Israeli socialists condemn deadly attacks on Gaza, call for action

December 30, 2008

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Communist Party of Israel condemns deadly attacks on Gaza and calls for international mobilisation

December 27, 2008 — The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and Hadash (the Democrqatic Front for Peace and Equality) condemns today's deadly attack by the Israeli Air Force on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of over 150 Palestinians.

The CPI calls on communist and workers' parties and social movements throughout the world to mobilise against these Israeli war crimes, and demands that the international community implement sanctions against Israel and indict Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and other Israeli political and military leadership for these blatant war crimes, committed as part of Israel's election process.

Israel's military attack is part of the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip. Israel is exploiting the last moments of the Bush administration to implement the deadly but ineffective imperialist policy of utilising military force to effect political change.

Demonstrations against the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip are planned in the major Israeli cities, and demonstrations will be held tonight in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Nazareth. On December 26, hundreds demonstrators attended a rally in central Tel Aviv to protest the expected Israeli military operation against Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza. The rally was organised by the Coalition against the Gaza Siege and Hadash.

"I suggest that we go the other direction", said Hadash Knesset Member Dov Khenin, a leading member of the CPI. "Our power is our tragedy. One powerful blow will not bring the end. They will respond with rockets and eventually we'll embark on an all-out war. Going in the other direction means reinforcing the lull, securing a ceasefire, and lifting the siege that only serves to unite the population around Hamas."

"A genuine peace process will be engaged in vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas", he said. "What's tragic here is that it's possible. We just need the desire."

Khenin added that it is "essential to secure a prisoner swap that would include Gilad Shalit". When asked why fewer Israelis object the war in Gaza, he said: "People lost their hope. They realise that what's happening is bad, yet they think there's no other option. Yet we are not destined to be the victim of history."

Another rally participant, the former Knesset member Tamar Gozansky, said: "Two years ago we protested at the same site, before the Second Lebanon War. We were ostracised and referred to as traitors. Yet several months later, all the people who made fun of us carried their own signs to Rabin Square and protested against Olmert's policy. I really hope that we won't have yet another reason to say: 'We told you so.'"

In an earlier statement, Knesset member Khenin said: "A comprehensive war in Gaza is dangerous and unnecessary and will put the lives of thousands of Gazans and western Negev residents at risk."

"War is not the solution to the Kassam rocket problem", he continued. "There is another way: a real truce agreement. Not just a cease-fire, but also ending the Gaza blockade and easing the extreme suffering of a million-and-a-half people."

Leading members of the Communist Party of Israel met in Ramallah with representatives of left-wing Palestinian factions

Leading members of the Communist Party of Israel met in Ramallah with representatives of left-wing Palestinian factions, including the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Palestinian People's Party.

Militants from the four parties met December 25 in Ramallah to coordinate future steps and to consider ways to strengthen the cooperation between them. The CPI was represented in the meeting by the secretary-general, Mohammed Nafa'h; and the chair of Hadash (The Democratic Peace and Equality Front), M.K. Mohammed Barakeh. This is the first time a meeting has been held in which representatives from all four parties were in attendance. "The Palestinian arena is today in desperate need of a progressive, leftist dialogue of unity", Barakeh said.

Barakeh also travelled to the Jordanian capital of Amman where he met with the secretary-general of the DFLP, Nayef Hawatmeh. Leading members of the Communist Party of Israel recently stated that the talks held with Palestinian left-wing factions are a routine matter. The party has maintained contacts with these groups since the 1970s.

"The Communist Party of Israel and Hadash platforms and its fundamental stances are clear and they are expressed everywhere and at every opportunity", a party spokesperson said.

"Ties with PLO groups have been held uninterruptedly since the 1970s, and all of the factions know the positions taken by the Communist Party of Israel as a political Jewish-Arab organisation that espouses a two-state solution with the struggle against capitalism and imperialism."

[Thanks to MRZine for the text of this statement.]

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