Socialist councillors call for expulsion of Israeli ambassador over massacre in Gaza

Socialist Alliance city councillors Sam Wainwright (Fremantle City Council, WA) and Sue Bolton (Moreland City Council, Victoria) have called on the Australian government to expel Israel's ambassador to send a strong message of condemnation of the brutal Israeli military offensive against Gaza. Similar calls have been made by the Internet Mana Party in New Zealand/Aotearoa, Sinn Fein in Ireland, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the African National Council Youth League in South Africa. "This grossly unequal and genocidal war that has already killed hundreds of innocent civilians must stop now. The Australian government should expel Israel's ambassador to send a strong message of condemnation of this brutal aggression," said socialist Fremantle councillor Sam Wainwright. "Unlike Israel, the Palestinian people have no air force, no navy, no tanks, no nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. This is not a war, it is a genocidal massacre. "The Australian government has said not one word of outrage at the innocent civilians, including many children, being butchered in this offensive. Worse, PM Tony Abbott has justified Israel's aggression and added insult to injury with his recent 'We are all Israelis' statement. "You don't speak for us, Mr Abbott! "We are not 'all Israelis' - especially at this time when Israel is committing yet another horrendous crime against humanity. "Israel is a serial offender. This is the third major Israeli military assault on Gaza and if other countries remain silent or worse support such aggression, Israeli will keep committing such crimes." Moreland City's socialist councillor Sue Bolton added that it was "sickening to hear the utterly hypocritical posturing by Abbott and his ministers about the tragic downing of flight MH17 over the Ukraine, while it remained callously indifferent to the ongoing massacre in Gaza". "Israeli warplanes, warships, artillery and tanks have increasingly targeted homes, civilian-populated areas and civilian facilities, including hospitals, in the Gaza strip. This is a deliberate war crime and Australia should express its condemnation by immediately expelling Israel's ambassador," said Bolton. "Israel's ongoing violence against the Palestinian people, including collective punishment and summary executions, is a gross violation of international humanitarian law. It has nothing to do with 'self-defence', but a genocidal aggression against the Palestinian people who had been constantly denied their right to self-determination by the Zionist regime." The two socialist councillors urged other local councillors, state and federal MPs, trade union and community leaders to join their call for the immediate expulsion of Israel's ambassador. They also called for the intensification of the economic boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign against Israel and supported the continuation of mass protests around the country against Israel's assault on Gaza. To arrange interviews please contact Socialist Alliance national office 02-8070 9331