Palestine

International outrage against Israel’s May 31 massacre of activists on a boat bringing aid to Gaza has been expressed through ongoing mass protests around the world, condemnation of Israel's actions by most governments (except the US), and calls for the immediate lifting of Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Nicaragua has suspended diplomatic ties with Israel. Sweden, Spain, Turkey, Ecuador and South Africa have recalled their envoys. Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia had already cut their diplomatic ties with Israel.

The picture is clear: the activists attacked in the Israeli military’s May 31 nighttime commando raid on a boat bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza were not armed.

In Israel, the media is broadcasting disinformation, using edited videos. But it is clear there was no crossfire during the raid, just Israeli fire.

Israel claims there was an attempt by activists onboard the Mavi Marmara, to steal weapons from soldiers. But either the army’s spokespeople or the soldiers themselves are telling false tales.

About 2000 demonstrators gathered outside Israel’s Ministry of Defense late May 31 to protest the military's violent raid on an aid flotilla that attempted to break the country’s years-long siege on the Gaza Strip.

Haggai Matar, a member of the Coalition Against the Siege, told Ma’an news the protests were an expression of anger and shock about the Israeli navy raid that left at least 10 activists dead and dozens hurt a day earlier.

Sydney-based journalist and author Antony Loewenstein is an outspoken critic of Israeli policies and author of the best-selling 2006 book My Israel Question. He is the co-founder of advocacy group Independent Australian Jewish Voices and is a board member of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies. Articles and commentary by Loewenstein can be found at Antonyloewenstein.com.

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.

The movement for Australian union action against Israel is gaining strength after the apartheid state’s latest murderous attack on the unarmed aid flotilla to Gaza.

The South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) and the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory branches of the Australian Services Union have joined the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union in committing to the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the aggressive Israeli state.

Australian unions and peak bodies have also called on members to attend the many protest actions.

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.

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