Protesters teargassed at Gaza border. Photo: Wikimedia Commons Protesters teargassed at Gaza border. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza on the weekend should be a reminder to all that solidarity with Palestine is urgent, argues Richard Pratt

For the people of Gaza, the start of Ramadan has been marked by a course of unrelenting bombardment that has destroyed homes, shops, mosques, offices, and left at least 25 dead. Among the dead are 2 pregnant women, 2 unborn babies, an 18-month-old infant, and a 12-year-old child.

Israel is equipped with some of the most sophisticated military hardware in the world.

It boasts the means to prevent 90% of Hamas-launched rockets from landing, and those that slip through the net barely have the force to damage an outbuilding.

Yet from the comfort of his F-16, an Israeli pilot can reduce a block of housing to blood-stained rubble in seconds. Their access to cutting-edge degrees of accuracy means that if they had wanted to not flatten hundreds of Palestinian homes within a couple of days then they just wouldn’t have done.

This is simply a convenient opportunity for a brutal occupation to flex its muscles.

We must have the right to fiercely criticise Israel’s entirely disproportional response, the unremitting blockade of Gaza and its flouting of international law by denying Palestinians’ basic human rights.

May 11th gives us the opportunity to bring that criticism to the fore: a chance to come onto the streets and ask how many more children must be murdered before our governments hold a broad-daylight apartheid regime to account.

Eyes are opening to the reality of the Palestinians’ situation, but with the mainstream media lowering even themselves to the levels of painting civilian death tolls as potential propaganda, it becomes increasingly clear that winning public opinion in favour of a systematically oppressed people must be done through mass mobilisation.

Set yourself aside two weekends to stand uncompromisingly with the Palestinians. Next weekend: don’t watch Eurovision. This weekend: join the thousands marching in London to defend the Palestinians’ basic right to exist and to live like anyone else.

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