End the Siege!

While I was going through the plethora of news about the recent attacks on Gaza by Israel last week, this particular piece of news captured my attention. This news shows that the principles of communism are not mere catch phrases, but form the concrete basis for the international unity of the working class.

Israeli Communists Call for End of Gaza Siege

Communist Party of Israel is calling Israeli peace lovers to join the Solidarity action Saturday, January 26, 2008.

End the Siege!
Relief convoy to our neighbors in Gaza

Does it help the children of Sderot when they force the children of Gaza to drink polluted water? It seems the government of Israel thinks so (if they think).

Gaza is under siege! Hundreds of commodities needed for maintaining daily life are not allowed into the Strip, by order of the Government of Israel. Even the entry of water filters – vital for purifying the water drawn from Gazan wells, which are heavily polluted by brine, oil and sewage – has already been prevented for over half a year. The Israeli media doesn’t succeed (and doesn’t even try always) to convey to the public a true impression of how severe the situation is. But anyone who has talked to Gazans in the past months understands that the situation has long since developed into a regional disaster, which puts us, too, in danger.

As is well known, the Gaza Strip is a small, poor, overcrowded territory even in “ordinary” times. The occupation of the Strip did not end with the “Disengagement”; on the contrary, passage of persons and goods, in and out of the Strip, was made far more difficult by the Israeli authorities, and no one can enter or leave, by land, sea or air, except by permission from the Israeli security services. As far as Gazans are concerned, Disengagement brought no liberty, but just made occupation that much worse!

However bad the suffering is of the residents of Sderot, Ashkelon and the kibbutzim and moshavim in the area under the barrage of Qassam missiles, mortar shells and sniper bullets, it is in no way a justification for a cruel siege which severely harms a million and half civilians – men, women and children. The siege is an immoral act and a violation of International Law – and from a practical point of view, increasing the bitterness and suffering in Gaza leads to an intensification of attacks on the Israeli side, not to their end. Unlike what we have been made to believe, residents of Sderot and residents of Gaza are not to be seen as opponents: both are victims of a stupid and vicious policy of the Government of Israel.

In the convoy, departing from all over Israel on Saturday January 26, 2008, we will take with us a large quantity of water filters and firmly demand of the military authorities that they be allowed into the Strip where they are urgently needed, together with basic foodstuffs – flour, rice, oil, salt, lentils, beans – for distribution to residents driven to extreme poverty and despair by the siege.

On the border of the Strip we will conduct a protest rally, simultaneously with a rally held by our Palestinian friends on the other side. Together, we will demand of the
Government of Israel to remove the siege of Gaza forthwith! We intend to hold the rally where we can have eye contact with the Palestinians, at a distance of no more than one kilometer.

Palestinian peace and human rights activists of the Palestinian International Campaign “To End The Siege,” such as the well-known psychiatrist Dr. Eyad Sarraj, will go to the border area despite the great difficulty and risk, in order to greet and support us. In a joint Israeli-Palestinian action on both sides of the border we will present a true alternative to the continuing escalation, to the shooting and killing, destruction and suffering, missiles and tanks; an alternative of ceasefire, of a true end to direct and indirect occupation, an alternative of peace and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians, for Sderot and for Gaza.

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