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After the cease-fire: end the siege on Gaza, and Harper’s complicity


November 26, 2012

The mainstream media claim the cease-fire has allowed life to return to normal in Palestine and Israel. But “normal” life in Gaza is living under military siege in an open-aired prison with the constant threat of Western-backed Israeli state terrorism. 
 
For more than 60 years Palestine has been occupied by the militarized colonial settler state of Israel. Armed to the teeth by the West, Israel and Arab dictatorships have colluded against people across the Arab world in order to safeguard the region for their imperial masters.
 
Since 2006 Israel has added a savage blockade and periodic military assaults on the people of Gaza–to punish Palestinians for democratically electing a government that refuses to be complicit. The siege has maintained a state of permanent humanitarian crisis, with the 1.5 million people in Gaza living with malnutrition, unemployment, and inadequate access to water and healthcare, in an open-aired prison whose walls are controlled by Israel with the complicity of Egypt.
 
War crimes
It was only three years ago that “Operation Cast Lead” killed more than 1400 Palestinian civilians, more than a third of whom were children.
 
The latest offensive – dubbed “Operation Pillar of Defence” – seems intent on replicating the brutality of the last war.  With illegal airstrikes and naval bombardment, Israel killed more than 160 civilians and injured thousands.
 
As was the case in the past, the western media have trumpeted the Israeli line that they need to defend themselves against rocket attacks fired by Palestinians. The reality is that a series of assassinations including the murder of Hamas security chief, Ahmed Al-Jaabari and the killing last week of a 16 year-old Palestinian civilian, were the initial causes of retaliatory rockets .
 
The latest war crimes had nothing to do with defense and everything to do with confronting the Arab Spring which has been inspired by Palestinian resistance and that threatens Israeli Apartheid. The West unleashed Israel as part of an attempt to crush the Palestinian resistance, deter other resistance movements, and build a campaign against Iran.
 
Harper’s complicity
Harper has a long track-record of supporting Israel and attacking Palestine solidarity.
 
Harper made Canada the first country in the Western world to cut humanitarian aid to Gaza after the election of Hamas. Harper dismissed Israeli war crimes in Lebanon as a “measured response,” and was silent during the 2009 war on Gaza. In 2010 Harper welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as the “Israeli Defense Force” illegally boarded the humanitarian flotilla and killed activists. In 2011 Harper was the last Western leader to continue supporting Egyptian dictator Mubarak before he was overthrown. While Israel was massacring civilians this week, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird hailed Israel as a “miracle.”
 
At the same time, the Harper has attacked the Palestine solidarity movement—cutting funding from the Canadian Arab Federation, KAIROS, UNRWA, Rights & Democracy, and Palestine House; and banning of British MP George Galloway and Dr. Moustafa Barghouthi. Tories And Liberals ignored Canadian citizens tasered by Israel on the Boat to Gaza,and smeared Israeli Apartheid Week as anti-Semitic.
 
All this to support US imperialism and its Israeli pitbull, which maintains conditions profitable to Canadian corporations.
 
But people are rallying from coast to coast against Israel, and joining the Boycott, Diverstment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. To support the Arab Spring, and the Palestinian liberation at its core, we need to stop Harper’s complicity with Israel.

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