The Socialist Alliance condemns the completely unwarranted and murderous attack by Israeli armed forces on the civilian flotilla carrying aid to Gaza.
Not since the French Secret Service blew up the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour in 1985 has there been such a brazen act of international piracy by a sovereign state.
Governments around the world have condemned the actions of Somali pirates in international waters off the horn of Africa, and have even sent naval armadas to confront them.
The international community must also unreservedly condemn Israel’s criminal act of piracy on the high seas.
We demand the Rudd government condemn the killings of unarmed civilians without any equivocation; break off diplomatic relations with Israel and demand future aid convoys be allowed to land unimpeded, and the aid delivered to the people of Gaza.
The Rudd government must also demand that the siege of Gaza, imposed in 2007, be lifted immediately and that Israel recognise the democratically-elected Hamas government of Gaza.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he "condemns any use of violence under the sorts of circumstances that we have seen" and, ridiculously, has called on Israel to hold an "independent" inquiry into the incident.
Rudd also rushed to add that he understood the "unique security challenges facing Israel" and that he made his criticisms as a "friend of Israel".
The Socialist Alliance condemns the Rudd Labor government's hypocritical equivocation in the face of the near-universal condemnation of this latest Israeli attack.
Only the United States government, which has neither condemned the attack nor called for the lifting of the blockade of Gaza, has a worse position.
Israel has repeatedly violated international law and must be brought to justice for these and other war crimes. The shameless double standards applied by the US and Australian governments to the Israeli state's serial flouting of international law makes them accomplices in crime.
Australia should follow the example of Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia in cutting diplomatic, military and security ties with Israel. It should join the international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to isolate the apartheid and war-making state of Israel.
[This statement was released by the Socialist Alliance. Visit the Socialist Alliance website.]