Friday, February 23, 2024

The voice of the oppressed

The Israelis are rampaging through Gaza. Raiding hospitals. Killing women and children. Destroying schools and homes .Spreading terror with bombs and drones – that’s what their much vaunted army is good at – but it’s a different story when they come up against the Palestinian resistance. The Israelis are paying a high price for their aggression in Gaza and the West Bank. Their northern border is ablaze. Over half a million Israelis have fled abroad to escape the fighting and the Houthi Yemeni government’s blockade has closed Israel’s only port on the Red Sea.
China, Russia and the Global South are demanding an end to the fighting but these calls are ignored by the Israeli government that knows that it can do whatever it likes under the protection of US imperialism.
Though Americans maintain the pretence that Israel is an independent state everyone on the Arab streets knows that the Israelis can do nothing without the sanction of US imperialism and that ultimately it is the US government that denies Palestinian rights and seeks the destruction of the Palestinian resistance.
The most venal and aggressive sections of the Anglo-American ruling class that thought this was going to be the “New American Century” are dying on the streets of Gaza.
They can’t crush Arab resistance. They can’t stifle the global anti-war movement calling for an immediate end to Israeli aggression. The voice of the oppressed, the millions that support the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arabs is being heard across the world. Let them hear it in Tel Aviv! Let them hear it in Washington!

Meanwhile in Rochdale...

A former Labour leader tells us the party’s leadership has sometimes lacked political “savvy” with its handling of recent crises, including its green spending pledge and the Rochdale by-election. But Neil Kinnock, a grandee who now sits in the House of Lords, was perhaps understating the crisis of confidence that has shaken the Starmer leadership over the past few weeks.
Labour still has a huge lead over the Tories but the mounting anger at Starmer’s refusal to call for an immediate end to the fighting in Gaza is undermining Labour’s support throughout the movement.
Dumping the Labour candidate in the Rochdale by-election shows how unfit Starmer is to lead the Labour Party. The Zionist lobby that launched the witch-hunt that drove Ken Livingstone and many other supporters of the Palestinians out of the Labour Party worked hand in glove with Blairites to undermine Jeremy Corbyn. Last week they joined the Tory media to force Starmer to get rid of Ali.
Azhar Ali, a member of the Muslim community, has been suspended after making some anti-Israeli remarks at a private meeting deemed to be “anti-semitic” by the Tory press. The leader of the Labour group on Lancashire County Council; an advisor to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown during the last Labour government had been, until last week, a staunch supporter of Starmer & Co and was seen a safe pair of hands to hold Rochdale. Disowned by Labour but too late to replace him Azhar Ali’s name will still appear on the ballot paper as the official Labour candidate at the end of the month.
Now the door’s wide open for yet another George Galloway come-back. Standing on his own “Workers Party of Britain” platform the veteran Palestinian solidarity campaigner hopes to be swept back into Parliament by a protest vote that goes far beyond Rochdale’s Muslim community.

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