Date: Saturday, June 5, 2010
Location: State Library (Cnr Swanston & Latrobe Sts, Melbourne)
On Saturday, a rally has been organised to protest, inter alia, the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The rally is also being organised to further protest the Israeli attack upon an humanitarian aid convoy earlier in the week, in which Israeli soldiers murdered nine members of the convoy, and injured dozens more.
The attack has sparked an inevitable torrent of commentary. The Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman, blamed the murders on the victims of the attack, claiming that Israeli soldiers came “under the brutal attack of a bunch of anarchists, hooligans and terror-supporters… actually terrorists – who simply want to promote terrorism, cooperate with terrorism… to attack our sovereignty and to spill blood”.
The blockade is a form of unlawful collective punishment of the 1.4 million people who reside in Gaza, the 360 square kilometre strip of territory occupied by Israel in 1967 and formally abandoned by it in 2005.
In late 2008 / early 2009, the Israeli state abandoned some bombs on Gaza, in an exercise which brought “great rejoicing at the nation’s capital” — or so said the morning’s paper.
In the name of the Jews, the Israeli state drives Palestinians from their lands, imprisons them and punishes them with blundering brutality. The Revisionist policy dreamed up by early fascist Zionists of “Facts on the Ground” is a total success – Israel’s perceived choice today is between Apartheid and ethnic cleansing. The Israeli elections are seeing the meteoric rise of Avigdor Leiberman whose party, Israel Beitenu, promises to strip Palestinian citizens of Israel and Leftists of their citizenship if they fail tests of loyalty to the state. This isn’t swear-word fascism – this is the real thing. Still on the table is Kadima’s “realignment” plan to withdraw Israeli settlers from the “Palestinian” side of the segregation barrier. This is a de-facto annexation of 6 per-cent of West Bank territory which, crucially, would leave the [West Bank] in two landlocked islands, an internal enemy non-state which can now be disciplined on the same terms as Gaza.
~ Uri Gordon, ‘Facts on the Ground’, Anarchy Alive!, February 9, 2009.
Policing the blockade — or rather, justifying it, and the blockade’s brutal effects upon an enormous captive population — has become slightly moar difficult following the slaughter at sea (producing some truly spectacular mental gymnastics on the part of apologists for the Israeli regime), but as a general rule of thumb, unless the position of US authorities shifts, there will be little or no change in Israeli policy. Thus, while the O’Bama administration has tut-tutted the murderous act of piracy, it has otherwise remained solidly behind the Israeli state, and the UN has been licensed to issue only tepid criticism (see : Washington comes to aid of Israel over Gaza convoy massacre, Jean Shaoul, wsws.org, June 2, 2010).
As a result, the people of Gaza are pretty much f*cked.
See also : Turkish officials convicted over activist’s death, Amnesty International, June 2, 2010 (“Engin Ceber was arrested at a protest against a police shooting of another activist”) | Listening To Grasshoppers: Genocide, Denial And Celebration, Arundhati Roy, Countercurrents.org, January 26, 2008 | Karakök Autonome (“Isyan! Devrim! Anarsi! Resistance! Revolution! Anarchy!”) | Anarchists Against the Wall.