Israel, fully backed by the United States, has engaged in collective punishment of the Palestinian people since 1948 through forced evacuation, war, occupation, apartheid practices, expanding settlements, mass incarceration, and outright terrorism. From its inception, the Zionist objective has been ethnic cleansing and land appropriation.
The Israeli propaganda machine always has a pretext, based on charges of anti-Semitism and “existential” threat, to justify its murderous actions against the indigenous Palestinian population. Today, they blame Hamas for the kidnapping and killing of three teenagers. This comes in the context of the Israeli government’s anger at the recent reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
In “retaliation” for the slain Israeli youth, reminiscent of the Southern lynchings in the U.S., a racist gang of thugs kidnapped a Palestinian 16-year old, Mohammad Aba Khudair, and brutally beat and tortured him and finally, burned him alive. Days later, his American 15-year old cousin, Tarek Abu Khdeir, was savagely beaten by masked police and others, and then arrested and held while medical treatment was withheld.
In recent weeks, the State of Israel has carried out thousands of military raids of Palestinian homes, arrested hundreds, encouraged mob violence against Palestinians and their civic institutions, killed and injured hundreds of Palestinians, including many children, and intensified air attacks.
The people of Gaza, living in the world’s largest penal colony, who have never recovered from Israel’s last major assault of 2008-2009 and the ongoing siege, are once again the targets of a reign of terror from a major military power. On July 8, Israel launched a new military offensive called “Operation Protective Edge” with a barrage of intensifying missile attacks on Gaza, activating reservists, and massing thousands of infantry and assault units at the Gaza border, threatening a full-scale ground and air invasion.
There is no justification for the latest escalation of massive military and civilian violence and racist hatred directed at the besieged Palestinians. Without U.S. financial (over $3 billion dollars annually) and political backing and military weapons, Israel could not carry out its campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing.
When U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki justified the support for the Israeli slaughter in Gaza by claiming that Israel has a right to defend itself, the question was asked whether the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves. Despite considerable pressure, Ms. Psaki did not honor the question with a response. In spite of the hugely disproportionate might of the forces arrayed against them, the Palestinians heroically continue to resist. The U.S. antiwar movement must show our solidarity with them and build protests everywhere.
At the UNAC founding conference in 2010, for the first time, a large representative gathering of antiwar and social justice activists took a strong stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We demanded the U.S. end all aid to Israel - military, economic, and diplomatic - and took a stand in support of the Palestinian Right of Return and the international campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. This stance was a turning point for the Palestine solidarity movement in the U.S. and should be embraced by all who stand for justice.
· Stop Israeli bombing and killing
· End all U.S. aid to Israel
· Support the Palestinian call for BDS
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