Palestine

The world was shocked by Israel’s latest act of barbarism — an act of high-seas piracy that ended in slaughter. Israel’s excuse of “self-defence” is so ludicrous it is hard to believe anyone is expected to take it seriously.

On May 31, Israel raided the six boats of the Freedom Flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip has been subjected to a siege of growing intensity by Israel since 2006. The flotilla contained people from more than 37 nations.

BRISBANE — "You know that we are rising, our day is surely coming”, were the words of a new song featured in Lebanese-Australian activist and musician Phil Monsour's benefit concert for Palestine on May 29.

Monsour, who recently returned from a trip to Palestine and Lebanon, recounted his experiences with songs and video images taken during his participation in the Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA Middle East study tour in March.

On May 31, Israeli defence force commandos boarded an aid ship in international waters. The ship was trying to break the illegal military blockade of the Gaza strip and transport much-needed food and medical supplies. Nine aid activists were killed and several snap actions were held in Australia to condemn Israel’s actions and call for an end to the blockade.

On June 1, 250 people rallied in Brisbane to condemn Israel’s attacks on the Gaza aid fleet. ALP vice-president Wendy Turner, and socialist activist and lecturer in creative industries Gary MacLennan, spoke.

Condemn Israel's attack on the Gaza flotilla

Socialist Alliance statement June 3, 2010.

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.

American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein
Directed by David Ridgen & Nicolas Rossier
Baraka Productions

Review by Antony Loewenstein

Jewish critics of Israel are as old as the ideology itself. Zionism was regarded by most Jews in Europe as an idealistic delusion before the Second World War, but the Holocaust literally changed everything.

Australian activist Bridget Chappell was arrested by Israeli security forces in February along with Spanish activist Ariadna Marti, in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. Chappell and Marti were working for the International Solidarity Movement supporting peaceful Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation. Below, Chappell details the increased repression by Israel against all forms of resistance in the occupied territories.

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Veteran left-wing academic and author Noam Chomsky was banned from entering Israel on May 17. Chomsky, a strong critic of Israel and US foreign policy, had been planning to give a lecture at Bir Zeit University in the Israeli occupied West Bank.

On May 18, English singer Elvis Costello announced he was cancelling two planned gigs in Israel, citing the “grave and complex" sensitivities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, Christian Science Monitor said on May 19.

One hundred people rallied in Brisbane Square on May 14 to commemorate Al Nakba —— “the catastrophe”. Al Nakba took place on May 15, 1948, when Israeli forces drove hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians out of their lands, and consolidated the Jewish state.

Palestinian civil society has called on Elton John to respect their call to boycott Israel and cancel his June 17 concert in Tel Aviv. If he does so, he'll be joining artists Santana and Gil-Scott Heron, who recently cancelled planned concerts in Israel. This video suggests six reasons why Elton should join the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement.

For more info, please visit:
www.bdsmovement.net
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Israeli queer activists organised a protest on April 29 in front of the Israeli foreign affairs ministry in Jerusalem to protest against an “Israeli LGBT Festival” being organised in San Francisco called “Out in Israel”. The US event is funded by the Israeli consulate and Jewish organisations' together with support from the Israeli foreign affairs ministry.

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