Israel’s terror campaign against all opponents of zionism is becoming ever more frantic, yet remains staunchly supported by imperialism in every possible way. In the last month alone, we have witnessed several striking examples of this.
First of all, it has been demonstrated that, notwithstanding the Arab Spring, the siege of Gaza remains firmly in place. The flotilla (Freedom Flotilla 2) that was bound for Gaza in May bearing humanitarian aid was hobbled.
First, two of the flotilla’s vessels were dangerously sabotaged. Israeli frogmen damaged the propellers of the Swedish [I]Juliano [/I]in Greek waters and the Irish [I]Saoirse[/I] in Gocek, Turkey. If the damage had not been discovered in time, the two ships would almost certainly have sunk at sea. There has been no outcry in the western press about these murderous acts of Israeli terrorism.
On top of this, Israel’s imperialist backers clearly put pressure on Greece not to allow boats to leave its ports for Gaza, and arranged for several countries to withdraw their flags from flotilla vessels. These measures kept 10 boats from leaving Greek ports.
Finally the single boat, [I]Dignité/Karama[/I], that made it into Israeli waters was boarded and captured by the Israeli military, fortunately without loss of life on this occasion.
Meanwhile, Israel has passed laws making it a criminal offence for anyone living inside its borders to advocate the boycott of Israeli goods, including goods produced in the illegal West Bank zionist settlements.
Thirdly, the British government has, presumably at Israel’s request, arrested Sheikh Raed Salah, an Arab Israeli citizen on a visit to Britain, who has committed no crime whatever, simply because he is a prominent anti-zionist.
Raed Salah arrived in Britain for a speaking tour on 27 June. He addressed a meeting in Parliament and a couple of public meetings before being arrested late at night on 28 June by the British police. The arrest was for the purpose of deportation on the ground that his presence in the UK was not conducive to the public good because, supposedly, Raed Salah is ‘anti-semitic’.
Raed Salah in fact is the leader of the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement, the largest Palestinian movement in Israel. He has three times, with a large majority, been elected Mayor of the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm. Israel has been looking for an excuse to brand the anti-zionist Salah as anti-semitic for years, but has never been able to find the slightest shred of evidence to support such a claim. Yet in the UK, without any such evidence, Raed Salah was imprisoned and illegally refused access to his lawyers for four days.
Once he was able to see his lawyers, they were finally – on appeal and after he had been in prison for nearly three weeks – able to get him bail (at £30,000) while he appeals against deportation. Pending the hearing (expected for September), however, he is not able to proceed with his lecture tour, since he is barred as a condition of his bail either from speaking in public or speaking to the press. In addition, he will have to wear an electronic tag, report daily to an immigration centre and observe a 6.00pm-9.00am curfew.
Finally, the US Congress has voted 407–6 to suspend funds to the Palestinian Authority should it pursue a unilateral declaration of statehood at the UN in September. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said, “We stand by Israel as our most valued ally.”