'We are all Palestinians'

January 7, 2009

"An entire refugee family in one fell swoop was killed this morning as they took cover in their home, which took a direct hit from Israeli shells", according to a diary direct from Palestine written by Laila El-Haddad and published on January 4 on Electronic Intifada.

"Six paramedics and a doctor were also killed as they tried to rescue wounded Palestinians in northern Gaza."

El-Haddad reported: "Gaza City, including al-Shifa Hospital, is entirely without electricity. They also say 20 percent of those killed have been children and women."

El-Haddad spoke of an interview her father gave to CNN: "My father spoke calmly, eloquently, in the pitch dark of besieged Gaza, with only the fire of Israeli bombs illuminating his world. 'They are destroying everything that is beautiful and living,' he told the anchor.

"… My father last night tried to communicate a single message: We keep hearing that Israel is after Hamas, but we are the targets here; civilians are the targets …"

Such stories have forced us at Green Left Weekly out of holiday mode and into action.

Our first issue for the year is not due until January 21. However in light of Israel's slaughter, we have produced this special broadsheet dedicated to the war on Gaza, to help counter the constant lies coming from so many governments and mainstream media outlets.

Lies such as claiming Israel is acting in "self-defence" against rocket attacks after Hamas broke the cease-fire, when the opposite is true.

Rank falsehoods such as the repeated claim that Hamas "came to power" in a 2007 coup, even though they were democratically elected as the governing party one year earlier.

Reckless deceit by omitting of crucial facts of history, such as the fact, that 80% of Gaza's families are refugees from land now claimed by Israel, driven out in the ethnic cleansing of 1948 — "The Catastrophe" as it is known to Palestinians.

Often the media even fails to mention Israel's total siege on Gaza that created a humanitarian crisis even before the current onslaught.

But most of all we want to contribute to the growing international solidarity movement.

We are proud to be part of the movement that has taken to streets in city after city from all corners of the world. But we must continue with and broaden these protests. There are details about further rallies and events in support of the Palestinian people in this broadsheet.

We have also published an interview with an Israeli citizen, and member of the socialist youth organisation Resistance, who is active in the Palestine solidarity movement in Australia.

Four pages of this special GLW broadsheet are published in Arabic.

GLW completely agrees with the demand in the Socialist Alliance statement: The Rudd government must break all ties with Israel.

Just like in the ultimately victorious struggle against the odious apartheid regime in South Africa, a crucial component in winning justice for Palestine will be international solidarity. Above all, an international rejection of Israel's crimes and an isolation of the brutal regime responsible for them is required.

An example for others to follow is the strong position of the governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

In the name of humanity, we must all raise our voices against the bloodshed. Right now, we are all Palestinians.

[For more information about Green Left Weekly, including getting in contact with distribution and activist centres in your city, please visit . The first issue of Green Left Weekly for 2009 will be dated January 21.]

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