The full brutality of the Israeli state was displayed today as it stormed the Gaza Freedom Flotilla 40 miles into international waters off the coast of Gaza.
An Emergency Protest has been called outside Downing Street, London at 2pm today, Monday 31 May.
The Israelis at first tried to claim that there had been no deaths, a claim repeated in early BBC reports. They, and the BBC, are now reporting that at least 15 have died.
The excuse now being offered by the Israeli's is that their heavily armed forces were attacked by protesters when they stormed the boats. Many will be sceptical about these reports in the light of previous attempts by the Israeli state to discredit protesters like Rachel Corrie, killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003, and Tom Hurndall, shot by an Israeli sniper in 2004.
The British government must immediately break all links with Israel, as it would certainly have done with any Muslim state who committed this international crime.
The new Foreign Secretary William Hague boasted that he is 'a natual friend' of Israel within hours of taking office. He also said that 'we don’t say you rule out for ever any military action' against Iran. He is clearly not the man who should be organising the government's response to this crisis. He should resign immediately.
The British government must insist that the siege of Gaza end now.
In response to the killing of Rachel Corrie Amnesty International made this statement:
'Amnesty International and other international, Israeli, and Palestinian human rights groups have reported on Israel's use of disproportionate, excessive, and lethal force without regard to civilian lives, indiscriminate attacks on civilians, extrajudicial executions and unwarranted destruction of civilian property that have resulted in deaths of innocent bystanders.'
The truth is that the Israeli state regards itself as above the law. Its war with the Palestinians has been given renewed support by the US during the war on terror.
The senseless killing of Palestinians and their supporters will only end when the apartheid state is dismantled and the Palestinians return to their homeland.
Video of the attack at Palestine Video
Further video available online from Turkish television.
John Rees is a writer, broadcaster and activist, and is one of the organisers of the People’s Assembly. His books include ‘The Algebra of Revolution’, ‘Imperialism and Resistance’, ‘Timelines, A Political History of the Modern World’, ‘The People Demand, A Short History of the Arab Revolutions’ (with Joseph Daher), ‘A People’s History of London’ (with Lindsey German) and The Leveller Revolution. He is co-founder of the Stop the War Coalition.
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