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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15709

Posted on 18 November 2012 at 19:16 GMT

Demonstrating outside the Israeli embassy, London, 17.11.12, photo by N Cafferky

Demonstrating outside the Israeli embassy, London, 17.11.12, photo by N Cafferky   (Click to enlarge)

Protests against missile strikes on Gaza

Saturday 17th November, London:

As the Israeli army's brutal onslaught on Gaza continued into its fourth day, thousands of people protested outside the Israeli embassy in London. The protesters were overwhelmingly young asian and middle eastern people furious about the Israeli government's latest attacks on Gaza.

Some had been on the protests during the 2009 siege of Gaza and were angry about the need to demonstrate again.

For others, this was their first protest of any kind and many commented on the feeling of strength and solidarity on the protest.

The Socialist Party gave out thousands of leaflets calling for an end to the Israeli state terror and 80 copies of the Socialist were sold. 30 people expressed an interest in joining the Socialist Party.

Sarah Wrack

Sheffield

Around 200 people gathered outside Sheffield town hall on Saturday to protest against the latest Israeli attacks on Gaza and the killing of innocent civilians.

Speakers condemned the bombings and announced further protests. These included a campaign against biased reporting by the BBC, for example a recent report referred to the 'killing' of Israeli civilians whilst Palestinians 'die'.

Socialist Party members attended the protest and our leaflet and paper were well received.

Jeremy Short
Protest against attack on Gaza, London, 15.11.12, photo Suzanne Beishon

Protest against attack on Gaza, London, 15.11.12, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Thursday 15th November:

London

Around 1,000 protesters joined an emergency protest outside the Israeli embassy in London on Thursday (15th November) against the brutal assault and air strikes of the Israeli state on Gaza.

 Called with less than 24 hours notice protesters showed out in force to condemn the killings and escalation of the Israeli government's attacks. 

Socialist Party 'Stop Israeli Terror State' placards were snapped up with enthusiasm as people joined the protest.

Socialist Party leaflets (text below) putting an alternative to barbaric, warmongering capitalism and its failure to solve the Israel/Palestine crisis, ran out.

Suzanne Beishon
Protest against attack on Gaza, London, 15.11.12, photo by Suzanne Beishon

Protest against attack on Gaza, London, 15.11.12, photo by Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Leeds

Around 60 students and workers at Leeds university held a lunchtime solidarity protest with Palestinians in Gaza.

Placards revealed the outrage of many students at the killings of innocent civilians in Gaza by the Israeli Defence Force.

Whilst the demonstration passed off peacefully, there was a verbal confrontation with a pro-Israeli regime group.

Iain Dalton
Demonstrating outside the Israeli embassy, London, 17.11.12, photo by N Cafferky

Demonstrating outside the Israeli embassy, London, 17.11.12, photo by N Cafferky   (Click to enlarge)

Text of Socialist Party leaflet (15.11.12):

Stop the Israeli state terror!

The Israeli government has declared that its shocking and brutal assault on the Gaza strip will be a "widespread campaign" and threatens "protracted conflict".

Among its opening strikes was the assassination of the military leader of Islamist party Hamas, Ahmed Jabari, and more than ten other Palestinians, as a terrifying rain of missiles were fired from the air.

The onslaught was clearly aimed at escalating the conflict, with the Israeli regime turning its back on a ceasefire agreement that had just been negotiated to stop military attacks from both sides.

Assassinations of Palestinians by the Israeli armed forces in recent months have played a central part in escalating the conflicts in the south of Israeli and Gaza.

Nevertheless, British foreign secretary William Hague blamed Hamas as bearing "principal responsibility" because of the rocket fire from Gaza, as effectively did Labour's Douglas Alexander, both refusing to condemn the Israeli regime for deploying its massive, vastly stronger, military might.

"I am responsible for us choosing the right time to exact the heaviest price and so be it" was the chilling message of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinians fear a repeat of the invasion of Gaza at the end of 2008, when nearly 1,400 people were slaughtered, including 314 children, and are in a state of terror and panic.

There are ominous signs that a ground invasion is being considered, with Israeli soldiers' leave cancelled and some reservists called up.

As well as the terrible toll of Palestinian deaths and injuries, following the killing of Jabari three Israeli civilians were killed in the Israeli town of Kiryat Malakhi when their building was hit by a Palestinian missile.

Netanyahyu and Co knew that their assault would bring this kind of response but their aim was not to encourage peace and security for Israelis or Palestinians, but was to serve their own interests.

Seeking votes

In particular they are desperately trying to boost their support prior to the general election scheduled for January by trying to appear to be fortifying security in Israel.

In recent weeks, opinion polls have showed that Likud Beytenu, the newly merged party formed by Netanyahu and Lieberman, was losing support.

They want to draw attention away from the burning social problems in Israel, which Lieberman said he's "sick of hearing all the cries about".

The Israeli government's decision to respond to straying shells from Syria by returning fire, along with other threats of retaliatory military action, and threats of punitive action against the West Bank based Palestinian Authority, are also part of the election campaign of these failing nationalist politicians.

They fear losing their seats and are therefore willing to engage in mass slaughter of Palestinians and to gamble on the lives of ordinary Israelis.

Leaders of the main Israeli 'opposition' political parties, Yachimovich (Labour), Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Mofaz (Kadima) were quick to stand by the government and speak with one voice.

They don't even pretend to offer any real alternative to the narrow, mad and dangerous agenda of the current government.

Protest against attack on Gaza, London, 15.11.12, photo by Suzanne Beishon

Protest against attack on Gaza, London, 15.11.12, photo by Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

In addition to their re-election aims, the Israeli leaders want to cut across the revival of a Palestinian bid for UN recognition later this month, pre-empt any pressure for peace talks from re-elected Obama in the US, and to try to counter any strengthening of Hamas as a result of the major changes and tensions in the region - in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon etc.

But their blood-filled strategy can spiral out of their control and rebound on them by massively inflaming relations between countries and the situations within them; already there are protests and demonstrations breaking out across the Arab countries and worldwide, as well as in the Palestinian territories.

In Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, a call to defend the residents of Gaza is being made on demonstrations.

Opposition to the war plans of Israeli leaders Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman must also be rapidly organised in Israel to make it clear that the bloodshed is not in the interests of ordinary Israelis and to counter the lies of the government.

As well as calling for protest demonstrations, Socialist Struggle Movement (the Committee for a Workers International - CWI - in Israel/Palestine) is calling for the Israeli workers' organisations, including the Histadrut trade union federation and the social movements, to publicly denounce the offensive and to initiate and take part in protests against it.

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