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The Guardian 4 February, 2009

Rally for the people of Gaza in WA

Richard Titelius

On January 18, 2009, when Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire, the more robust incursions by the Israeli military may have stopped, but the other methods of siege being inflicted upon the Palestinian people had not.

The blockade by Israel of entry points into Gaza continues as does the occupation of Gaza by the Israeli military, denying the Palestinian people sovereignty and right to self-determination of their lands.

Australia, notwithstanding the change of government in 2007, from John Howard to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, is one of those countries that unwaveringly supports the US government on its position on the Zionist aggression of Israel towards the Hamas government in Gaza.

The people of Perth in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza and their supporters around the world have now had four rallies since the Israeli invasion of Gaza on December 27, 2008. The action in Forrest Place in Perth on January 31 was again well attended by over 200 people despite the heat.

The first speaker was Alex Whisson, a member of the group Friends of Palestine Western Australia, who called on people to continue with the push to have the blockade lifted and an end to the US backed Israeli occupation of Gaza. Alex said that the resistance campaign, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS campaign) of Israeli goods was beginning to have effect.

On January 17, a shipment of arms bound for Israel was stopped in Greece while the French government cancelled an Israeli tourism exposition in Paris. Unions in Australia such as the Maritime of Union of Australia and others have passed motions supporting the BDS campaign and called on other unions and peak union bodies to do likewise.

Hannah Magar, a student at the Australian Islamic College, denounced the campaign of terror being inflicted by the Israeli government and the barbaric effects which this has had on those killed and those thousands who were injured and also made homeless by the superior military might of the aggressor Israel. The fatalities included many children.

The rally concluded with a march through the central business district of Perth where they greeted receptive shoppers with their message condemning the blockade and occupation of Gaza and calls for the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Deputy PM Julia Gillard to condemn the actions of the governments of Israel and US for their brutal treatment of the Palestinian people.

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