Israel’s savage and criminal attack on Gaza, which started on December 26, has exacted a heavy toll in human suffering. More than 800 Palestinians mostly civilians have been slaughtered to date, and thousands more have been injured or maimed. The constant bombardment of Gaza City and other centres has created a humanitarian tragedy of staggering proportions. Israel’s aggression is nothing less than a crime against humanity.

And yet, despite growing international condemnation and an explicit UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Israeli land forces, the Olmert government has declared its intention to continue the devastation and slaughter. The Zionist leadership in Israel is thumbing its nose at the world, confident that its imperialist allies, including Canada, will permit Israel a free hand to continue its aggression. This genocidal assault must stop now! The Communist Party demands that the Harper government reverse its blatantly pro-Israeli policy and instead take real and immediate action to force an immediate ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal!

No Justification for this Aggression  

The Israeli propaganda machine, with the help of its imperialist and corporate backers abroad, peddles the myth that it is the victim of unprovoked rocket attacks fired by Hamas militants in Gaza, and therefore claims the right to search out and destroy the terrorist infrastructure in an act of self-defence.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It is the Israeli regime which has been provoking the Palestinian people over many decades of occupation. It is the Israeli state that has sealed off the Palestinian population, enclosing them in a virtual prison and denying them any access to the outside world. In recent months, Israel has tightened its siege of Gaza, cutting off its 1.5 million residents from essential supplies of food, water, medicines, fuel and other basic needs.

Ever since 1948, the Israeli state has oppressed and persecuted the Palestinian people, and stolen their lands. In recent years, this occupying power built the apartheid wall (ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice), and has continued to build and expand Jewish settlements inside the Occupied Territories.

The criminal strangulation of Gaza together with the stifling occupation and oppression in the West Bank constitutes an intentional plan by Israel to solve the Palestinian problem by making social and economic conditions unliveable in the Occupied Territories. The Israeli regime hopes to break the Intifada and drive the Palestinian people permanently out of the rest of their homeland essentially a racist, genocidal policy. Under such circumstances, the Palestinian people have every right to resist the occupying power by any means at their disposal.

End Canada’s complicity with Israeli war crimes  

The role of the Harper government in this tragedy has been appalling and unacceptable. Its pro-Israeli position was summed up in the Dec. 28 remarks of the new Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon: Israel has a clear right to defend itself against the continued rocket attacks by Palestinian militant groups those rocket attacks must stop.

This statement demonstrates once again that the foreign policy of the Harper Conservatives is in total lock-step with U.S. imperialism in fully backing Israel’s aggressive and expansionist strategy in the region. Under pressure from the well-organized pro-Zionist lobby, the federal government is actually colluding in this aggression, blatantly indifferent to its impact on the Palestinian people, or the dangerously destabilizing effect it is having on peace and security in the Middle East as a whole.

What then should Canada’s position be? The government should give its complete and unequivocal support to the demand for an immediate ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the lifting of the siege of Gaza. And it should warn Israel that failure to comply will be met with shift and comprehensive action including the imposition of sanctions and the severing of diplomatic relations.

For a Just and Lasting Peace  

The roots of the current tragedy in Gaza lie in the longstanding colonialist policies of successive Israeli governments. The state of Israel does not hesitate to trample on the national rights of the Palestinian people or the sovereignty of neighbouring Arab states. It has repeatedly violated international law, and with the help and protection of U.S. imperialism, has rejected dozens of United Nations resolutions which could form the basis for a just and lasting political settlement of the Middle East conflict.

The only just solution that can guarantee genuine and enduring peace in the Middle East must include:

– ending Israel’s illegal occupation of all territories, including East Jerusalem, seized in the 1967 war;

– establishing a viable and genuinely independent Palestinian state;

– guaranteeing the right of return for all Palestinian refugees; and

– recognizing and developing peaceful and cooperative relations with all states in the Middle East.

There is no other road map to a just and lasting peace in the region.

In order to pressure Israel and its imperialist allies to accept such a just peace, the time has come for the world to impose comprehensive economic, political and diplomatic sanctions and a full boycott against the outlaw state of Israel. We urge the labour movement, the anti-war movements, and all those in Canada who support peace and justice, to unite in a massive campaign of action for Peace NOW! around the demands for an immediate ceasefire and for the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories.