Manchester AF Gaza leaflet

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Joined: 8-11-03
Jun 16 2010 18:02
Manchester AF Gaza leaflet

Manchester AF attended a Gaza demo on Sunday 13th June. We distributed the text below.

Crocodile Tears for Gaza
On May 31th in the dead of night, Israeli elite commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid, preventing it from reaching Gaza, killing nine people and injuring dozens in the process. Those on board had wanted to deliver 10,000 tonnes of food, medicine, construction materials, wheelchairs and other aid to Gaza to break a blockade imposed by Israel since 2007 and provide people with access to some basic necessities of life.

The mass of the population in Gaza has a fragile and miserable existence because of the blockade. It has enclosed Gaza and turned it into a prison; a prison which could not by maintained without the Egyptian government keeping their own border crossing firmly closed. While 70% of Gazans live on less than $1 a day, another 75% rely on food aid and 60% have no daily access to clean water. They live in poverty while what little remains is daily attacked by the Israeli bombs and bulldozers

Why did the Israeli state do it?

The Israeli government tried to set up the commandos, wanting evocative photos of wounded/dead Israelis to defend what they are daily doing. Every time there is a period of peace the IDF provokes attacks - otherwise more and more Israelis start asking awkward questions. An aggressive, nationalist leadership best maintains the support of the people when it can convince them that they are under threat, and that they are being defensive.

The world's response – cynical exploitation.

The deaths and injuries on the flotilla were condemned by the UN, EU and other countries with both Turkey and Iran promising to escort any future aid convoy.

We think that this so-called support is part of a world wide cynical exploitation of the population of Gaza. Turkey and Iran are only offering support to make their own populations angry at another country. Iran faces mass opposition to its theocratic regime, only stays in power by fierce repression and daily beatings, rapes and executions of opponents. Turkey has been gripped by massive waves of industrial unrest and strikes recently as the economic recession bites deeper. It is guilty of murderous attacks on the Kurdish people leading to tens of thousands of deaths. Egypt for all its criticism of the Israeli state is the willing guard of the other half of the prison wall round Gaza. Meanwhile, the complaints issued by the British state are just part of the coalition governments attempts to sound nice on human rights and civil liberties before attacking us with cuts and job losses.

Sadly, neither does the Palestinian national movement offer any realizable alternative to the misery and suffering endured on a daily basis in Palestine. Solidarity with the Palestinian working class does not mean supporting the weaker capitalist gangs like Hamas against the more obviously aggressive power like Israel. Hamas has a shown its true nature over and over again with its suppression of the Palestinian public sector workers in 2006, its closure of colleges and the constant attacks and denigration of women and LGBT people. Which are all justified in the name of the ‘national interest’ of Palestine.

Solidarity with the people facing the consequence of a blockade and occupation means rejecting both ruling camps and asserting through struggle the needs of Palestinian to food, shelter, water and the freedom to move and travel as they desire.

Anarchist Federation, manchester 13th June 2010

Joined: 30-11-09
Jun 16 2010 20:39

Here is AWSM's statement on the attack:

Against Nationalist Thugs – For International Working Class Solidarity

The recent attack on the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza has come as a shock to the so-called ‘international community’. Even for a State which in recent memory has massacred thousands and which to this day continues its brutal military occupation of Palestine, a massacre of unarmed activists carrying aid to one of the most impoverished places on Earth (in international waters no less), is a particularly brazen act. However as opportunistic politicians use this tragedy to score cheap political points those of us who have nothing to gain from their system of exploitation and oppression need to keep our wits about us.

Already Turkey has been the most vocal in its denouncement of the Jewish State, unsurprising given the widespread anti-Israeli sentiment of the local populace, that the boat was a Turkish one and the fact that Israeli-Turkish relations have been deteriorating for some time now (most notably since Turkey pulled out of a joint military exercise with Israel last year). However moral condemnation coming from a State which has been ruthlessly oppressing its own Kurdish population for decades and which has long been supportive of Israel (and, therefore, Israel’s brutal oppression of Palestinians), ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

Predictably the Parliamentary opposition in this country has been quick to seize what it sees as an opportunity to mend its own beleaguered public image, with Labour Party leader Phil Goff condemning Israel’s disproportionate use of force. Ironic coming from a man who was directly involved in supporting what is now almost a decade long occupation of Afghanistan, is a staunch supporter of Israel and who is part of a government which was itself a product of the near extermination of an indigenous population. Of course we also can’t forget that impotent organisation the United Nations, which has called for those responsible to be held to account. Given that it was the United Nations which supported the creation of the Jewish State (and the subsequent displacement of near 800,000 Palestinians) in 1948, Ban-Ki Moon and his cronies would do well to take a look in the mirror.

Though perhaps asking smooth talking politicians to consider their own involvement in the bloodbaths which characterise modern day international relations would be too reasonable a request to be taken seriously.

As the nationalist thugs who prop up this bankrupt system known as capitalism continue with their denouncements, proclamations and calls for accountability, the people living in Gaza continue to suffer, starve and die and the families of nine sincere and dedicated activists will continue to mourn their losses. After being shelled back to the stone age little over a year ago, rebuilding in Gaza has been sluggish if not non-existent as a result of the crippling blockade on its borders, enforced by Israel and Egypt. No matter what they might say, the politicians don’t care about this repugnant fact of life in the Middle East, and they have no intention of changing it. Just like everything worthwhile we have gained in this world, an end to the siege on Gaza will be a product of direct action, self-organisation and international working class solidarity. If we want to help our brothers and sisters in Gaza we need to reject the petty nationalists who seek to divide us in order to promote their own opportunistic agenda. We need to take matters into our own hands; nine activists have given their lives doing exactly that.