Friday, December 22, 2023

Justice for Palestine – cease-fire now!

 Gaza faces a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe as Israel mercilessly maintains indiscriminate attacks on the civilians in the beleaguered Palestinian enclave that is bitterly resisting the Israeli onslaught. But world public opinion made its voice heard at the United Nations this week when 153 member-states voted for an immediate end to the fighting. Only eight lackeys of US imperialism joined Israel and the Americans in voting against the call for peace. Some of America’s NATO allies took the principled stand and supported the demand for peace. Others like Britain shamefully abstained – though some say this modest departure from the American script is a step forward for the Sunak government.
    If that’s so, and we can only hope it is, it is largely down to the wave of support that we have seen for the Palestinians in Britain and throughout the rest of the world. Grovelling to the Americans and turning a blind-eye to Israeli war crimes may be second nature for the Tory government and the leaders of the Labour Party but even they cannot blind-eye the mass protests of millions of people that rock the streets of Britain week after week. Nor can they ignore the view of their Saudi friends, who have shelved a planned summit with Sunak in London over the crisis, or those of the other Arab princes who’ve invested their oil riches in the UK and made this country their second home.
    These protests have encouraged those in the Jewish community that the Zionists claim to exclusively represent to also take the principled stand of supporting the demand for justice for the Palestinian Arabs. These protests are now rippling through the broader labour movement and now we’re seeing Palestinian demands taken up by unions at a local and regional level. We’re even seeing support for a ceasefire growing within the Parliamentary Labour Party with even some of Labour’s biggies now going beyond his meaningless calls for “humanitarian pauses”.
    This week Labour’s Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy slammed Israel over its attacks on Palestinians. He described the death and destruction in Gaza over the past two months as “intolerable” and attacked two Israeli cabinet ministers for “totally unacceptable” support of illegal Zionist settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
    A permanent ceasefire must be the starting point to address the underlying causes of the crisis, including decades of Israeli military occupation and a system of oppression against the Palestinian Arabs that is considered internationally to meet the legal definition of apartheid.
    Nearly 18,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, with over 40 per cent of those being children. Now is the time to really put the pressure on labour and trade union leaders and all the other powers that be in the UK to end the slaughter. They need to hear the call for a cease-fire from as many as possible and that Britain must end its complicity in Israeli war crimes now. Make sure they hear it by supporting the protests until the fighting stops.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Take action for Palestine!

It didn’t take long for Israel to resume fighting in Gaza. The Netanyahu government has shown its true colours, jeopardising the lives of the remaining Israeli prisoners held by the Palestinian resistance by its indiscriminate bombing that is clearly intended to make the Gaza Strip uninhabitable for many years to come. 
On the Arab street millions upon millions are demanding action to stop the carnage. Across the world, not least in Britain, millions more are demanding an end to the fighting and justice for the Palestinians.
The Sunak government crawls to US imperialism and turns a blind eye to Israeli war-crimes. The Labour leaders who soon hope to form the next government do much the same. But the mass protests that week after week rock the streets of London and the protests that are taking place right across the country are fuelling the opposition to Starmer & Co within the broader labour movement. 
The demand continues for a ceasefire and for our politicians to halt their support for Israel’s war crimes. Make sure they hear it by supporting the protests until the fighting stops.

Kissinger leaves the stage

Though it ill behoves anyone to speak ill of the dead it would nevertheless be hard to find a good word to mark the passing of Henry Kissinger, the former US foreign minister who passed away last month at the ripe old age of 100.
Kissinger, the academic turned diplomat who served US imperialism during the Nixon era will, of course, be remembered as the pioneer who made a historic contribution to the normalisation of American relations with People’s China. He was also a supporter of detente which led to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union that curbed the nuclear arms race during the 1970s.
The political career of the man who was said to be the master of “realpolitik” in his hey day ended in 1977 with the defeat of the Republicans in the presidential elections. Kissinger returned to academia to promote his own legend while retaining an advisory role in Republican ruling circles right up until his death in November.
Kissinger may have called his dealings with the USSR “reciprocity” or “realism”. In reality it was just horse-trading with the Brezhnev leadership that was pursuing a futile attempt at achieving nuclear parity with the Americans to divide the world into Soviet and American spheres of influence.
But in what US imperialism considered to be its own “sphere” Kissinger merely continued the Cold War tactics of supporting worthless kings like the Shah of Persia and military dictators throughout the Global South who willingly sold themselves to US imperialism while supporting what we would now call “regime change” with disastrous results for the people of Chile and Cambodia. 
In reality Kissinger achieved little during his years in Washington. While he remains one of the few post-war American foreign ministers any can recall this is simply because those that followed him were much, much worse.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Hospital workers stand for Gaza!

by New Worker correspondent

NHS workers held a moment of silence in memory of their colleagues killed during the brutal Israeli onslaught against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip at a solidarity picket outside St Thomas’ Hospital in central London on Tuesday. Hospital staff and Palestinian solidarity activists called for an urgent and permanent cease-fire to end the slaughter of defenceless civilians that has already claimed the lives of over 11,000 Palestinian Arabs during the Israeli invasion. 

Stop the Slaughter in Gaza!

Marching through Camden
by New Worker correspondent

The first Saturday of December saw the latest round of pro-Palestine solidarity events calling for a ceasefire, with unions joining the protests for the first time. Local protests were held all around the country and all over London. London comrades joined demonstrators at two of them.  
In North London, protesters marched down to a rally outside Camden Town Hall in Bloomsbury sending a vocal message to the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, the local MP who still refuses to back calls for a ceasefire.
RMT President Alex Gordon addressed the rally, speaking of the need for union representation at these events, and pledged his union’s ongoing support and solidarity while Liz Wheatley, from Camden Unison, spoke of the overwhelming support for a ceasefire among the Camden Council workers that her branch represents, and how no Camden Labour councillors have called for a ceasefire.
Sabby Sagall, of Camden PSC, and Sam Weinstein of IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network) both spoke of how their Jewishness informed their support for the Palestinian cause and people, and that to them, being Jewish meant always being on the side of the oppressed and not the oppressor, echoing the words of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising leader Marek Edelman.
There were also speakers representing predominantly Bangladeshi Muslim local Community Groups. Among the points they made were opinion polls in Camden suggest 90% local support for a ceasefire, even higher than the 74 per cent national average, and that our local representatives, at local and national level, do not represent the communities they are supposed to serve.
South of the river supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign along with the South East London People’s Assembly gathered outside Lewisham Library to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as well as to mobilise support for the big rally on the 9th of December and to support the boycott of Puma.
Speakers said that the oppression of Palestinians did not start on the 7th of October but existed long before that. The local Labour MP Ms Janet Daby was notable by her absence  and was denounced by one speaker for not supporting the motion in parliament for an immediate ceasefire.

Sunday, December 03, 2023

The road to Brussels

The Remainers are on the march. The newly ennobled Lord Cameron is back in the saddle as No 3 in the Sunak government and while his first overseas visits were predictably to Ukraine and Israel, his major task is to rebuild economic and diplomatic bridges with the European Union.
    Rishi Sunak has made it clear that he’s not going to do anything to rock the Brexit boat in the run-up to the next election. But the return of David Cameron to the Foreign Office is more than a sop to the Remainers in his ranks. It’s a victory for those sections of the ruling class that want Britain back in the UK and it can only help build their block in Parliament. The Scottish nationalists and the Liberal-Democrats are long-time Returners. So are most Labour MPs. The next strep for the Remainers is to move for the return of the prominenti kicked out by Boris Johnson in 2019 when they tried to stop the no-deal Brexit. This will then, they hope, create enough cross-party support for a second-referendum in the near future regardless of who’s in power at the time.
    The Tory Brexiteers are rudderless. Their self-appointed parliamentary leader was Boris Johnson – now seen for the fool he always was. Their real leader was, of course, Nigel Farage who has abandoned politics for the more lucrative shores of reality TV. Johnson reduced the Eurosceptic argument to a crude choice between the Treaty of Rome and a Treaty of Washington which was a figment of his imagination. Now all these Brexiteers have got left is planes to Rwanda, racism and anti-immigrant hysteria.
    But the European Union isn’t a benevolent society. It’s a fraud, an institution designed solely for the benefit of the oppressors and exploiters. What few benefits the EU has brought, such as increased trade and open borders, could all have been achieved through separate agreements and treaties.
Johnson had a golden opportunity to make Brexit work. He squandered it with all this nonsense about a deal with Donald Trump that was never going to happen. But it still can work if the UK takes Brexit seriously and open its doors to free trade with China and the rest of the world.

The Covid enquiry

The nonsense about “herd immunity”; the callous and incompetent response to the pandemic that led to many avoidable deaths amongst the frail and the elderly and the indifference of a Prime Minister who most of them time seemingly let Dominic Cummings, his Rasputin-like aide, steer the ship of state. It’s all coming out in the Covid inquiry. None of this should surprise us. Johnson’s despicable conduct, and that of his henchmen showed how totally unfit all of them were for high office.
    Johnson counts for nothing in the political arena now. Crawling to the Trump crowd in the United States and grand-standing amongst the Ukrainians is all that Johnson’s got left these days. Johnson is fortunately gone. Sunak will, hopefully soon follow.
    Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, may have jumped the gun when she claimed the UK could be on the path to rejoining the European Union last week. But she clearly reflects the thinking of the European old guard that want to see Britain speedily returning to the European fold.