By ERNIE GOTTA
Protesters mobilized across the globe following the Aug. 5 Israeli air raid massacre of 49 Palestinians, including 17 children, and hundreds wounded in Gaza. The air strikes were explained by Israeli politicians as “pre-emptive” measures, citing security concerns and terrorism. This justification fails to underscore the reality of repression faced by Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid. Al Jazeera reports that 4000 Palestinians, many of them children, have been murdered in similar airstrikes since 2008.
The air strikes lasted until Aug. 7, when Egypt brokered a ceasefire. The Israeli attack was met with continued determination and resistance from Palestinians. Gaza, for decades, has been a large open-air prison the size of Washington, D.C., cut off from much of the world. The political movements and mobilizations in solidarity with Palestinians remain a vital lifeline for the people of Gaza and their continued struggle.
In the meantime, the Biden administration has continued its strong backing of Israel, including military support, while maintaining its meaningless rhetoric in favor of a future Palestinian state. When Biden visited Israel to consult with government figures in mid-July, his convoy briefly drove through the West Bank. Large banners greeted him that read: “Mr. President, this is apartheid!”
On Aug. 14, attendees raised Palestinian flags during a soccer match at the Parc des Princes in Paris. The same action occurred during a soccer match in Jordan. Palestinian supermodels and daughters of a refugee, Bella and Gigi Hadid, spoke out in solidarity with their people. Pop music sensation Dua Lipa also supports the Palestinian cause and along with the Hadids faced a smear campaign that accused them of being anti-Jewish. On Twitter, Lipa rejected the smears and stated, “I stand in solidarity with all oppressed people and reject all forms of racism.”
Members of Workers’ Voice participated in actions in New York City, Philadelphia, and Connecticut. In New York on Aug. 8, activists occupied Grand Central Station, singing, “Free, Free Palestine.” On Aug. 10, over a hundred turned out for a Philadelphia rush-hour protest. In Connecticut, a noontime rally on Aug. 17, initiated by the Middle East Crisis Committee and endorsed by Workers’ Voice, saw many Arab and Muslim youth from local masjids chanting “Gaza, Gaza don’t you cry, Palestine will never die!” Demands at the rally included cutting the $4.8 billion U.S. aid to Israel.
Workers’ Voice will continue to organize and express our solidarity with the people of Palestine against Israel’s apartheid policies. We encourage all of our readers to be ready to turn out for solidarity actions in your area as the Palestinian resistance and movement continues to act as a symbol and inspiration for working people opposing apartheid, racism, and imperialism.
Photo: Palestinians in East Jerusalem greet President Biden’s motorcade in July. (Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty)