Socialist Alliance councillor condemns Israeli violence in Gaza

Statement by Socialist Alliance's newly elected Moreland City Councillor Sue Bolton

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“Civilians were the overwhelming majority of the more than 1400 people Israel killed in it’s 2009 assault on Gaza. Today, Israel is beginning another assault. A quarter of the Palestinians killed so far are children, including babies,” Sue Bolton, newly elected Socialist Alliance member of the Moreland City Council said.

“But Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is already following the lead of the US and EU in condemning Palestinian armed resistance and retaliation while excusing the Israeli aggression. Contrary to media reports, no Palestinians fired rockets from Gaza this week until after Israel killed a civilian who strayed too close to the besieged territory’s border and a teenager playing football outside his home.”

Councillor Bolton was one of 16 activists acquitted by the Melbourne Magistrates Court in July after being charged for protesting outside a Max Brenner chocolate shop, calling for a boycott of the Max Brenner brand because of its links to the Israeli army. She called on people in Melbourne to attend the solidarity protest at the GPO in Bourke St at 12:30 on Saturday 17 November.

“After the 2009 assault Givati Brigade soldiers made a souvenir T-shirt with an image of a pregnant Palestinian woman and the slogan ‘One shot, two kills,’ leaving nothing they were doing in Gaza to the imagination. The Givati Brigade is one of the units Max Brenner’s Israeli parent company sponsors, which is why we call for the boycott.

“We need to protest now to stop this latest assault escalating to stop the horrors of 2009 being repeated. We need to show the world that Australians do not support it. Australian politicians and media are silent on Israel’s ongoing starvation siege of Gaza, the deaths and misery it causes, and the regular ‘surgical strikes’ that kill civilians. They are also silent about the apartheid and discrimination faced by Palestinians, not just in Gaza but everywhere Israel rules. They are silent about the thousands held in detention without trial and oppose the right of Palestinian refugees to return.

“Despite this, an opinion poll published in the Jerusalem Post this year showed that 65% of Australians view Israel negatively while only 18% view it positively. So we need to make our voices heard.”

For comment: Sue Bolton, Moreland Councillor: 0413 377 978