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Issue #1649      July 30, 2014

We will keep protesting until Israel stops killing

BRITAIN: Peace campaigners will take to the streets again to demand an end to the ongoing massacre of civilians in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take part in a series of demonstrations across Britain to condemn the slaughter which has so far cost over 800 Palestinian lives.

The largest demonstration will take place in London but similar events are scheduled for cities all over the country as the humanitarian crisis deepens.

Speaking to the Morning Star, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) general secretary Kate Hudson said: “The world has been rightly outraged at the massacre taking place in Gaza.

“One of the most highly equipped militaries in the world is bombarding a people without an army. A people held captive in an open-air prison. The number of civilian deaths in Gaza – with over 130 children already killed – has destroyed the myth that Israel is simply defending itself.

“CND rejects the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians in Gaza. And last week in London alone, 100,000 people marched to reject the continuing bloodshed. They were joined by many more around the world. But as long as Israel continues its barbarous campaign, we will stay out in the streets calling for an end to the massacre.”

Among those who will be protesting is pro-Palestinian activist and officer with the Stop the War Coalition officer Kevin Ovenden. Mr Ovenden was one of those aboard the ill-fated Mavi Marmara – part of the 2010 Gaza flotilla which was attacked by Israeli troops in international waters, leading to the deaths of nine civilians.

Mr Ovenden believes that the current assault on Gaza bears the hallmarks of Operation Cast Lead, the previous assault on Gaza in 2008, both in the scale of the civilian casualties, but also because that operation was a military and political failure.

Atrocities such as Operation Cast Lead, the attack on the Mavi Marmara and the current situation have served to shift public opinion, he argues, and the writing is on the wall for Israel “as an apartheid state.”

“There is a fundamental dilemma for the Israeli political establishment,” he said. “Either move towards meeting the Palestinians’ political aspirations or move to a position of international political isolation.

“Israel can only do these things due to the cover and backing given them by Western governments, predominantly the US but also Britain. There is real public anger both internationally and here in Britain. Cameron and his government need to feel the heat.”

Palestine Solidarity Campaign chairman Hugh Lanning said there was a real need to focus pressure on the British government.

“It is worse than complicit. It is saying that what Israel is doing is okay.

“What is happening in Gaza is premeditated and there is absolutely no justification. More and more people are seeing what’s happening and there has been a major shift in the levels of support for the campaign.”

He called for an escalation of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign and an arms embargo if Israel continued to breach international law.

Morning Star

Next article – Call for arms embargo on Israel

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