to over one hundred. Thousands have been injured, with Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker reporting that hospitals in the Gaza Strip have now reached “breaking point”.
Tens of thousands defied leaflets dropped by Israeli planes warning them that they risked their lives if they demonstrated near the border fence.
May 15 is Nakba Day, when the mobilisations were planned to reach a peak. It commemorates the 70th anniversary of the expulsion of as many as 900,000 Palestinians who were driven from their own land.
70 per cent of the inhabitants of Gaza are descended from those expelled, some can even see the lands and villages from which they were driven. Now they are penned into what is effectively a gigantic prison camp, dependent for food, water and electricity on the “benevolence” of the Israeli government.
Meanwhile, Israeli politicians and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were celebrating with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem. “What a glorious day for Israel”, he exulted.
As he spoke, outside the Embassy, dozens of unarmed Palestinians were being beaten and arrested by Israeli security forces, to cheers from Israeli demonstrators.
Whilst drowning the Palestinian democratic protests in blood, the Zionist state celebrates itself and its “democracy”. However, it also exposes once again its true, racist, chauvinist character.
Using sniper rifles against slingshots is not bravery, it is the action of cowardly war criminals. But these are war crimes with a system. Firstly, they aim to force the Palestinians into total surrender. Secondly, they are preparing the ground for more atrocities to come, a remorseless expulsion of the Palestinians, the expansion of settlements on the West Bank and Jerusalem and, in all probability, military attacks against Hezbollah and Iran. Israel is determined that no other state in the region shall be able to defend itself against its might, let alone take any reprisals for its crimes.
Thirdly, it is aimed at emphasising its total impunity, at making international public opinion meekly accept the Zionist massacres as acts of “self defence”, to keep silent on Israeli war crimes and thus prepare the attacks that are still to come. Fourthly, it is also designed to rally the most right wing and reactionary sectors of the Israeli population behind an ultra-right government.
The Israeli government can be sure of virtually unconditional backing from the biggest imperialist power in the world. The US has already blocked a mild resolution of the UN Security Council, merely called for an inquiry into the massacres.
Whilst US President Donald Trump described the slaughter as a “gruesome propaganda event”, he refuses to acknowledge his administration’s responsibility for escalating the crisis and legitimising Israel’s actions by relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem in a calculated provocation.
As usual the British government limited itself to equivocal calls for “restraint”, with Middle East minister Alistair Burt parroting the Israeli propaganda that Hamas sought to “exploit” the protests “for violent purposes”.
In contrast, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded “not just international condemnation, but action”.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry condemned Israel’s “brutal, lethal and utterly unjustified actions”, rightly pointing out that the killings are not “a disproportionate over-reaction to one’s day’s protests, but the culmination of six weeks of an apparently systemic and deliberate policy of killing and maiming unarmed protesters and bystanders…”
But Labour Friends of Israel, in a tweet that has since been deleted, said “Hamas must accept responsibility for these events”.
The supporters of the Palestinian cause must not be silenced by the false accusations of antisemitism. Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. We openly say that Israel has no right to exist as a racist state that oppresses and displaces the country’s indigenous people, just as Apartheid South Africa had no right to continue as it was. The so-called “two state” solution has been proved time and time again to be a fraud. It has no future. Instead, we need to fight for one, democratic, secular state in Palestine, where all can live in equality, irrespective of nationality or religious belief.
In order to win, the heroic Palestinian liberation struggle needs the support of millions and millions worldwide.
Within the working class movement, the right wing and chauvinist leaders of the unions, the social-democratic or “left” parties who remain silent on the question, or even support the Israeli state, must be exposed for what they are; supporters of a racist regime and a barbaric war against the Palestinian people. All working class organisations need to break the collusion of “their governments” with the Zionist state apparatus.
We call on the labour movement and all anti-imperialist, anti-racist and democratic forces to condemn Israel’s massacre and to demand an end to assistance and aid to the Zionist state’s apparatus of repression. We call for an end to the scapegoating of Palestinians, Muslim and Arab immigrants. We demand an end to the banning, state surveillance and persecution of all Palestinian organisations, and solidarity campaigns like BDS, and full democratic rights for all refugees and immigrants.
Around the world, protests, pickets and demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinian people and resistance have been called – join them!
- End the siege of Gaza
- For the right of return for refugees
- End UK support for Israel
- Support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign
Emergency Protest London
Gaza: Stop the Massacre, Tuesday 15 May, 5.30pm-7pm, opposite Downing Street, Whitehall, London. Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others.