End the cruel violence and loss of life of Palestinians and Israelis
End Israeli occupation of Palestine – End Israeli Apartheid
Freedom and Justice for Palestinians
Trade unionists are appalled at the shocking escalation of violence in occupied Palestine and Israel this week. We grieve with the families of both sides for this terrible loss of life. But this is no equal contest between Jews and Palestinians. This is a cycle of violence between the oppressor and the oppressed.
We call for the immediate end of the aerial bombardment of Gaza which is a form of collective punishment of its population of over 2 million people, illegal under international law. To cut off water, electricity and food, as well as prohibiting all human access to and from the Gaza enclave, is despicable and inhumane. We are appalled that the UK and US Governments, and the Leader of the UK Labour Party, have given apartheid Israel virtual carte blanche to enact such extreme and bloody retaliation against the entire Palestinian population living within blockaded Gaza – often described as the biggest open air prison on the planet.
Shocking though Hamas’ assault on Israeli villages and people was, we do not forget that Palestinians have been living under the most brutal oppression and occupation for over 50 years. It began with the Naqba 75 years ago when 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly moved off their land to create the state of Israel in 1948.
In that time many thousands of Palestinian have been killed, combined with extensive ethnic cleansing and occupation of Palestinian land. In recent times the new far-right Government of Israel has intensified its oppression with more ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land in East Jerusalem and elsewhere, increased violent military assaults on Palestinian communities, and encroachment of Islamic holy sites like the Al Asqa mosque. Far-right and fascist elements in Israeli politics have openly called for “Death to Arabs” and for more Palestinian land to be forcibly grabbed to extend Israel’s borders yet further.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other authoritative human rights bodies have declared Israel an apartheid state, forbidden under international law. B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) has described Israel “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid” See: https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid
We need to send a message to the Government and the Labour Party that this is not the time to show blind allegiance and support to apartheid Israel, but to urgently stop Israel’s unbelievably cruel assault on Gaza. We need more than ever urgent international action to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and finally to achieve a lasting peace with justice for the Palestinians. The failure of the international community to address this issue over many decades is ultimately responsible for this shocking but apparently inevitable cycle of violence to reignite this week.
Stand up for Palestine against the brutal oppression of the Israeli apartheid state.
We need de-escalation, not more senseless deaths.
End the occupation – Justice at last for Palestinians
On Saturday 14th October, Sheffield Palestine Coalition against Israeli Apartheid (of which Sheffield TUC is a founder member) will be holding a rally to demand justice for the Palestinians and to stop Apartheid Israel from destroying Gaza.
For comment please call martin Mayer on 0776 107 8482