No to Israel's war crimes! Stop the massacre! End the siege!

[The following statement distributed by members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party at protest actions in early January against Israel’s war on Gaza.]

The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) condemns the Israeli massacre taking place in the Gaza Strip. Since Israel began its latest round of bombings on Saturday, December 27, more than 400 Palestinians have died and more than 2000 have been injured, the vast majority of them critically.

Israel’s airstrikes against Gaza’s 1.5 million civilian population come on the back of Israel’s illegal and brutal two-year siege of Gaza, which has denied the people of Gaza adequate fuel, food, electricity and medical supplies.

The bombing of Gaza and the wilful and indiscriminate killing of civilians, along with the illegal siege which collectively punishes more than 1.5 million civilians living in the Gaza Strip, are both war crimes under international law.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party calls on the Australian Rudd government to break all ties with Israel, including diplomatic, political, economic, military and cultural ties and to condemn Israel’s war crimes in Gaza and demand that Israel end its bombing and illegal siege, as well as its ongoing occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party also condemns the statements issued by Acting Australian Prime Minister/Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard that seeks to blame the Palestinian people for the massacre and war crime being carried out against them by the Israeli Zionist state.

Israel’s current massacre simply marks a recent change in Israel’s method of killing Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. For the past two years, the people of Gaza have suffered mostly silent deaths, deprived of food and necessary medicine by Israel whose illegal blockade and siege is designed to cause suffering to the 1.5 million people of Gaza, the vast majority of whom are refugees and children.

Israel’s latest war crime in Gaza is simply its most recent act of state terror perpetrated against the Palestinian people. Since its creation in 1948, Israel has sought to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people by waging a non-stop war of aggression against them through acts of state terror, occupation and apartheid practices, resulting in the deaths and wounding of tens of thousands of Palestinians.

While Israel’s Haaretz newspaper on May 5, 2008 noted that 1634 Israeli civilians had been killed and 14,000 wounded in “terror acts” in the 60 years since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights noted that in the seven-and-a-half year period between September 2000 and March 4, 2008 alone, Israeli state terrorism has killed 3615 Palestinian civilians and wounded 25,650 others. B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, notes that the number of Palestinian civilians killed as a result of Israeli state terrorism has risen dramatically in the last six months, with the number of Palestinian deaths between September 2000 and November 30, 2008 now standing at 4781. B’Tselem notes of those killed during this eight-year period, 952 were children.

According to Julia Gillard and the Rudd government, Palestinians do not have the right to defend themselves, instead they have the right to remain silent while Israel starves and kills them and continues to violently colonise their land. Rather than blaming the people of Palestine, the Rudd government should follow the example of the Cuban and Venezuelan governments which have categorically condemned Israel’s massacre in Gaza and who have offered concrete solidarity to the Palestinian people suffering at the hands of the Israeli Zionist state.

Because the Rudd government is refusing to stand up or speak out to defend the people of Gaza and Palestine, we call on the ordinary people of Australia to stand up and speak out.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party urges all supporters of human rights and justice to not only join the emergency rallies throughout Australia and demand an end to the massacre taking place in Gaza and an end to the Rudd government’s support for Israel, its apartheid regime and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people but to also become active in the solidarity campaign to end Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.