(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India
attack on the
“Freedom Flotilla” carrying relief materiel for Gaza
by Israeli Navy commandos on May 30, Israel finds itself even
isolated in the international arena. Its traditional friends in Europe
started openly criticising Israel.
The French president Nicholas Sarkozy and the newly elected British
David Cameron, issued strong statements criticising Israel.
In the third week of June, Poland
arrested a Mossad agent who was on the
wanted list for the assassination of a senior Hamas leader in Dubai. In Oakland, California,
refused to unload cargo from an Israeli ship. The Obama
administration is exerting behind the scenes pressure on Tel Aviv to
serious about negotiations with the Palestinians. President Barack
said that the blockade on Gaza
was “unsustainable”. His secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, one of Israel’s
allies called the siege “unacceptable”.
The US has now committed $400 million in
aid to Gaza.
however did not explicitly condemn the Israeli act of barbarism nor has
shown any inclination to stop subsidising the Israeli war machine.
Obama has said that he would implement his predecessor’s plan for
$30 billion in military aid to Israel
over the next ten years.
Russia, China, India,
France, Spain and Brazil
were among the countries that issued strong statements criticising Israel.
was no “condemnation” which in diplomatic parlance carries more weight.
South Africa, like Turkey,
has recalled its ambassador
from Tel Aviv for consultations. There is a growing realisation in the
international community that Israel’s
are akin to those practiced in South Africa during the
era. Latin American countries were particularly vehement in their
after the May 30 incident. Ecuador,
too withdrew its ambassador for consultations, after the killings. Venezuela had withdrawn its ambassador
Israeli attack on Gaza
early last year.
outcry over the killings of the nine peace activists, the Israeli
has announced in the second week of June that it is partially relaxing
blockade on Gaza,
has been in force for the last three years. Israel
has also instituted a three
person enquiry commission to investigate the killings. The commission
led by a
retired Israeli Supreme Court judge, Jacob Turkel includes the Ulster
leader, David Trimble and a former Canadian advocate general, Ken
good friends of the Zionist state.
recently launched a
“Friends of Israel” initiative with the former right wing Spanish prime
Jose Maria Aznar. Aznar told the media in the third week of June, that
protection of Israel
vital for western interests in West Asia.
taken the step of setting up an inquiry commission in consultation with
Obama administration. There has been criticism within Israel
the composition of the commission. The reputed newspaper Haaretz
called the commission “a farce”. The paper said that the Israel
“not intend to probe the decision-making that preceded the takeover of
and the shortcomings that were uncovered”.
world and the
international community are extremely sceptical about Israel’s
after the recent events. The Turkish government said that Israel
have the right to institute a commission to investigate a crime
international waters. “An inquiry to be conducted by such a commission
be impartial, fair, transparent and credible”, said a statement from
Turkish foreign ministry. The demand is for a truly impartial UN
commission to be set up to look into the circumstances leading to the
of the humanitarian activists. The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon had
for a full fledged international enquiry. The UN Human Rights
(UNHRC) in Geneva is to set up its own
commission to look into the killings and violations of international
law of the
sea by Israel.
activists was boarded on international waters. Israel
anyway controls the Gaza
coastline and had absolutely no right under the laws of the sea to
stop vessels on the high seas. Civil society groups are demanding that
wide arrest warrants should be issued against Israeli officials,
planning the operations. Michael Ratner, the president of the New York based Centre for Constitutional Rights
told the news agency
IPS, “those Israeli officials should be made to understand that though
enjoy impunity in their country, they leave Israel at their peril”.
of the view that at the minimum, the UN Security Council should refer
matter to International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan had told the country’s parliament that “even
gangsters and pirates have specific sensitiveness” but the present
government, he added “has made lying its state policy and does not
the crime it commits”. The killing of the nineTurkish citizens has
entire nation. Turkey,
has the 13th largest economy in the world, was till recently
one of Israel’s
regional allies. The trade and military ties between the two
countries are worth more than $3 billion. Now the relationship is in
and there is very little hope that Israel
can count on Turkey,
NATO member for any military or political assistance in the future. The
Turkey-Israel rupture also has the potential of adversely impacting on Ankara’s
the West. Under Erdogan, Turkey has already taken momentous
improve relations with countries like Iran,
China and Russia.
in a recent interview with the BBC said that he no longer views the
government as “a partner for peace” in the region. He said that the
the peace flotilla proved to the international community that Israel
run by “a pyromaniac government” which makes the achievement of peace
impossible. He said that the attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla
any chance for peace in the near future” and instead “increased the
war” in the region.
the blockade on Gaza
has not cut any ice with the international community. No specific
except that on jams, pasta and milk, was mentioned when the Israeli
announced its decision. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has only
that he would allow the entry of building material along with UN
material is essential for Gaza.
infrastructure was almost totally destroyed by the three week long
attack last year.The Israeli government
has said that it will continue with the sea blockade. Gaza’s only
airfield has been rendered
inoperable by the Israeli army.
under tremendous public pressure, has opened the Rafah crossing into Gaza, allowing
need of emergency heath care to leave the Strip. The World Health
(WHO) has said that the mortality rates in Gaza
are 30 per cent higher than on the West Bank
and chronic malnutrition is now over 10 per cent. Two-thirds of Gazans
poverty and about 40 per cent are unemployed. The Food and Agricultural
Organisation (FAO) has stated that 61 per cent of the people in Gaza are “food
the majority of them children. 95 per cent of Gaza’s
have shut down after Israel
imposed its blockade. Collective punishment was imposed on the people
of Gaza by the occupying power - Israel.
The sole aim was the ouster
of the popularly elected Hamas government. Till the recent horrific
events, Israel was
supported by the US
and EU as it
tried to starve the Gazans into submission.
Palestinian negotiator, reiterated that there has not been any easing
of the Gaza blockade, despite the
recent announcements by Israel. “In
reality, the siege of the Gaza Strip, illegally imposed on
continues unabated”. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has called for the
unconditional lifting of the blockade of Gaza.
Many Palestinians feel that this is a belated attempt to conceal its
abetment of the blockade along with Egypt. In a June 10 speech
Brookings Institution in Washington,
the PA president,
Mahmoud Abbas, again suggested that the Israeli siege continue until
allows the US
militia to return to Gaza.
for the Hamas,
which administers Gaza
pointed out that only 130 out of the 4,000 basic items of basic
allowed in. More peace flotillas carrying food and medical aid are
towards Gaza to break Israel’s
illegal sea blockade.
Peace activists say that their aim is to prove that the sea blockade
land blockade by Israel
International Commission of the Red Cross (ICRC) called for the
lifting of the siege of Gaza.
ICRC reiterated that the blockade was in violation of the Fourth Geneva
Convention of 1949. Israel
is a signatory to the Convention, which prohibits the collective
civilian populations. “The whole of Gaza’s
civilian population is being punished for acts which they bear no
responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective
imposed in clear violation of Israel’s
obligation under international humanitarian law”, the ICRC said in its