Protest condemns Israel’s drive for war on Iran

March 27, 2012

Anti-war activists gathered outside a VIP breakfast briefing of visiting Israeli military advisor, Yaakov Katz, on March 28 to condemn his support for an Israeli strike on Iran. The breakfast, which included a lot of Israeli security people with cameras, was organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

Katz, a former commando in the Israeli Defence force, has written extensively on Iran and is in Sydney to promote the Israeli government’s view that a military strike on Iran would be a “viable military option”.

Last November, Katz was quoted as saying to Newsmax: “The Israelis are saying that we feel that the window of opportunity to stop Iran is beginning to close ... Therefore, I think we will see something will have to happen over the next year.

“All the saber-rattling right now is a way of signaling to the world, you’ve got to start taking us a little more seriously because, if you don’t, then we do have this viable option of a military strike that we will consider taking at some later date. I think the world has some time now — not long, though, a few months possibly — to really start to crack down on Iran.”

Katz’s book, Israel vs Iran - The Balance of Power in a Changing Middle East, will soon be published in English.

On the street outside, activists from the Sydney Peace Foundation, the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP), Stop the War Coalition Sydney and Resistance spoke to passersby about why Israel’s war plans should be opposed.

Greens Marrickville Councillor and CJPP activist Cathy Peters said event organisers had sent invitations to councillors across Sydney, yet few had turned up. However, one notable attendee was NSW Labor opposition leader John Robertson.

Photos by Pip Hinman

Professor Stuart Rees from the Sydney Peace Foundation criticised the “Israeli militarist state” for “preparing a preemptive attack on Iran” by “sending its emissaries to the West to rally support for what would be an illegal and immoral attack leading to thousands of civilian deaths”.

Peters said an invasion of Iran would violate international law. But, she added, “Israel has shown its disdain for the rule of law time and time again. Just this week it has attacked UN Human Rights Council because it voted to investigate the impact of Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank.”

Former NSW Greens MLC Sylvia Hale also condemned Israel’s drive to war with Iran. She pointed to Israel’s refusal to abide by UN resolutions against its occupation of Palestine: “Israel has violated international law for too long with complete impunity.”

Stop the War Coalition’s Pip Hinman said: “The US-led wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have led to more than a million people being killed, and countries destroyed.

“Israel has more than 200 nuclear warheads and refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. On the other hand, Iran has launched no wars. It doesn’t have a nuclear weapon — as even the US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says — and it has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.”

Jennifer Killen from the CJPP said Israel should curb its colonial ambitions and that while peace activists did not condone nuclear proliferation, Iran’s nuclear program had not been weaponised and was a matter for the Iranian people.

Patrick Harrison from Resistance highlighted the “group think” mindset of Zionists such as Katz who recently wrote that Israel had something to fear from the March 30 Global March on Jerusalem.

This peace march, which has support around the world, calls for freedom for Jerusalem and its people and an end to the apartheid-style ethnic cleaning policies of the Israeli state.

Harrison said: “Katz has described the organisers of this peace march as ‘terrorists’ — a ridiculous claim — but it shows just how the Zionist propaganda machine works.”

The Sydney Global March on Jerusalem event will start on March 30 at 5.30pm outside the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre. It will march to the Max Brenner outlet in Newtown — a chain owned by the Strauss Group, which boasts of its support for the Israeli army.

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