By John Catalinotto
On June 28 just a century ago, Gavrilo Princip, a 19-year-old patriot from the oppressed nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, assassinated Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Ferdinand was the symbol of the tyrannical rule of the decadent Habsburg Empire over Princip’s country.
The militarist rulers in Vienna, the capital of the empire, seized on the assassination in Sarajevo as a pretext to declare war on Serbia. This decree essentially launched what was to become World War I. That terrible slaughter killed 20 million people, mostly European workers and farmers.
This is the centennial of the war’s start and the corporate media have already begun to distort the history of the event. The goal is to deflect blame for the disaster away from the capitalist ruling classes, especially in the imperialist countries, whose oppressive and exploitative system made the war inevitable.
When oppression makes life a living hell for those who suffer under it, there can be no end to their resistance, whatever the cost.
This is what the Israeli settler state and its imperialist backers, particularly the U.S. ruling class, fail to take into account as they try to bludgeon and squeeze the people of Gaza until they can take no more.
But millions around the world recognize what is going on in Palestine — whose very name is denied by the settler state of Israel. Their hearts go out to the people of Gaza, who are sacrificing everything rather than submit to Israel’s relentless bombing.
They know that the money and weapons provided by the Pentagon have led to an incredibly one-sided struggle. As of July 14, some 172 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli air strikes, 140 of them civilians. One bombing killed 18 members of the same family. Thousands more were wounded. Not one Israeli had died.
Yet the people of Gaza refuse to surrender — again showing their enormous solidarity and courage.
On the night of the 8th July, 2014, Gaza woke up to the tremors of earth-shaking bombings by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). It is said since then more than 27 Palestinians, including more than 6 children amongst them, were killed and more than 200 have been injured as a result of the airstrikes by Israel. Dozens of homes have been demolished and several families lost relatives.
The Israeli cabinet has further authorised the reactivation of 40 000 army reservists in anticipation or signalling a possible ground offensive, to top up those already deployed in and around Gaza. How do we explain 60 airstrikes in one day?
The intensification of the mass arrests against Palestinians in various parts of the occupied territories, such as in West Bank where about 500 Palestinians have been arrested in a space of 3 weeks. Mohammed Abu Khdier a Palestinian child was kidnapped, tortured and burnt alive in Jerusalem. Mohammed is amongst millions of Palestinian children who have for years been murdered by the state of Israel in the name of self-protection against “terrorists”.
We firmly support the ANC statement that, “In line with our 2012 policy resolutions, that called on “all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel”, branches and structures of the ANC across the country will be joining the Palestine solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in organizing protests and pickets calling for the immediate end of Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. We call on all South Africans, Black, White, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and all others to join us in expressing our solidarity. Solidarity will bring us together as different South Africans just as how the international anti-apartheid movement brought people together”.
It is only those who have lost their humanity who cant feel or share in the pain felt by the suffering people of Palestine from the barbaric and savage attacks by what has become the most acceptable, deliberate and legalised murder and deliberate violation of international law by a country.
Israel is only able to commit all these ruthless atrocities because of the licence from the US, EU and allies. The UN must be ashamed of itself for failing humanity and the people of Palestine, always pleading for restraint from the victim, equally. We cannot equate an aggressor to a victim or coloniser to a colonised. Nelson Mandela was also called a terrorist for fighting for freedom, hence the natural task of oppressed people to wage a liberation struggle and our natural responsibility is to support them.
We call on the international trade union movement, various civil society organisations, international religious bodies and even business to speak out against savagery and barbarism against fellow human beings. We support the call to recall South African ambassador to Israel, kick out the Israeli ambassador from South Africa and move with speed to decisively isolate Israel and all who sympathise with racism and Zionist occupation all over the world.
Now is the time for the world to stop words of pity and lamentation, but take action by doing what it did to apartheid South Africa when its policies were declared a crime against humanity. Indeed, apartheid remains a crime against humanity wherever it happens. If apartheid cant outrage us, our humanity is called into question and our morality is hollow.
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Gaza issued a statement on July 10, describing the heinous crimes committed by the Zionist occupation forces in the Gaza Strip as a war of overall aggression which exceeds all limits of logic and humanity. It called for the resistance factions to escalate strikes in each areas, including rockets and missiles, to compel the occupying entity to pay a price for its aggression.
The occupation forces are escalating their attacks on Gaza, including bombing and demolishing family homes inhabited by children, women and elders, targeting journalists, the latest of which was the assassination of journalist Hamdi Shehab yesterday, targeting medical personnel and ambulances, health centers and hospitals. All of this reflects the state of bankruptcy which the criminal enemy has reached, its confusion and inability to confront the resistance.
The Front denounced the extreme official Arab silence and international indifference in the face of the destruction in the Gaza Strip, asking if the bodies of women, children and elders pulled from under the rubble of destroyed homes are not sufficient to spark the conscience of international humanitarian agencies and the world, and promising that their Palestinian blood will not have been shed in vain.
The Front dismissed the emergency hearing of the Security Council called by the Arab Group, noting that it comes far too late, after over 80 martyrs and thousands of wounded, the destruction of homes and infrastructure, urging real international action to hold the occupation state accountable for its crimes.
The Front also renewed its call for the necessity of the leadership in power in the PLO to join the International Criminal Court and seek to bring the criminal enemy to trial for its crimes committed against the Palestinian people. Continued postponement is a betrayal of the blood of the martyrs.
The Front also reaffirmed the unity of our people in all locations against the horrific Zionist attack, calling on our people in the West Bank to take to the streets and escalate confrontation against the occupation army and settlers, and for the military wings of the armed resistance there to move to strike the occupation everywhere. Further, it called upon all members of Palestinian security agencies to reject the constraints and obligations of Oslo and instead join the Palestinian people to confront the occupier and protect the people.
Today in history: July 8, 1972 – Palestinian leader Ghassan Kanafani assassinated along with his niece by the Israeli Mossad with a car bomb in Beirut.
Kanafani was a well-known Palestinian writer and was a leader and spokesperson of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)
Pyongyang, July 7 (KCNA) — The government of the DPRK released the following statement Monday, 20 years since President Kim Il Sung left his last signature on a historic document related to Korea’s reunification.
The Korean nation’s cause for national reunification is undergoing big difficulties and trials due to the vicious challenge and obstructive moves of the anti-reunification forces at home and abroad, the statement said.
The DPRK government clarifies as follows out of its patriotic desire to tide over the difficulties lying before the nation, improve the north-south relations and open up a fresh turning phase for independent reunification at present:
The north and the south should end reckless hostility and confrontation and open up the road for reconciliation and unity.
The grave situation in which even a single remark and act and tiny friction may lead to a dangerous conflict and destruction of the nation is prevailing on the Korean peninsula as hostility and confrontation have reached the extremes.
We should no longer remain a passive on-looker to this tragic situation in which exhaustive political strife among compatriots may cause tremendous catastrophe of the nation at a crucial time when all the Koreans should pool their strength and wisdom for the cause common to the nation.