Socialist Worker

LETTERS - We have to act now to stop the Israeli state murder of Palestinians

Issue No. 2605

Protesters against Israels attacks in Gaza demonstrated in London earlier this month

Protesters against Israel's attacks in Gaza demonstrated in London earlier this month (Pic: Guy Smallman)

As I watched events in Gaza unfold on the news, I was astounded by utterly obscene contrasting pictures.

On the one hand, the US and Israel celebrated the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Israeli president Binyamin Netanyhu claimed it was a “glorious day”.

On the other hand unarmed Palestinians were slaughtered like cattle by the Israeli army.

It was a non-violent protest met with the most brutal, violent reaction.

Declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel was a deliberate and provocative move by the US.

Moving its embassy to Jerusalem was also intended to incite a reaction from Palestinians.

Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Furthermore Jerusalem is in occupied territory—opening the US embassy in Jerusalem is a crime under international law.

What we are witnessing today is brutal ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Future generations will judge us for our response.

The Nakba did not end in 1948. It continues today in the ongoing persecution of Palestinians and theft of their lands.

The foreign leaders who stand by and silently allow this catastrophe to continue have blood on their hands. Now is the time to act.

Call upon the British government to fulfil its legal obligations as a third state actor to uphold international law.

Support the United Nations’ call for an independent investigation into the use of lethal force by Israel.

Take immediate action to end the siege of Gaza. And ensure that British arms, finance and trade are not used to support Israel’s atrocities.

Pauline Wheat-Bowen, Huddersfield Palestine Solidarity Campaign

It is time that the media stopped referring to Israel’s occupation of Palestine as a “conflict” or a “war”.

This gives the impression that there is some kind of equality between Israel and Palestine.

But it cannot even be said that it is a dispute between two states as only one is officially recognised.

Palestinian land was taken 70 years ago when the state of Israel was created.

Ethnic cleansing, massacres, daily harassment and exile have characterised the lives of those who have lived in the West Bank and Gaza ever since. War in modern terms suggests that the protagonists have an army, an arsenal of weapons, transport, tanks, aircraft, a navy and a system of command and control.

Israel possesses all of these. Palestinians have stones, knives and obsolete rockets, most of which are intercepted by a state of the art defence system.

I stayed in a kibbutz close to Gaza with peace activists in November 2012.

It was during another sustained bombing of Gaza from air, sea and land.

An occasional rocket from Gaza exploded near the kibbutz during my three days there.

While frightening it could not compare with the mighty weaponry of one of the top five most well-equipped armies worldwide.

This is not a conflict, nor is it a war. It is the latest in a series of massacres of Palestinians.

It is time for the state of Israel to be held to account for its crimes at the International Criminal Court.

It must be forced to end the occupation of Palestine and the 11-year siege of Gaza—an act of collective punishment in breach of international law.

A good start would be to afford Israel pariah status in the manner of apartheid South Africa, which included an economic and cultural boycott.

Dave Clinch, Torrington

Movement in Spain is an inspiration

Since the Huelga Feminista (feminist strike) on 8 March, the Spanish women’s movement has burst onto the streets.

The demands of the movement for an end to domestic violence, gender inequality and the pay gap have clearly struck a chord.

In recent weeks the anger people feel has been fed by the judgement in La Manada. This is a court case where a group of five men were accused of raping an 18 year old woman during the “bull running” festival in Pamplona.

They even stole the woman’s phone and recorded the events. Yet the judgement has been one of “sexual abuse” rather than rape.

Once more, people took to the streets to demand changes to the judicial system in Spain.

This comes as big political questions are being asked about freedom of speech, Catalonian independence and political interference in the media and other institutions.

There have also been demonstrations in defence of state pensions.

It has been an inspiration to be part of this movement. Already small reforms are being won and right wing, neoliberal politicians are lining up to claim they are feminists.

But we need to make sure that the movement achieves much more than superficial reforms.

Karen Mee, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain

Troops don't bring peace

It looks like the British government could send more troops to Afghanistan.

This is because Donald Trump wants help to deal with a “resurgence” by the Taliban.

In 2001 we were told that Western intervention would bring peace to Afghanistan.

In fact, bombs and occupation have just led to more anger and instability—and ordinary people are the ones who suffer.

Sonia Little, Maltby

TUC protest was too small

The demonstration two weeks ago showed the incompetence of the TUC (Socialist Worker online, 12 May).

Too little time was spent preparing for what should have been a massive mobilisation.

Anthony Dooley, On Twitter

How to argue on migration

I always argue two points on migration

Rich people can move and live pretty much anywhere. So restrictions are a class issue.

And if you believe in “fair” restrictions, where do you draw the line on who can stay?

Merlin Reader, Central London

Private Eye is anti-Corbyn

I had to protest at the Private Eye’s creeping anti-Corbynism.

A crossword clue was, “Narrow minded feature of Corbyn’s party intimates, hopeless, drained of energy around the House”. The answer was “antisemitism”.

Jim Hutchinson, Newcastle

Don’t get rich from racists

A national petition is calling on Visa, Mastercard and American Express to stop processing donations for fascist group Britain First.

They are getting rich off Islamophobic groups.

John Appleyard, West Yorkshire

Hypocrisy on Israel killings

Israel’s attacks are horrific, criminal and inhumane.

Where are all the MPs that demanded action so quickly against Russia and Syria with no proof?

Pauline Smith, On Twitter

BBC is biased over Palestine

Why does the BBC give Mark Regev such an easy questioning about Israel’s soldiers murdering Palestinians?

Israel is a racist state.

George Arthur, On Twitter

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