- Created: Tuesday, 15 May 2018 17:18
- Written by FRFI
Whilst Ivanka Trump and other US and Israeli dignitaries celebrated the official opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on 14 May, more than 30,000 Palestinian unarmed protesters at the Gaza border were met with live fire and tear gas by the Israeli military. At least 60 unarmed people were massacred, including an 8-month-old baby and 14-year-old boy, and more than 2,000 people were injured. Israeli jets also launched air strikes in Gaza. The RCG condemns the barbaric actions of the racist Israeli state and all its supporters and apologists.
Tens of thousands of Gazans came out to the border fence to protest against the ongoing Nakba (‘catastrophe’) which has faced the Palestinian people for 70 years since the creation of the Zionist settler state of Israel in 1948. Gazans experience this Nakba every day in the state of siege in which they are forced to live, in conditions of desperate poverty, and under regular attack from the Israeli military (see: 'Israel’s atrocities in Gaza – book review', FRFI 263, April/May 2018). When US President Trump declared on 7 December 2017 that Jerusalem would be recognised by the US as the capital of Israel, and that the US Embassy would be moved there from Tel Aviv, a new wave of Palestinian resistance was launched. Beginning on the 2018 Land Day commemoration on 30 March, a six-week protest campaign called ‘The Great March of Return’ was launched in Gaza, demanding the right of return for Palestinians to their homeland. Protests were to culminate on Nakba Day, 15 May. Every Friday since has seen huge protests of tens of thousands, with many protesting on other days, and permanent protest camps set up at the border fence. These protests have been regularly met with live fire from Israeli snipers, killing and injuring protesters.
The massacre was met with approval from an increasingly fascistic trend in Israel. Israeli civilians cheered from the other side of the border as Palestinians were shot. Avi Dichter, a senior member of the Israeli ruling Likud Party, told Hadashot TV news on Monday that ‘the IDF [Israeli Defence Force] has enough bullets for everyone’.
Israel’s brutal actions were condemned by governments around the world, with Turkey withdrawing its ambassadors to the US and Israel, South Africa recalling its ambassador to Israel, and Russia and China raising concern in the UN Security Council. Turkey later expelled the Israeli ambassador in Turkey. The US blocked a move by Kuwait for a UN enquiry into the use of live bullets by Israel.
With their usual grotesque hypocrisy, Israel and the US, blamed Hamas for the violence. Israel claimed that 24 of those shot dead were identified as ‘terrorists’. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson followed them saying that ‘we understand that some have been provoking that violence’, but also calling for Israel to show ‘restraint’. The Labour Party’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry condemned the ‘brutal, lethal and utterly unjustified actions’ of the Israeli military. However, later on the same evening the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), of which Thornberry is a member, tweeted ‘Hamas must accept responsibility for these events’. The Zionists in the Board of Deputies of British Jews is currently trying to ban all criticism of the Israeli state on grounds of anti-Semitism. Labour MPs, must decide what side they are on: the side of the LFI, the US and Israel - the side of unmitigated barbarism - or the side of the Palestinians. It cannot be both.
While condemning the slaughter Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called only for a review of Britain's weapons sales to Israel. Corbyn, Momentum and the ‘Labour left’ should be calling for sustained action on the streets to end British support for Israel, if they are serious about fighting for a better world. Instead there are fine words and no action.
The resistance of the Palestinian people continues to show the way for all progressive people. In the face of 70 years of Zionist occupation, supported, funded and armed by the US, Britain, and other imperialist powers, the Palestinian people have continued to fight every step of the way for the liberation of their land. Following the most recent massacre protests in Gaza have continued, and a general strike and widespread protests have flared up in the West Bank in clashes with Israeli forces – which again have been met by live fire and tear gas. Demonstrations have been called all around the world to protest against Israel’s actions and its international support. The RCG urges everyone to take to the streets in support of the Palestinian resistance.
End British support for Israel!
On the evening of Monday 14 May, RCG supporters joined with Samidoun, and other supporters of Palestine to protest against the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem at the US Embassy in London. Over the coming week the RCG will be organising other protests for Palestine around the country. Join us on the streets for Palestine:
Saturday 19 May, Barclays Bank, Tottenham Court Road, London, 12pm - End British Support for Israel! Solidarity with Gaza!
Saturday 19 May, Northumberland Street, Newcastle. 12pm - Remember Al-Nakba! Boycott M&S!
Saturday 19 May, Market Square, Nottingham. 12pm - Solidarity with Gaza - rolling picket
More to be announced...