Palestine

An internationally renowned academic in the field of Islamic and Gender Studies, Dr Samar Habib (pictured), says pressure from management at the University of Western Sydney caused her to resign from her staff teaching position. Habib said she felt under intense pressure from the university while setting the course material for her compulsory first-year subject, Texts and Traditions. “There were constraints placed on me in terms of what texts I was able to include and who to teach with, and it became very difficult to exercise academic or creative control over my unit”, she said.

On June 15, something amazing happened: British Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for the British army shooting Irish people.

“It was wrong”, said Cameron, after a government inquiry found the British army was responsible for the killing of 14 unarmed civil rights demonstrators, seven of them teenagers, in the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry.

On January 30, 1972, up to 30,000 people marched in Derry, in the six Irish counties occupied by Britain, to demand an end to internment, a policy that allowed for the jailing of people without trial.

Lesbians, gays, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people across the world have rejected Israel’s brutal occupation of Gaza and are coming out in support of the boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

In the wake of Israel’s bloody attack on the Freedom Flotilla and murder of peace activists on May 31, the myth that Israel is a liberal democratic state has been dispelled. But Israel continues to try to market itself as the only “gay haven” in the Middle East.

The murder of international peace activists on the Gaza flotilla by Israeli commandos marks a turning point in the international standing of the state of Israel. Even though we witnessed the horrific violence in Lebanon in 2006 and then in “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza in 2008, Israel has largely been able to count on the support of the Western alliance and its clients in the Arab world.

Two days after the flotilla massacres on May 31, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt announced in response to mass demonstrations in Cairo and across the world, that Egypt was opening the Rafah border crossing, breaching the siege of the Gaza Strip that holds its 1.5 million people in a stranglehold.

Hundreds of Gazans flocked to the southern-most border of the coastal enclave. Many were left waiting on the border for days, denied entry to Egypt.

Israel stands increasingly isolated following its attack on the peace flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists on board the Mavi Marmara were murdered and many more wounded.

The attack on the flotilla, like the siege of Gaza, is aimed at demoralising Palestinians and their supporters. But the global pressure was enough to force Israel to announce a token relaxation of the blockade of the 1.5 million people crammed into the tiny coastal strip.

SYDNEY - Such is the groundswell of community anger against the Israeli commando attack on the peace flotilla to Gaza that the Campbelltown branch of the ALP passed a strongly-worded motion on June 7 including calling on the Rudd government to cut ties with Israel.

The motion also condemned the attack and the blockade of Gaza, and called for support for the solidarity protests being organised by the Palestinian community and their supporters.

For more international union actions against Israel, see here

Solidarity with the Palestinian people - three-day strike for Israel commercial vessels

World Federation of Trade Unions
Athens, June 8th 2010
www.wftucentral.org
E-mails : international@wftucentral.org

Dear colleagues, trade unionists and workers,

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, called, on May 31, for the international community to bring to justice those responsible for Israel’s deadly raid on a ship bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, Countercurrents.com said that day. The raid killed at least nine people.

The Qatar-based media network Al Jazeera has published on its website a series of harrowing eyewitness accounts from survivors of Israel’s military raid on a flotilla of ships bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza. An example is published below. To read the full list, visit www.english.aljazeera.net.

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Haneen Zabi, member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament): “We were expecting the Israeli army to stop us, to prevent us from entering but surely we didn't expect such a war against us.

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