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How to help Gaza

Published Jan 15, 2009 8:57 PM

Anyone who watches the Israeli slaughter in Gaza, armed and backed by the U.S. government, and understands what is behind it will want to do what is possible to make it stop. As in any wars waged by a well-armed oppressor with a racist ideology, that is easier said than done. Mere symbolic protest seems inadequate. One wants not only to shout at the Israeli and U.S. criminals and to counteract the slander and demonization of Hamas, the organization now leading the defense of Gaza, but to lend more substantial support.

A recent appeal to the world movement by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an organization with a long history of struggle, calls for more mass actions, and adds:

“The PFLP salutes the hundreds of thousands internationally who have continued to take to the streets, and the millions in the Arab homeland who have done so as well.”

Mentioning many of the places there have been protests, it continues, “In various cities, demonstrators have surrounded Israeli embassies, as well as U.S. and Egyptian embassies, besieging them with a demand for justice and an end to the massacres and siege. These actions and others have been impacting and providing support to the steadfastness of the Palestinian resistance, and we can feel the power and commitment of such actions, which strengthens the morale of all of our people facing massacres and siege.”

The PFLP also calls for “the broadest mass demonstrations and the escalation of popular international action, especially the takeover of the embassies of the occupier,” as was done, for example, by Jewish women in Toronto.

Its most specific appeal was to “the Greek movement, the Greek people and all international progressive forces to halt the planned shipment of U.S. arms to Israel from the Greek port of Astakos.” Some 3,000 tons of U.S. arms were due to be shipped from there to Israel. Much to their credit, some left-wing Greek parties that oppose the Greek government plan to hold protests Jan. 15 and 16 at Astakos. They will go ahead with the actions, even though the Pentagon has since said it changed its plans. The shipment will now allegedly avoid Greece. The Pentagon spokesperson added that the Greek government “had some issue” with the shipment.

It is possible to continue the mass mobilizations. It is possible to give people-to-people humanitarian aid to Gaza. It is possible in the longer term to harness the worldwide anger against the U.S. and Israeli war criminals and organize for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, as many have suggested. It should also be possible, depending on circumstances, to obstruct Israeli war diplomacy as suggested.

And it is also possible, where class-consciousness and anti-imperialist activity is at a high level, to have specific and concrete acts of internationalist solidarity that throw a wrench in the U.S.-Israeli war machine.

All these actions can help. May they grow and spread around the world, including right here in the U.S.