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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 July 2010

Stop Israeli state terror!

Video: An emergency demo against the Israeli state killings on aid flotilla on Saturday 5 June 2010 which took place in London, called for an end to the siege of Gaza. It was called by Stop the War, CND, BMI and Viva Palestina.

ISRAELI COMMANDOS used lethal force when they intercepted an aid convoy in international waters heading for the Gaza strip, where over one million Palestinians are trapped behind an Israeli government blockade.

The killing of nine aid volunteers by the commandos has provoked angry demonstrations in Turkey, where the flotilla of ships set out from, and around the world.

The misnamed United Nations security council bowed to the US administration and refused to pass a resolution condemning the Israeli government and instead just called for an 'impartial investigation' into the loss of lives.

Socialist Party members condemned the Israeli government outrage and participated in a 2,000 strong spontaneous protest in London against it, which marched from Whitehall to the Israeli embassy.

A large demonstration of several thousand protesters also marched through central Manchester.

Coventry Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist immediately wrote to the Foreign Secretary demanding the release and safe passage of the flotilla to Gaza. He pointed out that the 700 people on board the boats "have all undertaken this mission out of concern for the people of Gaza, who are now entering their fourth year under siege, without access to basic necessities."

Dave continued: "They posed no threat to Israel, and were completely unarmed. The aid they were attempting to deliver included construction materials which would have helped the people of Gaza rebuild some of the homes destroyed by Israel in 2009.

"As a socialist I believe we need an immediate end to the siege and blockade that is taking place against Gaza by the Israeli government, and support for the common interests of ordinary people on both sides of the divide as the basis for an end to the conflict forever."

Joe Higgins

Socialist Party (Ireland) MEP Joe Higgins in a statement said: "An IDF [Israeli Defence Force] officer is reported in this morning's Jerusalem Post describing how IDF paratroopers landing by helicopter on the ships in international waters were 'ambushed' by aid workers 'armed' with whatever was at hand!

"I am already aware that language has lost all meaning to the Israeli authorities having received some e-mails myself from the Israeli Embassy in Dublin late last week defending their position when I was making representations to them in anticipation of the attacks on the aid flotilla.

"The Israeli government and the IDF commanders order these atrocities safe in the knowledge that their allies in the West will leave them unchallenged. Indeed, by welcoming Israel into the OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development] last week, the Israeli political establishment can now label itself as part of the 'advanced' West.

"I condemn this attack and demand that MV Rachael Corrie, which left Dundalk harbour this weekend carrying aid for Gaza, be allowed to make its journey without harassment."

End oppression

In Israel, where the flotilla of ships has been forcibly taken to, left wing activists including members of Tnua't Maavak Sozialisti (Socialist Struggle Movement, the Israeli counterpart of the Socialist Party) demonstrated against the armed attack on the aid convoy and also against the continuing government siege of Gaza and the occupation of the Palestinian territories on the West Bank.

Tnua't Maavak Sozialisti issued the following statement: "The Israeli government cynically shakes off responsibility. But there's no need for a 'state commission of inquiry' to understand that responsibility for the killing lies on the shoulders of the ministers and top officers.

"We're being presented with a simplistic picture, according to which the IDF soldiers were attacked on one of the boats with different objects. The IDF soldiers should not have been there to begin with!

"We reject emphatically the use - common in Israel - of the military and 'security' to trample on the right of protest.

"The ministers, generals, and their kept journalists, attempt to divert attention from the aggressive, destructive and oppressive policy that the Netanyahu-Barak-Lieberman government executes, including the siege and occupation of Gaza, and the racist incitement against the Arab-Palestinian public in Israel. The Israeli government, which oppresses the Palestinians, is also harming the long term interests of the residents of Israel."

The only way to end such disasters and other horrors of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is through the independent struggle of Israeli and Palestinian workers, building and coordinating mass action against the instigators of 'divide and rule', the siege and occupation, and all oppression and discrimination.

A movement that demands democratic national rights for all, and for the overthrow of the corrupt capitalist elites in the region.

For further updates see www.socialistworld.net

Demonstration against the latest Israeli government outrage, end the siege of Gaza. Saturday 5 June, 1.30pm. Assemble at Downing Street, Whitehall, London, SW1.

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