National Sections of the L5I:

Statement on the murderous Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla

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Israel’s murderous assault on the aid convoy, the Freedom Flotilla, on 31 May must be condemned by the world’s working class movement.

Upwards of sixteen people were killed and 30 injured when Israeli commandos stormed the ships that were courageously trying to break the three year blockade of Gaza.

The Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the ships: claims that they were attacked first by the protesters were shameless lies. Of course, no sane person would deny the protesters the moral right to defend themselves against such an assault but organisers had made clear in advance that they would offer no resistance to any such attack.

The protesters were attempting to bring relief to the beleaguered population of Gaza who are deprived of over two thirds of the necessary food, medical supplies and material for reconstruction needed to repair houses and infrastructure after the genocidal attack of 2007.

The flotilla was carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including medicines, construction materials, and 100 housing caravans for the Gazans who lost their homes during the three-week Israeli bombardment and incursion into the Gaza Strip in 2008-09. It also contained 500 electric wheel chairs for Palestinians physically disabled during the bombing.

This is an act of blatant piracy, carried out in international waters some 65 kilometers from the coast, in open violation of international law. Were such an action to be committed by any other state, by Iran, for example, it would lead to the immediate condemnation of its perpetrators as a rogue state and the imposition of international sanctions.

People across the Middle East and beyond will witness once again the complete impunity with which the USA’s principal agent in the oil rich region commits such atrocities.

Condemnation of the attack has already come from Turkey from where the flotilla of aid vessels originally set sail. But it is absolutely certain that any attempt to condemn it in the United Nations and impose sanctions will meet with a protective veto from the United Sates and its subservient allies.

The occupation of Palestinian lands and the siege of Gaza are in flagrant violation of UN resolutions yet these are never enforced by the self-appointed “world’s policeman”.

The Arab and Islamic world, too, is unlikely to pass from verbal condemnation to action. If their governments wished to exert real pressure on Israel to stop the slaughter they would hit the economic interests of the imperialist powers that sustain Israel and keep its expansionary settler state in operation: by turning off the oil, for example. But they will not; and not simply from fear of the aggressive Israelis, the only nuclear power in the region, but because of their subordination as ruling capitalist classes to their American Big Brother.

It is to the ordinary working people of the world that the Palestinians must turn with a call for action. The international working class movement should condemn this horrific act and the greater atrocity of the blockade of the one million people of Gaza since June 2007.

Our elementary duty is to demonstrate against the atrocities in Gaza and to launch direct action to isolate and undermine the Zionist rogue state that has turned Gaza into an open air concentration camp and is systematically attempting to oust the Palestinian people from their own land on the West Bank and in Jerusalem.

These actions should include a total workers’ blockade of Israel: by dockers, airline workers and all those working on orders and projects which sustain the Zionist state economically, militarily or culturally. At the same time, solidarity must be maintained with all Israelis who condemn their state’s actions and express support for the rights of the Palestinians.

• Condemn Israel’s atrocity and take action – including systematic boycotts - against the perpetrators

• Lift the siege of Gaza

• Solidarity with the Palestinian resistance

• From the River to the Sea, Palestine must be Free

May 31st, 2010