Socialist Alliance: Labor must support an unconditional ceasefire in Gaza

February 20, 2024
One of the weekly protests for Palestine in Gadigal/Sydney. Photo: Peter Boyle

The Australian, Canadian and New Zealand governments’ February 14 joint statement on Palestine reflects the pressure on Labor from the global “ceasefire now” movement.

Socialist Alliance joins other pro-Palestine organisations and groups to underscore the fact that without the movement in the streets over the past 20 weeks, Labor would not even have expressed concern about Israel’s attack on Rafah.

Labor’s “grave concern” about a “catastrophic” military operation in Rafah is not enough.

Its “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” call is not enough.

Its call for “rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian relief” is hypocritical in the extreme when it has stopped sending aid to the main relief organisation in Gaza — the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The statement's mention of the International Court of Justice’s interim ruling is another indication that Labor is feeling the pressure — as are all nations that are arming Israel, including Australia, and thus complicit in the plausible case against Israel for genocide.

But, like its December 2023 joint statement, Labor’s support for a ceasefire is conditional on Hamas releasing hostages and laying down arms — leaving Palestinians defenceless against the biggest military power in the Middle East.

A political solution is paramount. That could be achieved if the West, including Australia, stopped supporting the government of Israel, including by continuing to support the supply of weapons and allowing the US-controlled Pine Gap spy base to pass surveillance to Israel in its war on Gaza.

Socialist Alliance is demanding the Labor government:

  • Respect Palestinians’ calls for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, with no conditions.
  • Respect the United Nations General Assembly call for the same.
  • Respect the ICJ’s interim ruling on Israeli genocide.
  • Restore and boost funding to UNRWA.
  • Stop sending weapons, or components, to Israel, and stop Pine Gap from sending surveillance data to Israel.
  • Break political ties with genocidal Israel.

[The Socialist Alliance National Executive issued this statement on February 16, 2024.]

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