Gaza — the slaughter must end

ISRAELI warplanes are pounding the Gaza Strip. Over 200 Palestinian Arabs have been killed and many more wounded. Most of them were civilians. But in the White House and the chancelleries of the European Union we hear no call for the “no-fly” zones or “humanitarian corridors” that they’ve used to justify imperialist aggression in Iraq and Libya and resurrected in last year’s abortive attempt to drum up support for an invasion of Syria.

While millions all over the world have taken to the streets to show their solidarity with the people of Gaza the bourgeois media remains silent about the root causes of the Palestinian problem. Israeli claims are taken at face value by the BBC and no attempt is made to explain the plight of the Palestinian refugees or Israel’s intransigence and portrays the monstrous Israeli assault as an act of “self-defence” against Palestinian terror.

The Cameron government and the rest of the imperialist pack of wolves talk about their “concern” and make half-hearted appeals for a ceasefire to an Israeli regime that is economically dependent on US aid and is essentially an American protectorate.

William Hague, in one of his last acts as foreign minister, said Israel has the right to defend itself against “indiscriminate attacks”. He then bleated on about international humanitarian law that requires both sides to distinguish between military and civilian targets and enable unhindered humanitarian access and tells us that “the people of Israel have the right to live without constant fear for their security, and the people of Gaza also have the fundamental right to live in peace and security”. What he didn’t say is how this can be achieved while Israel continues to blockade the Gaza Strip and repeatedly refuses to seriously negotiate with the Palestinian authorities to end the occupation of the West Bank.

The crisis in the Middle East begins and ends with Palestine and it will only be resolved when the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arabs are recognised and restored. Israel must withdraw from all the occupied territories it seized in the June 1967 war, including Arab East Jerusalem and Syria’s Golan Heights. Israel must recognise the right of all the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or be paid appropriate compensation if they so wish and recognise their right to an independence and sovereignty.