January 16, 2009
- Tim Bowron
Israel and most of the Western media would have us believe that the recent bloody assault on Gaza is a regrettable but unfortunate necessity forced upon the Israelis by the breaking of the June 2008 ceasefire by Hamas. This is a lie.
Between June 16 and November 4 when the Israeli army broke the ceasefire by carrying out an armed raid killing 6 Palestinians in Gaza, no Hamas rockets were fired into Israel. However, during this time Israel maintained a complete sea and air blockade of Gaza, restricting the movement of people as well as of goods and vital humanitarian supplies.
Israel has maintained this blockade since January 2006, when Hamas won power in the Palestinian Legislative Elections. Israel regards Hamas as a “terrorist organisation” because unlike the PLO it has not accepted the apartheid solution of partitoning Palestine into a homogenous Jewish state (Israel) and a small collection of impoverished Palestinian Bantustans in the West Bank and Gaza. The PLO’s acceptance of Israeli apartheid and the Oslo “Peace Process” is the main reason why it lost power in the 2006 elections.
In 1948 when the United Nations in concert with the Western imperialist powers created the state of Israel they gave it 55% of the land in Palestine, despite the fact that Jewish people only comprised one third of the total population. Today the Palestinians are left with only 22% of the land (and much of this is also taken up with illegal Israeli settlements). Over half the Palestinian population (4.2 million) are refugees.
Israel must keep fighting to ensure that it maintains its character as a homogenous Jewish state (the dream of the Zionists) - it knows that if the millions of Palestinian refugees were to exercise their right of return to the homes from which they were forced in 1948 and 1967 then the Jews would be a minority within their own country, so it must do all it can to “disappear” them from history.
The Zionists insist that Jews and Arabs cannot coexist within the same state. Yet this ignores the fact that until the arrival of the Zionist movement in the early 20th century Jews and Arabs had lived together peacefully in Palestine for centuries.
The only solution to the current conflict is the creation of a single democratic, secular and unified state in Palestine with equal rights for all peoples and religions. Until this is realised there will be no peace and no justice.
January 14, 2009
- Israel out of Gaza!
- End the blockade!
PROTEST THIS SATURDAY 17th JANUARY 12PM - assembling outside the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue followed by a march to Cathedral Square.
Organised by Justice for Palestine, supported by the Workers Party.
Come along and join us in solidarity with the people of occupied Palestine - look out for the big red WP banner!
January 10, 2009
Around 1000 people demonstrated against the invasion of Gaza in Auckland today.
The crowd chanted loudly all the way down Queen Street in one of the most spirited demonstrations in years. They rallied outside the US consulate and hurled a sea of shoes.
The people then marched back up Queen Street calling for a boycott of Israel, an end to the occupation and denouncing Israel and the United States.
January 8, 2009
Click here to read an article from the August 2007 issue of The Spark giving some background to the current conflict in Gaza.
January 1, 2009
The Wellington Palestine Group has organized the following events in Wellington to protest the Israeli massacre of Palestinians currently taking place in Gaza.
Come along to all events, with banners, placards and huge amounts of solidarity for the Palestinian people who continue to suffer under a brutal Israeli Military Occupation.
INFORMATION STALL & VIGIL
Saturday 3 January 2009 11:00am - 4:00pm Cuba Mall (Manners St End, outside Westpac Trust Bank)
Tuesday 6 January 2009 12:30pm - 1:30pm Meet at Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade 195 Lambtom Quay, Wellington (cnr. Panama St) For more info:firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 3 January: Rally for Justice And Peace in Palestine, come and support the rally which is held on the first Saturday of each month, starts 2pm, QEII Square, Customs Street and Queen Street intersection, outside Downtown Shopping Centre. Organised by the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, for more information contact email@example.com 027 515 6685
December 29, 2008
On 27 December 2008 over 200 Palestinians were killed and 800 injured as Israel rained missiles on the highly populated Gaza strip. The aerial slaughter is the latest horror in Israel’s 60 year occupation of Palestine.
The sheer scale of Palestinian suffering relayed in the media has a numbing effect.
Art can sometimes speak more forcefully than a million news stories. Waltz with Bashir does that. This new Israeli movie tells one part of Israel’s bloody history and is getting glowing reviews around the world.
Director Ari Folman is an award winning Israeli documentary maker. When a friend comes to him with a disturbing reoccurring dream about the 1982 war in Lebanon Ari confronts his own complete amnesia. He knows he was there, but has no memory of his time as a 19 year old conscript.
When Israel was founded 110,000 Palestinians fled to Lebanon. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation formed base camps in the south of Lebanon and carried on a guerrilla war against Israel from across the border. Israel’s invasion in 1982 was a bliztkrieg lasting 10 weeks in which 18,000 Lebanese were killed and nearly 700 Israeli soldiers. The PLO was forced to withdraw to Tunisia, while Israel occupied the south of Lebanon until 1985. During the invasion Bashir Gemayel - the new pro-Israel President of Lebanon - was assassinated. His supporters, Lebanese Christian Phalangists, carried out a massacre in two Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila. The Phalangists were let into the camps by Israeli forces, and were assisted by them lighting flares through the night. Hundreds, maybe thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Ari seeks out old army comrades in order to reconstruct his lost memory. It is a surreal personal and political journey told strikingly through graphic animation. This lifts the documentary into another realm.
Waltz with Bashir leaves an impression you won’t forget.
- Daphna Whitmore