Do not be censored: raise your voice for palestine

The following article by Adam Murray was first published in Unity, the weekly publication of the Irish Communist Party.

AT the time of writing the indiscriminate slaughter of men, women and children in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes has reached almost 5,800 people, following the October 7th Hamas surprise attack on Israel which took the lives of 1,400 people, over 1,000 of them unarmed civilians.

Western governments continue to give Israel carte blanche to carpet bomb Gaza, including the USA, UK and France, who use the language of ‘combating terrorism’ to whitewash these war crimes of the fascist Netanyahu government. 

The people of Ireland have responded to this most recent stage in the Israeli occupation of Palestine in their tens of thousands, marches and rallies are taking place on a weekly basis across the island, demanding an end to the bombing, the occupation and apartheid..

Likewise across the world huge demonstrations continue to be held calling for peace and the liberation of the people of Palestine.

Mainstream media have run    biased and untrue coverage of such protests, accusing them of supporting Hamas.

The BBC has been forced to apologise for claims made on its broadcasting in which multiple presenters accused Palestine solidarity protesters of supporting the actions of Hamas.

Palestinian human rights lawyers and anti-apartheid activists have had their appearances on media platforms cancelled or deleted. Many are accusing social media companies of ‘shadow banning’ posts which oppose the illegal occupation and apartheid, suppressing such content so less people see it.

Supporters of the Israeli government are fervently seeking to suppress and censor ant-apartheid opinion.

In the USA the Hilton Hotel corporation cancelled a long-planned conference organised by  the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), which represents 300 anti-occupation groups.

The USCPR director, Ahmad Abuznaid said “There was no conversation. They just unilaterally decided to cancel”.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has baselessly accused the USCPR of promoting hatred and anti-Semitism, praising the cancellation of the conference.

Similarly in Virginia the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was forced to cancel their annual banquet when anonymous threats were made to the venue that bombs would be planted and hotel staff murdered if the event went ahead.

A spokesperson for CAIR is quoted as having said “We will not allow the threats of anti-Palestinian racists and anti-Muslim bigots who seek to dehumanize the Palestinian people and silence American Muslims to stop us from pursuing justice for all”.

National governments in France and Germany have sought to outlaw and public showing of solidarity with the people of Palestine who live under illegal occupation and are increasingly displaced by illegal settlement building, as recognised by the UN.

Germany has Europe’s largest Palestinian community, 80,000 people, for whom grieving in public for the siege and bombardment of their friends and family in Gaza is now illegal.

DESPITE the combined efforts of Western governments, mainstream media, and those activists, groups and campaigns which act as apologists for Israeli war crimes, working people’s solidarity with Palestine from around the world is being seen and heard.

The images of Gaza flattened by Israeli bombs, of hospitals crowded with thousands of injured and murdered children, cannot be suppressed in the modern technological era.

No amount of censorship can conceal the blatant collective punishment Israel is enacting upon Palestine.

 People know that this conflict did not begin on October 7th. A statement made by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions put it thus, “The violence must also be put in context. Almost six decades of hostile military rule over an entire civilian population are in themselves a form of violence, and a recipe for more insecurity for all”. The full statement can be found in last weeks Unity and

Tough talking Israeli governments for decades have claimed their primary goal is to create a safe and peaceful state for Jewish people, what a miserable failure if so.

How can peace or safety be built on the oppression, displacement, and brutalisation of other people?

The very idea is a contradiction. Supremacism of one group over another, and the violent enforcement of apartheid has been historically proven to lead to cycles of violence.

In an increasingly censorious and febrile environment, progressives must not allow ourselves to be cowed by fear.

Analysis is not an endorsement of the actions of Hamas, context is a requirement in the pursuit of peace in any conflict.

Calling for peace, an end to illegal occupation, and an end to apartheid are not, as some try to twist it, support for violence or hatred.

The harder they try to censor us, the more we must speak out.

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