An UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza

Western imperialism has backed the Israeli effort to escape from its political defeat at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week. To distract from a finding that it must stop killing Palestinians, Israel unearthed claims that ­workers at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (Unrwa) had supported the 7 October Hamas attacks.

Responding eagerly to the Israeli propaganda, nine countries including Britain and the United States, have cut off aid to Unrwa. This will inevitably deepen the starvation and suffering of huge numbers of Gaza’s residents. It is a systematic and calculated campaign. Unrwa is the primary ­humanitarian agency in Gaza, with over 2 million people depending on it for their sheer survival.

It runs shelters for over 1 million people and provides food and primary healthcare even at the height of the Israeli assaults. The cuts in aid mean that in the days after the ICJ verdict it is Palestinians who face sanctions, not the Israeli state. Labour’s shadow Minister Lisa Nandy backed Rishi Sunak’s plan to starve the Palestinians.

She said “Allegations this serious demand a serious response”. Nandy added that the British government was right to ensure “our aid is never used to support terrorism.” And the BBC waded in with an eight-minute segment on the unevidenced allegations about the Unrwa allegations on the day they appeared.

That was far greater coverage than it gave to the ICJ interim ruling that Israel is plausibly committing genocide. The claims about Unrwa are ­manufactured and very sparse. Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev said there was information showing a tiny number of teachers working in Unrwa schools had “openly ­celebrated” the 7 October attacks.

He also referred to an Israeli ­hostage who, on her release, said she had been “held in the house of someone who worked for Unrwa”. A senior Israeli official said that Israeli military intelligence provided information pointing to the active participation of Unrwa staffers and the use of the agency’s vehicles and facilities during the attack. The official said, “A lot of the intelligence is a result of interrogations of militants who were arrested during the attack.”

In other words, it was extracted during intimidation and probably during torture. Britain and the other supporters of Israel will be complicit in the deaths in Gaza from starvation if they continue to cut off aid. But restoring the charity rations for the Palestinians is not even the beginning of what’s needed. The fight must be for an end to the Israeli aggression but then full Palestinian freedom and the destruction of the Zionist state.

Join marches—and more

The national march in London this Saturday and the demonstrations in Scotland and Wales are crucial to show the solidarity movement has not gone away. People are also taking part in direct protests against the firms and politicians who profit from the slaughter.

Last Saturday around 200 people gathered in Wimborne, Dorset, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to arms sales to Israel. They focused on the Eaton Mission Systems factory which manufactures parts and components used on numerous aircraft used by the Israeli military.

Jo, one of the organisers of the arms factory protest, told Socialist Worker, “Saturday was a powerful display of solidarity and compassion, by people from across Dorset.  “We were all standing together with Palestinians in their fight for peace and freedom. Together we said loudly that companies which arm Israel are not welcome here.”

The day of workplace and student solidarity on Wednesday of next week is a huge opportunity to escalate the movement further and drive it into the trade unions. So far the union leaders have been far too slow and conservative in encouraging action to halt a genocide.

Original post

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NESLETTERS

We’d love to keep you updated with the latest news 😎

We don’t spam!

Leave a Reply

We use cookies

Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies.

Thank you for your Subscription

Subscribe to our Newsletter