The Communist Party of Israel and Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) condemns today’s deadly attack by the Israeli Air Force on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of over 150 Palestinians. The CPI calls on Communist and Workers parties and social movements throughout the world to mobilize against these Israeli war crimes and demands that the international community implement sanctions against Israel and indict Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and other Israeli political and military leadership for these blatant war crimes, committed as part of Israel’s election process.
Today's Israel’s military attack is part of the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip. Israel is exploiting the last moments of the Bush administration to implement the deadly but ineffective imperialist policy of utilizing military force to effect political change. Demonstrations against the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip are planned for the Israeli major cities, and demonstrations will be conducted tonight in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Nazareth. Yesterday (Friday), hundreds demonstrators attended a rally in central Tel Aviv to protest the expected Israeli military operation to Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza. The rally was organized by the Coalition against the Gaza Siege and Hadash (Democratic Peace and Equality Front – Communist Party of Israel).
"I suggest that we go the other direction," said Hadash Knesset Member Dov Khenin, a leading member of the Communist Party of Israel. "Our power is our tragedy. One powerful blow will not bring the end. They will respond with rockets and eventually we'll embark on an all-out war. Going in the other direction means reinforcing the lull, securing a ceasefire, and lifting the siege that only serves to unite the population around Hamas."
"A genuine peace process will be engaged in vis-à-vis the Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas," he said. "What's tragic here is that it's possible. We just need the desire."
Khenin added that it is "essential to secure a prisoner swap that would include Gilad Shalit." When asked why fewer Israelis object the war in Gaza, he said: "People lost their hope. They realize that what's happening is bad, yet they think there's no other option. Yet we are not destined to be the victim of history." Another rally participant, the former MK Tamar Gozansky, said: "Two years ago we protested at the same site, before the Second Lebanon War. We were ostracized and referred to as traitors. Yet several months later, all the people who made fun of us carried their own signs to Rabin Square and protested against Olmert's policy. I really hope that we won't have yet another reason to say: 'We told you so.'" In an earlier statement, MK Khenin said: "A comprehensive war in Gaza is dangerous and unnecessary and will put the lives of thousands of Gazans and western Negev residents at risk"." War is not the solution to the Kassam rocket problem," he continued. "There is another way: a real truce agreement. Not just a cease-fire, but also ending the Gaza blockade and easing the extreme suffering of a million-and-a-half people."