A hail of death has roared down on Gaza for weeks. Working class people in Britain and worldwide are shocked and angered at images of a Palestinian father carrying his dead children’s body parts in a plastic bag, and other daily horrors from the Gaza Strip.
Whole families burnt alive. Parents with children. Shajaiya neighbourhood in Gaza is complete rubble. Over 1,100 Palestinians’ lives have ended since 8 July, as ruthless inferno has rained down on this besieged, impoverished, and highly populated strip of land during the Muslim Ramadan. Eid Al-Fitr, a usually festive holiday at the end of Ramadan, on 28–29 July, saw one of the most deadly air offensives on the Gaza Strip in this war, killing over a hundred residents.
Following an appeal from advocates of an academic boycott on Israel, physicist Stephen Hawking recently turned down an invitation to speak at a conference in Jerusalem. He joins others who have boycotted Israel in one form or another, particularly in reaction to the horror of the 2008/09 Gaza war, the killings of Turkish aid activists on the May 2010 aid flotilla, and the week of attacks on Gaza last November. What attitude should trade unionists and socialists adopt towards the boycott campaigns? JUDY BEISHON takes up some of the questions frequently raised.
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, recently discussed with Arab League officials on how they can revive the Israel-Palestine peace process. However, as Israeli governments have progressively increased the number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, eating into the Palestinian territories, more and more people are questioning whether a viable Palestinian state next to Israel is now possible. Some have shifted from the idea of a ’two states’ solution to join those who call for one state. But is a struggle for one state viable? Judy Beishon of the Socialist Party executive committee addresses the crucial question: What programme should socialists adopt today on the route towards a Palestinian state and the ending of this protracted national conflict?
The following is Thank You Note from Jagadish G Chandra (New Socialist Alternative CWI-India) on behalf of People’s Solidarity Concerns – Bangalore.
Dear Comrades, Friends, Brothers, Sisters, Young & Elderly- Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Daliths, Buddhists, Sikhs, Believers & non-Believers, Physically Challenged, Students, Working people, different Nationalities, Sexuality Minorities and everybody who came and made this event ‘Stop the bombing of Gaza – End Israeli state terror!’ Protest for Humanity a success, I on behalf of the @Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore sincerely thank you all. Yesterday evening Bangalore spoke,humanity spoke,انسانیت spoke इन्सानियत् spoke, ಮಾನವತೆ spoke,மனிதநேயம் spoke മനുഷ്യത്വം spoke- asserted itself that contrary to the “popular” perception that here in this city people are impervious and have “ye sub kuch chalta hai” attitude to what happens around them and the world.