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Year 2009 No. 3, January 9, 2009 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Condemn the British Government’s Justifications for the Crimes of the Zionist Regime

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Condemn the British Government’s Justifications for the Crimes of the Zionist Regime

This Brutality Will Never Break Our Will to Be Free

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Condemn the British Government’s Justifications for the Crimes of the Zionist Regime

As the genocidal carnage unleashed on the people of Gaza by the Israeli government continued, on Tuesday David Miliband, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, addressed the UN Security Council meeting in New York. He did so at a time when all democratic people in the world are condemning the heinous crimes carried out by the Zionist regime in Israel. Indeed the government of Venezuela went as far as expelling Israel’s Ambassador for what it referred to as Israel’s "flagrant violations of international law" and the "use of state terrorism".

David Miliband addressed the UN Security Council just after Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, had condemned Israel for what he called "the most heinous of possible crimes" perpetrated despite "unprecedented unanimity" internationally that they should cease. In particular, Abbas drew attention to the bombing of the UN school in Gaza by the Zionist forces, which he referred to as a massacre that had led to the deaths of over forty people including many children. But Miliband did not add his voice to the millions who have in recent weeks condemned the deliberate killing of civilians and likened it to the atrocities carried out by the Nazis during World War II.

The Foreign Secretary had an entirely different agenda, which was also glaringly evident in the speeches of the representative of the Israeli and US governments. Miliband’s aim was to justify the unjustifiable crimes of the Israeli government and to continue the campaign of disinformation and lies that the Zionists and Anglo-American imperialism have concocted in order to flout international law and wage war on the Palestinian people. For this purpose the Foreign Secretary asserted that it was Hamas, the legitimate government of Gaza, which broke the so-called truce with Israel; and that the firing of home-made rockets into Israel, which in any case has been no more than an act of self-defence by the Palestinian people, justifies what amounts to a full-scale military invasion by Israel. In fact all the evidence shows that it was the government of Israel which provocatively broke the truce, but what is clear from Miliband’s falsification is that the British government will not accept or allow the Palestinian people any right to self-defence, whatever the circumstances, while it supports the Zionist regime can carry out the most heinous crimes and acts of terrorism.

The Foreign Secretary, not only turned truth on its head by blaming Hamas for the Zionist onslaught but then demanded, as the Zionist regime and the US did, that ways must be found to prevent the importation of weapons into Gaza. This has also been the outrageous theme of Gordon Brown, and the so-called representative of the Quartet to the Middle East, Tony Blair, even went so far as to claim that this was the only way to bring peace to the region. Here again the hypocrisy and sinister motives of the government were apparent. Anglo-American imperialism has for over 60 years armed Israeli governments, even illegally providing these governments with nuclear capability. The very weapons used to kill and maim the people of Gaza have been provided by the US and Britain. Yet the people of Gaza who have been forced to find ingenious ways of importing food, medical supplies and other essentials because of the illegal blockade imposed by the Israeli government are to be denied the right and means to defend themselves. Truly it can be said, no justice, no peace.

It is clear that in this regard and from other comments during Miliband’s speech that the British government’s aim is to remove Hamas, the duly elected government of Gaza and the West Bank, that has defended the rights and interests of the Palestinian people and refused to capitulate before the state terror of the Israeli government. The British government signalled that it wished to see an extension of the influence of President Abbas and his supporters throughout the existing Palestinian territories, even though Hamas won a majority of seats in the 2006 legislative elections. The Palestinian people’s electoral decision was not to the liking of Anglo-American imperialism which ever since, in league with the Zionist regime, has done everything to negate it by exacerbating divisions between different Palestinian organisations, imposing sanctions, kidnapping officials and government ministers, and by bombings and assassinations attempted to terrorise the Palestinian people into submission. Through their deeds once again the British and US governments, that continually present themselves as the greatest champions of freedom and democracy, stand exposed before world for what they really are.

The basis for the reactionary and disgraceful stand of the British government is the view that the very existence of the Zionist state, which the government refers to as the most "democratic" in the region, is itself a cause for celebration and is an entity that must be supported at all costs, irrespective of the crimes it commits. From this perspective, Anglo-American imperialism declares that the Zionist regime has the absolute right to "self-defence", that is, to unleash state terror against its neighbours and the Palestinians, who have been exiled from their ancestral home in order that Israel should exist, and continually denied the exercise of their national and human rights.

It was Britain’s governments before 1948 that bore most responsibility for depriving the Palestinians of their homeland and creating the crisis in the Middle East, but not only does the present Labour government not make any reparation for these crimes, it adds to them and has the same colonial, racist and Zionist approach to the Palestinians as its predecessors.

The Zionist regime in being condemned throughout the world for its acts of state terrorism and heinous crimes against the Palestinian people. By supporting and attempting to justify such crimes, the Labour government also stands condemned.

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This Brutality Will Never Break Our Will to Be Free

Khalid Mish'al, Head of Hamas Political Bureau, January 6, 2009

For six months we in Hamas observed the ceasefire. Israel broke it repeatedly from the start.

For 18 months my people in Gaza have been under siege, incarcerated inside the world's biggest prison, sealed off from land, air and sea, caged and starved, denied even medication for our sick. After the slow death policy came the bombardment. In this most densely populated of places, nothing has been spared Israel's warplanes, from government buildings to homes, mosques, hospitals, schools and markets. More than 540 have been killed and thousands permanently maimed. A third are women and children. Whole families have been massacred, some while they slept.

This river of blood is being shed under lies and false pretexts. For six months we in Hamas observed the ceasefire. Israel broke it repeatedly from the start. Israel was required to open crossings to Gaza, and extend the truce to the West Bank. It proceeded to tighten its deadly siege of Gaza, repeatedly cutting electricity and water supplies. The collective punishment did not halt, but accelerated – as did the assassinations and killings. Thirty Gazans were killed by Israeli fire and hundreds of patients died as a direct effect of the siege during the so-called ceasefire. Israel enjoyed a period of calm. Our people did not.

When this broken truce neared its end, we expressed our readiness for a new comprehensive truce in return for lifting the blockade and opening all Gaza border crossings, including Rafah. Our calls fell on deaf ears. Yet still we would be willing to begin a new truce on these terms following the complete withdrawal of the invading forces from Gaza.

No rockets have ever been fired from the West Bank. But 50 died and hundreds more were injured there last year at Israel's hands, while its expansionism proceeded relentlessly. We are meant to be content with shrinking scraps of territory, a handful of cantons at Israel's mercy, enclosed by it from all sides. The truth is Israel seeks a one-sided ceasefire, observed by my people alone, in return for siege, starvation, bombardment, assassinations, incursions and colonial settlement. What Israel wants is a gratuitous ceasefire.

The logic of those who demand that we stop our resistance is absurd. They absolve the aggressor and occupier – armed with the deadliest weapons of death and destruction – of responsibility, while blaming the victim, prisoner and occupied. Our modest, home-made rockets are our cry of protest to the world. Israel and its American and European sponsors want us to be killed in silence. But die in silence we will not.

What is being visited on Gaza today was visited on Yasser Arafat before. When he refused to bow to Israel's dictates, he was imprisoned in his Ramallah headquarters, surrounded by tanks for two years. When this failed to break his resolve, he was murdered by poisoning.

Gaza enters 2009 just as it did 2008: under Israeli fire. Between January and February of last year 140 Gazans died in air strikes. And just before it embarked on its failed military assault on Lebanon in July 2006, Israel rained thousands of shells on Gaza, killing 240. From Deir Yassin in 1948 to Gaza today, the list of Israel's crimes is long. The justifications change, but the reality is the same: colonial occupation, oppression, and never-ending injustice. If this is the "free world" whose "values" Israel is defending, as its foreign minister Tzipi Livni alleges, then we want nothing to do with it.

Israel's leaders remain in the grip of confusion, unable to set clear goals for the attacks – from ousting the legitimately elected Hamas government and destroying its infrastructure, to stopping the rockets. As they fail to break Gaza's resistance the benchmark has been lowered. Now they speak of weakening Hamas and limiting the resistance. But they will achieve neither. Gaza's people are more united than ever, determined not to be terrorised into submission. Our fighters, armed with the justice of their cause, have already caused many casualties among the occupation army and will fight on to defend their land and people. Nothing can defeat our will to be free.

Once again, Washington and Europe have opted to aid and abet the jailer, occupier and aggressor, and to condemn its victims. We hoped Barack Obama would break with George Bush's disastrous legacy but his start is not encouraging. While he swiftly moved to denounce the Mumbai attacks, he remains tongue-tied after 10 days of slaughter in Gaza. But my people are not alone. Millions of freedom-loving men and women stand by its struggle for justice and liberation – witness daily protests against Israeli aggression, not only in the Arab and Islamic region, but worldwide.

Israel will no doubt wreak untold destruction, death and suffering in Gaza. But it will meet the same fate in Gaza as it did in Lebanon. We will not be broken by siege and bombardment, and will never surrender to occupation.

(This item was published in The Guardian)

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