By New Worker correspondent
THOUSANDS of protesters turned out in major towns and cities throughout Britain last week to protest at Israel’s latest brutal onslaught against the people of Gaza.
In London protesters assembled near the Israeli Embassy in South Kensington in demonstration organised by the Stop the War Coalition.
They brought placards, banners and flags and described Israel as a “terror state”. On a podium, speakers also condemned the British government and Foreign Secretary William Hague, who had said that the Hamas government in Gaza bore “principle responsibility” for the new outbreak of bloodshed.
On Thursday the Stop the War Coalition said: “Unless something is done to stop the violence…we could see yet another humanitarian crisis….”
Also on Thursday, the Arab Organisation for Human Rights, a British-based NGO that works on human rights issues in the Arab World, called on Egypt to “take urgent action” to save the Gaza Strip in the face of Israeli strikes.
The Israeli military frequently carries out air strikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying the acts of aggression are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, in violation of international law, disproportionate force is always used and civilians are often killed or injured.
The attacks rage on while Israel keeps up its crippling blockade on Gaza, which it imposed on the enclave in 2007.
The public sector union Unison issued a statement: “The escalation of violence following the assassination of Ahmed Jabari by Israel on 14th November will only lead to the loss of more innocent lives in both Gaza and Israel and will do nothing to lead to a lasting peaceful resolution of the conflict in which a viable, independent Palestine exists alongside a secure Israel.
"In fact, the so-called Operation ‘Pillar of Defence’ is further proof of the failure of Israel’s six-year blockade, including the brutal attack on Gaza in 2008/9. Unison calls for an immediate cessation of violence and an end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza.”
By Monday over a hundred had been killed, including at least 13 children, hospitals were overwhelmed by the hundreds more who have been wounded, 1,350 sites have been attacked, two media centres bombed, injuring eight journalists, including one who lost his leg.
Newly re-elected President of the United States Barack Obama blamed the victims. “There's no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders."
This from a US president whose first term was characterised by raining down missiles on citizens from outside its borders – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia – and was comfortable enough with that to make jokes about his use of pilotless drone attacks.
As for the possibility of a land invasion, which Benjamin Netanyahu is intimating could be imminent; Obama says it would be "preferable" if this could be avoided "because if Israeli troops are in Gaza, they're much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded".
Obama will give his unqualified support to Israel, whatever carnage and mass slaughter is inflicted on the people of Gaza.
As will the British government, with David Cameron and William Hague both parroting Obama in supporting Israel's "right to defend itself" – by using the world's fourth most powerful military to bombard a defenceless population of 1.7 million Palestinians trapped in a strip of land which across its narrowest point is barely six miles wide.